S3 E3: Celebrating World Poetry Day with Carrie Williams Clifford

March 21, 2023 marks the celebration of World Poetry Day.

This day was established by UNESCO in 1999 to promote the reading, writing, and teaching of poetry worldwide. The celebration aims to recognize the unique ability of poetry to capture the creative spirit of the human mind and to promote cultural exchange and understanding. On this day, people from all over the world come together to appreciate the beauty and power of poetry, and to reflect on its importance in our lives.

Carrie Williams Clifford was an American poet who lived from 1862 to 1934. Born in Providence, Rhode Island, she began writing poetry at a young age. Clifford published her first collection of poetry, “The Widening Light,” in 1893 and went on to publish several more collections throughout her career. Her poetry often explored themes of nature, spirituality, and the human experience. She was an active member of the women’s suffrage movement and used her poetry to advocate for women’s rights.

Quest by Carrie Williams Clifford

My goal out-distances the utmost star, 
Yet is encompassed in my inmost Soul; 
I am my goal—my quest, to know myself. 
To chart and compass this unfathomed sea, 
Myself must plumb the boundless universe. 
My Soul contains all thought, all mystery, 
All wisdom of the Great Infinite Mind: 
This is to discover, I must voyage far, 
At last to find it in my pulsing heart. 

This poem is in the public domain

Celebrating World Poetry Day with Carrie Williams Clifford Rebecca's Reading Room

Published by Rebecca Budd

Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner

11 thoughts on “S3 E3: Celebrating World Poetry Day with Carrie Williams Clifford

    1. The more I read about Carrie Williams Clifford, the more I recognize her passion to create a more equitable society. Her activism included being a member of the NAACP at the very beginning. One of the issues that she championed with anti-lynching which included her involvement in organizing the 1922 Silent Parade in Washington, D.C. She met with President William Taft to show the NAACP’s support for anti-lynching reforms.

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  1. Walking with you on your path around the harbor was exhilarating. It felt so tangible! We all walk such different paths and yet converge at certain points. I can only imagine the obstacles Williams faced in her lifetime, as well as her courage. This”unfathomed sea” is fraught with danger, but a “voyage far” outside ourselves may lead to safe harbor of the One who created both our “pulsing heart” and “utmost star.”

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    1. How very well said, Mary Jo. “Lead to safe harbor of the One who created both our “pulsing heart” and “utmost star.” I find that Carrie Williams Clifford’s poetry is compelling with her strident call to action. We do walk separate paths. Your thought that we converge at certain points is of great comfort to me. So much can be said with poetic words. Poetry is a testament to the “less is more” principal. Thank you for joining me on a Winter/Spring walk . Sending hugs!!

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