Aline Murray Kilmer - forgotten by the world

Aline Murray Kilmer

Aline Murray Kilmer (1888 – 1941) was an American poet and children's book author and the wife and widow of the poet Joyce Kilmer. In their short marriage, lasting ten years, her husband had achieved fame as a poet and literary critic and among Catholic circles as America's most prominent Catholic writer. After his death in World War I, Aline began publishing her own poetry and a few children's books. Today, her work is almost completely forgotten. I recently found a little book of her poems called Vigils. The poems are extraordinarily beautiful - terse and dark and strange. Love, Susie. x


I can never remake the thing I have destroyed;
   I brushed the golden dust from the moth’s bright wing,
I called down wind to shatter the cherry-blossoms,
   I did a terrible thing.

I feared that the cup might fall, so I flung it from me;
   I feared that the bird might fly, so I set it free;
I feared that the dam might break, so I loosed the river:
   May its waters cover me.

Aline Murray Kilmer