Image of Ella Wheeler Wilcox


Lifetime: 1850 - 1919 Passed: ≈ 104 years ago


Author, Poet


United States

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Ella Wheeler Wilcox was an American author and poet. Her works include Poems of Passion and Solitude, which contains the lines "Laugh, and the world laughs with you; weep, and you weep alone." Her autobiography, The Worlds and I, was published in 1918, a year before her death.

Ella Wheeler was born in 1850 on a farm in Johnstown, Wisconsin, east of Janesville, the youngest of four children. The family later moved north of Madison, after losing its wealth, as the result of her father's failed business aspirations and speculation. Wilcox's family held themselves to be intellectuals, and a mastery of the nuances of the English language was prized. During her childhood, Wilcox amused herself by reading books and newspapers, which may have influenced her later writing (most notably William Shakespeare, The Arabian Nights, The Diverting History of John Gilpin and Gulliver's Travels, in addition to the few other pieces of literature that were to be had in her home).

Around the age of 8, Wilcox turned to writing poetry as an outlet. When she was 13 years old, her first poem was published. After losing her subscription to The New York Mercury, and being unable to afford to resubscribe, Wilcox thought that if she could get a piece of literature published, she would at least receive a copy of the paper wherein her piece was printed. The piece that she submitted is lost, and Wilcox later admitted that she could not recall even the topic of the poem. Wilcox became known as a poet in her own state by the time she graduated from high school.

Wilcox made efforts to teach occult things to the world. Her works, filled with positive thinking, were popular in the New Thought Movement and by 1915 her booklet, What I Know About New Thought had a distribution of 50,000 copies, according to its publisher, Elizabeth Towne.

The following statement expresses Wilcox's unique blending of New Thought, Spiritualism, and a Theosophical belief in reincarnation: "As we think, act, and live here today, we build the structures of our homes in spirit realms after we leave earth, and we build karma for future lives, thousands of years to come, on this earth or other planets. Life will assume new dignity, and labor new interest for us, when we come to the knowledge that death is but a continuation of life and labor, in higher planes."

Her final words in her autobiography The Worlds and I: "From this mighty storehouse (of God, and the hierarchies of Spiritual Beings) we may gather wisdom and knowledge, and receive light and power, as we pass through this preparatory room of earth, which is only one of the innumerable mansions in our Father's house. Think on these things."

Wilcox was an advocate of animal rights and vegetarianism. She died of cancer on October 30, 1919 in Short Beach, Connecticut.

Books by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Poems of Passion  Cover image

Poems of Passion

Romantic Collection Love Romance Literature Poems Passion Emotion Frustration

A beautiful collection of classic romantic poetry.

A Maiden To Her Mirror Cover image

A Maiden To Her Mirror

Poems Reflection Fortnightly

Our maiden reflects on growing old.

The Heart of the New Thought Cover image

The Heart of the New Thought

Self Help Sympathy Happiness Life Wisdom Royalty Inspirational

A new book of original essays by this gifted woman dealing with The New Thought in practice. It deals with the practice of New Thought in our daily lives. A helpful and inspiring book, fully equal to the very best work this author has done.

On Seeing The Daibutsu - At Kamakura, Japan Cover image

On Seeing The Daibutsu - At Kamakura, Japan

Imagery Nature Culture Poems Reflection Explore Art Verses Fortnightly

The poem reflects the author's experience of visiting the Kamakura Buddha statue in Japan and the profound impact it had on her. The poem is a beautiful and lyrical description of the awe-inspiring statue, also known as the Great Buddha of Kamakura....

The Wish Cover image

The Wish

Poems Happiness Hope Emotion Verses Fortnightly

It is a beautiful piece of literature that explores the theme of hope and the power of positive thinking. The poem was first published in 1916, and it has since become one of Wilcox's most famous works. It is a testament to her skill as a writer and...

The Brave Highland Laddies  Cover image

The Brave Highland Laddies

Beauty Romance Ancient Poems Passion Determination Emotion Verses Fortnightly

In this, poet weaves a mesmerizing tapestry of words that captures the spirit of Scotland's rugged landscape and the indomitable courage of its people. With an expert blend of vivid imagery and heartfelt emotion, Wilcox invites readers to experience...

A Bachelor to a Married Flirt Cover image

A Bachelor to a Married Flirt

Marriage Action Poems Relationships Verses Fortnightly Women Consequences

"A Bachelor to a Married Flirt is a poem that warns a married woman of the dangers of flirting with other men." A Bachelor to a Married Flirt is a poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox that was first published in 1883. The poem is addressed to a married woman...

Compassion Cover image


Love Poems Violence Verses Communism Empathy Compassion

What if there was a way to tap into the infinite power of compassion to heal yourself and the world around you? Compassion is a powerful and transformative force. It has the ability to heal our wounds, connect us to others, and make the world a bett...

New Thought Pastels Cover image

New Thought Pastels

Beauty Power Faith Self-Discovery Poems Success Hope Beliefs Verses Obstacles

In a world often clouded by negativity and doubt, Ella Wheeler Wilcox's "New Thought Pastels" emerges as a beacon of hope and inspiration, offering a collection of poems that celebrate the power of positive thinking and self-belief. Through her lyric...