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Sunday, March 12, 2017
Poetry Sunday: To the Indifferent Women
Charlotte Perkins Gilman was a prominent American feminist, sociologist and writer of the late 19th and early 20th century. She wrote poetry, nonfiction, and short stories, the most famous of which, The Yellow Wallpaper, is the story of a woman who suffers from mental illness and is locked in a room by her husband, supposedly for the sake of her health. The room featured a revolting yellow wallpaper with which the woman became obsessed. The story was based in part on Gilman's own experience with a bout of severe postpartum depression.
I found this poem of hers last week on a poetry website that celebrated women poets in honor of Women's History Month. I found it very meaningful for the times in which we live, particularly that third stanza:
The one first duty of all human life
Is to promote the progress of the world
In righteousness, in wisdom, truth and love;
And you ignore it, hidden in your homes,
Content to keep them in uncertain peace,
Content to leave all else without your care.
Let us not be indifferent women. Instead let us "Unite to raise the standard of the world."