Stevie Smith

(20 September 1902 – 7 March 1971 / Kingston upon Hull)

Stevie Smith
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Florence Margaret Smith was born on September 20, 1902 in Hull, England. Her father left the family to join the North Sea Patrol when she was just a young girl. She moved at the age of three to Palmers Green where she attended the North London Collegiate School. While still only a teenager her mother died and she and her sister went to live with their spinster aunt. The aunt became an important figure in her life, affectionately known as "The Lion".

After high school she attended North London Collegiate School for Girls. She began as a secretary with the magazine publisher George Newnes and went on to be the private secretary to Sir Nevill Pearson and Sir Frank Newnes. She began... more »

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  • ''Our Bog is dood, our Bog is dood,
    They lisped in accents mild,
    But when I asked them to explain
    They grew a little wild.''
    Stevie Smith (1902-1971), British poet. Our Bog is Dood (l. 1-4). . . No Nature; New and Selected Poems [Gary Snyder]. (1992) Pantheon Books.
  • ''Cry pretty, pretty, pretty and you'll be able
    Very soon not even to cry pretty
    And so be delivered entirely from humanity
    This is prettiest of all, it is very pretty.''
    Stevie Smith (1902-1971), British poet, novelist. Pretty (l. 33-36). . . No Nature; New and Selected Poems [Gary Snyder]. (1992) Pantheon Books.
  • ''As Nature is always careless and indifferent
    Who sees, who steps, means nothing and this is pretty.''
    Stevie Smith (1902-1971), British poet, novelist. Pretty (l. 27-28). . . CP-Smit.
  • ''Fourteen-year-old, why must you giggle and dote,
    Fourteen-year-old, why are you such a goat?
    I'm fourteen years old, that is the reason,
    I giggle and dote in season.''
    Stevie Smith (1902-1971), British poet. "The Conventionalist."
  • ''People who are always praising the past
    And especially the times of faith as best
    Ought to go and live in the Middle Ages
    And be burnt at the stake as witches and sages.''
    Stevie Smith (1902-1971), British poet, novelist. The Past, Selected Poems (1962).
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  • Disa Miller (3/5/2006 8:53:00 PM)

    My favorite poem by Stevie Smith (Florence Smith) is 'Nor we of her to him.' I love the brother Grimm touches she put into her poems, it gives it a new flavor. in a way she's was like the Emeril of poetry. she added a little Bam! :)

  • Darrell Rosenbluth (2/8/2006 5:13:00 PM)

    There's only one poem of Stevie Smith's that I truly love and that's NOT WAVING BUT DROWNING. A wonderful movie about her life was made in the 1970's with Glenda Jackson and Mona Washbourne - great cast and great movie and good for the whole family and S. Smith was a real character - the movie captures an unusual blend of childishness, adult, dreamer, realist, tragic - curious combination. It's on video I know. It's called 'STEVIE'.

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