Nancy Luce, Chicken Lady of Martha’s Vineyard
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....