I’m doing a poet of the month for the month of February, and her name is Anne Reeve Aldrich. Anne Reeve Aldrich: American Sappho
Anne Reeve Aldrich was an American poet and novelist. She was born April 25, 1866, in New York and died June 22, 1892, also in New York. Her published books include The Rose of Flame (1889), The Feet of Love (1890), Nadine and Other Poems (1893), A Village Ophelia and Other Stories (1899) and Songs about Life, Love, and Death (1892). Aldrich wrote a number of poems in which she seemed to prophesy an early death, then died at the tender age of 26. According to the preface of Songs about Life, Love, and Death, which was published posthumously, at the time of her death Aldrich was so weak that she couldn’t lift her pen and thus had to dictate her last poem, “Death at Daybreak.” Aldrich published her first volume of poetry, The Rose of Flame in 1889; it was not well received (critics cited its “unrestrained expression”). She was also criticized for having written “erotic” poems, a no-no for respectable women of her day. But she persevered, publishing a novel, The Feet of Love, in 1890, and it seems she was working on her final volume of poems even on her deathbed. Her grand-uncle was the poet James Aldrich.
Check out the one to start us off and a personal favorite of mine. Enjoy
F. M. Laster
“The best revenge is massive success.” – Frank Sinatra
by Anne Reeve Aldrich
Do you recall that little room
Close blinded from the searching sun,
So dim, my blossoms dreamed of dusk?
And shut their petals one by one.
And then a certain crimson eve,
The death of day upon the tide;
How all its blood spread on the waves,
And stained the waters far and wide.
Ah, you forget;
But I remember yet.
When I awake in middle night,
And stretch warm hands to touch your face,
There is no chance that I shall find
Aught but your chill and empty place.
I have no bitter word to say,
The Past is worth this anguish sore,
—But mouth to mouth, and heart to heart,
No more on earth, O God, no more!
For Love is dead;
Would ‘t were I, instead.