Poet and essayist Dawn Potter founded this archive as a way to organize her commentary on Milly Jourdain's poetry, which, at the suggestion of biographer Hilary Spurling, she is gradually reprinting online. If you have more information about Milly Jourdain's life or work, please be in touch.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
First published on June 12, 2009
A few days ago, I received, with great pleasure, an email from biographer Hilary Spurling about my review of Milly Jourdain's forgotten 1924 poetry collection Unfulfilment. I hope she will not mind my sharing a few of her thoughts:
"You & I are almost certainly her only living readers, and we think alike. Re-reading her poems--the ones I quoted, & the ones you did--makes me sure we're right. A faint kinship in her neatness & low tone, & her sentiment or lack of it, with Emily Dickinson, don't you think? 'tiny sounds like dry and restless sobs' or the drifting rain & trailing smoke of dreams in 'Watching the Meet'. Of course she was always a guttering flame & soon snuffed out--you are the only reader who ever mentioned her to me--and I can't tell you how glad I am you did--and to know that pale flame burns again in Maine."
But today Hilary and I are not Milly's only living readers because you've read a few of her poems too. And Hilary wonders if I should, once a week or so, post one or another of her poems here. Maybe I'll do that, and maybe I'll also post them in their published order. It seems like a small gift to Milly and also, I hope, a small gift to Hilary, who first recognized their worth.