Archive for Poets

Gerard Manley Hopkins

Posted in Glasnevin Cemetery with tags , , on June 12, 2018 by Cade

July 28, 1844 – June 08, 1889

“And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs—
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.”

God’s Grandeur – Gerard Manley Hopkins

Gerard Manley Hopkins was temporally a Victorian poet, but due to his innovative use of language, alliteration, meter and rhyme, he is widely considered one of the first modernist poets. His use of “sprung rhythm” – a term he coined to shake off the restrictive nature of the conventional meters in English poetry at the time – varied the accent syllables in his verses and allowed him to construct and rhyme freely. His work was a precursor to the free verse movements of the 20th century. A Jesuit priest who grew up in an incredibly artistic family, Hopkins’ work regularly focused on religion and nature…often at the same time.

Hopkins wrote throughout most of his life in England, but due to his chosen path as a monastic, he was conflicted on whether to accept praise or adulation for his work. When he first converted to Catholicism, he burned all of his early poems. Only copies which he had previously sent to friends survived. Later on, a key rejection from a publication of his (some would argue, masterpiece) The Wreck of the Deutschland led him to abandon the desire to publish for good. He wrote in anonymity – and increasing melancholy – for the remainder of his life. It wasn’t until after his untimely death of typhoid fever that his friend, poet-laureate Robert Bridges, began circulating Hopkins’ poems. This eventually resulted in publication many years later. The critical reception of his works has extolled him as one of the most influential and ground-breaking poets of his time.

But, time doesn’t work backwards. So it goes that one of the most well-regarded poets of the 19th century spent the last years of his short life in relative obscurity and desolation teaching (a profession he didn’t care for) in Ireland (a country he didn’t care for) only to die and be buried there in a mass plot…several decades before he would become THE Gerard Manley Hopkins.


Glasnevin Cemetery – Dublin, IRELAND

Specific Location

Jesuit Plot; To the left (west) of the main entrance, past the Parnell monument, Hopkins is buried with his brothers in the enclosed area surrounded by a low iron fence. His name is inscribed on the base of the central cross monument.


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Posted in Mt. Auburn Cemetery with tags , , on February 28, 2014 by Cade

longfellow1February 27, 1807 – March 24, 1882

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was a popular American Romantic poet whose lyrical poems often depicted historic or mythological narratives. Perhaps his most famous work is “Paul Revere’s Ride.”

Longfellow was born in Portland, ME and attended Bowdoin College. He spent many years abroad in Europe and learned a number of languages. This would lead to him becoming one of the more important translators of the 19th Century. In fact, he was the first American to translate Dante’s Divine Comedy. Though his works were met with popular success, his life was filled with tragedy. Both of his wives died young and tragically. After his second wife’s death, he struggled with depression and constantly feared for his own mental state. He spent the last half of his life in Cambridge, MA where he taught at Harvard and continued to write. He died of a stomach ailment at the age of 75. At the time of his death he was translating the works of Italian artist/poet Michelangelo.


Mt. Auburn Cemetery – Cambridge, MA

Specific Location

Indian Ridge Path; Walk up Lilac Path from the bend in Willow Ave. to Indian Ridge Path, take it to the left (northwest) and Longfellow’s tomb is just past the intersection with Catalpa Path on your right.


William S. Burroughs

Posted in Bellefontaine Cemetery with tags , , , on December 26, 2013 by Cade

burroughs1February 5, 1914 – August 2, 1997

William Seward Burroughs II was a highly influential and controversial American writer of novels, essays, short stories and poems. His love of subversion and satire coupled with his outlandish personal experiences made him one of the more colorful and unique voices of the 20th Century. A prominent member/founder of the Beat movement, his most famous works include Naked Lunch, Junkie and Queer. Burroughs was well involved with fellow Beats Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, at times living with one or the other in various New York and Paris locales. He was also big into drugs. Like heavy, heroin and morphine-type drugs. His addictions added to the semi-autobiographical nature of his writing and, pretty directly, to the 1951 accidental shooting death of his wife in Mexico during an intoxicated round of “William Tell.” Good times. Burroughs continued to write throughout his life. He spent the last years of his life in Lawrence, Kansas where he died at the age of 83 from a heart attack.


Bellefontaine Cemetery – St. Louis, MO

Specific Location

Block 37; On the east side of the intersection of Lake Ave. and Vale Ave. Right near the road.


Henry David Thoreau

Posted in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery (MA) with tags , , , , on October 9, 2013 by Cade

thoreau1July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach,”

Henry David Thoreau is best remembered as a writer of poems, essays and books and for his leadership in the Transcendentalist movement. He famously removed himself from the grid – if such a thing existed in the 1800’s – and wrote about his intentionally simple life in the woods in his most popular work. Walden. But nothing about him was “simple.” Thoreau was also a noted abolitionist, historian and proponent of “civil disobedience” in objection to an unjust political state. It was his two-year experiment living in the wild at Walden pond that allowed him his greatest ideas and philosophical insight. In his later years, he became a surveyor and immersed himself into the study of natural history and travel narrative.

Thoreau died at the age of 44 from complications due to bronchitis and tuberculosis. His last words were “Now comes good sailing. Moose. Indian” I think that about sums it up.


Sleepy Hollow Cemetery – Concord, MA

Specific Location

Authors Ridge; There are signs that lead to the famed hill where a number of notable American writers are buried, look for them and follow them to the northeastern part of the cemetery, the Thoreau family is buried on the south side of Hillside Ave, directly across from Hawthorne and just to the west of the Alcotts.


e.e. cummings

Posted in Forest Hills Cemetery with tags , on September 25, 2013 by Cade

cummings1October 14, 1894 – September 3, 1962

                   [cummings (edward estlin)
    poems prodigy age8harvard]                wrote plays also
                                modern style (syntax
              be damned)  ambulance corps, the great
war (spy?)
                                              hated war
                                              loved france

            personal tragedy


Forest Hills Cemetery – Boston, MA

Specific Location

Lot 748 Althaea Path, in section 6, Near the intersection of Hemlock Ave. and Althaea Path, near the wall (toward Cherry Ave); Near his wife’s family marker (Clarke)


Ralph Waldo Emerson

Posted in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery (MA) with tags , , , on August 6, 2013 by Cade

emerson1May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882

One of the leaders of the American Transcendentalist movement, Ralph Waldo Emerson was an important poet, lecturer and essayist.  In addition to his popular essay collections that centered on self-reliance and an intellectual approach to God and the soul, he published a number of poems, most notably “The Rhodora” and “Concord Hymn” about the battles of Lexington and Concord, the beginnings of the American Revolutionary War.  He had close friendships with fellow Transcendental contemporaries like Henry David Thoreau and Walt Whitman and was a major influence on both personally and in their writings. Emerson was also a very vocal proponent of the abolition of slavery and spent much of the Civil War lecturing to its cause. After many years of issues with his memory, he finally withdrew from public appearances out of shame. In 1882, Emerson died of pneumonia in his home.


Sleepy Hollow Cemetery – Concord, MA

Specific Location

Authors Ridge; Follow the signs to the ridge, Emerson is buried to the west of the other writers between Ridge Path and Hillside Ave.


Jack Kerouac

Posted in Edson Cemetery with tags , , , on March 12, 2013 by Cade


March 12, 1922 – October 21, 1969

Jack Kerouac was an author and pioneer of the “Beat Generation.” His most famous novel is arguably 1951’s On The Road, which features the basic blueprint for what would become the post-war “Beat” culture of seeking out how to live and navigate life.  Kerouac, along with fellow “Beats” Allen Ginsberg, Neal Cassady and William S. Burroughs,  would inspire a generation of those seeking to find answers to all the questions life brings.

Unfortunately for Jack, the life of a Beat poet including copious amounts of drugs and alcohol.  In October of 1969, Kerouac internally bled to death.  His blood was unable to clot due to severe liver damage from years of “navigating life.” He was 47 years-old.


Edson Cemetery – Lowell, MA

Specific Location

About 50 ft Southwest of the intersection of Lincoln Ave. and 7th Ave.