Diaries Magazine

L is for Lucy Larcom: Inspired by Literary Grannies - "love for Poetry as One of the Most Needful & Helpful..."

Posted on the 15 April 2015 by Juliejordanscott @juliejordanscot


Looms at the Lowell Mills layered with a photo of the Sculpture, "Homage to Women" by Nico Kaufman


"I regard a love for poetry as one of the most needful and helpful elements in the life-outfit of a human being. It was the greatest of blessings to me, in the long days of toil to which I was shut in much earlier than most young girls are, that the poetry I held in my memory breathed its enchanted atmosphere through me and around me, and touched even dull drudgery with its sunshine.”

Lucy Larcom

I first wrote about Literary Granny Lucy Larcom in 2012. My admiration of her has continued over the past few years, especially after a visit to her home, Lowell, Massachusetts in April 2013.

She was not only one of the famed Lowell Mill Girls, her entire family was connected to the mills. Her mother was a Mill Boarding House Mother and Lucy was living and assisting her mother in the home even before she went to work in the mills at the tender age of ten. Yes, ten-years-old, like our usual Western fourth grader, little Lucy was working as a threader in the mill.

Lucy Larcom parkAs she worked her way up in the mill ranks, she discovered new ways to stay creatively engaged through reciting and eventually writing poetry as the machines cranked out fabric. The machines are loud and rhythmic, steady - metronome like. Among this ear shattering noise, young Lucy integrated the musicality of poetry into what could be seen as the drudgery of such work.

I discovered on my visit to Lowell, the very mill where Lucy worked was steps away from the high school famed beat poet Jack Kerouac attended decades later.

Questions for Writing and Contemplation:

What can you do to bring more musicality and word play into work or chores you consider drudgery?

How do you relate to the theme “Whistle while you work?”

Sentence starters:

I hear music in my writing when I…

My “day job” impacts my writing because….

My creativity is sparked from my work when…

Gibran says, “Work is love made visible…” and in relationship to my creativity I would have to say….

Reflections for the End of the Day:

I noticed my attitude toward work and writing changed when I…

If I was honest about what I think about my work I would have to admit..

I wish I felt…… about my work

A change in attitude would….

Tomorrow I will…

I am grateful my work is…

I am grateful my writing is…

I will devote myself to being more aware of…

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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

Julie Jordan Scott is at the Microphone writing a collaborative poem during a poetry performance Julie Jordan Scott is at the Microphone writing a collaborative poem during a poetry performance

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. 


 To contact Julie to schedule a Writing or Creative Life Coaching Session, call or text her at 661.444.2735.

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