In the poem The poet’s corner, we read the thoughts of Laura Riding Jackson, when it comes to poetry. Together with the poem Makeshift, it enables us to view inside her mind and see her view about her own writings.
About the poetess
We know as Laura Riding Jackson, but she was born as Laura Reichenthal. She was born on January 16, 1901 in New York City. She was a descent of Austrian Jewish immigrants. She changed her name to riding in the twenties. Before that, she had been writing under the name Laura Riding Gottschalk, referring to her first marriage with the historian Louis R. Gottschalk. This marriage ended in a divorce in 1925.
After the marriage was over, she agreed to travel to England and lived there for fourteen years. She was invited by Robert Graves in 1925, to collaborate on a book. During the period between 1926 and 1939, she lived in both England and Mallorca. Then she would return to the US. When she returned, she married the poet Schuyler Brinckerhoff Jackson and moved to Florida. She would spend many years on A dictionary of related meanings, together with her husband. They also started on Rational meaning: a new foundation of the definition of words. This work was finished in 1974, six years after Schuyler Jackson had died.
During her life, she would receive many prizes for her work. She died on September 2, 1991 in Wabasso Florida, where she continued to stay after the death of her husband.
The poet’s corner
Here where the end of bone is no end of song
And the earth is bedecked with immortality
In what was poetry
And now is pride beside
Here is a battle with no bravery
But if the coward’s tongue has gone
Swording his own lusty lung.
Listen if there is victory
Written into a library
Waving the books in banners
Soldierly at last, for the lines
Go marching on, delivered of the soul.
And happily may they rest beyond
Suspicion now, the incomprehensibles
Traitorous in such talking
As chattered over their countries’ boundaries.
The graves are gardened and the whispering
Stops at the hedges, there is singing
Of it in the ranks, there is a hush
Where the ground has limits
And the rest is loveliness.
Death has an understanding of it
Loyal to many flags
And is a silent ally of any country
Beset in its mortal heart
With immortal poetry.
— Laura Riding Jackson