Biography of Percy MacKaye
Percy MacKaye (1875–1956) was an American dramatist and poet.
He was born in New York City, New York. He studied at Harvard (1897), before returning to New York City (1900-4) to teach. He subsequently settled in Cornish, New Hampshire.
He wrote the plays The Canterbury Pilgrims in 1903, Sappho and Phaon in 1907, Jeanne D'Arc in 1907, The Scarecrow in 1908, Anti-Matrimony in 1910, and the poetry collection The Far Familiar in 1937. In 1950, MacKaye published The Mystery of Hamlet King of Denmark, or What We Will, a series of four plays written as prequels to William Shakespeare's Hamlet.
In the 1920s, MacKaye was poet in residence at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He was the son of actor Steele MacKaye and brother of philosopher James MacKaye and of conservationist Benton MacKaye.
Percy MacKaye is considered to be the first poet of the Atomic Era because of his sonnet "The Atomic Law," which was published in the Christmas 1945 issue of The Churchman.
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Percy MacKaye Poems
A bomb has fallen over Notre Dame: Germans have burned another Belgian town: Russians quelled in the east: England in qualm:
Hymn Of The New World
A star a star in the west! Out of the wave it rose: And it led us forth on a world-far quest; Where the mesas scorched and the moorlands froze.
Uriel: (In Memory Of William Vaughn Mood...
I URIEL, you that in the ageless sun Sit in the awful silences of light, Singing of vision hid from human sight,—
(In memory of William Vaughn Moody) I
Now is the midnight of the nations: dark Even as death, beside her blood-dark seas, Earth, like a mother in birth agonies,
Goethals, The Prophet Engineer
A man went down to Panama Where many a man had died To slit the sliding mountains And lift the eternal tide:
Half artist and half anchorite, Part siren and part Socrates, Her face -- alluring fair, yet recondite --
Fluid the world flowed under us: the hills Billow on billow of umbrageous green Heaved us, aghast, to fresh horizons, seen One rapturous instant, blind with flash of rills
I Old Hezekiah leaned hard on his hoe And squinted long at Eben, his lank son. The silence shrilled with crickets. Day was done,
Half artist and half anchorite,
Part siren and part Socrates,
Her face -- alluring fair, yet recondite --
Smiled through her salons and academies.
Lightly she wore her double mask,
Till sudden, at war's kindling spark,
Her inmost self, in shining mail and casque,
Blazed to the world her single soul -- Jeanne d' Arc!