poet

Winifred M. Letts

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Winifred M. Letts was a novelist, playwright, and poet. Born in England in 1882, she moved to Ireland as a young woman. Her collections include More Songs from Leinster (John Murray, 1926), The Spires of Oxford and Other Poems (E. P. Dutton and Company, 1918), Hallow-e’en and Poems of the War (John Murray, 1916), and Songs from Leinster (John Murray, 1913). Letts, who served as a masseuse in army camps during World War I, famously wrote about her experiences during the war, as well as the joys of rural life in Ireland. She died in 1972.

by this poet

poem
My heart’s desire was like a garden seen
On sudden through the opening of a door
In the grey sheet of life, unguessed before
But now how magic in sun-smitten green:
Wide cedar-shaded lawns, the glow and sheen
Of borders decked with all a gardener’s lore,
Long shaven hedges of old yew, hung o’er
With gossamer,
poem
Because you live, though out of sight and reach,
I will, so help me God, live bravely too,
Taking the road with laughter and gay speech,
Alert, intent to give life all its due.
I will delight my soul with many things,
The humours of the street and books and plays,
Great rocks and waves winnowed by seagulls’ wings
poem

Courage came to you with your boyhood's grace
     Of ardent life and limb.
Each day new dangers steeled you to the test,
     To ride, to climb, to swim.
Your hot blood taught you carelessness of death
          With every breath.

So when you went to play another game