Did you know that Eliza R. Snow wrote poetry from a young age, one time even writing school lessons in rhyme. Between 1826 and 1832 she published more than 20 poems in local newspapers, including the Ravenna, Ohio Western Courier and the Ohio Star, using various pen names. A number of Snow’s poems were set to music and have become important LDS hymns, some of which appear in the current edition of the LDS Hymnal. One of her hymns, “Great is the Lord”, was published in the first Latter-day Saint Hymnbook in 1835, the year of her baptism. In Nauvoo, Eliza R. Snow gained unique distinction as a Mormon poet featured in local newspapers, and she was later called “Zion’s Poetess.” She continued to write poems as she crossed the plains, documenting the pioneer trail and life in Utah. The first of her two volumes of Poems, Religious, Historical, and Political appeared in 1856, followed by the second in 1877. Some of her poems include:
* “How Great the Wisdom and the Love”
* “Invocation, or the Eternal Father and Mother” (“Oh, My Father”)
* “Be Not Discouraged”
* “My First View of a Western Prairie”
* “Mental Gas”
* “Think not When You Gather to Zion Your Troubles and Trials are Through”
* “O Awake! My Slumbering Minstrel”
* “Truth Reflects upon Our Senses”
One of her best-known poems, “Invocation, or the Eternal Father and Mother,” was written soon after the death of her father and just over a year after the death of Joseph Smith. This poem, renamed “O My Father”, is included in the current LDS Hymnal along with How Great the Wisdom and the Love and Truth Reflects upon our Senses.
Make sure you stop by the store and see our new art of Eliza R. Snow on Tin.