She was likewise an accomplished professor and served as the head of Wellesley’s English department for several years. Produced on August 12, 1859, in Falmouth, Massachetts, poet and teacher Katharine Lee Bates is famous for composing the lyrics to the most popular tune “America the Beautiful.” The lyrics with this precious tune came from a poem she composed. She was one of four children born into a minister as well as a schoolteacher. Her dad died soon after she was born, and her mom did whatever she could to support your family. Round the age of 12, Bates and her family moved to what’s now Wellesley Hills to live with her mom’s sister.
Despite their fiscal woes, Bates’s mom made education a priority. Bates attended Wellesley College, among the few institutions of higher learning open to girls at that time. There, she studied English and Greek, among other areas. Bates additionally investigated her fascination with poetry and had one of her works printed in the Atlantic Monthly. After graduating in 1880, Bates spent many years working as a teacher.
She first was an English instructor and later became head of the school’s English department. Over time, Bates became known as a scholar of English literature, particularly the works of William Shakespeare. She composed several novels, For Example, English Religious Drama in 1893.
The view from this mountaintop inspired her most well-known poem. “It was then and there, as I used to be looking out over the sea-like expanse of fertile nation distributing away so far under those considerable heavens, the opening lines of the hymn floated into my head,” she afterwards said, in line with the Library of Congress website on “America the Beautiful.”
She also served as an editor for numerous publications and worked along with her mom on some translations of Spanish stories. Bates even tried her hand at children’s literature with 1923’s Small Robin Remain-Behind, as well as Other Plays in Poetry for Kids.
Bates first published her poem “America the Beautiful” within an issue of The Congregationalist in 1895. Almost a decade after, she revisited the work and made some changes to it. This variation subsequently appeared in an 1904 issue of The Boston Evening Transcript. Bates contained the work in her 1911 group America the Beautiful and Other Poems. A couple of years afterwards, nevertheless, Bates made more revisions.
Capturing the country ‘s regal beauty and spirit, the poem became extremely popular. Its transformation to being a tune proved to be a slow process. Many just sang the words in the melody of a folk song, including “Auld Lang Syne.” It afterwards followed the tune of Samuel Augustus Ward’s “Materna.” A competition was held in 1926 to create songs to set the poem to, but no strong candidates predominated. Instead “Materna” became the conventional air still used nowadays.
While she’s mostly remembered for “America the Beautiful,” Bates just released a number of poetry collections in her life. Yellow Clover: A Book of Remembrance, among her most established groups now, was really released in private in 1922. Bates wrote this group of sonnets to respect her love Katharine Coman. She and Coman, both been professors at Wellesley, resided together for nearly 25 years. Bates retired from Wellesley in 1925.
Katharine Lee Bates expired on March 28, 1929, in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Soon after her departure, there was an attempt designed to create “America the Beautiful” as the country’s anthem. The tune, however, lost out to “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Still, Bates’s moving lyrics hold a unique place in the hearts of numerous Americans. Over time, the tune continues to be recorded by such artists as Ray Charles, Blake Shelton and Frank Sinatra.