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Guiney, Louise Imogen

[1861-1920]

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Born at Boston, January 7, 1861. Educated in the private schools of Boston and the Sacred Heart Convent in Providence, Rhode Island. Her father, Patrick Guiney, was a brigadier-general in our Civil War, and having been born during the period of the conflict and her early youth having been spent almost before the echo of the guns had died, Miss Guiney's work was much influenced by this background of association. The symbolism of her poetry is frequently drawn from battle or from knight-errantry, as in "The Wild Ride", "The Kings", "The Vigil-at-Arms", "The Knight Errant", "Memorial Day", etc. Valor, transmuted to a spiritual quality, may, indeed, be said to be the keynote of Miss Guiney's work. Add to this a mystical element, best illustrated in her poem, "Beati Mortui", a Celtic note, shown so exquisitely in her "Irish Peasant Song", and one has the more obvious characteristics of poetry that, whatever its theme, is always distinguished and individual. Miss Guiney has a crisp economy of phrase, a pungency and tang, that invest her style with an unusual degree of personality. Her volumes in their order have been: "The White Sail", 1887; "A Roadside Harp", 1893; "Nine Sonnets Written at Oxford", 1895; "The Martyr's Idyl", 1899; and "Happy Ending", her collected poems, 1909.


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