The Monday Poem: ‘A Song for Freedom’ by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The Monday Poem is brought to you by Professor Jim Gormley of the English Department. Enjoy!

This poem is  a paean of praise for the women’s suffrage movement. It was written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. November 6 is the anniversary of women gaining the vote in New York state.

 A Song for Freedom
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Day of hope and day of glory! After slavery and woe,
Comes the dawn of woman’s freedom, and the light shall grow and grow
Until every man and woman equal liberty shall know,
In Freedom marching on!

Woman’s right is woman’s duty! For our share in life we call! 
Our will it is not weakened and our power it is not small. 
We are half of every nation! We are mothers of them all!

In Wisdom marching on!

Not for self but larger service has our cry for freedom grown, 
There is crime, disease and warfare in a world of men alone, 
In the name of love we’re rising now to serve and save our own,

As Peace comes marching on!

By every sweet and tender tie around our heartstrings curled, 
In the cause of nobler motherhood is woman’s flag unfurled, 
Till every child shall know the joy and peace of mother’s world–

As Love comes marching on!

We will help to make a pruning hook of every outgrown sword, 
We will help to knit the nations in continuing accord, 
In humanity made perfect is the glory of the Lord,

As His world goes marching on!

Suffragists parade down Fifth Avenue, 1917. Advocates march in October 1917, displaying placards containing the signatures of more than one million New York women demanding the vote. The New York Times Photo Archives

Suffragists parade down Fifth Avenue, 1917.
Advocates march in October 1917, displaying placards containing the signatures of more than one million New York women demanding the vote.
The New York Times Photo Archives