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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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Tears

When I consider Life and its few years --
A wisp of fog betwixt us and the sun;
A call to battle, and the battle done
Ere the last echo dies within our ears;
A rose choked in the grass; an hour of fears;
The gusts that past a darkening shore do beat;
The burst of music down an unlistening street, --
I wonder at the idleness of tears.
Ye old, old dead, and ye of yesternight,

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