New York Times Book Review
November 15, 1902, p. 778


Poems of Power. By Ella Wheeler Wilcox
8 vo. Chicago: W.B. Conkey Company, 1902.

  Ella Wheeler Wilcox is so well known as
a poet of various emotions that it is hard-
ly worth while to characterize her latest
volume in detail.  It should be said, how-
ever, that it contains some of her most
serious work and enough moral teaching
to make an almost unlimited number of
"leaflets" to be distributed at the proper
leaflet seasons, which nowadays come
round as punctually as marble and kite
time.  Most of the teaching is of the old-
fashioned incontrovertible sort to the ef-
fect that if every one did his best the
world would be a more endurable place
than it is; that small kindnesses oil the
wheels; that it's better being good than
bad, wiser being sane than mad, and so
on along the line followed by all but the in-
experienced in popular morality.  A few
of the poems are addressed to Man, and
are supposed to emanate from representa-
tive Woman, as in the rather impolite
lines on "Woman and War," ending:
O men, wise men, superior beings, say,
Is there no substitute for war in this
Great age and era?  If you answer "No,"
Then let us rear our children to be wolves,
And teach them from the cradle how to
       kill.
Why should we women waste our time
       and words
In talking peace, when men declare for war?

  Between this extreme and that marked
by the very simple and charming senti-
ment of the poem called "We Two" lies
an arid tract of verse in which "Di-
vine Power" which the author tells us is
signified by her title is so concealed as not
to be recognized by the ordinary reader.