Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Letter from Harriet Bishop to Jesse Halsey

39 Lewis Street
Southampton, L.I.
Jan 7, 1935

Dear Jesse,

Your little poem was sweet and recalled the past very vividly to my mind. I can see the entrance to your old home and the dining room and kitchen as though it was only yesterday that I was there. Often I dream about Lizbeth and she is still to me a very real and quite undimmed personality. She once said some verses of Sara Teasdale’s and told me how much she liked them. I wrote them in my scrap book. I love to think that after all the adverse winds of her life ceased, she could “straighten like a flame.” It would be such a clear, bright light, don’t you think? Whenever I am on the beach I stand “on the seaward dune” and call her to my mind.

It is heartening to know you find time, in the full life you live, to remember me.

Love and good wishes always.

Harriet M. Bishop

On the Dunes—Sara Teasdale

If there is any life when death is over
These tawny breaches will know much of me,
I shall come back as constant and as changeful
As the unchanging, many-colored sea.

If life was small, if it has made me scornful,
Forgive me; I shall straighten like a flame
In the great calm of death, and if you want me
Stand on the seaward dune and call my name.

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