International Women’s Day – Gabriela Mistral (1889-1957)
Statue to follow once I get to Santiago, but for now…here in Chile they call their notes by the people on them and this is a ‘Gabriela’, named for Gabriela Mistral, the first Latin American poet and only the fifth woman to receive a Nobel Prize in Literature. Mistral was also a humanist, a diplomat and an educator, and was lauded for her work to increase access to libraries and schools. While in Chile I am reading her ‘Locas mujeres’ / ‘Madwomen’ poems in a bilingual edition edited and translated by Randall Couch, and thought today would be a good day to celebrate her.
‘I believe in prophetic speech…still. I believe in Cassandra, I believe in Electra and in the charming Antigone…For me they are more alive than the (Institute for) Intellectual Cooperation and its choice group of old men.’
(Mistral to Ocampo, in This America of Ours: The Letters of Gabriela Mistral and Victoria Ocampo edited by Elizabeth Horan and Doris Meyer)