Henry Timrod was called by some the "Poet Laureate of the Confederacy", and he was largely forgotten, especially north of the Mason-Dixon line, until Bob Dylan "borrowed" some of his lines in some songs. A new set of pictures is up from my visit to Timrod's grave back in 2009.
One lone 77 page volume of hers, "The Female Christian", was published posthumously by her friends the year after she died, at age 29.
Her father was the 1st Universalist minister in Maine, and in 1861 the Universalists in Maine moved the family graves to Norway, and erected this new memorial. So, it is the 2nd grave of this unknown Maine poetess.
Arriving in Poland....Maine...this Barnes family monument then directed me to Norway...Maine. Lucy was first buried here, in Poland, at age 29. However, the new memorial in Norway says the brother and sister died in 1807, not 1809...so there is a mistake on one of the graves?
Dear God, I try to keep You honest. But
I look to You to do the same for me.
Other poems are long-winded and declamatory, as in the bulk of his diatribe
against American consumerism and bureaucracy, Angry Candy.
As he wrote, “In order to make art you have to scream/ From time
to time.” His favorite epithet “Gunboat” suited him:
he was ever a small tug with big engine perpetually chugging upstream.
He contributed to over thirty literary publications big and small around
the world, and gave more than fifty “shows” in 67 cities
of 27 countries, in universities, libraries, schools, and cultural centers.
Yet he encouraged other local poets to perform with him, and always
shared the limelight with others. In his other guise as an actor, he
performed in little theater and big, and played in operas.
For he was highly educated and knowledgeable on international as well
as literary affairs. He grew up speaking and eventually translating
seven languages. In World War Two he served with the Office of War Information,
broadcasting from Algeria to Europe, then served in the US Army, later
lived in Berlin. This had quickly become the era of the Cold War, Soviet
Occupation of Eastern Europe, and injustices on the home fronts of not
a few nations. Pauker worked for fifteen years for the Voice of America,
which parachuted him in to cover the Hungarian Uprising in 1956. One
can imagine that slight figure in shabby trench coat slipping through
the dark and dangerous streets of Budapest, clutching notebook and microphone.
Among other jobs with the United States Information Agency, he served
as public affairs officer during John Kenneth Galbraith’s
tenure as U. S. ambassador to India. On his own initiative, Pauker brought
together Indian poets of various linguistic groups whose only common
language was English and set them communicating with each other and
with the outside world.
During these years with USIA, Pauker pulled many strings and spun a
veritable cat’s cradle of literary networks around the world.
He directly and indirectly organized formal gatherings which brought
internationally-known poets together with local ones in many countries.
Among the American poets he arranged to have serve as Volunteer Overseas
Speakers and for whom he organized readings and meetings with their
peers abroad were Reed Whittemore and Stanley Kunitz
in Moscow, William Meredith in Bulgaria, and Allan
Ginsberg in India (this proved a bit disconcerting when Ginsberg
undressed while reciting his poems). Likewise James Dickey
upset his Brazilian hosts by chasing winsome local Lolitas under the
Join us by video for this travelogue edition of "Grave-hopping with the Dead Poet Guy", as we see how Dunbar's body was moved from his first grave to the highest place of honor: yet another example of how poets often posthumously claim the highest place of honor.
I love this picture of my friend Daniel Hoffman, standing at his wife's grave and next to his own. Now, sadly, he is silent, except for the words of his poems and the memories that live inside those who knew him.