Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Arthur Atkins (2)


Something different today.

In 2009, I posted a poem about William ‘Arthur’ Atkins, a painter-poet from Liverpool who migrated to California in the late 1890s only to die there while still a young man:

(If the link does not work, copy and paste into the address field)


I have been fascinated by and interested in Arthur’s story for some years now since being introduced to it by a friend, Steven, who lives in California. Steven has some of Arthur’s paintings (he, too is a talented painter) and other related items. Very knowledgeable about the Atkins family history, he recently sent me these photos and a poem by Arthur that I thought viewers might enjoy. 

It would appear that, according to family lore, Arthur's love was Virginie de Fremery:


Arthur wrote this poem that was published in The Lark, February 1896:

TO VIRGINIA

SPRING and the daffodil again!
            I heard the lark at dawn,
A liquid cadence through the rain
            Across my lawn.

The wet, red roses all around
            Stir in the breeze.
The first white trillium breaks the ground
            Under the canyon trees.

I bring the wild white flower of Spring,
            Above all others thine--
At he whom with the gift I bring,
            Thy Valentine!

[Note:  For the sake of historical accuracy, it should be pointed out that the word ‘canyon’ in the poem is actually spelt ‘canon’ in the original with a tilde over the first ‘n’.]

NB If you  have any information about Arthur, my friend Steven in California has asked me to say that you are very welcome to get in touch. Contact: muzys@aol.com


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