You Learn By Living

By J. Patrick Lewis b. 1942

for Eleanor Roosevelt

Who showed the world the world itself
     Was awkward, shy and plain.
A high-born leader in a long,
     Low decade full of pain.

Poor farmers, blacks, homeless, the least
     Advantaged hoped to see,
Magnificently unarrayed,
     Pure human dignity.

A lady first, the great first lady
     Looked fear in the face,
And said, There is no room for fear
     When courage take its place.

J. Patrick Lewis, "You Learn by Living (for Eleanor Roosevelt)" from Vherses: A Celebration of Outstanding Women, published by Creative Editions. Copyright © 2005 by J. Patrick Lewis.  Reprinted by permission of J. Patrick Lewis.

Source: Vherses: A Celebration of Outstanding Women (Creative Editions, 2005)

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Poet J. Patrick Lewis b. 1942

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Social Commentaries, Class, History & Politics

Occasions Toasts & Celebrations

 J. Patrick Lewis

Biography

Former Children's Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis grew up in Gary, Indiana and earned a BA at Saint Joseph’s College, an MA at Indiana University, and a PhD in economics at the Ohio State University. Lewis taught in the department of Business, Accounting and Economics at Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio, until 1998 when he became a full-time writer.

Lewis is the author of more than fifty books of poetry for children, which . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Social Commentaries, Class, History & Politics

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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