Angelina Weld Grimke: A Troubled Poet
by Nina Yu
Period 4
external image Angelina_Weld_Grimk%C3%A9.jpg

Angelina was born on February 27, 1880 in Bostonas a mixed race. She lived most of her life with her father--the son of a slave-- to whom she was very very attached to. Her mother was from a white family.(California State University Stanislaus) After Angelina's birth, her mother abandoned the Grimke household. Her mother was reported to be extremely insane and wrote letters to Angelina stating that Angelina was in her dreams as a ghostly figure and that she would someday reunite with Angelina in her, "Shadow form." In spite of her mother's business, she was very affectionate for her father. Her father loved her too, but he was very conscious about the fact, that she was a lesbian.(washingtonart home page. )

Since Angelina loved and treasured her father, she hid her lesbian side from her father. Angelina attended Fairmont Grammar School in Hyde Park from 1887-1894. She also attended Carleton Academy, Cushing Academy, Girl's Latin School, and she took a degree in physical ed at Boston Normal School of Gymnastics. She started out teaching as a gym teacher, but as things became more difficult for her, she quit and instead became an English teacher.("Angelina Weld Grimke.")
Most of her works were written between 1900 and 1920. She has published a drama called, Rachel, and also has published many of her works into newspapers and journals like Opportunity. She is described as the forerunner of the Harlem Renaissance. (Harvard Square Library)
She died on June 10th 1958.

You will comeback, sometime, somehow;

But if it will be bright or black

I cannot tell; I only know

You will come back.
Does not the spring with fragrant pack

Return unto the orchard bough?

Do not the birds retrace their track?
All things return. Some day the glow

Of quick’ning dreams will pierce your lack;

And when you know I wait as now

You will come back.

Analysis: This poem describes Angelina as a very desperate woman that wants something, yet cannot get it. It is almost like she is hoping desperately for something to come, but in her heart, she knows that it does not exist, but she still wishes for it. Since Angelina was a lesbian and at that time, it would hurt her father. So Angelina kept all these feelings bottled up inside, not wanting to hurt anyone. In this poem, she says, "You will come back." (4) It makes her sound so sure of herself, but there is still something that clearly describes to the readers that she afraid of what she says. "Does no the spring with fragrant pack," (5) "Return unto the Orchard bough?" (6) In these two lines, she describes the things that come and go like she wants "that" person to come back to her.
Since she was born in a period of time, where lesbian affairs were looked down at, she had to hide her true feelings and go along with the flow. She wrote these poems and pieces to spill out her true words onto a piece of paper.

Works Cited:

"Angelina Weld Grimke." Harvard Square Library | Unitarian Universalist Biographies | Cambridge | History | Philosophy. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2012. <>.

"Angelina Weld Grimké."washingtonart home page. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2012. <>.

Herron, Carolivia. "Angelina Weld Grimke." Welcome to English « Department of English, College of LAS, University of Illinois. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2012. <>.

"PAL: Angelina Weld Grimke (1880-1958)." California State University Stanislaus | Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2012. <