The Wife

By Marjorie Pickthall 1883–1922 Marjorie Pickthall
Living, I had no might
To make you hear,
Now, in the inmost night,
I am so near
No whisper, falling light,
Divides us, dear.

Living, I had no claim
On your great hours.
Now the thin candle-flame,
The closing flowers,
Wed summer with my name, —
And these are ours.

Your shadow on the dust,
Strength, and a cry,
Delight, despair, mistrust, —
All these am I.
Dawn, and the far hills thrust
To a far sky.

Living, I had no skill
To stay your tread,
Now all that was my will
Silence has said.
We are one for good and ill
Since I am dead.

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Poet Marjorie Pickthall 1883–1922

POET’S REGION Canada

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Subjects Marriage & Companionship, Living, Death, Mythology & Folklore, Ghosts & the Supernatural

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

Biography

Probably no other Canadian writer has suffered such a plunge in reputation as Marjorie Pickthall. Once she was thought to be the best Canadian poet of her generation. Now her work, except for two or three anthologized pieces, goes unread. The fact is that her initial popularity was based upon extraliterary criteria. Her rejection of modernism in style and attitude made her the darling of conservative Canadian critics. She was . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Marriage & Companionship, Living, Death, Mythology & Folklore, Ghosts & the Supernatural

POET’S REGION Canada

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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