Nancy Luce, Chicken Lady of Martha’s Vineyard

image
A few years ago, visiting the island of Martha's Vineyard off the Massachusetts coast, I learned of Nancy Luce (1814-1890). An eccentric loner artist who self-published her own poetry--mainly devoted to her beloved pet chickens--and buried the birds with fully engraved headstones, she is the subject of a biography still available on the island at various gift shops: Consider Poor I by Walter Magnes Teller. You can read what The New York Times had to say about the book here. You might even be so moved as to purchase a lovely woodcut print of Luce here.


Perhaps we should commemorate Luce with a sample of her poetry:

POOR LITTLE HEARTS
Poor little Ada Queetie has departed this life,
Never to be here no more,
No more to love, no more to speak,
No more to be my friend.
O how I long to see her with me alive and well,
Her heart and mine was united,
Love and feelings deeply rooted for each other,
She and I could never part,
I am left broken hearted....




Posted By: Paul - Wed Sep 10, 2008
Category: Animals, Domestic, Eccentrics, Literature, Books, Writers, Regionalism, Nineteenth Century


Comments
Big Gary--why is bad poetry so much worse than bad prose?
Posted by Paul on 09/10/08 at 11:02 AM
Big Gary--very valid points! And sometimes bad poetry is actually more fun to read than bad prose.
Posted by Paul on 09/10/08 at 12:36 PM
I disagree, Paul. Bad poetry (which is most of it, in my highly learned and estimable opinion as a world-renowned poetry scholar) is too horrible to be allowed to continue. Have you ever seen a Livejournal page covered in the owner's sloppy attempts at expression? Or the local yutzes at the Starbucks on the corner, trying to revive beatnik-ery?

Just, if you want to be a poet, do try to study a bit of the stuff befor eyou subject some poor soul to your work.
Posted by kingmonkey in Athens, Ontario on 09/10/08 at 12:47 PM
Kingmonkey--upon consideration, I stand corrected!
Posted by Paul on 09/10/08 at 12:49 PM
Big Gary--

http://www.yourdictionary.com/yutz
Posted by Paul on 09/10/08 at 01:10 PM
"Did you just say yutz?"
"Yeah the two yutz"
"What is a yute?"
"Excuse me, the two yooths"

hehehe smile
Posted by Jules in Connecticut on 09/10/08 at 01:11 PM
Matt--you might've started a new trend: KFC haiku!
Posted by Paul on 09/10/08 at 02:40 PM
Don't plotz when they call you a yutz!
Posted by Paul on 09/10/08 at 04:29 PM
Nick and Becci--while lots of rural folks treat chickens as pets--my own niece, for instance--the minority status of such activities, despite any logical justifications, makes it kinda weird by default.
Posted by Paul on 09/11/08 at 01:29 PM
Big Gary--thanks for the tip! But how will I enjoy KFC afterwards?
Posted by Paul on 09/11/08 at 02:19 PM
Commenting is no longer available for this post.
Custom Search




Get WU Posts by Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner