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Muriel Stuart

(1889-1967 / England)

Biography of Muriel Stuart

Muriel Stuart poet

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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The Seed-Shop

Here in a quiet and dusty room they lie,
Faded as crumbled stone or shifting sand,
Forlorn as ashes, shrivelled, scentless, dry -
Meadows and gardens running through my hand.

In this brown husk a dale of hawthorn dreams;
A cedar in this narrow cell is thrust
That will drink deeply of a century's streams;
These lilies shall make summer on my dust.

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