Elinor Wylie

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Under oak, ash and thorn
My soul was born.

Elinor Morton Wylie (7 September 188516 December 1928) was an American poet and novelist popular in the 1920s and 1930s.

Quotes[edit]

Under thorn, oak and ash
My body bent to the lash.
  • 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)[edit]

Full text online at Project Gutenberg

Wild Peaches[edit]

Full text online at Poetry Foundation
  • 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.
    • 1
  • 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.
    • 1
  • 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.
    • 3
  • 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.
    • 4
  • 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.
    • 4

A Crowded Trolley Car[edit]

A bell is clanging, people sway
Hanging by their hands.
Full text online at Poetry Foundation
  • 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.

External links[edit]

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