Nonfiction > Upton Sinclair, ed. > The Cry for Justice

Upton Sinclair, ed. (1878–1968).
The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest.  1915.
Heloise sans Abelard
(A Modern Scholar on a Mediæval Nun)

By Joel Elias Spingarn

(A professor in America’s most prosperous university was discharged for his protests against commercialized education. In the following poem he has paid his respects to his colleagues, likening them to nuns in a convent, and himself to Heloise, who ran away)
IN the cool, calm palace of prayer
  She sought her haven of dreams;
She gave up her dower of air,
  Of stars, and cities, and streams.
On the cold, sweet steps of prayer        5
  She sought what young girls seek;
She laid her bosom bare,
  And asked for the stones to speak.
Who wonders she could not hear
  What silence and stones belie?        10
Who wonders where love may steer?
  Not I, not I, not I!
O passionate Heloise,
  I, too, have lived under the ban,
With seven hundred professors,        15
  And not a single man.

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