Sophie Jewett

She who obtained hope after despair.

About Sophie Jewett

"Sophie Jewett was born in Moravia, New York on June 3, 1861. Sophie, with her parents and three siblings lived on the family homestead that was known as Grey Cottage where she learned to appreciate the orchards, gardens and wildlife that surrounded the home. Her father was a country doctor and she would sometimes travel with him over the long miles to make house calls."(http://allpoetry.com/Sophie-Jewett) Unfortunately, Sophie Jewett's childhood had been marked by immense loss. Her mother when Sophie was seven years old and her father died two years later. After she and her siblings moved in with their uncle and grandmother, both died during her adolescence. "Jewett then turned to her minister, the Reverend Wolcott Calkins, and his daughter Mary Whiton Calkins for support. The Calkinses encouraged Jewett’s literary interest, and Mary later co-edited Jewett’s final, posthumous collection of poetry. Jewett’s early writing was enhanced by her experiences traveling to England and Italy. Her poetry often finds its shape in the sonnet form, and frequently takes as its subject intimacy between women. Jewett’s poetry collections include The Pilgrim, and Other Poems (1896) and God’s Troubadour (1903), as well as a translation from Middle English of The Pearl (1908)." (http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/sophie-jewett)

Sophie's Poetry: Four Examples

Across the Border.

This poem has no specific meaning to it, so the meaning depends on the reader. Just as how Sophie had turned despair into hope, this poem talks about how the craziness of life can be replaced by a powerful imagination and the beauty of life. By escaping from reality, one can deal with reality. Across the Border uses Common Measure to make the poem clear yet ambiguous, similar to a hymn. This is what creates the many meanings contained within the poem, so anyone can look at it differently and be equally right in translation. Across the Border is a good way to remind yourself that it doesn't hurt to have a good imagination.

Armistice

This poem describes the feelings of people in a time of temporary peace. At the time, there's little worry that tragedy will strike. However, there's the lingering thought of how that all will change once the armistice comes to an end. Armistice is written in rhymed stanzas, meaning that every line has a rhyme to it (in this case an ababcc pattern). Rhyming is a common, yet effective, way of emphasizing the critical details of the poem. Armistice mixes the hope of peace with the fear of war, and it does so by using the struggles of Sophie as an inspiration, having to pit the hope of inner peace against the despair of loss.

Defeated

Defeated describes the situation that people face when defeated in a battle, whether it be in a war or within the mind. The moment of loss and worry causes one to look in despair, until the compassion of those you care for invigorates you with a sense of hope. Defeated has a couplet formatting to give depth to the pain, loss, and eventual hope that is emphasized in the poem. Epigrams are also used to make Defeated have a sense of wit, which further emphasizes the sense of hope. All in all, this poem starts on a tragic note only to end with the hope of love, similar to how Sophie transitioned after the deaths of so many loved ones.

Destiny

Destiny is a poem that describes how fate, a seemingly predetermined aspect of life, can change for someone or something in an instant. Destiny describes an animal that's originally in the dark darting out into the light of a new environment when it saw another creature walking by. As soon as the animal introduced itself into the environment, it would slowly, but surely, obtain wings. Destiny uses rhymed stanzas and metaphors to keep the poem in gentle rhythm while coercing opposites into similarities. This is to show, in greater effect, how even the lowliest of creatures can achieve a greater position in the world, such as the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly. This transformation represents how Sophie Jewett decided to change her life by becoming a writer, allowing her to fly freely in her work.