The Governance of Power for Kathleen Blanco

December 15, 1942 – August 18, 2019

Power is a woman who looks directly into the camera,  

says a defining moment in her life is the loss of a son.  

Power is a woman who always writes her own script. 

Power is a woman who takes a 15 year turn to raise children, 

Karmen, then Monique, Nicole, Ray, Pilar, and beloved Ben.  

Power is a woman who cares about the health of others first.  

Power is a woman who teaches, and then teaches teachers.  

She teaches them to build their schools first from the inside.  

Power is a woman who falls in love with the one Blanco  

she knows she’ll spend the rest of her life with, and does.  

Power is a woman fearless of foreign tongues and places and peoples.  

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Power is a woman never hedging when it comes to her God, 

how she will walk with Him and talk to Him and rest in Him. 

Power is a woman who can say “I am a powerful woman,  

and I don’t say that because I was governor.” She says,  

I’m not powerful because I wield power, then or now, 

but because I claim personal power and I claim that power  

to define my personal happiness.” She says this to students  

at the beginning of a new phase in their lives, a last phase  

in hers. She says, “I suggest you give yourself that gift too.  

All power comes from big-heartedness, and a plan, from 

hope and faith. She’s saying, “give yourselves that gift too.”  

Darrell Bourque, appointed poet laureate of Louisiana from 2007 to 2011, wrote and recited “The Governance of Power” at the memorial service Aug. 22 for former Governor Kathleen Blanco at St. Joseph Cathedral in Baton Rouge.