I had no idea she had been a poet until Dad handed me this folder. She had produced a book-length manuscript of children's poems, along with a few others - and sent it to a professor of children's literature at the U., asking her advice (in the folder was an enthusiastic letter from the prof.). My father also said she recited the following poem at a Memorial Day event at his elementary school (this would be early 1930s).
What strikes me about "The Purple Heart" is its political theme. It's really an anti-war poem - or at least an anti-military-industrial-complex poem. And she read it in public, to a gathering of students, teachers and presumably parents. I wish we had a video recording of that event...
Here's the poem :
THE PURPLE HEART
The Purple Heart, bestowed in praise
Of singularly gallant ways,
Could decorate a hero’s breast
To show what courage he possessed,
In Revolutionary days.
A wounded service man displays
This emblem now. His country pays
To him, his courage to attest,
The Purple Heart.
While “Means-of-War,” that Might which sways
The world and greedily betrays
It, prospers! Should our land divest
That Might of profits, on our crest
For courage would not Time emblaze