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Spain

Katharine Lee Bates 1859 (Falmouth) – 1929 (Wellesley)



Across New England snows
Flash visions from afar,
Lithe gipsies on their toes
Dancing to gay guitar;
With gesture fierce, bizarre,
They lilt some old refrain
In whose wild measures are
The witcheries of Spain.
The stinging north wind blows,
But with a ruddy jar
Poised on her proud head goes
A maiden like a star
While, biting his cigar,
Her lover, scorned again,
Loads on his ass-drawn car
The oranges of Spain.
As keen as cameos
Against yon gray cloud-bar
Shine out a tower of rose,
A spire like flaming spar,
Gold shrines whose candles char
The world to ashes, train
Of pilgrims, globular
Pomegranates flushed with Spain.
What freak of calendar,
What frostwork on the pane,
What angry sleet can mar
My picture-book of Spain?

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Katharine Lee Bates

Katharine Lee Bates is remembered as the author of the words to the anthem America the Beautiful Bates was born in Falmouth Massachusetts and lived as an adult on Centre Street in Newton Massachusetts An historic plaque marks the site of her home The daughter of a Congregational pastor she graduated from Wellesley College in 1880 and for many years was a professor of English literature at Wellesley While teaching there she was elected a member of the newly formed Pi Gamma Mu honor society for the social sciences because of her interest in history and politics for which she also studied She lived at Wellesley with Katharine Coman who herself was a history and political economy teacher and founder of the Wellesley College Economics department The pair lived together for twenty-five years until Comans death in 1915 It is debated if this relationship was an intimate lesbian relationship as different sources maintain or a platonic relationship called sometimes Boston marriages as the local historical society of her birthplace maintain more…

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    "Spain" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 27 Nov. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/24895/spain>.

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