Sarah Helen Whitman

1803–1878
Sarah Helen Whitman

During her life, Sarah Helen Whitman made a career for herself as both a critic and poet, publishing in top periodicals. Her upbringing featured a typical Quaker education as well as instruction in ladies’ etiquette, which exposed her to German, French, and Italian literature. Through her husband, the writer John W. Whitman, she was introduced into elite literary and intellectual society. She wrote articles defending transcendentalists and about spiritualism, a subject that she pursued extensively. She published her poetry mostly in ladies’ journals, poems such as “To—,” in which she evokes images related to her own spiritual life.

Poems

What People are Saying

"What really makes a poem dynamic is not the use of grand gestures. Rather, it is the tones and expressions of the voice that help listeners connect and understand the meaning of a poem."
Angelica Sterling
2017 USVI POL Champ