Beloved poet Rainer Maria Rilke wrote the words below in one of ten letters exchanged during 1903-1904 with a young student, Franz Xavier Kappus, who had sought his advice, initially about becoming a writer, but ultimately about life. The collected letters were first published in 1929 and later, in 1984, translated into English by Stephen Mitchell. Published in a small volume entitled Letters to a Young Poet, they are among the most beloved letters of all time.
On this International Women’s Day, and in light of my novel’s themes of female empowerment at a time, the late 1960s, when modern-day “Women’s Lib” was first hitting its stride, it seems fitting to share Rilke’s early twentieth century perspective on women’s potential:
It seems it’s true that wonders never cease, and in this case it is the United Nations naming Wonder Woman as the Honorary UN Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls around the world. I have no doubt she has and will continue to inspire flying girls to be all that they can be for many years to come. Wherever you women and girls may be and whatever your hopes, dreams, and pursuits, fly high!
POW! BAM! WHAM! KAPOW!