Celebrating International Women’s Day we celebrate two artists whose female identity was kept in the shadows because only men were published.
So far as the general public knew, Mel Bonis was a guy, another Mel like Mel Brooks and Mel Torme. Only later did it become known that Mel was a woman, Mélanie Hélène Bonis (1853-1937), composer of more than 300 compositions, who had shared the piano bench with Claude Debussy at the Paris Conservatoire.
Then there was the poet Lydia H. Sigourney (1791-1865) who first published as L.H. Sigourney before she “came out” as a woman. Lydia did unthinkable. She started a seminary for women.
Her poem “To the Ocean” are the very first words on page one of Be Still! Departure from Collective Madness.
Therefore, I bend to thy resounding tides,
And list the echo of they countless waves,
A lone disciple, if perchance, my soul
That poor shell-gatherer, on the shores of time,
May by thy lore instructed, learn of God
- L. H. Sigourney (1850)
Thanks for dropping by on International Women’s Day.
- Gordon C. Stewart, Chaska, MN, March 8, 2018