Lucila Godoy y Alcayaga, popular by her pseudonym Gabriela Mistral, was a diplomat, poet, humanist and educationist. She was the first author from South America to win the ‘Nobel Prize in Literature’ in 1945. She is without doubt one of the greatest literary figures in the history of Chile or South America. Her poems are still read by people in different parts of the world. Some of the subjects that she regularly wrote about in her poems included sadness, melancholy, love, nature, the love of mother and nature among others. Some of Mistral’s most well-known works include ‘Sonnets of Death’, ‘Poems of Chile’, ‘Readings for Women’, ‘Harvesting’, ‘Despair’ and ‘Ternura’ among many others that captivated audiences worldwide. Mistral not only devoted to literature but was deeply involved in a range of philanthropic causes as well. In fact, in her will, she left behind all the proceeds from her book sales to poor children living in Monte Grande, a place where she spent much of her childhood. Let us browse through deceptively simple, sensible and inspirational quotes and thoughts by Gabriela Mistral that hold a world of wisdom.
We are guilty of many errors and many faults, but our worst crime is abandoning the children, neglecting the fountain of life. Many of the things we need can wait. The child cannot. Right now is the time his bones are being formed, his blood is being made, and his senses are being developed. To him we cannot answer ‘Tomorrow,’ his name is today.
Writing tends to cheer me; it always soothes my spirit and blesses me with the gift of an innocent, tender, childlike day. It is the sensation of having spent a few hours in my homeland, with my customs, free whims, my total freedom.
What the soul is to the body, so is the artist to his people,
There is the joy of being healthy and fair, but there is overall the beauty, the immense joy of being useful.
I write poetry because I can’t disobey the impulse; it would be like blocking a spring that surges up in my throat. For a long time I’ve been the servant of the song that comes, that appears and can’t be buried away. How to seal myself up now?…It no longer matters to me who receives what I submit. What I carry out is, in that respect, greater and deeper than I, I am merely the channel.
In the secret of night, my prayer climbs like the liana, My prayer is, and I am not. It grows, and I perish. I have only my hard breath, my reason and my madness. I cling to the vine of my prayer. I tend it at the root of the stalk of night.