Poems cover

Poems

Nora May French (1881-1907)

1. The Outer Gate
2. Rain / Best-Loved
3. The Rose
4. Between Two Rains
5. The Message / By the Hospital / Oh, Dryad Thoughs
6. Music in the Pavilion
7. Rebuke
8. In Camp
9. The Nymph
10. Vivisection / The Stranger
11. The Constant Ones / Instinct
12. San Francisco, New Year's, 1907
13. The Poppy Field
14. You
15. Just a Dog
16. Mirage / Dusk
17. The Spanish Girl, Part I
18. The Spanish Girl, Part II
19. The Spanish Girl, Part III
20. The Garden of Dolores
21. Indifference / After-Knowledge
22. Two Spendthrift Kings / Growth
23. Change / Wistaria
24. My Nook
25. When Plaintively and Near the Cricket Sings / The Little Memories
26. Pass By / In Empty Courts
27. Down the Trail
28. Bells from Over the Hills Sound Sweet
29. In Town / Moods
30. A Misty Morning / Two Songs
31. Noon / Your Beautiful Passing
32. By Moonlight / One Day
33. The Mission Graves / Along the Track
34. A Place of Dreams / Think Not, O Lilias
35. To Rosy Buds
36. Yesterday
37. The Mourner / Ava Atque Vale

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    Summary

    Nora May French was a Californian poet and a member of the bohemian literary circles of the Carmel Arts and Crafts Club, which flourished after the Great San Francisco Earthquake and Fire of 1906. She gained minor recognition, but no financial stability, through local magazines. Published posthumously by friends in 1910, four years after French's suicide, Poems by Nora May French was the first and only compilation of her works until 2009. Although many of her poems celebrate the serenity of coastal landscape, others are less sanguine. They offer glimpses into the mind of a young woman plagued by heartbreak and torn between pressure to submit to social roles and longing to live creatively. The most famous poem in the collection, The Spanish Girl, reflects on a failed engagement, the first of many.