Sunday, March 9, 2008

A Force for Children

Here at StoryForce our goal is to be a Force for children. Sometimes we meet or read about someone who inspires us through their own actions on behalf of children. Writer Lynn L. Caruso introduces us to one such a person in her latest book "Honoring Motherhood."

Gabriela Mistral:
First South American Woman to Win the Nobel Prize in Literature
Poet, Educator, Diplomat, Reformer
“We are guilty of many errors and many faults, but our worst crime is abandoning the children, neglecting the fountain of life. Many of the things we need can wait. The child cannot. Right now is the time his bones are being formed, his blood is being made, and his senses are being developed. To him we cannot answer ‘Tomorrow,’ his name is Today.”
– Gabriela Mistral Su Nombre es Hoy (His Name is Today)

Gabriela Mistral:
  • Chilean 1889-1957, pseudonym for Lucila Godoy y Alcayaga
  • Often referred to as the “Mother of the Nation” because her poems often referenced children.
  • First Latin American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature (1945)
  • Started her career as an elementary and secondary school teacher in Chile.
  • Later worked with government educational reform programs in Chile and Mexico and as a cultural minister and diplomat.
  • And later as a professor of Spanish literature in the U.S.
  • Mistral wrote on the dominant themes of motherhood, love, childhood, nature, and death. She was an advocate for children, particularly those living in poverty.
  • Mistral experienced many hardships in her life including the suicide of both her fiance' and her adopted son. The first collection of poems for which she received recognition addressed her lover's suicide.
  • Four of her poems are included in Honoring Motherhood (pp. 24, 35, 72, and 91).
    • The Franciscan Order of Chile requested a monetary donation to “the impoverished children of Chile” as compensation for reprinting her poems in Honoring Motherhood. In this small way, her life’s work/legacy continues -- both her written work and her advocacy for children.

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