Lizette Woodworth Reese

(January 9, 1856 – December 17, 1935 / Waverly)

Biography of Lizette Woodworth Reese

Lizette Woodworth Reese poet

Born in the Waverly section of Baltimore, Maryland, she was a school teacher from 1873 to 1918 at the Western High School in Baltimore. During the 1920s, she became a prominent literary figure, receiving critical praise and recognition, in particular from H. L. Mencken, himself from Baltimore.

Her poetry, remarkable for its intensity and concision, has been compared to that of Emily Dickinson. She is probably best remembered for the sonnet "Tears." Her volumes of poetry include A Branch of May (1887), A Handful of Lavender (1891), A Quiet Road (1896), Spicewood (1920), and Selected Poems (1926).

Lizette Woodworth Reese's Works:

A Branch of May (1887)
A Handful of Lavender (1891)
A Quiet Road (1896)
A Wayside Lute (1909)
Spicewood (1921)
Wild Cherry (1923)
The Selected Poems (1926)
Little Henrietta (1927)
Lizette Woodworth Reese: The Pamphlet Poets (1928)
A Victorian Village: Reminiscences of Other Days (1929), illustrated by J. J. Lankes
White April (1930)
The York Road (1931)
Pastures and Other Poems (1933)
The Old House in the Country (1936)
Worleys (1936) story

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Spicewood

The spicewood burns along the gray, spent sky,
In moist unchimneyed places, in a wind,
That whips it all before, and all behind,
Into one thick, rude flame, now low, now high,
It is the first, the homeliest thing of all--
At sight of it, that lad that by it fares,
Whistles afresh his foolish, town-caught airs--
A thing so honey-colored, and so tall!

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