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Isabella Gardner Papers (MSS050)

Overview

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Correspondence, Box 1-20/Folders 1-786

Manuscripts, Box 20-24/Folders 787-949

Material Toward Books, Box 24-25/Folders 950-968

Works By Others, Box 25-29/Folders 969-1068

Personal Papers, Box 29-34/Folders 1069-1104

Ephemera, Box 34-36/Folders 1105-1129

Artwork, Box 36/Folders 1130-1136



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Isabella Gardner Papers (MSS050), 1915-1981 | MSS Manuscripts

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Collection Overview

Title: Isabella Gardner Papers (MSS050), 1915-1981Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1915-1981

ID: MSS/MSS/050

Extent: 0.0

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Isabella Gardner Papers contain manuscript and editorial material toward most of her books drafts of individual poems as well as letters to and from various editors, friends, and family.

Collection Historical Note

In the poetically rich quarter century between 1950 and 1980, Isabella Gardner earned a wide-ranging and considerable reputation in poetry, her chosen vocation. Born on September 7, 1915, she was raised in Boston, one of six children of George Peabody and Rose Grosvenor Gardner. She was a cousin of poet Robert Lowell and was often confused with the other Isabella Stewart Gardner, the Boston art patron and collector, who was her great-great-aunt and godmother. At one time in her life she even lived in her godmother's house, and, according to many, with her red hair and snub nose, she also looked like her.

Gardner's education included the Foxcroft School in Middleburg, Virginia, from 1931 to 1933, the Leighton Rollins School of Acting in East Hampton, New York, and in 1937, the Embassy School of Acting in London, England. For a few years she pursued an acting career, specializing in character roles "where her shy stutter would be less liable to obtrude." After marriage and the birth of her children, she resumed the writing of poetry, which she had begun in her early teens and had given up because she believed herself to be "too facile" at the craft. Once renewed, however, her position as a poet-contemporary of such writers as Howard Shapiro, John Logan, Richard Eberhardt, John Frederick Nims, William Carlos Williams, Marianne Moore, and Elizabeth Bishop was secured.

Although her output was comparatively slim (about 100 published poems), Gardner’s work appeared in such prestigious literary journals and magazines as Poetry, Partisan Review, Paris Review, the New Yorker, Nation, and Atlantic Monthly. There were five books of poetry: Birthdays from the Ocean (1955), Un Altra Infanzia (in Italy, 1959), The Looking Glass (1961), West of Childhood: Poems 1950-1965, and posthumously, The Collected Poems (1985). Her work was anthologized in, among others, A Pocket Book of Modern Verse (1955), Imagination's Other Place (1955), Erotic Poetry (1963), Eight Lines and Under (1967), and Honey and the Gall (1967).

Sound and rhythm are crucial elements in Gardner's poetry. She makes extensive use of rhyme, including internal rhyme and "near-rhyme," and there is an exuberant musicality in her poems, even while many of them explore death-related themes. After the breakup of her marriage to Allen Tate, Gardner withdrew to a somewhat reclusive existence in the Chelsea Hotel in New York City and a self-imposed poetic silence of 15 years. Her later poems, in a slight nod to changing poetic fashions and trends, went to longer lines and even an abandonment of the brilliant end rhyme that had been so characteristic of her.

From 1951 to 1956, Gardner was associate editor of Poetry, under the editorship of Karl Shapiro. There she became known for her caring concern for the success of younger poets she worked with, even providing monetary help in some cases. Birthdays from the Ocean and The Looking Glass were nominated for the National Book Award, That Was Then was nominated for the 1980 American Book Award, and in 1981 Gardner was selected as the first recipient of the New York State Walt Whitman Citation of Merit for Poetry.

Gardner died July 7, 1981. She had been married four times: Harold van Kirk, 1938 (marriage ended); Maurice Seymour, 1943 (divorced 1947); Robert H. McCormick Jr., 1947 (divorced 1957); and Allen Tate, 1959 (divorced 1966). She also had two children, Rose Van Kirk and Daniel Seymour.

