Elinor Wylie

American poet

Elinor Morton Wylie (7 September 188516 December 1928) was an American poet and novelist popular in the 1920s and 1930s.

Under oak, ash and thorn
My soul was born.

Quotes edit

Under thorn, oak and ash
My body bent to the lash.
  • Under oak, ash and thorn
    My soul was born.

    Under thorn, oak and ash
    My body bent to the lash.
    • "Beltane", published in Last Poems of Elinor Wylie (1943)

Nets to Catch the Wind (1921) edit

Full text online at Project Gutenberg

Wild Peaches edit

Full text online at Poetry Foundation
  • When the world turns completely upside down
    You say we’ll emigrate to the Eastern Shore
    Aboard a river-boat from Baltimore
    We’ll live among wild peach trees, miles from town,
    You’ll wear a coonskin cap, and I a gown
    Homespun, dyed butternut’s dark gold color.
    Lost, like your lotus-eating ancestor,
    We’ll swim in milk and honey till we drown.
    • 1
  • The winter will be short, the summer long,
    The autumn amber-hued, sunny and hot,
    Tasting of cider and of scuppernong;
    All seasons sweet, but autumn best of all.
    The squirrels in their silver fur will fall
    Like falling leaves, like fruit, before your shot.
    • 1
  • When strawberries go begging, and the sleek
    Blue plums lie open to the blackbird’s beak,
    We shall live well — we shall live very well.
    • 3
  • Down to the Puritan marrow of my bones
    There’s something in this richness that I hate.

    I love the look, austere, immaculate,
    Of landscapes drawn in pearly monotones.
    There’s something in my very blood that owns
    Bare hills, cold silver on a sky of slate,
    A thread of water, churned to milky spate
    Streaming through slanted pastures fenced with stones.
    • 4
  • I love those skies, thin blue or snowy gray,
    Those fields sparse-planted, rendering meagre sheaves;
    That spring, briefer than apple-blossom’s breath,
    Summer, so much too beautiful to stay,
    Swift autumn, like a bonfire of leaves,
    And sleepy winter, like the sleep of death.
    • 4

A Crowded Trolley Car edit

A bell is clanging, people sway
Hanging by their hands.
Full text online at Poetry Foundation
  • The rain’s cold grains are silver-gray
    Sharp as golden sands,
    A bell is clanging, people sway
    Hanging by their hands.
  • Orchard of the strangest fruits
    Hanging from the skies;
    Brothers, yet insensate brutes
    Who fear each others’ eyes.
  • One man stands as free men stand
    As if his soul might be
    Brave, unbroken; see his hand
    Nailed to an oaken tree.

Quotes about Elinor Wylie edit

  • Wylie and Millay were standard in high school-women whom I really loved. Eliot. That man used to put me on fire with his words.
    • 1978 interview in Conversations with Audre Lorde (2004)
  • It is not in the power of an organization which has insulted Elinor Wylie, to honour me.
    • Edna St. Vincent Millay 4/18/1927 letter to the League of American Penwomen, anthologized in Letters of a Nation: A Collection of Extraordinary American Letters edited by Andrew Carroll

External links edit

Wikipedia has an article about:
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Wikisource has original works by or about: