My Garden. [autograph poem]. Celia Thaxter.

My Garden. [autograph poem].

Circa 1880. Signed autograph manuscript, 1 page on 12mo (7” x 4.5”) bifolium.

A fair copy in Thaxter’s hand of four autograph stanzas from her fifteen-stanza poem involving the subject with which she perhaps most closely identified—her garden—the impermanence of which becomes the occasion for a reflection on the passage of time and loss in the last stanza here:

Where are they all who wide have ranged?
Where are the flowers of other years?
What ear the wistful question hears?
Ah, some are dead and all are changed.

Born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Celia Laighton Thaxter (1835-1894) spent her childhood on the nearby Isles of Shoals, first on White Island, where her father was lighthouse keeper, and then on Appledore Island, where her father had built Appledore House Hotel. After marrying and living on the mainland—during which time she launched her literary career—she returned to Appledore for the warmer months, becoming hostess of the hotel. Living in a cottage next door where she cultivated her famed flower garden, Thaxter became the presiding spirit of one of the first artist colonies in the United States, welcoming to the island and her home such luminaries as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, John Whittier, Sarah Orne Jewett, William Morris Hunt and others. Among those closest to her was impressionist painter Childe Hassam, who painted several portraits of Thaxter, and whose paintings of her garden are reproduced as chromolithographs in Thaxter’s An Island Garden, published in the last year of her life. A successful poet and essayist, Thaxter was also a gifted visual artist, taking lessons from Hassam and others, and focusing her skills on the illumination of copies of her books and the decoration of ceramics, transferring to both “the wonders and splendors of nature,” which she observed in her garden and elsewhere.

A lovely fair copy distillation of one of Thaxter’s better known poems.

CONDITION: Good, edges toned.

Item #5795

Price: $1,250.00

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