Biography of Witter Bynner
Harold Witter Bynner (August 10, 1881 – June 1, 1968) was an American poet, writer and scholar, known for his long residence in Santa Fe, New Mexico, at what is now the Inn of the Turquoise Bear.
Bynner settled in Santa Fe, in a steady and acknowledged 30-year homosexual relationship with Robert Hunt. He became a friend of D. H. Lawrence, and traveled with him and Frieda von Richthofen in Mexico; he much later in 1951 wrote on Lawrence, while he and his partner Willard Johnson are portrayed in Lawrence's The Plumed Serpent. Bynner and Hunt had numerous parties at their house, hosting many notable writers, actors, and artists, which guests included Ansel Adams, Willa Cather, Igor Stravinsky, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Robert Frost, W. H. Auden, Aldous Huxley, Clara Bow, Errol Flynn, Rita Hayworth, Christopher Isherwood, Carl Van Vechten, Martha Graham, Georgia O'Keeffe and Thornton Wilder.
On January 18, 1965, Bynner had a severe stroke. He never recovered, and required constant care until he died on June 1, 1968. His papers are archived in the New Mexico State University Library.
Witter Bynner Poems
I Come And Go
I Come and go And never stay. I pick and choose A night, a day,
Fiercely I remove from you All the little vestiges- Garments that confine you, Things that touch the flesh,
Among the automobiles and in a region Now Democratic, now Republican, With a department-store, a branch of the Legion,
At The Touch Of You
As if you were an archer with your swift hand at the bow,
In Kamakura, near the great Daibutsu, When I had sat a long time on the ground And been gathered up, forgetful of my face and form,
A Farmer Remembers Lincoln
Well, I was in the old Second Maine, The first regiment in Washington from the Pine Tree State.
Cease from the asking, you receive the answer. God is not God, life life
Clouds dream and disappear; Waters dream in a rainbow and are gone; Fire-dreams change with the sun Or when a poppy closes;
To Any One
Whether the time be slow or fast, Enemies, hand in hand, Must come together at the last And understand.
Grieve Not For Beauty
Grieve not for the invisible, transported brow On which like leaves the dark hair grew, Nor for the lips of laughter that are now
Has Like a navel A hole in its middle Through which a gull may fly
When I walked home forgotten, When I walked home in grief, I found a letter under my door.
By seven vineyards on one hill We walked. The native wine In clusters grew beside us two, For your lips and for mine,
Though wisdom underfoot Dies in the bloody fields, Slowly the endless root Gathers again and yields.
Though wisdom underfoot
Dies in the bloody fields,
Slowly the endless root
Gathers again and yields.
In fields where hate has hurled
Its force, where folly rots,
Wisdom shall be unfurled
Small as forget-me-nots.