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Women in the American Poets’ Corner

There is an altar figure of Susan B. Anthony in a grouping with Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King, and Mahatma Gandhi in the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in New York City. There is also an American Poets’ Corner, (on the left side near the front door). It was established in 1984 with the induction of three poets–Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, and Washington Irving–and now commemorates 43 American poets and novelists, of whom only 10 are women. Here are the women poets who have their names, dates, and a quote from their work inscribed on a commemorative stone slab: Anne Bradstreet/1612-1672/Nor wit nor gold nor buildings ‘scape time’s rust./But he whose name is graved in the white stone/Shall last and shine when all of these are gone. Louise Bogan/1897-1970/Visions of eath/Heal and receive me.; Willa Cather/1873-1947/Thy will be done in art, as it is in heaven.; Emily Dickinson/1830-1886/Captivity is Consciousness–/So’s Liberty.; Emma Lazarus/1849-1887/ Born from blank darkness to this blaze of beauty./Where is thy faith/and where are thy thanksgivings? Sylvia Plath/1932-1963/This is the light of the mind/cold and planetary; Edna St. Vincent Millay/ 1892-1950/ Take up the song/forget the epitaph.; Gertrude Stein/1874-1946/Let me recite what history teaches./History teaches.; Edith Wharton/1862-1937/There is no end to life/in its mercy as in its pain.; Phillis Wheatley/ca. 1753-1784/Enlarge the close contracted mind,/And fill it with thy fire.

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