A childhood illness rendered this dear woman blind, deaf and dumb ….

Yet, in adulthood she saw more than most people, heard of the injustices facing humanity and spoke volumes about it all.

“What are you committed to,” an interviewer asked her in 1916, “education or revolution?” “Revolution,” Keller replied.

The following poem was written in honour of her 136th birthday on the 27th of June



© By Tom Karlson

born June 27th, 1880

partial death two years later

coffined by the fever

without sound, without light, without words

for six years

hot and cold, odors, winds, vibrations

tantrum without words

nightmare without sound


blind deaf mute

but wait

Anne Sullivan is coming

grave robber and miracle worker

teaching Helen

turning lips into words, thoughts, visions

teaching Helen Braille, finger spelling,

signs and speech

vibration into pitch

pitch into Beethoven

thought into books, speeches


thought into action

socialism, the IWW,

labor rights, women’s rights, civil rights anti war

joins Debs’ Socialist Party

when Debs was jailed

when the ACLU was founded

Helen carried the card

when communism was under fire

Helen joined the fray


our blind deaf Helen roars

sees, hears, talks and writes of evil

the evils of war

the evils of exploitation

the evils of capitalism


  1. mikael said,

    July 10, 2016 at 17:34

    I read about her when I was an youth, and have stuck with me since, my deepest respect.
    From the bottom of my hart.

    May the lord have mercy upon her soul, because I know she sees, again.
    I wounder sometimes, why people, not blind, and deaf, is unable to see, the ugly truth. Open your eyes to the lies right infront of you.
    And of course, to handle the truth requires balls, grande cojones.

    But, and heres is my catch, why is women so silent.


  2. Darrell Rolstone said,

    July 11, 2016 at 01:06

    Hellen’s story is truly a remarkable one……in my mind, there really is no word to describe her “over the top” accomplishments as a human being. What strength and courage she possessed to face… and over come such adversity! A “gigantic” human being//soul and a wonderful inspiration for me… and all humans in the coming millennium!

%d bloggers like this: