Helen Keller

“For, after all, every one who wishes to gain true knowledge must climb the Hill Difficulty alone, and since there is no royal road to the summit, I must zigzag it in my own way. I slip back many times, I fall, I stand still, I run against the edge of hidden obstacles, I lose my temper and find it again and keep it better, I trudge on, I gain a little, I feel encouraged, I get more eager and climb higher and begin to see the widening horizon. Every struggle is a victory. One more effort and I reach the luminous cloud, the blue depths of the sky, the uplands of my desire.” Helen Keller, The Story of My Life [recommended – Kindle version is a whopping sixty-cents]



In the dark,
Found light
Brighter than many ever see.
She,
Within herself,
Found loveliness,
Through the soul’s own mastery.
And now the world receives
From her dower:
The message of the strength
Of inner power.

– Langston Hughes

HELEN KELLER (1880-1968) is a hugely compelling figure for so many of us, an inspiration. She was the first deaf and blind person to earn a B.A.  – at Harvard University, no less.  She was a writer and activist.

LANGSTON HUGHES (1902-1967) – also an inspiration – was a social activist and leader of the Harlem Renaissance, a poet, novelist, playwright, and columnist.  Hughes was an early innovator of a new style in his time, jazz poetry – i.e. jazz-like rhythms, improvisational feel – and much of his poetry was on social justice themes. (Jazz poetry tends to be consider outsider art. It is the root of poetry slams and hip-hop.)

Photo credit: United States Library of Congress‘s Prints and Photographs divisionunder the digital ID cph.3c12513; Am uncertain of the copyright status. The photographer is unknown.


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