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About this poet

Edith Franklin Wyatt was born in Tomah, Wisconsin, on September 14, 1873, and went to Bryn Mawr College from 1892 to 1894. She taught at a private school for five years before becoming an instructor at Hull House, a Chicago settlement house, and participating in Little Room, a Chicago salon. She spent the rest of her life writing and living in Chicago.

Though Wyatt wrote poetry and served as one of the three members of Poetry magazine’s first Advisory Committee, she was best known for her prose. Wyatt published multiple books of fiction and nonfiction, including The Satyr’s Children: A Fable (Argus Books, 1939); The Invisible Gods (Harper & Brothers, 1923); Great Companions (D. Appleton & Co., 1917); Making Both Ends Meet: The Income and Outlay of New York Working Girls (The Macmillan Company, 1911), with Sue Ainslie Clark; True Love: A Comedy of the Affections (McClure, Phillips & Co., 1903); and Every One His Own Way (McClure, Phillips & Co., 1901).

Wyatt, who was dedicated to social causes, became known as a social commentator and Progressive activist, writing about labor inequalities, animal abuse, and other socio-political issues she observed in Chicago. She died in Chicago in October 1958.

Sympathy

Edith Franklin Wyatt, 1873

As one within a moated tower,	
    I lived my life alone;	
And dreamed not other granges’ dower,	
    Nor ways unlike mine own.	
I thought I loved. But all alone
    As one within a moated tower	
I lived. Nor truly knew	
    One other mortal fortune’s hour.	
As one within a moated tower,	
    One fate alone I knew.
Who hears afar the break of day	
    Before the silvered air	
Reveals her hooded presence gray,	
    And she, herself, is there?	
I know not how, but now I see
    The road, the plain, the pluming tree,	
The carter on the wain.	
    On my horizon wakes a star.	
The distant hillsides wrinkled far	
    Fold many hearts’ domain.
On one the fire-worn forests sweep,	
    Above a purple mountain-keep	
And soar to domes of snow.	
    One heart has swarded fountains deep	
Where water-lilies blow:
    And one, a cheerful house and yard,	
With curtains at the pane,	
    Board-walks down lawns all clover-starred,	
And full-fold fields of grain.	
    As one within a moated tower
I lived my life alone;	
    And dreamed not other granges’ dower	
Nor ways unlike mine own.	
    But now the salt-chased seas uncurled	
And mountains trooped with pine
    Are mine. I look on all the world	
And all the world is mine.

This poem is in the public domain.

This poem is in the public domain.

Edith Franklin Wyatt

Edith Franklin Wyatt was born in Tomah, Wisconsin, on September 14, 1873, and went to Bryn Mawr College from 1892 to 1894. She taught at a private school for five years before becoming an instructor at Hull House, a Chicago settlement house, and participating in Little Room, a Chicago salon. She spent the rest of her life writing and living in Chicago.