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Ella Wheeler Wilcox
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Poet
    (November 5, 1850-October 30, 1919)
    Born in Johnstown, Wisconsin
    Birth name was Ella Wheeler
    Wrote 'Drops of Water' (1872) and 'Poems of Passion' (1883)
    Best known for the opening lines of the poem 'Solitude': 'Laugh, and the world laughs with you/Weep, and you weep alone'
    She said she had a 'holy horror' of math.
    She used her poems to promote prohibition, spiritualism, Rosicrucianism and the 'New Thought' movement.
    In the novel 'Babbitt,' Sinclair Lewis illustrated the title character's lack of sophistication by having him refer to Wilcox's 'classic poems.'
    Her only child died shortly after birth.
    She went to France during WWI to assist the Red Cross.
    She may have been derided by the critics, but she was embraced by the public, with fourteen of her poems included in the anthology 'Best Loved Poems of the American People.' (1936)

Credit: C. Fishel


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