As we celebrate Thanksgiving Day 2011 in this tumultuous Occupy Wall Street year, we at Scarriet pause to give thanks to you, who wrote “Mary Had A Little Lamb” in 1830, edited the first national woman’s magazine for 40 years, Godey’s Ladies Book, from 1837 to 1877, raising its circulation from 10,000 readers, when it was founded in 1830, to 150,000 in 1860, and wrote five presidents to get the Thanksgiving holiday established.
You go, girl!
As poetry in the U.S. continues to be dominated by mopey, self-marginalized, modernist, pretentious bores, here’s to 19th century women who popularized poetry and song. The 20th century equivalent might be Pete Seeger singing, “We Shall Not Be Moved,” or Bob Dylan singing “Masters of War,” if you like, but it’s important to point out here that accessibility is not the issue. Academics, busily re-writing U.S. history so Moore, Bishop, and Dickinson are the only women poets, scorn the accessible, as if this, in itself, were a wrong. But every poem is accessible, no matter how murky or modernist or experimental—and it only takes a moment for the public to detect pretense, no matter how large the edifice of subsidized academic apology might happen to be.
You rock, Sarah!