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Russia

Katharine Lee Bates 1859 (Falmouth) – 1929 (Wellesley)



WHAT sudden voice peals to the Caucasus,
To Finland and the bitter Caspian,
To those Siberian prisons whither man
Shall seek as to a shrine, that mutinous,
Divine word Liberty? Impetuous
She rises, Holy Russia, shakes the ban
From her stooped shoulders of colossal span,
A youth in diamond mail, miraculous.
Is this the foretaste of a harvest worth
All agony of its encrimsoned sod?
Are dreams come true? Does this wild roar of wars,
That wellnigh breaks the shuddering heart of earth,
Sound in the hearing of the far-off stars
A golden voice of Freedom, voice of God?

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Katharine Lee Bates

Katharine Lee Bates is remembered as the author of the words to the anthem America the Beautiful Bates was born in Falmouth Massachusetts and lived as an adult on Centre Street in Newton Massachusetts An historic plaque marks the site of her home The daughter of a Congregational pastor she graduated from Wellesley College in 1880 and for many years was a professor of English literature at Wellesley While teaching there she was elected a member of the newly formed Pi Gamma Mu honor society for the social sciences because of her interest in history and politics for which she also studied She lived at Wellesley with Katharine Coman who herself was a history and political economy teacher and founder of the Wellesley College Economics department The pair lived together for twenty-five years until Comans death in 1915 It is debated if this relationship was an intimate lesbian relationship as different sources maintain or a platonic relationship called sometimes Boston marriages as the local historical society of her birthplace maintain more…

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    "Russia" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 19 Oct. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/24892/russia>.

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