Dickinson woman puts a century’s worth of life experiences into her poems


A Dickinson woman is putting more than a century’s worth of experiences down on paper, and it is quite a remarkable journey.

Helma Lein is 102 years old, and there seems to be no rhyme or reason to why she started writing poetry about eight years ago,

I can’t tell you. I just like all of it, said Lein.

Her oldest daughter Roene Hulsing said, She loves making up the rhymes. We even got her a rhyming dictionary.

However, Lein’s other daughter Connie During thinks she knows where her mother’s passion for poetry came from.

“She has always been a letter writer to her family who didn’t live in the same place that she did, and it just morphed into poetry”.

Lein is currently a resident at Edgewood Hawks Point in Dickinson.

She moved from Bismarck to Dickinson about fourteen years ago to be closer to family, but she grew up in Grant County, before moving to Bismarck to go to school at Capital Commercial College.

She even worked for the Bismarck Tribune in the late ‘30s before marrying her husband of 41 years, who has since passed away.

Her husband was drafted into the army when they were just a young couple, and he served in World War II. 

When he left the military they moved to Wing, ND with their three children to operate a grocery store for 35 years.

The couple later retired back to Bismarck.

She is now using those life experiences as the inspiration for her poetry.

“I think everyone who is capable and healthy should keep their minds occupied and active, said Lein.

The poet who is still very young at heart is going to be 103 years old on Thursday, and she is not quite done writing poetry

Thats true, said Lein.

During said her mother has, “A very active, full creative life, and it is wonderful”.

Aside from writing poetry and stories, Lein also takes classes at Dickinson State University.

She has taken World Culture, Geography, communications and Poetry.

“The students were always amazed to see someone from my age group attending the classes, said Lein.

She has written more than 30 stories and poems, and one of them was even published in the local newspaper in Dickinson.

Lein hopes people will continue to enjoy them and any new ones that will come from her pen and paper.


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