Poetry Class-Louisa May Alcott

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But I thought Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women? She did but she was also a poet. Who knew? I think you’ll agree that she led quite an interesting life as you read about her.

 

Louisa May Alcott was born on November 29, 1832 and is best known as the author of Little Women.  She also grew up among many of the well-known intellectuals of the day such as  Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathanial Hawthorne and Henry David Thoreau. No wonder she became a writer!

 

Alcott was an abolitionist as well as a and remained unmarried throughout her life. In 1847, she and her family were part of the Underground Railroad when they housed a fugitive slave for a week.

When the Civil War broke out, she served as a nurse for six weeks in 1862.  She intended to serve three months as a nurse, but halfway through she contracted typhoid and became deathly ill, though she recovered.

Alcott suffered chronic health problems in her later years. She believed they were due to mercury poisoning that was part of her treatment of the typhoid fever.  However recent analysis suggests it may have been associated with an autoimmune disease. A portrait of Alcott shows a rash on her cheeks with is a characteristic of lupus. Alcott died of a stroke on March 6, 1888 at the age of 55.
As far as her poetry goes, I found a large quantity of them. Here are two examples.
A Little Bird Am I
And in my cage I sit and sing
To Him who placed me there:
Well pleased a prisoner to be,
Because, my God, it pleases Thee!
“Naught have I else to do;
I sing the whole day long;
And He whom most I love to please
Doth listen to my song,
He caught and bound my wandering wing,
But still He bends to hear me sing.”
The Fairy Song
The tale is told, the song is sung,
And the Fairy feast is done.
The night-wind rocks the sleeping flowers,
And sings to them, soft and low.
The early birds erelong will wake:
‘T is time for the Elves to go.
O’er the sleeping earth we silently pass,
Unseen by mortal eye,
And send sweet dreams, as we lightly float
Through the quiet moonlit sky;–
For the stars’ soft eyes alone may see,
And the flowers alone may know,
The feasts we hold, the tales we tell;
So’t is time for the Elves to go.
From bird, and blossom, and bee,
We learn the lessons they teach;
And seek, by kindly deeds, to win
A loving friend in each.
And though unseen on earth we dwell,
Sweet voices whisper low,
And gentle hearts most joyously greet
The Elves where’er they go.
When next we meet in the Fairy dell,
May the silver moon’s soft light
Shine then on faces gay as now,
And Elfin hearts as light.
Now spread each wing, for the eastern sky
With sunlight soon shall glow.
The morning star shall light us home:
Farewell! for the Elves must go.
I found her poetry to be sweet and easy to understand. Definitely enjoyed them What about you?
God Bless & Good Reading!
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Poetry Class–Emily Dickenson

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Poetry Class is now in session! Why you might ask? I say why not. From time to time I’ll post a bio of a poet and hopefully inspire you to read a poem or two. This week’s poet is Emily Dickenson.

 

Emily Dickenson was born on December 10, 1830 in Amherst, Massachusetts and is recognized as one of the most important American poets of the 1800s. Considered an eccentric by locals, she became known for her reluctance to greet guests or, later in life, to even leave her bedroom. Dickinson never married, and most friendships between her and others depended entirely upon correspondence.

Less than a dozen of her nearly 1,800 poems were published during her lifetime. Dickinson’s poems are unique for the era in which she wrote; they contain short lines, typically lack titles as well as unconventional capitalization and punctuation Many of her poems deal with themes of death and immortality, two recurring topics in letters to her friends.

Although Dickinson’s acquaintances were most likely aware of her writing, it was not until after her death in 1886—when Lavinia, Dickinson’s younger sister, discovered her most of her poems.

Success is counted sweetest

Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne’er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.
Not one of all the purple Host
Who took the Flag today
Can tell the definition
So clear of victory
As he defeated – dying –
On whose forbidden ear
The distant strains of triumph
Burst agonized and clear!

YOUR TURN: Any thoughts about Emily or her poetry?

God Bless & Good Reading!