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 »
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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).
O Poor People
Let us invoke a healthy heart-breaking
Towards the horrible world:
Let us say 0 poor people
How can they help being so absurd,
Misguided, abused, misled?
With unsifted saving graces jostling about
On a mucky medley of needs,
Like love-lit shit,
Year after cyclic year
The unidentifiable flying god is missed.
Emotions sit in their heads disguised as judges,
Or are twisted to look like mathematical formulae,
And only a scarce god-given scientist notices
His trembling lip melting the heart of the rat.
Whoever gave us the idea somebody loved ...