January 1, 2013

My Favorite Obscure Literary Figures of 2013

Clodfelter: Farewell, on earth, farewell
Originally published:
January 27, 2013

Indiana poet Noah J. Clodfelter mourns the loss of his young son Byron (named after the poet) in 1879 and the touching poet he wrote a few days later: "Methinks I see my little boy, / With hands extended to me now, As if in ecstacy of joy, / To press fond kisses on my brow."

Death of Sill: can't be worse than Ohio
Originally published:
February 27, 1813

On the death of poet Edward Rowland Sill (pictured here) in 1887, as well as his thoughts on life and death: "And so, if life is endlessly manifold, we may hope for good and great things, here or hereafter."

Death of Burnham: To us is the weeping
Originally published:
June 22, 2013

In this post on the 1873 death of New Hampshire born poet Samuel Burnham, what moved me most was his last utterance, recorded simply as: "Beautiful."

Weeks: I am glad to be alive!
Originally published:
September 21, 2013

This post introduced New York writer Robert Kelley Weeks, born September 21, 1840, and his unshakably optimistic poetry. "Butterflies float in a dream..."

Birth of John Gardiner Calkins Brainard
Originally published:
October 21, 2013

On the birth of this quadruple-named Connecticut poet in 1796 and his short career in publishing and the law — as well as his poem on the most heinous of crimes, the stealing of newspapers.

Evils oppressing themselves or others
Originally published:
November 21, 2013

The final installment of "Woman and Her Needs" by Elizabeth Oakes Smith, and her rallying cry for women's equality. This was actually a two-parter, meant to add to the post on her last installment of the same essay from June 2013.

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