Biography of Rose Fyleman
Rose Amy Fyleman (1877–1957) was an English writer and poet, noted for her works on the fairy folk, for children. Her poem There are fairies at the bottom of our garden was set to music by English composer Liza Lehmann. Her Christmas carol Lift your hidden faces, set to a French carol tune, was included in the Anglican hymnal Songs of Praise (1931) as well as in the Hutterian Brotherhood's Songs of Light (1977).
Rose Fyleman was born in Nottingham on 6 March 1877, the third child of John Feilmann and his wife, Emilie, née Loewenstein, who was of Russian extraction. Her father was in the lace trade, and his Jewish family originated in 1860 from Jever in the historical state of Oldenburg, currently Lower Saxony, Germany.
As a young girl, Fyleman was educated at a private school, and at the age of nine first saw one of her compositions published in a local paper. Although she entered University College, Nottingham, she failed in the intermediate and was thus unable to pursue her ambition of becoming a schoolteacher. Despite this, Fyleman had a good singing voice, and therefore decided to study music. She studied singing in Paris, Berlin and finally at the Royal College of Music in London, where she received her diploma as associate of the Royal College of Music. She returned to Nottingham shortly afterward, where she taught signing and helped in her sister's school. Along with other members of her family, she anglicized the spelling of her name at the outbreak of the First World War in 1914.
When she was forty, Fyleman sent her verses to Punch magazine and her first publication "There are Fairies at the Bottom of Our Garden" appeared in May 1917. The immense response from publishers prompted Fyleman to submit several other fairy poems. Her verses enjoyed tremendous success among readers and her first collection Fairies and Chimneys (1918) was reprinted more than twenty times over the next decade. During the 1920s and early 1930s Rose Fyleman published multiple verse collections, wrote drama for children, and for two years, edited the children's magazine Merry-Go-Round. Fyleman was also a skilled linguist who translated books from German, French and Italian.
Rose Fyleman was one of the most successful children's writers of her generation and she saw much of her earlier poetry become proverbial. She died at a nursing home in St. Albans, Hertfordshire on 1 August 1957.
Rose Fyleman Poems
I Stood Against The Window
I STOOD against the window And looked between the bars, And there were strings of fairies
I WISH I liked rice pudding, I wish I were a twin, I wish some day a real live fairy Would just come walking in.
THERE are fairies at the bottom of our garden! It's not so very, very far away; You pass the gardner's shed and you just keep straight ahead - I do so hope they've really come to stay.
The Best Game the Fairies Play
The best game the fairies play, The best game of all, Is sliding down steeples—
I WISH I liked rice pudding,
I wish I were a twin,
I wish some day a real live fairy
Would just come walking in.
I wish when I'm at table
My feet would touch the floor,
I wish our pipes would burst next winter,
Just like they did next door.