Diaries Magazine

Inspired by Literary Grannies: F is for Frances Ellen Watkins Harper "How to Produce the Grandest of All Poems"

Posted on the 07 April 2015 by Juliejordanscott @juliejordanscot
Frances Ellen Harper Watkins, Literary Granny & Inspirer of the Generations F is for Frances Ellen Harper Watkins : May she inspire you today - -

 "Every mother should be a true artist, who knows how to weave into her child's life images of grace and beauty, the true poet capable of writing on the soul of childhood the harmony of love and truth, and teaching it how to produce the grandest of all poems - the poetry of a true and noble life.”

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

The closing portion of the quote, “the poetry of a true and noble life” resonates with me on a deep level.

That’s the sort of life I want to live, getting increasingly true and more honorable as I continue to grow and develop and learn and laugh and explore and create.

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper certainly lived such a life. She was not only a gifted writer who contributed to the literary world by making history as the first African American woman to publish a short story in 1859, she was also a journalist for anti-slavery newspapers. She was a lecturer and founder of the National Association of Colored Women and focused continually on improving the lives of women as well as being a mother and step-mother.

She was an artist-activist whose poetry brought to light in a clear, melodic way the challenges facing the oppressed and the marginalized.

What a gift it would be for each and all of us if more of us took on the task of bringing more grace and beauty, more “poetry of a true and noble life” not only to ourselves by to those we encounter who are less than or marginalized or those around us who simply believe themselves to be less than or marginalized.

Let’s be honest: all of us have felt as if we don’t measure up and as if we are insignificant and irrelevant at some point in our lives, haven’t we? Perhaps that is part of what stirred Literary Granny Frances Ellen Watkins Harper. Now she is here, again, to inspire us.

Questions for Contemplative Writing

What do you do to actively live a true and noble life? What more could you do?

What can you do to begin to focus on leading a poetic life?

What can you do to weave grace and beauty into your everyday experience?

Sentence starters:

I am inspired by…

I inspire others when I….

My edition of a ‘true and noble life’ would look like….

Reflection when the day comes to an end:

How did I live poetically today?

What actions did I take that were noble and/or true?

Who can I be and what can I do tomorrow to add more nobility and truth to my day?

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This blog post is a part of April's Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Visit here daily in April to be inspired by literary grannies across time.


Julie Jordan Scott inspires people to experience artistic rebirth via her programs, playshops, books, performances and simply being herself out in the world.  She is a writer, creative life coach, speaker, performance poet, Mommy-extraordinaire and mixed-media artist  whose Writing Camps and Writing Playgrounds permanently transform people's creative lives. Watch for the announcement of new programs coming in Spring, 2015 and beyond.

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