Biography of Genevieve Taggard
Genevieve Taggard was born in Waitsburg, Washington to James Taggard and Alta Arnold, both of whom were school teachers. Her parents were both active members of the Disciples of Christ, and at age two her parents moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, where they became missionaries and founded a school in which they also taught.
Genevieve Taggard began writing poetry at the early age of 13. Her poems were published in The Nation, The Kenyon Review, The New Yorker, The New Republic. In 1914 the family left Hawaii, and Taggard enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley. Here she became an active member of the socialist political and literary community. She graduated in 1919 upon which she moved to New York City in 1920.
Once in New York she started working for the publisher B. W. Huebsch and in 1921 she co-founded the journal The Measure along with fellow writer and friend Maxwell Anderson. In the same year she married poet and novelist Robert Wolf with whom she had her only child Marcia Wolf (later Liles). Upon living in New York for most of the 1920s she assumed a teaching position at Mount Holyoke College where she taught from 1929 to 1930. In 1932 she accepted a professorship at Bennington College. In 1934 Taggard and Wolf divorced, and the following year she married Kenneth Durant. In 1934 she moved on to teach at Sarah Lawrence College where she remained until 1947, a year before her death.
During the 1930s, sparked in part by the Great Depression, but also largely by her philanthropic upbringing and her commitment to socialism, her poetry began to reflect her political and social views much more prominently. During this time a Guggenheim Fellowship allowed her to spend a year in Majorca, Spain and Antibes, France. The experience of Spain in its time shortly before the Spanish Civil War gave further rise and inspiration to her cause of raising social and political awareness of civil rights issues.
Genevieve Taggard's Works:
* (1922) For Eager Lovers
* (1923) Hawaiian Hilltop
* (1925) May Days: An Anthology of Verse from Masses-Liberator
* (1926) Words for the Chisel
* (1928) Travelling Standing Still
* (1934) Not Mine to Finish: Poems 1928–1934
* (1936) Calling Western Union
* (1938) Collected Poems: 1918–1938
* (1942) Long View
* (1946) Slow Music
Genevieve Taggard Poems
A middle class fortress in which to hide! Draw down the curtain as if saying No, While noon's ablaze, ablaze outside.
The Quiet Woman
I will defy you down until my death With cold body, indrawn breath; Terrible and cruel I will move with you Like a surly tiger. If you knew
Now I am slow and placid, fond of sun, Like a sleek beast, or a worn one, No slim and languid girl – not glad With the windy trip I once had,
Ode In Time Of Crisis
Now in the fright of change when bombed towns vanish In fountains of debris We say to the stranger coming across the sea
Very Young Love
Wishes are birds. You have been circled round With them, invisible, I sent you in distress, Flown from my heart that long had held them bound,
This is our time. We women and men Here once and only once Celebrate our time
In that day Everyone will sing, Everyone will play in that day; There will be carolling.
Tropical Garden To Her Garden
Withhold your breath! Heavy in noon, and sleepy as slow death, Garden of sweets and sours, The cluster of my body hangs
For Eager Lovers
I understand what you were running for, Slim naked boy, and why from far inland You came between dark hills. I know the roar
Put her away some place between two hills, Away from the sea and the sun. She has so much to think of–must she run
Noiselessly the planets will blow by, Like smoke, like breath, like driven snow; Frost-bitten suns on on, on on will blow;
You are no more, but sunken in a sea Sheer into dream, ten thousand leagues, you fell; And now you lie green-golden, while a bell
Up that thin river, going over sand– Down that deep river, purple to the sun; My fingers fire; cool your quiet hand,
Expand, accustomed world No longer mean and small, Tight code, mean mind, crude dream, With ghost pioneers we see
Harsh, unuttered thunder
Stood like a stone wall
Above the marsh's silver line.
Crooked cranes, white as lightning–
Flattened for an instant, flashing from the cloud–
Came driving toward us; toward us fell
The long lines of the shade-laden trees,
Soundless slanting thunder:
And the snail-like hills