Administrative Information

Repository: MSS Manuscripts

Access Restrictions: Open

Use Restrictions:

Users of the collection must read and agree to abide by the rules and procedures set forth in the Materials Use Policies.

Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University.

If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or spec@wumail.wustl.edu. (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)

Acquisition Source: Purchase and gift

Acquisition Method:

Accession number 996. Gift of Isabella Gardner, 1965: June 1

Accession number 1031. Gift of Isabella Gardner, 1969: February

Accession number 1053. Gift of Isabella Gardner, 1969: June 11

Accession number 1419. Gift of Isabella Gardner, 1974: June 28

Accession number 1461. Gift of Isabella Gardner, 1976

Accession number 1555. Purchase from the Estate of Isabella Gardner, 1982: September 14

Accession number 1556. Purchase from Roland Flint, 1982: September 23

Accession number 1651. Purchase from unknown, 1985: January 28

Accession number 1682. Gift of the Estate of Isabella Gardner, 1986: May

Accession number 1860. Gift of Marian Janssen, 1990: December 22

Accession number 18201. Gift of Rose Cutler, 2003: October 17

Accession number 2012.001. Gift of Marian Janssen, 2012: April 12

Accession number 22980. Unknown

Accession number 22981. Unknown

Accession number 22982. Unknown

Accession number 22983. Unknown

Accession number MSS2019-002. Gift of Robert Cooney, January 8, 2019.

Preferred Citation: Name of the Collection, Washington University Libraries, Department of Special Collections


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence, Box 1-20/Folders 1-786],
[Series 2: Manuscripts, Box 20-24/Folders 787-949],
[Series 3: Material Toward Books, Box 24-25/Folders 950-968],
[Series 4: Works By Others, Box 25-29/Folders 969-1068],
[Series 5: Personal Papers, Box 29-34/Folders 1069-1104],
[Series 6: Ephemera, Box 34-36/Folders 1105-1129],
[Series 7: Artwork, Box 36/Folders 1130-1136],
[All]

