Elizabeth Smart was a Canadian poet and novelist. Her book, By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept, detailed her romance with the poet George Barker. She is the subject of the 1991 biography, By Heart: Elizabeth Smart a Life, by Rosemary Sullivan, and a film, Elizabeth Smart: On the Side of the Angels, produced by Maya Gallus.
Smart was born to a prominent family in Ottawa, Ontario; her father, Russell Smart, was a self-made lawyer, and the family had a summer house on Kingsmere Lake located next door to the future Prime Minister of Canada, William Lyon Mackenzie King. She began writing at an early age, publishing her first poem at the age of ten and ... more »
Click here to add this poet to your My Favorite Poets.
Quotationsmore quotations »
O I know they make war because they want peace; they hate so that they may live; and they destroy the present to make the world safe for the future. When have they not done and said they did it for th...Elizabeth Smart (1913-1986), Canadian author, poet. Necessary Secrets, entry for Feb. 18, 1941, ed. Alice Van Wart (1991).
''Vanity is a vital aid to nature: completely and absolutely necessary to life. It is one of nature's ways to bind you to the earth.''Elizabeth Smart (1913-1986), Canadian author, poet. Necessary Secrets, pt. 1, ch. 2, journal entry for June 25, 1933, ed. Alice Van Wart (1991).
That day i finished
A small piece
For an obscure magazine
I popped it in the box
And such a starry elation
Came over me
That I got whistled at in the street
For the first time in a long time.
I was dirty and roughly dressed
And had circles under my eyes
And far far from flirtation
But so full of completion
Of a deed duly done
An act of consummation
That the freedom and force it engendered
Shone and spun
Out of my old raincoat.
It must have looked like love
Or a fabulous free holiday
To the young men sauntering