Widgets June 27 ~  Love & Defend Poesias Completas

"Let me be more maternal than a mother; able to love and defend with all of a mother's fervor the child that is not flesh of my flesh." ~ Gabriela Mistral

Gabriela Mistral

A rural schoolteacher who loved... and wrote... with fervor, poet Gabriela Mistral (1889-1957) was born Lucila Godoy Alcayaga in the remote village of Montegrande in northern Chile.

Largely self-taught, she changed her name to honor her favorite poets Gabriele D'Annunzio and Frédéric Mistral.

"What the soul is to the body, so is the artist to his people," said Mistral, who wrote profoundly of love, grief, courage, and hope. Her sparse style was almost Biblical in sound. She loved folk verse and children's rhymes.

Beloved by her country and called "the mother of the nation," Mistral has become closely identified with motherhood and children. "We are guilty of many errors and many faults, but the worst crime is abandoning the children," she one said.

As Director of a school for girls in Santiago, Chile, she worked to improve the educational system. She initiated programs for the poor, the indigenous, and created a mobile library system.

Named "Teacher of the Nation" in 1923, she became an international envoy for the League of Nations and United Nations.

"Beauty... is the shadow of God on the universe," she wrote and was the first Latin American writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature (1945). She accepted the award as the direct voice of "the poets of my race and the indirect voice for the noble Spanish and Portuguese tongues."

Love and defend with a fervor.