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Thursday, August 18, 2011

August 11th

Born this day in 1836, Sarah Bryan Piatt, poet. Sarah graduated from Henry Female College in 1855. Married fellow poet and who also worked for US civil services, John James Piatt in 1861. Family life was very full with seven children. Sarah was a published poet by 1854. Living in Washington DC and they were stationed in Ireland 1892-94. In Ireland, Sarah Piatt met Yeats. Many of the poets of her time she could call friend. Piatt's poetry was published in Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, Scribner's and many other publications of the time. Published 16 volumes of verse, seven children did not hinder Piatt's work.

The Witch in the Glass

By Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt

“My mother says I must not pass
Too near that glass;
She is afraid that I will see
A little witch that looks like me,
With a red, red mouth to whisper low
The very thing I should not know!”

“Alack for all your mother’s care!
A bird of the air,
A wistful wind, or (I suppose
Sent by some hapless boy) a rose,
With breath too sweet, will whisper low
The very thing you should not know!”

Born this day in 1897, Louise Bogan, poet. Bogan's personal life was difficult, during her childhood, her mother suffered with mental illness. They were poor. Though Bogan did recived a scholarship from Radcliff, which she walked away from to marry Curt Alexander. It did not last. Alexander died shortly after their separation. Another marriage, ended in divorce. Bogan suffered from depression. A difficult life. Most of Bogan's poetry was written in the part of her life. In this respect, Bogan's poetry-life, she was very successful. She was also poetry editor of The New Yorker (1937-1969) Bogan was the fourth Poet Laureate to the Library of Congress in 1945. She was published in Atlantic Monthly,Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, The Nation,The New Republic, and Scribner's. Bogan died in 1970 of a heart attack.

by Louise Bogan
I had come to the house, in a cave of trees,
Facing a sheer sky.
Everything moved, -- a bell hung ready to strike,
Sun and reflection wheeled by.

When the bare eyes were before me
And the hissing hair,
Held up at a window, seen through a door.
The stiff bald eyes, the serpents on the forehead
Formed in the air.

This is a dead scene forever now.
Nothing will ever stir.
The end will never brighten it more than this,
Nor the rain blur.

The water will always fall, and will not fall,
And the tipped bell make no sound.
The grass will always be growing for hay
Deep on the ground.

And I shall stand here like a shadow
Under the great balanced day,
My eyes on the yellow dust, that was lifting in the wind,
And does not drift away.