Series 2: Manuscripts, Box 20-24/Folders 787-949Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 2.1: Poems, Box 20-22/Folders 787-911Add to your cart.
Box 20Add to your cart.
Folder 787: Abraham and IsaacAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 4 pages
Folder 788: The AccomplicesAdd to your cart.
Autograph and Typescript, 19 pages. One draft originally laid in PS3525 O8638 A17 1971.
Folder 789: Anatolia's CliffsAdd to your cart.
Autograph, 1 page
Folder 790: "...And Thou No Breath at All?"Add to your cart.
Typescript, 5 pages
Folder 791: Another CountryAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 1 page
Folder 792: Are Poets Ball Players?Add to your cart.
Autograph and Typescript, 16 pages
Folder 793: At a Summer HotelAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 5 pages
Folder 794: "At peep of dawn"Add to your cart.
Autograph, 1 page
Folder 795: At the ZooAdd to your cart.
Autograph and Typescript, 10 pages
Folder 796: Autumn: Early MorningAdd to your cart.
Autograph and Typescript, 4 pages
Folder 797: Baldur Was Beautiful TooAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 1 page
Folder 798: Bedtime StoryAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 44 pages
Folder 799: Bronchitis at the ChelseaAdd to your cart.
Autograph and Typescript, 17 pages
Folder 800: CadenzaAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 5 pages
Folder 801: CanzonettaAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 4 pages
Folder 802: Card Island or Cod Island?Add to your cart.
Autograph and Typescript, 11 page
Folder 803: Children are GameAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 5 pages
Folder 804: Christmas CarolAdd to your cart.
Autograph and Typescript, 7 pages
Box 21Add to your cart.
Folder 805: Cock A'HoopAdd to your cart.
Autograph and Typescript, 9 pages
Folder 806: CockchaferAdd to your cart.
Autograph and typescript, 12 pages
Folder 807: Collage of EchoesAdd to your cart.
Autograph and typescript, 6 pages
Folder 808: The Compleat AnglersAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 5 pages
Folder 809: Convalescence In Summer 1949Add to your cart.
Typescript, 1 page
Folder 810: Conversation At Midnight With Oscar WilliamsAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 1 page
Folder 811: CowardiceAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 4 pages
Folder 812: DaughterAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 4 pages
Folder 813: Dear JohnAdd to your cart.
Autograph, 10 pages
Folder 814: The DisenchantedAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 1 page
Folder 815: The DuetAdd to your cart.
Autograph, 1 page
Folder 816: Eros at MacdowellAdd to your cart.
Autograph and typescript, 10 pages
Folder 817: "Evening comes with quiet grace"Add to your cart.
Autograph, 2 pages
Folder 818: Fall in MassachusettsAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 4 pages
Folder 819: Feminine Ending or Abandoned, She DiedAdd to your cart.
Autograph and typescript, 7 pages
Folder 820: Fixing the ClockAdd to your cart.
Autograph and typescript, 7 pages
Folder 821: Fly In AmberAdd to your cart.
Autograph and typescript, 13 pages
Folder 822: FolkwaysAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 6 pages
Folder 823: For My Parent's Golden Wedding AnniversaryAdd to your cart.
Autograph, 2 pages
Folder 824: For Peter, For AnneAdd to your cart.
Autograph, 2 pages
Folder 825: Fright Among the RunesAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 4 pages
Folder 826: GimbolingAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 5 pages
Folder 827: Homo Gratia ArtisAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 5 pages
Folder 828: "I am alone upon a bleak high hill"Add to your cart.
Typescript, 3 pages
Folder 829: In Memory of Lemuel Ayers, Scene Designer, Dead of Cancer in His Fortieth YearAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 6 pages
Folder 830: In the MuseumAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 7 pages
Folder 831: Incantate the CockatriceAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 1 page
Folder 832: It Rained Last NightAdd to your cart.
Autograph and typescript, 10 pages
Folder 833: KnowingAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 7 pages
Folder 834: The Last TrumpAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 5 pages
Folder 835: Letter From Slough PondAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 4 pages
Folder 836: Lines to a Seagreen LoverAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 6 pages
Folder 837: "Little Jack Muddle"Add to your cart.
Typescript, 1 page
Folder 838: Little Rock Arkansas 1957Add to your cart.
Typescript, 5 pages
Folder 839: A Loud Song, MotherAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 5 pages
Folder 840: The Man of FaithAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 5 pages
