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;
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.
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,
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.
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?
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.
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.
An apple orchard smells like wine; A succory flower is blue; Until Grief touched these eyes of mine, Such things I never knew.
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.
A Flower Of Mullein
I am too near, too clear a thing for you, A flower of mullein in a crack of wall, The villagers half see, or not at all; Part of the weather, like the wind or dew.
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.
Oh, the littles that remain! Scent of mint out in the lane; Flare of window; sound of bees; — These, but these.
It is too early for white boughs, too late For snows. From out the hedge the wind lets fall A few last flakes, ragged and delicate. Down the stripped roads the maples start their small,
An apple orchard smells like wine;
A succory flower is blue;
Until Grief touched these eyes of mine,
Such things I never knew.
And now indeed I know so plain
Why one would like to cry
When spouts are full of April rain—
Such lonely folk go by!