Alice Corbin

Alice Corbin Poems

A thin gray shadow on the edge of thought
Hiding its wounds:
These are the wounds of sorrow

O world that changes under my hand,
O brown world, bitter and bright,
And full of hidden recesses
Of love and light

One city only, of all I have lived in,
And one house of that city, belong to me ...
I remember the mellow light of afternoon

Do you remember the dark pool at Nimes,
The pool that had no bottom?
Shadowed by Druids ere the Romans came

There is a country full of wine
And liquor of the sun,
Where sap is running all the year,
And spring is never done,

What dim Arcadian pastures
Have I known
That suddenly, out of nothing,

Old Uncle Jim was as blind as a mole,
But he could fiddle Virginia Reels,
Till you felt the sap run out of your heels,

To some the fat gods
Give money,
To some love;

LOVE me at last, or if you will not,
Leave me; Hard words could never, as these half-words,
Grieve me:
Love me at last—or leave me.


The ancient songs
Pass deathward mournfully.


The endless, foolish merriment of stars
Beside the pale cold sorrow of the moon,
Is like the wayward noises of the world

I've seen her pass with eyes upon the road --
An old bent woman in a bronze-black shawl,
With skin as dried and wrinkled as a mummy's,
As brown as a cigar-box, and her voice

Alice Corbin Biography

Alice Corbin Henderson (16 April 1881 - 18 July 1949) was an American poet, author and poetry editor.

Alice Corbin was born in St. Louis, Missouri. Her mother died in 1884 and she was briefly sent to live with her father's cousin Alice Mallory Richardson in Chicago before returning to her father in Kansas after his remarriage in 1891.

Alice Corbin attended the University of Chicago, and in 1898 published a collection of poetry The Linnet Songs. In 1904 she rented a studio in the Academy of Fine Arts in Chicago, and it was there she met her future husband, William Penhallow Henderson, a painter, architect and furniture designer, who was teaching there at the time. They married on October 14, 1905.

In 1912 her second collection of poems, The Spinning Woman of the Sky, was published, and she became assistant editor to Harriet Monroe at Poetry Magazine. She left Chicago for Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1916, after having been diagnosed with tuberculosis. She continued working on Poetry Magazine by long distance until 1922.

Alice Corbin Henderson and her husband were devoted to New Mexico and the Southwest. They were active in the civil rights of Native Americans. She published Red Earth, Poems of New Mexico in 1920 and The Turquoise Trail, an Anthology of New Mexico Poetry in 1928. In 1937 William Penhallow Henderson designed what is now called the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian in the form of a traditional Navajo hogan and Alice Corbin Henderson was curator of the museum.

The Best Poem Of Alice Corbin


A thin gray shadow on the edge of thought
Hiding its wounds:
These are the wounds of sorrow
It was my hand that made them;
And this gray shadow that resembles you
Is my own heart, weeping . . .
You sleep quietly beneath the shade
Of willows in the south.

When the cold dawn stood above the house-tops,
Too late I remembered the cry
In the night of a wild bird flying
Through the rain-filled sky.

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