Folder 841: The Masked ShrewAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 5 pages
Folder 842: The Mathematics of EncounterAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 5 pages
Folder 843: Mea CulpaAdd to your cart.
Autograph and typescript, 22 pages
Folder 844: The MilkmanAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 7 pages
Folder 845: Mindful of the ForestAdd to your cart.
Autograph, 1 page
Folder 846: The MinotaurAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 7 pages
Folder 847: MomentsAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 1 page
Folder 848: Mon Moi! Ils M'arrachent Mon MoiAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 1 page
Folder 849: The Moth HappenedAdd to your cart.
Autograph and typescript, 13 pages
Folder 850: The Music RoomAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 3 pages
Folder 851: My Children: Forgive Me?Add to your cart.
Autograph, 5 pages
Folder 852: My Moustache...That Do DroopAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 5 pages
Folder 853: NightmareAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 4 pages
Folder 854: Nor Good Red HerringAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 8 pages
Folder 855: Not At All What One Is Used To...Add to your cart.
Typescript, 12 pages
Folder 856: Nursery Rhyme No. 1Add to your cart.
Typescript, 7 pages
Folder 857: Nursery Rhyme No. 2Add to your cart.
Typescript, 4 pages
Folder 858: O TemporaAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 3 pages
Folder 859: Ode To K. and F. BiddleAdd to your cart.
Autograph, 1 page
Folder 860: Of ConscienceAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 6 pages
Folder 861: Of Flesh and BoneAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 11 pages
Folder 862: Of MercyAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 5 pages
Folder 863: On Looking In the Looking GlassAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 7 pages
Folder 864: On the Plane Winging WestAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 4 pages
Folder 865: One Sunday in 1966Add to your cart.
Autograph and typescript, 22 pages
Folder 866: The Only RelicAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 5 pages
Folder 867: The Panic VineAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 5 pages
Folder 868: Part of the DarknessAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 10 pages
Folder 869: Prospero's IsleAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 4 pages
Folder 870: Reed WhittemoreAdd to your cart.
Autograph and typescript, 8 pages
Folder 871: Reveille For a Rockinghorse PoetAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 6 pages
Folder 872: RoundelayAdd to your cart.
Autograph and typescript, 6 pages
Folder 873: Saloon SuiteAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 8 pages
Folder 874: SaltAdd to your cart.
Autograph and typescript, 19 pages
Folder 875: The SearchlightAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 2 pages
Folder 876: SestinaAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 7 pages
Folder 877: Sing a Song of SlaughterAdd to your cart.
Autograph and typescript, 5 pages
Folder 878: The SlothAdd to your cart.
Autograph and typescript, 6 pages
Folder 879: SonnetAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 1 page
Folder 880: Sonnet For My AcquaintancesAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 1 page
Folder 881: Southwest of True NorthAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 10 pages
Folder 882: SpendthriftAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 5 pages
Folder 883: Spousall VerseAdd to your cart.
Autograph and typescript, 11 pages
Folder 884: Summer EveningAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 4 pages
Folder 885: Summer RememberedAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 5 pages
Folder 886: Summers AgoAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 5 pages
Box 22Add to your cart.
Folder 887: The TelephoneAdd to your cart.
Autograph and typescript, 9 pages
Folder 888: That Common MothAdd to your cart.
Autograph and typescript, 10 pages
Folder 889: That "Craning of the Neck"Add to your cart.
Typescript,  12 pages
Folder 890: That PrincelingAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 1 page
Folder 891: That Was ThenAdd to your cart.
Autograph and typescript, 40 pages
Folder 892: This NeighborhoodAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 2 pages
Folder 893: This Room is Full of ClocksAdd to your cart.
Autograph, 5 pages
Folder 894: Three Rings or Five RingsAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 5 pages
Folder 895: Timeo, Typescript, 5 pagesAdd to your cart.
Folder 896: To a Daughter Aged TenAdd to your cart.
Autograph and typescript, 5 pages
