Sarah Orne Jewett

(1849-1909 / the USA)

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Sarah Orne Jewett (September 3, 1849 – June 24, 1909) was an American novelist and short story writer, best known for her local color works set in or near South Berwick, Maine, on the border of New Hampshire, which in her day was a declining New England seaport.

Jewett's family had been residents of New England for many generations. Her father was a doctor, and Jewett often accompanied ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''Wrecked on the lee shore of age.''
    Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909), U.S. author. The Country of the Pointed Firs and Other Stories, ch. 7 (1896).
  • ''Tact is after all a kind of mind reading.''
    Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909), U.S. author. The Country of the Pointed Firs and Other Stories, ch. 10 (1896).
  • ''The thing that teases the mind over and over for years, and at last gets itself put down rightly on paper—whether little or great, it belongs to Literature.''
    Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909), U.S. author. Letter to author Willa Cather. The Country of the Pointed Firs and Other Stories, preface (1896).
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Best Poem of Sarah Orne Jewett

A Caged Bird

High at the window in her cage,
    The old canary sits and sings,
Nor sees across the curtain pass
    The shadow of a swallow's wings.

A poor deceit and copy this
    Of larger lives that count their span,
Unreckoning of wider worlds,
    Or gifts that Heaven keeps for man!

She gathers piteous bits and shreds,
    This solitary mateless thing,
Patient to build again the nest
    So rudely scattered spring by spring;

And sings her brief, unheeded songs,
    Her dreams of bird-life wild and free,
Yet never beats her prison bars
At sound ...

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