[Document] A Word at the Beginning

Dublin Core


[Document] A Word at the Beginning


Markham, Edwin, 1852-1940
Le Prade, Ruth
Le Prade, Ruth. A woman free, and other poems, 1917


Markham writes an introduction for a new book of poetry by Ruth Le Prade [at her request; see Le Prade letters Dec. 17, 1915 and Mar. 10, 1916].


Markham, Edwin, 1852-1940


Edwin Markham Archive, Horrmann Library




Wagner College, Staten Island, NY


Please contact the Horrmann Library at Wagner College for rights to use this digital image.









Document Item Type Metadata


A Word At The Beginning
In the eager pages of this little volume we find a spirit deeply touched with the love of humanity, a spirit alive to all its raptures and despairs. These verses are written by one of the vibrant and valorous souls of the Far West, a young woman who is yearning to help pass on to all souls the beauty of earth, the beauty of joy. Intense sympathy for man and nature is the pulse of this unpretentious, free-verse offering. The writer does not claim to come with ornamental periods, with polished phrases. Indeed, she modestly disclaims the labors and the laurels of the poet, and says with a sparkle:
“Poets have carefully carved their songs,
Toiling with words, phrases and stanzas,
Till all was finished;
But I do not carve my songs,
Toiling with words, phrases and stanzas,
And all that I leave is unfinished.
That you shall be a poet
Finishing each according to yourself!”
So Ruth Le Prade comes with the simple speech of every-day, declaring her compassion for the multitudes, announcing her contempt of caste and conventionality, affirming her faith in the coming of the great day when love shall take form in a comrade order, wherein all from the greatest to the least shall have the social and material resources for living a rich and abundant life. These pages stir with a trembling earnestness, shine with a vivid fire of faith. May they go forth to kindle hearths, to kindle hearts.
Edwin Markham
West New Brighton, NY

Date Digital


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Markham, Edwin, 1852-1940 , “[Document] A Word at the Beginning,” Wagner College Digital Collections, accessed October 18, 2021, https://wagnercollections.omeka.net/items/show/5205.