Throwback Thursday: A poem

This week’s Throwback Thursday post is a poem by Leonora Speyer.

Born Leonora von Stosch in Washington D.C in 1872, Speyer spent her formative years studying music in Paris, Brussels and Leipzig.

She married twice, had four children and lived in London for just over a decade. She moved to New York in 1915 where she began to write poetry. 

The poem, ‘A Gift’ was written in 1921. Six years later she won a Pulitzer Prize for a collection of poems, Fiddler's Farewell. I picked this poem because for all Speyer's wealth and privilege, she still considered the simple sound of birdsong a gift.

She died in in 1956.

Fun Fact: her second husband, banker Sir Edgar Speyer, funded the creation of London Underground's Bakerloo, Northern and Piccadilly Lines

Lady Speyer by John Singer Sargent

Lady Speyer by John Singer Sargent

A Gift

I Woke: —
Night, lingering, poured upon the world
Of drowsy hill and wood and lake
Her moon-song,
And the breeze accompanied with hushed fingers
On the birches.

Gently the dawn held out to me
A golden handful of bird’s-notes.