“My Kingdom” was a poem written by Louisa May Alcott in the mid-1800s. It illustrates her personal battles as well as resonating with an audience of modern day. The subject, theme, and meaning of this piece will be discussed in this essay, along with a brief biography of the author.
Louisa May Alcott is an American poet born on November 29, 1832 in Germantown, Pennsylvania. Her education came from her father until she turned sixteen. In addition to her father’s academic guidance, she was taught by family friends Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. From 1850 to 1862, she helped support her family through working various job positions such as teacher and domestic servant. During this time, she had been publishing literature of all sorts under the name Flora Fairfield, and later A.M. Barnard. The Civil War account Hospital Sketches, written in 1863, affirmed her desire to pursue writing seriously. After this, she wrote under her real name for several magazines and even become editor of one. She authored many books, but none as well-known as Little Women. The success of this novel gave her financial freedom and a successful career until her passing in 1888.
Alcott’s poem “My Kingdom” is a prayer about controlling her thoughts and feelings. She says often times her feelings trouble her. Her words and actions express an ulterior selfishness. She asks how to be a person who is good, brave, and happy throughout her life as she struggles with her “wayward will” (6). The writer’s thoughts and feelings reside in her kingdom, which is very hard to govern correctly. Alcott asks for help and guidance from God:
Dear Father, help me with the love
that casteth out my fear;
Teach me to lean on thee, and feel
That thou art very near. (17-20)
Alcott writes that God’s infinite patience soothes and comforts everyone. She ends the poem by...