In Memoriam: The 141st Anniversary of the Death of Sarah Helen Whitman

“A heavenly halo Kindles round thy brow;
Beyond the palms of Eden softly wave;
Bright messengers athwart the empyrean go,
And love to love makes answer o’er the
grave.”

-Stanza from Sarah Helen Whitman’s “To The Angel Of Death”

Today (June 27, 2019) marks the 141st anniversary of the death of Sarah Helen Whitman. Every year, I pay tribute to our Providence Poetess at her grave in the North Burial Ground. I put together a little wild bouquet (with the exception of some dried wheat I had in the house) to leave at her tablet. I spent the late morning and majority of the afternoon reading some of her poetry from my 1879 first edition of her works. The edition was compiled by her literary executor, Mrs. Dailey, at Helen’s request to be published after her death. I left her grave with a final reading of her poem, “To The Angel Of Death,” the same poem that was read at the closing of her funeral service in 1878.

Ave Atque Vale!

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