Julia A. Moore
The Sweet Singer of Michigan
1847 - 1920

The poems that follow are reprinted from
The Sweet Singer of Michigan: Poems by Mrs. Julia A. Moore,
Edited and with an introduction by Walter Blair
(Chicago: Pascal Covici, 1928).

Original editions (not seen):
The Sentimental Song Book. Grand Rapids, Mich.: C. M. Loomis, book and job printer, 1876. [54 pp. At head of title: "Centennial, 1876".]
The sentimental song book : with numerous additions and corrections by the author. Cleveland, Ohio: J. F. Ryder, 1877. [On printed paper cover, "The sweet singer of Michigan salutes the public".]
A Few Choice Words to the Public, with New and Original Poems. Grand Rapids: C. M. Loomis, 1878. [55 pp.]

Click here for the table of contents of Blair's edition, with the original pagination.

Table of Contents

Introduction by Walter Blair
Preface [by Julia A. Moore]
The Author's Early Life
John Robinson
The Brave Page Boys
Grand Rapids
Temperance Reform Clubs
Hiram Helsel
Beautiful Twenty-Second
William Upson
Dear Love, Do You Remember?
Hurrah for Cooper and Cary
My Infant Days
Roll on Time, Roll on
Minnie's Departure
Lois House
The Brave Volunteer
Little Andrew
William House and Family
The Orphan's Friend
The Two Brave Soldiers
Early Days of Rockford
Grand Rapids Cricket Club
Little Henry
Be Kind to the Little Ones
Red Ribbon
Carrie Monro
Little Minnie
Centennial Celebration
Maryette Myers
The Dear Old Flag
Libby Prison
Hattie House
Little Susan
Young Henry
Ashtabula Disaster
Leave Off the Agony in Style
Spring Time Is Coming
Willie's and Nellie's Wish
The Southern Scourge
Little Charlie Hades
Gently on the Stream of Time
I Wonder Where My Papa Is?
Andrew Jackson
Little Libbie
Croquet By Moonlight
Fourth of July
The Flag
"A Departed Friend"
The Burial in the Snow
To My Friends and Critics
Sketch of Lord Byron's Life
The Temperance Army
New Year
Lost and Found
Advice to Little Children
Children's Reply
The Great Chicago Fire
[Appendix] The Author's Address to the Public

These pages have been put up (May 1996) in honor of the ineffable laureate of Michigan, the "divine Julia." I found difficulty in obtaining copies of her work, and having done so consider it deserves to be widely available.

I would welcome contributions for these pages from interested readers. Historical annotations would be appropriate, for one thing. Texts of others of the "graveyard" school of American 19th century poets would also be interesting. And while a journal of Julia A. Moore studies may be as yet only a dream (a cauchemar as Foucault calls it), suitably eulogistic and learned essays in critical appreciation or close reading would be welcome.

The author's daringly experimental metrics and rhymes, her avant-garde grammar, the piquancy of her use of proper nouns, and her bold coinages all suggest themselves as topics for exploration. So do her relation to the rich musical culture of her contemporary America, her politics and views on public events, her eschatological vision, and the mysterious sources of her Weltschmerz. Why, her gnomic "Preface" alone, with its subtle imbrication of the concepts of "truth" and "poetry" and its prescient contribution to the "death of the author" debate, amply repays the closest explication. Surely there is a rich lode here for young scholar-critics to mine.

The Flint Public Library conducts an annual Julia A. Moore Poetry Contest and posts the results on their web page.

Read what the editors of The Stuffed Owl  say about our Michigan laureate.

Read UPDATED news of now published collected works

A reader writes in defense of Julia.

and Michigan Governor Engler proclaims
Julia A. Moore Week, Dec. 1-7, 1997

Send comments and contributions to Seamus Cooney. Vist my home page .

I have another page of really Bad Poetry for anyone in the mood for more.
[Contest link updated 5/11/00, thanks to reader Miriam A. Kilmer]
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