Swim, Girl, Swim

By J. Patrick Lewis b. 1942

for Gertrude Ederle

As Europe woke from sleep,
Young Trudy Ederle
At Cap Gris Nez in France
Dived into a daunting sea.

Many had tried to make
This superhuman swim
Thirty-five punishing miles.
Chances, at best, were slim.

When Fury found the waves,
Far from the western shore,
Her trainer shouted, "Let's turn back!"
But Trudy cried, "What for?"

Under an English moon,
The celebration began
After the fastest crossing
By woman or by man.

J. Patrick Lewis, "Swim, Girl, Swim (for Gertrude Ederle)" 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 Activities, Sports & Outdoor Activities, Nature, Seas, Rivers, & Streams

 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 Activities, Sports & Outdoor Activities, Nature, Seas, Rivers, & Streams

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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