The Poetry of Mrs. Tarkington
One of the central dramas of Booth Tarkington’s life was the death, at age 16, of his beloved daughter Laurel–the victim of a broken home, likely schizophrenia, and the loss of the will to live. It was a sad tragedy that nearly broke Tarkington’s own will… and also brought a premature end to the life of Laurel’s mother, Louisa Fletcher, who died only a year afterward. Tarkington and Fletcher had divorced in 1911, their marriage a casualty of Tarkington’s lifestyle, which at the time was given to an excess of drinking and indulgence in the culture of high society.
What I learned today, however, was that Fletcher had her own publishing career, a fact I discovered while researching a poem of Fletcher’s entitled “The Land of Beginning Again.” I will quote a bit from MichaelMilton.org:
You can find the full text of the poem here. The MichaelMilton.org article includes alternate inspirational stanzas written to conclude an otherwise downbeat poem.
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