Period Piece: Ella Wheeler Wilcox and Her Times

Period Piece: Ella Wheeler Wilcox and Her Times

Period Piece: Ella Wheeler Wilcox and Her Times

Period Piece: Ella Wheeler Wilcox and Her Times

Excerpt

This biography of the American poetess of passion, the words 'poems' and 'Poetry' are used in their most catholic sense. Ella Wheeler Wilcox was pure, thoroughbred lowbrow, yet in some preposterous, important, and unique way she is tied up, too, with the best that can be found in America: the idealism, the generosity, and above all the innate decency which typifies America to the tired European. Somewhere within the undefinable area which unites the sacred and the profane, she emerges firm in her heart for Walt Whitman's 'divine average.' She typifies, too, the frightening aspects of democracy on the levels where it is but half-attained: the irresistible craving for success, the compulsion to be saved individually from the ever-threatening horror of sinking, anonymous, into the undivine average.

J. B.

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