Every Kansan, homesick in a foreign land, knows the call of Kansas and every Kansan book lover knows Esther Clark "Call of Kansas."
"Sweeter to me than the salt sea spray, the fragrance of summer rains:
Nearer my heart than these mighty hills are the wind-swept Kansas plains:
Dearer the sight of a shy, wild rose by the roadside's dusty way
Than all the splendor of poppy-fields ablaze in the sun of May.
Gay as the bold poinsetta is, and the bur-den of pepper trees,
The sunflower, tawny and gold and brown, is richer, to me, than these.
And rising ever above the song of the hoarse, insistent sea,
The voice of the prairie, calling, calling me."
Miss Clark was born in Neosho Co., Kansas, about twelve miles southeast of Chanute, on a farm. At seven years of age, the family moved to Chanute and her school days were spent at the old Pioneer Building, where her mother went to school before her. In 1894, she graduated here, later entering the University of Kansas for work in English.
In 1906, "Verses by a Commonplace Person" was published. "The Call of Kansas and Other Verse" came out in 1909. This volume contained "My Dear" and "Good Night" which were set to music, and "Rose O' My Heart."