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 Category:  War and History Poetry
  Posted: April 18, 2020      Views: 78

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Retired from Lockheed Martin as a Purchasing Manager on August 26, 2011 after 44 years with the company. Born in St. Paul. Married for 40 years. Lived in St James, Long Island and Co - more...

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This work has reached the exceptional level
A Crown of Heroic Sonnets
"Women's Suffrage" by Treischel
1. The Issue

Between two wars tough women won their vote.
They proved their value while the men were gone.
Traditions broke. The powerful took note.
Amazing, that it had to take so long!

Persistently, they sought their suffrage rights
between the Civil War and World War I.
For all those years they carried on their fights.
That's when the movement was begun and won.

They shined, when forced to overcome privation,
as men marched off to fight the bitter wars.
They filled the empty slots within our nation.
Took over manly duties, jobs, and chores.

All those strong women - mothers, daughters, wives,
filled factories, helped offices, ran farms.
Without their grit our country can't survive,
So menfolk, then, can take up martial arms.

Their perseverance kept the States afloat.
And through it all they proved that they should vote.

2. The Stirrings

And through it all they proved that they should vote-
a principle that should be obvious.
Yet early-on that privilege was remote,
In fact, denial was ubiquitous.

The Civil War that set the slaves all free
in 1865 did not reward
a woman's conduct of citizenry.
Her muffled voice was furthermore ignored.

In '68 amended Laws again
The Fourteenth gave the slaves their voting rights.
The Fifteenth defined "Citizens" as "Men,"
but Women's status gains were not in sight.

Igniting the wrath of Harriet Bishop
and Sarah Burger Strearns, great activists.
Those who proclaimed aloud "The jig is up!
A women's voting rights won't be dismissed!"

By '70, Suffrage nationally
was headed by Susan B. Anthony.

3. Minnesota Leadership

Was headed by Susan B. Anthony
while local women's groups in States were formed.
The Minnesota House in '70
saw Suffrage Bill, but legislature spurned.

In school board choices by '75
all women were allowed to cast their vote,
but still the Legislature yet deprived
the general right that women still promote.

In '81 the MWSA,
the Minnesota group that came to be,
had gained some minor statutory sway,
on Temperance and vote alacrity.

When 14 met in Hastings Minnesota
the nucleus of women's rights was wrought.
They marched and protested for each iota
of legislative female charter thought.

Then Martha Ripley's work in '85
made women's national event arrive.

4. Minneapolis AWSA Convention

Made women's national event arrive
in downtown Minneapolis that year,
where Henry Blackwell spoke to help revive
enthusiasm in the atmosphere.

14 State's auxiliaries attend.
Then Mayor Pillsbury spoke out about
how recent immigrant males ascend
above one half the population's clout.

While Lucy Stone focused on motherhood
and issues involving women and children,
the Governor of the Dakotas stood
to criticism for his suffrage tailspin.

The AWSA President Foulke spoke
on taxation without representation.
"Consent of all the governed," he'd evoke,
while Sarah Stearns pushed higher education.

Reported Martha Ripley, their petition,
A 16th Constitution proposition.

5. Continued Activism

A 16th Constitution proposition
was sent to Congress, where it quickly failed.
It continued in contested condition,
so yearly, Suffrage petitions prevailed.

The convention lifted the local chapter
to reach the movement's national scale,
and drew the note of local law adaptors.
The Populists, seek deletion of "male."

In Minnesota they nearly succeed
by Senate passing change in '93
when Julia Bullard Nelson had agreed
to work it with Ignatius Donnelly.

But the bill failed to pass within the House.
Not taken up before the session ended.
Any further offers where on the outs.
Through 1910's it was yearly contended.

In '14, enthusiasm was made
with Clara Ueland's city parade.

6. Revived Momentum

With Clara Ueland's city parade
the movement's lost momentum was regained,
when 2,000 bolsters all promenade
in Minneapolis streets unrestrained.

The era saw marches and hunger strikes,
suffrage songs, banners, also White House pickets.
State and Federal Suffrage attention hikes,
and even Congressional bedroom boycotts.

While constant pressure every year was brought
the legislation never passed at state
and constitution caucus went for naught
as national conventions arbitrate

The movement still continues on to grow
as women join the Suffrage enterprise
while legislative push persists to flow
and circumstance makes relevance to rise.

For women shined essential as before
because the whole world was engulfed in war.

7. WWI Requires Women Again

Because the whole world was engulfed in war,
resulting in a greater public need,
their patriotic spirit raised once more,
allowing wartime efforts to succeed.

The women's efforts were unprecedented,
in roles performed beyond their custom norm.
All social classes now were represented,
with some wearing credentialed uniforms.

From 1914 to 1918
the women learned skills and independence,
political punch priorly unseen,
to bring the movement's final ascendance.

In 1920 the Nineteenth Amendment
was finally ratified for women's rights
providing Constitutional supplement
signed after years of political fights.

It should be said that histories denote,
between two wars tough women won their vote.

Poem of the Month contest entry

Author Notes
I am putting together a collection of famous people and events in Minnesota for an eventual book. This is one of the events I want to highlight. I wanted to express what a huge struggle it was, as well as highlight some key people involved, with a focus on Minnesota's contribution. I don't think many historians mention the role that both the Civil War and WWI played in it, but focus mostly on the efforts in between. I highlight those war's impact here in this poem.

This poem is a Crown of Heroic Sonnets
The Crown of Heroic Sonnets is a Sequence Poem consisting of seven Heroic Sonnets usually addressed to one person. It is concerned with a single Theme as each Sonnet explores a different Aspect of the Theme and is Interlinked to the preceding and succeeding Sonnets by repeating the Final Line of the preceding Sonnet as its First Line and by having its Final Line become the First Line of the next Sonnet.
Also, the First Line of the First Sonnet is repeated as the Final Line of the Final Sonnet thereby bringing the Sequence to a close; a Circle uniting the Beginning and End of the entire poem. Thus, the name Crown.

Each Sonnet uses a Heroic Sonnet Format to provide for a long story. I love the Form for historic presentations. A Heroic Sonnet is an iambic Pentameter based poem that adds a Heroic Couplet to either two Sicilian Octave Stanzas, or four Sicilian Quatrain Stanzas. In other words, it's eighteen lines of iambic Pentameter broken into three or five parts with the last part being a Couplet. The Rhyme Scheme has usually been;
a,b,a,b,a,b,a,b - c,d,c,d,c,d,c,d - e,e (Octaves), or
a,b,a,b - c,d,c,d - e,f,e,f - g,h,g,h - i,I (Quatrains).
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