Amy Levy was born in London, England in 1861. She was the 2nd of 7 children into a somewhat wealthy Anglo-Jewish family. The children of the family read and participated in secular literary activities and the family frequently took part in home theatricals -- they firmly integrated into Victorian life.
She was educated at Brighton High School, Brighton, and studied at Newnham College, Cambridge; she was the first Jewish student at Newnham, when she arrived in 1879, but left after four terms.
Her circle of friends included Clementina Black, Dollie Radford, Eleanor Marx (daughter of Karl Marx), and Olive Schreiner. Levy wrote stories, essays, and poems for periodicals, ... more »
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Amy Levy Poems
New Love, New Life
I. She, who so long has lain Stone-stiff with folded wings,
In the night I dreamed of you; All the place was filled With your presence; in my heart The strife was stilled.
All things I can endure, save one. The bare, blank room where is no sun; The parcelled hours; the pallet hard; The dreary faces here within;
Ballade of a Special Edition
He comes; I hear him up the street-- Bird of ill omen, flapping wide The pinion of a printed sheet, His hoarse note scares the eventide.
London in July
What ails my senses thus to cheat? What is it ails the place, That all the people in the street Should wear one woman's face?
Since that I may not have Love on this side the grave, Let me imagine Love. Since not mine is the bliss
(After Heine.) The sad rain falls from Heaven,
The lion remembers the forest, The lion in chains; To the bird that is captive a vision Of woodland remains.
(A Fragment)>/i> What, have I waked again? I never thought
A March Day in London
The east wind blows in the street to-day; The sky is blue, yet the town looks grey. 'Tis the wind of ice, the wind of fire, Of cold despair and of hot desire,
A London Plane-Tree
Green is the plane-tree in the square, The other trees are brown; They droop and pine for country air; The plane-tree loves the town.
Believe me, this was true last night, Tho' it is false to-day. - A.M.F. Robinson.
A Greek Girl
I may not weep, not weep, and he is dead. A weary, weary weight of tears unshed Through the long day in my sad heart I bear; The horrid sun with all unpitying glare
Am I waking, am I sleeping? As the first faint dawn comes creeping Thro' the pane, I am aware Of an unseen presence hovering,
Comments about Amy Levy
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New Love, New Life
She, who so long has lain
Stone-stiff with folded wings,
Within my heart again
The brown bird wakes and sings.
Brown nightingale, whose strain
Is heard by day, by night,
She sings of joy and pain,
Of sorrow and delight.
'Tis true,--in other days
Have I unbarred the door;
He knows the walks and ways--
Love has been here before.
Love blest and love accurst
Was here in days long past;
This time is not the first,
But this time is the last.