Phyllis McGinley

(1905-1978 / United States)

Biography of Phyllis McGinley

Phyllis McGinley (March 21, 1905 - February 22, 1978) was an American writer of children's books and poet about the positive aspects of suburban life.[1]

McGinley was born in Ontario, Oregon. At age 3, her family moved to Colorado, and on to Ogden, Utah after her father died.

She studied at the University of Southern California and the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, graduating in 1927. She then taught at a junior high school in New Rochelle, New York for one year, until her career as a writer and poet took off.

Her poems were published in the New York Herald Tribune and The New Yorker, among others. She also wrote the lyrics for a musical revue, Small Wonder, in 1948.

In 1955, she was elected a member of the National Academy of Arts and Letters.

In 1961 she won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry; in 1964 she was honored with the Laetare Medal by the University of Notre Dame (described as 'An honor to a man or woman who has "enriched the heritage of humanity"'). She also holds nearly a dozen honorary degrees - "including one from the stronghold of strictly masculine pride, Dartmouth College." (from the dust jacket of Sixpence in Her Shoes (copy 1964)).

McGinley died in New York.

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Intimations Of Mortality

Intimations of Mortality
on being told by the dentist that this will be over soon

Indeed, it will soon be over, I shall be done
With the querulous drill, the forceps, the clove-smelling cotton.
I can go forth into fresher air, into sun,
This narrow anguish forgotten.

In twenty minutes or forty or half an hour,

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