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Her mother was a central force in Mistral's sentimental attachment to family and homeland and a strong influence on her desire to succeed. A series of compositions for children--"Canciones de cuna" (Cradlesongs), also included in her next book, An additional group of prose compositions, among them "Poemas de la madre más triste" and several short stories under the heading "Prosa escolar" (School Prose), confirms that the book is an assorted collection of most of what Mistral had written during several years.

Not less influential was the figure of her paternal grandmother, whose readings of the Bible marked the child forever. In 1923 a second printing of the book appeared in Santiago, with the addition of a few compositions written in Mexico." Mistral's stay in Mexico came to an end in 1924 when her services were no longer needed.

Love and jealousy, hope and fear, pleasure and pain, life and death, dream and truth, ideal and reality, matter and spirit are always competing in her life and find expression in the intensity of her well-defined poetic voices. This short visit to Cuba was the first one of a long series of similar visits to many countries in the ensuing years." Once in Mexico she helped in the planning and reorganization of rural education, a significant effort in a nation that had recently experienced a decisive social revolution and was building up its new institutions.

In her poems speak the abandoned woman and the jealous lover, the mother in a trance of joy and fear because of her delicate child, the teacher, the woman who tries to bring to others the comfort of compassion, the enthusiastic singer of hymns to America's natural richness, the storyteller, the mad poet possessed by the spirit of beauty and transcendence. In fulfilling her assigned task, Mistral came to know Mexico, its people, regions, customs, and culture in a profound and personal way.

All of her lyrical voices represent the different aspects of her own personality and have been understood by critics and readers alike as the autobiographical voices of a woman whose life was marked by an intense awareness of the world and of human destiny. This knowledge gave her a new perspective about Latin America and its Indian roots, leading her into a growing interest and appreciation of all things autochthonous.