Biography of Muriel Stuart
Muriel Stuart (1885, Norbury, South London - 1967) The daughter of a Scottish barrister, was a poet, particularly concerned with the topic of sexual politics, though she first wrote poems about World War I. She later gave up poetry writing; her last work was published in the 1930s. She was born Muriel Stuart Irwin.
She was hailed by Hugh MacDiarmid as the best woman poet of the Scottish Renaissance although she was not Scottish, but English. Despite this, his comment led to her inclusion in many Scottish anthologies. Thomas Hardy described her poetry as "Superlatively good".
Her most famous poem "In the Orchard" is entirely dialogs and in no kind of verse form, which makes it innovative for its time. She does use rhyme: a mixture of half-rhyme and rhyming couplets (a,b,a,b form)
Other famous poems of hers are "The Seed Shop", "The Fools" and "Man and his Makers"
Muriel also wrote a gardeninonbg book called Gardener's Nightcap (1938) which was later reprinted by Persephone Books:.
She died on 18th December 1967.
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In the Orchard
'I thought you loved me.' 'No, it was only fun.'
'When we stood there, closer than all?' 'Well, the harvest moon
Was shining and queer in your hair, and it turned my head.'
'That made you?' 'Yes.' 'Just the moon and the light it made
Under the tree?' 'Well, your mouth, too.' 'Yes, my mouth?'
'And the quiet there that sang like the drum in the booth.
You shouldn't have danced like that.' 'Like what?' 'So close,
Whith your head turned up, and the flower in your hair, a rose
That smelt all