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The Michaelmas Daisy

Letitia Elizabeth Landon 1802 (Chelsea) – 1838 (Cape Coast)

Last smile of the departing year,
Thy sister sweets are flown;
Thy pensive wreath is far more dear,
From blooming thus alone.

Thy tender blush, thy simple frame,
Unnoticed might have past;
But now thou contest with softer claim,
The loveliest and the last.

Sweet are the charms in thee we find,
Emblem of hope's gay wing;
‘Tis thine to call past bloom to mind,
To promise future spring.
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Submitted by Madeleine Quinn on October 26, 2019

21 sec read
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Letitia Elizabeth Landon

Letitia Elizabeth Landon was an English poet. Born 14th August 1802 at 25 Hans Place, Chelsea, she lived through the most productive period of her life nearby, at No.22. A precocious child with a natural gift for poetry, she was driven by the financial needs of her family to become a professional writer and thus a target for malicious gossip (although her three children by William Jerdan were successfully hidden from the public). In 1838, she married George Maclean, governor of Cape Coast Castle on the Gold Coast, whence she travelled, only to die a few months later (15th October) of a fatal heart condition. Behind her post-Romantic style of sentimentality lie preoccupations with art, decay and loss that give her poetry its characteristic intensity and in this vein she attempted to reinterpret some of the great male texts from a woman’s perspective. Her originality rapidly led to her being one of the most read authors of her day and her influence, commencing with Tennyson in England and Poe in America, was long-lasting. However, Victorian attitudes led to her poetry being misrepresented and she became excluded from the canon of English literature, where she belongs. more…

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    "The Michaelmas Daisy" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 17 Apr. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/51742/the-michaelmas-daisy>.

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