Sunday, April 30, 2017

For National Poetry Month: 30 Poets, #30- The Listener

Alice B. Toklas, portrait by another muse, Picasso's Dora Maar.

Unsung supporters, helpmeets, and families of great poets are many; their stories deserve better and broader re-telling.

We end National Poetry Month with a renewed appreciation of one who spent seven decades in plain sight yet largely denied, feeding and preserving the flame of her partner.

Alice B. Toklas seems a dim, sepia-toned figure of an ancient past, yet she died just fifty years ago this March. She'd outlived her family and was scorned, stripped of support and generally neglected by the grasping heirs of Gertrude Stein and a court system that could discriminate with impunity.

Yet she relentlessly carried on her calling to the end, out of nothing more than love of a woman she met by chance in Paris in 1903.

The New York Times obituary from March 8, 1967 is here.

The story of her life with Gertrude is here. 

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