Main Contents & Search
Jewett's Poems

Scattered Poems and Fragments
Sarah Orne Jewett

Collected in this page are poems and fragments from Jewett's letters and other writings.  These have not been published with her other poems, and so they might easily be missed by readers hoping to read her collected poems.  Readers who know of poems and fragments of verse not collected here are encouraged to contact the site manager.


[Adeline's Pepper-owl Poem]

[A Sonnet on Meeting Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)]

[On French Bread]

Adeline's Pepper-owl Poem, from "The Pepper-Owl" (1876)

Sarah Orne Jewett

"Tell me about the kittens, love!
     I long to hear you speak.
 Oh, tell me everything you know!
     Unclose that silver beak.

"Oh, do not look so sad, my dear!
     And cease that dismal scowl:
 Smile gently with your yellow eyes,
     My useful pepper-owl!"


[A Sonnet on Meeting Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)]

This appears in an undated letter to Annie Fields c. 1886-1890, and in Jewett's unpublished story, "Carlyle in America" c. 1894-1890.  The text is from the letter; differences in the story text are indicated in brackets.

Right here, where noisiest, narrowest is the street;  [,]
Where gaudy [flaunting] shops bedeck the crowded way;
Where idle newsboys in vindictive play
Dart to and fro with venturesome bare feet;
Here, where the bulletins from fort and fleet
Tell gaping readers what's amiss today,
Where sin bedizens, folly makes too gay, [no comma]
And all are victims of their own conceit;
With these ephemeral insects of an hour
That war [fret] and flutter, as they downward float
In some pale sunbeam that the spring has brought,
Where this vain world is revelling in power; [no semicolon]
I met great Emerson, [;] serene, remote,
Like one adventuring on seas of thought.

[On French Bread]

This verse appears in a letter to Mrs. George D. Howe in Fields, Letters, dated at Chailly, 9 July, 1892.

     O little pains! Mes petite breads!
         I break with joy your crisp young heads
         In you no dreadful soda lurks
         To stab me with a thousand dirks.
         Some baker immigrant should bring
         You to my New World suffering.

Edited and annotated by Terry Heller, Coe College

Main Contents & Search
Jewett's Poems