‘Flaxman’ by Margaret Fuller.


by Margaret Fuller.

We deemed the secret lost, the spirit gone,
Which spake in Greek simplicity of thought,
And in forms of gods and heroes wrought
Eternal beauty from the sculptured stone,-
A higher charm than modern culture won
With all the wealth of metaphysic won
With all the wealth of metaphysic lore,
Gifted to analyze, dissect, explore.
A many-coloured light flows from one sun;
Art, ‘neath its beams, a motley thread was spun;
The prism modifies the perfect day;
But thou hast known such mediums to shun,
And cast once more on life a pure, white ray.
Absorbed in the creations of thy mind,
Forgetting daily self, my truest self I find.

This poem comes from the wonderful Norton Anthology, The Making Of A Sonnet, Edited by Edward Hirsch and poet Eavan Boland, Norton, 2008. Information on Margaret Fuller’s feminism, journalism and poetry can be gotten from her  Wikipedia page and online. In the context of discussions begun by VIDA on women reviewers,poets and literatry advocates, I thought it an excellent idea to place here a poem by the first full-time female book-reviewer in journalism. Calls have been made to explain the absences of women from the 2010 lists. I am adding in here the relevant links :

Daguerrotype of Margaret Fuller from Wikipedia.
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