Charlotte Anna Perkins Gilman Poems

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Charlotte Anna Perkins Gilman
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (July 3, 1860 – August 17, 1935) was a prominent American poet, non-fiction writer, short story writer, novelist, lecturer, and social reformer. She is best remembered today for her short story "The Yellow Wallpaper," based on her own bout with severe depression. Gilman was born Charlotte Anna Perkins in Hartford, Connecticut, the daughter of Mary Perkins (formerly Mary Fitch Westcott) and Frederic Beecher Perkins, a librarian and magazine editor, and niece of Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. She had a brother Thomas Adiewho was fourteen months older than she. Her father was rarely home, and Gilman grew up with an awareness of her progressive great aunts Harriet Beecher Stowe, Catharine Beecher, both advocates of domestic feminism, and Isabella Beecher Hooker, suffragist and supporter of women’s right to vote. In her autobiography, The Living of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Gilman reported that her mother showed affection only when she thought her young daughter was asleep (Living 10-11). Gilman also had two siblings who died in infancy. A physician advised Mary Perkins that she might die if she bore other children. Sometime thereafter, her father moved out, leaving his wife and children on the brink of poverty (Living 5). Much of Gilman's youth was spent in Providence, Rhode Island. In 1878, the eighteen-year-old enrolled in classes at the Rhode Island School of Design, and Gilman supported herself as an artist of trade cards. In 1884, she married the artist Charles Walter Stetson, and their only child, Katharine Beecher Stetson, was born the following year. During this time—and throughout her life—she battled depression, the most serious bout coming in the months after Katharine's birth. In 1888, Gilman separated from her husband--a rare occurrence in the late nineteenth century. The two divorced in 1894. Following the separation, Gilman moved with her daughter to California, where she was active in organizing social reform movements. She began lecturing on Nationalism and gained visibility with her first volume of poetry, In This Our World, published in 1893. In 1894, Gilman sent her daughter East to live with her ex-husband and his second wife, Grace Ellery Channing, who was a close friend of Gilman's. Gilman reported in her memoir that she was happy for the couple, since Katharine's "second mother was fully as good as the first, [and perhaps] better in some ways" (Living 163). Gilman also held progressive views about paternal rights and acknowledged that her ex-husband "had a right to some of [Katharine's] society" and that she "had a right to know and love her father" (Living 163). For a time Gilman lived with Adeline Knapp, a newspaper reporter for the San Francisco Call, who shared her interests in social reform and the Nationalist Club, based on Edward Bellamy's socialist utopia vision. She also became friendly with a number of California writers: Edwin Markham, Ina Coolbrith, Joaquin Miller, and Charles F. Lummis. Gilman's second marriage to her first cousin, New York attorney George Houghton Gilman, lasted from 1900 until his sudden death in 1934. In 1922, Gilman moved from New York to Houghton's old homestead in Norwich, Connecticut. Following his death, Gilman moved back to Pasadena, California, where her daughter resided. In 1932, Gilman was diagnosed with inoperable breast cancer. An advocate of euthanasia for the terminally ill, Gilman committed suicide on August 17, 1935 by inhaling chloroform.

the housewife
Here is the House to hold me -- cradle of all the race;
Here is my lord and my love, here are m... [read poem]
Too high, too high to pluck
My heart shall swing.
A fruit no bee shall suck,
No wasp ... [read poem]
speed the parting ---
I shall not sprinkle with dust
A creature so clearly lunar;
You must die -- but of course ... [read poem]
For this she starred her eyes with salt
And scooped her temples thin,
Until her face shone... [read poem]
cold blooded creatures
Man, the egregious egoist,
(In mystery the twig is bent,)
Imagines, by some mental twist,... [read poem]
"fire and sleet and candlelight"
For this you've striven
Daring, to fail:
Your sky is riven
Like a tearing veil.... [read poem]
landscape: i
(for thomas a. clark)

alon... [read poem]
little elegy
Withouten you
No rose can grow;
No leaf be green
If never seen
Your sweetest fac... [read poem]
dear captain poetry
dear Captain Poetry,
your poetry is trite.
you cannot write a sonnet
tho you've tried... [read poem]
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