Janie turned twenty. She copied out a poem for Percy in her beautiful handwriting, embellishing the title with a fantastical bird.
It’s pretty dreadful poetry, but it gave expression to a youthful intensity of feeling.
The poet was Hesper Le Gallienne, the elder daughter of a British fin-de-siecle poet and essayist who had moved to the United States early in the new century. According to a brief notice in the New York Times (May 20, 1920) Hesper was a year or two older than Janie. She was described in that account of her wedding as a “poetess” of “considerable fame at home and abroad in her literary work, especially poetry, many of her poems having appeared in publications here and in England. … She came to this country four years ago and has been associated with several monthly publications.” (1) How accurate this assessment of her fame is cast into doubt by the fact that the NY Times reporter got her name wrong, calling her Hester.
(1) New York Times, May 19, 1920.
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