By Sophie Jewett 1861–1909 Sophie Jewett
A noisome thing that crawls by covert path,   
   For glad, unfearing feet to lie in wait;   
No part in summer’s fellowship it hath,   
   From mirth and love and music alienate.

Yet once it flashed across the close, brown grass
   In the noon sun, and, as it quivered there,
The spell of beauty over it did pass,   
   Making it kin with earth and light and air.

I knew that Life’s imperial self decrees
   That this, the loathliest of living things,   
By patient ways of cycled centuries,
   Slow creeping, shall at last attain to wings.

Source: The Poems of Sophie Jewett (1910)

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Poet Sophie Jewett 1861–1909

POET’S REGION U.S., New England


Subjects Living, Time & Brevity

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Metaphor


Born in Moravia, New York, poet Sophie Jewett was the daughter of a country doctor. Her childhood was marked by loss and displacement. When she was seven years old, her mother died, and Jewett was summoned from sleep to observe her passing; her father died two years later. After his death, Jewett and her three siblings moved to Buffalo to live with their uncle and grandmother, both of whom died during Jewett’s adolescence.

Jewett . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Time & Brevity

POET’S REGION U.S., New England


Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Metaphor

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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