Folder 897: To Thoreau On Rereading WaldenAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 2 pages
Folder 898: A Toast to Jack and SusanAdd to your cart.
Typescript,  2 pages
Folder 899: The Trials of the Composer and His BirdsAdd to your cart.
Autograph, 3 pages
Folder 900: TrioletAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 7 pages
Folder 901: Two SapphicsAdd to your cart.
Autograph and typescript, 4 pages
Folder 902: VillanelleAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 3 pages
Folder 903: West of ChildhoodAdd to your cart.
Autograph and typescript, 8 pages
Folder 904: When a Warlock DiesAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 2 pages
Folder 905: When In Rome...Add to your cart.
Typescript, 4 pages
Folder 906: Who Spilled the Salt?Add to your cart.
Autograph and typescript, 11 pages
Folder 907: The Widow's YardAdd to your cart.
Autograph and typescript, 16 pages
Folder 908: A Word From the Piazza Del LimboAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 4 pages
Folder 909: Writing PoetryAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 5 pages
Folder 910: Your Fearful SymmetriesAdd to your cart.
Autograph and typescript, 11 pages
Folder 911: Zei GusundAdd to your cart.
Typescript,  12 pages
Sub-Series 2.2: Translations, Box 22/Folders 912-914Add to your cart.
Box 22Add to your cart.
Folder 912: Goll, Yvan (Jean Sans Terre)Add to your cart.
Item 1: The Chest of DrawersAdd to your cart.
Autograph and typescript, 22 pages
Item 2: Wraps Himself in a Red CoatAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 14 pages
Folder 913: Ungaretti, GiuseppeAdd to your cart.
Item 1: Feeling of TimeAdd to your cart.
Autograph and typescript, 6 pages
Folder 914: Villon, FrancoisAdd to your cart.
Item 1: BalladeAdd to your cart.
Autograph and typescript, 11 pages
Sub-Series 2.3: Prose, Box 22/Folders 915-938Add to your cart.
Box 22Add to your cart.
Folder 915: Address on the Nature of PoetryAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 10 pages
Folder 916: A Blind Musician Looks BackAdd to your cart.
Autograph, 5 pages
Folder 917: The Coming and the Going of Marco PoloAdd to your cart.
Autograph, 2 pages
Folder 918: A Few Words About Roland FlintAdd to your cart.
Autograph and typescript, 25 pages
Folder 919: A First Book by An Irish PoetAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 4 pages
Folder 920: FlorenceAdd to your cart.
Autograph, 27 pages
Folder 921: The Four Of Us and the MonkeyAdd to your cart.
Autograph and typescript, 64 pages
Folder 922: Foxcroft Address '65Add to your cart.
Autograph, 4 pages
Folder 923: The Hell Under BrooklynAdd to your cart.
Autograph, 5 pages
Folder 924: Letter to Edward DahlbergAdd to your cart.
Autograph and typescript, 5 pages
Folder 925: Letter to Paul RobesonAdd to your cart.
Autograph and Typescript, 77 pages
Folder 926: Nature of PoetryAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 5 pages
Folder 927: No Edged ThingAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 4 pages
Folder 928: A Note to John LoganAdd to your cart.
Autograph and typescript, 2 pages
Folder 929: Oscar Williams memorialAdd to your cart.
Autograph, 4 pages. Originally laid in PS3545 I5337 A6 1947.
Folder 930: Poetry Workshop: Source, Sorcery, and CraftAdd to your cart.
Autograph and typescript, 4 pages
Folder 931: Read at Marquette in 1958Add to your cart.
Typescript, 17 pages
Folder 932: The Shooting StarAdd to your cart.
Autograph, 3 pages
Folder 933: Song of JeppeAdd to your cart.
Autrograph, 2 pages
Folder 934: Speech PatternAdd to your cart.
Autograph, 3 pages
Folder 935: To Revive From DrowningAdd to your cart.
Autograph, 4 pages
Folder 936: Untitled note to accompany a printAdd to your cart.
Typescript, 1 page
Folder 937: The WayfarerAdd to your cart.
Autograph, 9 pages
Folder 938: William CongdonAdd to your cart.
Autograph, 1 page
Sub-Series 2.4: Miscellaneous Notes, Box 23/Folders 939-941Add to your cart.
Box 23Add to your cart.
Folder 939: Notes for poemsAdd to your cart.
Autograph, 19 pages
Folder 940: Unfinished poemsAdd to your cart.
Autograph, 25 pages
Folder 941: General notesAdd to your cart.

Includes some notes possibly from Gardner's school work.

One set originally laid in PR6035 O524 F37 1938.

Sub-Series 2.5: Notebooks, Box 23-24/Folders 942-949Add to your cart.
Includes a notebook from 1924-1927, containing some of Gardner's first poems.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence, Box 1-20/Folders 1-786],
[Series 2: Manuscripts, Box 20-24/Folders 787-949],
[Series 3: Material Toward Books, Box 24-25/Folders 950-968],
[Series 4: Works By Others, Box 25-29/Folders 969-1068],
[Series 5: Personal Papers, Box 29-34/Folders 1069-1104],
[Series 6: Ephemera, Box 34-36/Folders 1105-1129],
[Series 7: Artwork, Box 36/Folders 1130-1136],
[All]


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