Elinor Morton Wylie
Elinor Wylie was an American poet and novelist popular in the 1920s and 1930s. "She was famous during her life almost as much for her ethereal beauty and personality as for her melodious, sensuous poetry."
Family and Childhood
Elinor Wylie was born Elinor Morton Hoyt in Somerville, New Jersey, into a socially prominent family. Her grandfather, Henry M. Hoyt, was a governor of Pennsylvania. Her aunt was Helen Hoyt, a minor poet. Her parents were Henry Martyn Hoyt, Jr., who would be United States Solicitor General from 1903 to 1909; and Anne Morton McMichael (born July 31, 1861 in Pa.). Their other children were:
Henry Martyn Hoyt (May 8, 1887 in Pa. ... more »
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Elinor Morton Wylie Poems
The old moon is tarnished With smoke of the flood, The dead leaves are varnished With colour like blood.
Say not of beauty she is good, Or aught but beautiful, Or sleek to doves' wings of the wood Her wild wings of a gull.
A white well In a black cave; A bright shell In a dark wave.
Now let no charitable hope
Now let no charitable hope Confuse my mind with images Of eagle and of antelope: I am by nature none of these.
1 When the world turns completely upside down You say we'll emigrate to the Eastern Shore
'Fire and Sleet and Candlelight'
For this you've striven Daring, to fail: Your sky is riven Like a tearing veil.
Let us walk in the white snow In a soundless space; With footsteps quiet snd slow, At a tranquil pace,
Beauty has a tarnished dress, And a patchwork cloak of cloth Dipped deep in mournfulness, Striped like a moth.
Death and the Maiden
BARCAROLE ON THE STYX Fair youth with the rose at your lips,
Better to see your cheek grown hollow, Better to see your temple worn, Than to forget to follow, follow, After the sound of a silver horn.
Poets make pets of pretty, docile words: I love smooth words, like gold-enamelled fish Which circle slowly with a silken swish, And tender ones, like downy-feathred birds:
Lovers eminent in love Ever diversities combine; The vocal chords of the cushat-dove, The snake's articulated spine.
Bells in the Rain
Sleep falls, with limpid drops of rain, Upon the steep cliffs of the town. Sleep falls; men are at peace again While the small drops fall softly down.
Stripping an almond tree in flower The wise apothecary's skill A single drop of lethal power From perfect sweetness can distill
Comments about Elinor Morton Wylie
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
The old moon is tarnished
With smoke of the flood,
The dead leaves are varnished
With colour like blood.
A treacherous smiler
With teeth white as milk,
A savage beguiler
In sheathings of silk
The sea creeps to pillage,
She leaps on her prey;
A child of the village
Was murdered today.
She came up to meet him
In a smooth golden cloak,
She choked him and beat him
to death, for a joke.
Her bright locks were tangled,
She shouted for joy
With one hand she strangled
A strong little boy.
Now in silence ...