Sarah Norcliffe Cleghorn

(1876 - 1959 / Virginia)

Biography of Sarah Norcliffe Cleghorn

Sarah Norcliffe Cleghorn poet

Sarah Norcliffe Cleghorn (February 4, 1876 – April 4, 1959) was a poet associated with the American Naturalist literary movement. Born in Norfolk, Virginia, Cleghorn spent much of her early childhood in Minnesota and Wisconsin before moving to Vermont at age 9 after the death of her mother. She remained there for the majority of her life until her death in Philadelphia in 1959.
Cleghorn's poetry is largely didactic in nature, serving to illustrate Christian Socialist values and progressive political and social principles. Her most widely known poem "The Golf Links" is an ironic and satirical look at child labor. Her first volume of poetry, Portraits and Protests was published in 1917 and her second, Peace and Freedom in 1945. Her autobiography, published in 1936, was prefaced with an introduction by Robert Frost.

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Comrade Jesus

Thanks to St. Matthew, who had been
At mass-meetings in Palestine,
We knew whose side was spoken for
When Comrade Jesus had the floor.

'Where sore they toil and hard they lie,
Among the great unwashed, swell I: —
The tramp, the convict I am he;
Cold-shoulder him, cold-shoulder me.'

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