I’ve just found that a poem I recorded a long time ago, by Julia Ward Howe, has been used as part of a history podcast. The segment starts off with a lovely combined voice recording of her Mother’s Day Proclamation, and then continues with my own recording of her inspired Mother Mind. The show was released on 7th May, which I think fits in with the US Mother’s Day celebration … though we in Britain did it somewhat earlier on 22nd March.
I must confess, I hadn’t read this poem in a “Mothering Sunday” light at all, nor had I realised the poet had written “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” I am now better informed and have thought about the poem further. I like her idea of a Mothers’ Peace Day observance far more than the commercial orgy of flowers and chocolates. Nothing says “Happy Mother’s Day” like your children being alive, safe and happy, rather than wounded or killed in any kind of war.
More information about the Talking History podcast here. Or listen: [audio:http://www.albany.edu/talkinghistory/archivalaudio/julia-ward-howe-1870-proclamation-and-poem-mother-mind.mp3] (03:44)
(Howe is Segment 2, Segments 1 and 3 are titled “The Good Mother: A History of American Motherhood.”)