Phoebe Cary was born in 1824 and grew up on a farm near Cincinnati, Ohio, in an area later immortalized by her sister Alice’s Clovernook stories. Both sisters immersed themselves in the classics of literature under the tutelage of an older sister whose death in 1833 affected them deeply. Although Phoebe and Alice published poems while still teenagers, it wasn’t until 1850, after their work had been noticed by such luminaries as Edgar Allan Poe and John Greenleaf Whittier, that they published their book, Poems of Alice and Phoebe Cary. After this literary debut, the sisters moved to New York City, where they became central figures in the East Coast literary milieu, contributed regularly to national periodicals, and hosted a famous salon on Sunday evenings. They were also active in the early days of the women’s rights movement, with Phoebe Cary serving as an assistant editor for Susan B. Anthony’s newspaper The Revolution.
More By This Poet
Suppose, my little lady,
Your doll should break her head,
Could you make it whole by crying
Till your eyes and nose are red?
And would n’t it be pleasanter
To treat it as a joke;
And say you ’re glad “’T was Dolly’s
And not your...