Lizette Woodworth Reese
Biography of Lizette Woodworth Reese
Born in the Waverly section of Baltimore, Maryland, she was a school teacher from 1873 to 1918 at the Western High School in Baltimore. During the 1920s, she became a prominent literary figure, receiving critical praise and recognition, in particular from H. L. Mencken, himself from Baltimore.
Her poetry, remarkable for its intensity and concision, has been compared to that of Emily Dickinson. She is probably best remembered for the sonnet "Tears." Her volumes of poetry include A Branch of May (1887), A Handful of Lavender (1891), A Quiet Road (1896), Spicewood (1920), and Selected Poems (1926).
Lizette Woodworth Reese's Works:
A Branch of May (1887)
A Handful of Lavender (1891)
A Quiet Road (1896)
A Wayside Lute (1909)
Wild Cherry (1923)
The Selected Poems (1926)
Little Henrietta (1927)
Lizette Woodworth Reese: The Pamphlet Poets (1928)
A Victorian Village: Reminiscences of Other Days (1929), illustrated by J. J. Lankes
White April (1930)
The York Road (1931)
Pastures and Other Poems (1933)
The Old House in the Country (1936)
Worleys (1936) story
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Lizette Woodworth Reese Poems
When I consider Life and its few years -- A wisp of fog betwixt us and the sun; A call to battle, and the battle done Ere the last echo dies within our ears;
The spicewood burns along the gray, spent sky, In moist unchimneyed places, in a wind, That whips it all before, and all behind, Into one thick, rude flame, now low, now high,
A Rhyme Of Death's Inn
A rhyme of good Death's inn! My love came to that door; And she had need of many things, The way had been so sore.
Oh, Gray And Tender Is The Rain
Oh, gray and tender is the rain, That drips, drips on the pane! A hundred things come in the door, The scent of herbs, the thought of yore.
Love Came Back At Fall O’ Dew
Love came back at fall o' dew, Playing his old part; But I had a word or two That would break his heart.
That Day You Came
Such special sweetness was about That day God sent you here, I knew the lavender was out, And it was mid of year.
A Christmas Folk-Song
The little Jesus came to town; The wind blew up, the wind blew down; Out in the street the wind was bold; Now who would house Him from the cold?
In Time Of Grief
Dark, thinned, beside the wall of stone, The box dripped in the air; Its odor through my house was blown Into the chamber there.
The Good Joan
A long the thousand roads of France, Now there, and here, swift as a glance, A cloud, a mist blown down the sky, Good Joan of Arc goes riding by.
An apple orchard smells like wine; A succory flower is blue; Until Grief touched these eyes of mine, Such things I never knew.
Oh, the littles that remain! Scent of mint out in the lane; Flare of window; sound of bees; — These, but these.
A Little Song Of Life
Glad that I live am I; That the sky is blue; Glad for the country lanes, And the fall of dew.
A serviceable thing Is fennel, mint, or balm, Kept in the thrifty calm Of hollows, in the spring;
Battles nor songs can from oblivion save, But Fame upon a white deed loves to build: From out that cup of water Sidney gave, Not one drop has been spilled.
The spicewood burns along the gray, spent sky,
In moist unchimneyed places, in a wind,
That whips it all before, and all behind,
Into one thick, rude flame, now low, now high,
It is the first, the homeliest thing of all--
At sight of it, that lad that by it fares,
Whistles afresh his foolish, town-caught airs--
A thing so honey-colored, and so tall!