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- Under oak, ash and thorn
My soul was born.
Under thorn, oak and ash
My body bent to the lash.
- "Beltane", published in Last Poems of Elinor Wylie (1943)
Nets to Catch the Wind (1921)
- When the world turns completely upside down
You say we’ll emigrate to the Eastern Shore
Aboard a river-boat from Baltimore;
We’ll live among wild peach trees, miles from town,
You’ll wear a coonskin cap, and I a gown
Homespun, dyed butternut’s dark gold color.
Lost, like your lotus-eating ancestor,
We’ll swim in milk and honey till we drown.
- The winter will be short, the summer long,
The autumn amber-hued, sunny and hot,
Tasting of cider and of scuppernong;
All seasons sweet, but autumn best of all.
The squirrels in their silver fur will fall
Like falling leaves, like fruit, before your shot.
- When strawberries go begging, and the sleek
Blue plums lie open to the blackbird’s beak,
We shall live well — we shall live very well.
- Down to the Puritan marrow of my bones
There’s something in this richness that I hate.
I love the look, austere, immaculate,
Of landscapes drawn in pearly monotones.
There’s something in my very blood that owns
Bare hills, cold silver on a sky of slate,
A thread of water, churned to milky spate
Streaming through slanted pastures fenced with stones.
- I love those skies, thin blue or snowy gray,
Those fields sparse-planted, rendering meagre sheaves;
That spring, briefer than apple-blossom’s breath,
Summer, so much too beautiful to stay,
Swift autumn, like a bonfire of leaves,
And sleepy winter, like the sleep of death.
A Crowded Trolley Car
- The rain’s cold grains are silver-gray
Sharp as golden sands,
A bell is clanging, people sway
Hanging by their hands.
- Orchard of the strangest fruits
Hanging from the skies;
Brothers, yet insensate brutes
Who fear each others’ eyes.
- One man stands as free men stand
As if his soul might be
Brave, unbroken; see his hand
Nailed to an oaken tree.
Quotes about Elinor Wylie
- Wylie and Millay were standard in high school-women whom I really loved. Eliot. That man used to put me on fire with his words.
- 1978 interview in Conversations with Audre Lorde (2004)
- It is not in the power of an organization which has insulted Elinor Wylie, to honour me.
- Edna St. Vincent Millay 4/18/1927 letter to the League of American Penwomen, anthologized in Letters of a Nation: A Collection of Extraordinary American Letters edited by Andrew Carroll
- Elinor Wylie at the Poetry Foundation - Biography and 8 poems (A Crowded Trolley Car, Cold Blooded Creatures, Epitaph, Full Moon, Little Elegy, Speed the Parting, Valentine, Wild Peaches)
- Works by Elinor Wylie at Project Gutenberg
- Poems of Elinor Wylie at Poemtree.com
- Poems of Elinor Wylie at Poets' Corner