Gabriela Mistral 4.7.13 Thought of the Day

“At this moment, by an undeserved stroke of fortune, I am the direct voice of the poets of my race and the indirect voice for the noble Spanish and Portuguese tongues.”–Gabriela Mistral

Gabriela Mistral

Gabriela Mistral (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lucila Goday y Alcayaga was born one this day in Vicuña , Chile in 1889.

Daughter of a poet and school teacher, Juan Gerónimo Godoy Villanueva, and a seamstress, Petronila Alcayaga, she was raised in a small Andean village. The family lived in poverty, a situation that worsened when her father left when Lucila was three. She was close to her older sister, Emelina Molina, who was also her teacher.

Despite having only a few years of formal education, she became a teacher’s aide at 15 to help support her family. As a teacher she had a number of positions in rural Chilean towns. By 1912 she was teaching at the high school level. Her star as an educator continued to rise,  in 1921, she became the director of Santiago’s Liceo (high school) #6, the best girls’ school in Chile. She went on to help reform the Mexican education and library system.

English: Gabriela Mistral, Chilean poet, educa...

English: Gabriela Mistral, Chilean poet, educator, diplomat, and feminist (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A poet all her life…

“At age sixteen she moved to La Cantera to take a job and fell in love with a young railway worker. The relationship didn’t last and two years later the young man committed suicide. The only item found in his possession was a postcard from Mistral. This affected her deeply and she wrote Sonetas de la Muerte (Sonnets of Death) to express her feelings.” [Distinguished]

Lucila took the pen name Gabiela Mistral. Her poems reflected her experiences in life. When she “…was appointed director of a secondary school for girls located in rural Punta Arenas. The rough terrain of Punta Arenas became an inspiration for a series of poems entitled Patagonian Landscapes.“[ Ibid]

Her time in Mexican inspired   Readings for Women

“The dominant themes in her poetry were love, death, childhood, maternity, religion and the beauty of nature and of her native land. She also had a burning desire for justice.”[Ibid]

Major works include:

  • Sonetos de la muerte (1914)
  • Desolación  1922
  • Ternura 1924
  • Tala 1938
English: Gabriela Mistral, Nobel laureate in L...

English: Gabriela Mistral, Nobel laureate in Literature 1945 Deutsch: Gabriela Mistral, Nobelpreisträgerin für Literatur 1945 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She was the first Latin American and (so far is) the only Latin American woman to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature.

At the time of her death in 1957, her poems had been translated into English, French, German, Swedish and Italian.

The Rose

by Gabriela Mistral

The treasure at the heart of the rose
is your own heart’s treasure.
Scatter it as the rose does:
your pain becomes hers to measure.

Scatter it in a song,
or in one great love’s desire.
Do not resist the rose
lest you burn in its fire.

Click HERE to go to Poem and read more of Mistral’s works.


About ritalovestowrite

Freelance writer, graphic designer, musician, foodie and Jane Austen enthusiast in Northern Baltimore County, Maryland. As a writer I enjoy both fiction and non fiction (food, travel and local interest stories.) As an advocate for the ARTS, one of my biggest passions is helping young people find a voice in all the performing arts. To that end it has been my honor to give one-on-one lessons to elementary, middle and high school students in graphic design and music. And as JANE-O I currently serve as the regional coordinator for JASNA Maryland and am working on a Regency/Federal cooking project. View all posts by ritalovestowrite

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