Today I’m featuring a 97 year old poem illustrating the timelessness of the written word. I’ll introduce the author at the end. Enjoy!
A fire-mist and a planet,
A crystal and a cell,
A jelly-fish and a saurian,
And caves where the cave-men dwell;
Then a sense of law and beauty
And a face turned from the clod —
Some call it Evolution,
And others call it God.
William Herbert Carruth was an American educator and poet who received his bachelor and master’s degrees from the Univ. of Kansas in the 1880’s. He earned his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1893. He was a Professor of German and English at KU from 1879 to 1913. Born in Kansas, Carruth lived and taught there until his 1924 death.
We inherited this tattered, tiny, teal book from one of Bill’s aunts who passed in 2014. I selected it for its age, color and subject matter.
Only later did I see the connection – both Carruth and the Leach family are Kansas natives. Carruth was descibed in 1918 as “a leading linguistic scholar of the West” by William Connelly, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society. My beloved is a Professor in the English department at Florida Tech and a poet. And therein the similarities end.
I love these illustrations. Aren’t they grand?
What did you think of Carruth’s poem?