Nancy Byrd Turner
Biography of Nancy Byrd Turner
Nancy Byrd Turner (July 29, 1880 - September 5, 1971) was an American poet, editor and lecturer.
Nancy Byrd Turner, born in Boydton, Virginia, was the eldest child of Rev. Byrd Thornton and Nancy Turner.
In 1898 she graduated from Hannah More Academy in Maryland and began work as a teacher. During this period her work appeared in several national magazines including the Saturday Evening Post and Scribner's.
In 1917, she moved to Boston to join the editorial staff of The Youth's Companion. By 1922 she was an editor for The Atlantic, The Independent, and Houghton Mifflin. She joined the MacDowell art colony in 1925 and remained there until 1944.
Her first book of poetry, A Riband on My Rein, was published in 1929. Over the course of her career she published 15 books, ranging from adult poetry to children's literature and lyrics. Her work appeared in England and in the United States in such magazines as Good Housekeeping, Harper's Magazine, Ladies' Home Journal, and the New Yorker.
She retired to Ashland, Virginia to become a lecturer and freelance writer.
Nancy Byrd Turner Poems
Love Of Country
Who loves his country will not rest Content with vow and pledge alone, But flies her banner in his breast
First Thanksgiving Of All
Peace and Mercy and Jonathan, And Patience (very small), Stood by the table giving thanks The first Thanksgiving of all.
Death Is A Door
Death is only an old door Set in a garden wall On gentle hinges it gives, at dusk When the thrushes call
Black And Gold
Everything is black and gold, Black and gold, to-night: Yellow pumpkins, yellow moon Yellow candlelight;
With Regard To Dogs
Only the human dead may lie In God's good acre wide and fair; Those of an humbler kind who die
The March house, strangely, was built in a tree, With a fluttering roof of leaves, And strong, straight boughs for the walls of the house, And an apple or two in the eaves.
They went to the February place: 'Twas fashioned, with curious art, Of colored sugar and paper lace, With a front door shaped like a heart.
The next house stood just back from the street, In a gray little narrow lane. A table loaded with things to eat
The house of December was all aglow, Each room was jolly and red; There were bulgy stockings ranged in a row,
They went to the January house, A house made all of snow, With windows of ice, and chandeliers Of icicles all in a row.
Amos and Ann had a poem to learn, A poem to learn one day; But alas! they sighed, and alack! they cried,
Men Go Out From The Places Where They Dw...
Men go out from the places where they dwelled, They know not why not whither, overborne At midnight by some awful word, foresworn Between one dark and day, called and compelled.
The Wooden Dog and the China Cat Face to face in the doll-house sat, And they picked a quarrel that grew and grew, Because they had nothing else to do.
Here Is This Day
Here is this day, Across the fields of darkness softly come Into my silent room,
Black And Gold
Everything is black and gold,
Black and gold, to-night:
Yellow pumpkins, yellow moon
Jet-black cats with golden eyes
Shadows black as ink,
Firelight blinking in the dark
With a yellow blink