Little is known about the life of 20th-century poet Elizabeth Lincoln Otis. Her poem “An ‘If’ for Girls” refers to Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If,” written in 1895, which addresses the path toward ideal manhood. Kipling’s poem inspired several poetic responses on the theme of ideal womanhood, including poems by J.P. McEvoy and Gale Baker Stanton. Otis’s poem on that topic, written in a clear, direct style, was published in the anthology Father: An Anthology of Verse (1931).
Poems by Elizabeth Lincoln Otis