Ruth Denning – Wealth

It’s National Poetry Month!

Looking for an old picture recently I found a greeting card and when I opened it up, it was filled with handwritten copies of favorite poems of mine. The poems were all written over time and in different pens and pencils. I have absolutely no recollect of filling this card, but I am glad I did, and I am glad I found it because of one poem in particular. A poem I think of occasionally, but can’t find by simply googling the title or author. My grandma shared this poem with me when I was just in high school. My grandma used to write articles for the local papers in Joliet, IL and one of those articles was about a treasure she found at her public library. It was a book of poetry written by a teenage girl who (if I remember correctly) was killed in a car accident before she graduated. Somewhere in my possessions I have photocopies of the whole book and hopefully a copy of my grandma’s article too, and if I find it I’ll share more, but in the meantime I’ll just share my favorite poem by Ruth Denning, 1930. Sidenote: (also if I remember correctly) Ruth had quite an interest in the gypsy life.

Wealth
She has wealth
Clothed in laces and silks,
Perfumed and coiffured and gemmed,
She sits surrounded by luxury.
Jewels gleam from her shining hair,
And she laughs at life.
She has wealth.
I have wealth.
Clad in gingham and sandals,
Windblown and happy and free,
I stand on a high hill.
Sun shines on my browned hands,
on my tossed hair,
And I laugh with life.
I have wealth.

robayre

Hi, I'm Robyn and I was Hatched from a Kinder Surprise Egg. Graphic Designer by day, Maker of things by night. I have worked as a graphic artist professionally since I was 16 years old. Went on to get my Bachelors of Art from NIU. I like to share my Artwork online at flickr.com/photos/robayre and on my own personal website http://www.robayre.com. I also have an online shop http://www.robayre.etsy.com where you can find more of my "crafty" sorts of things, as well as a random piece of artwork here and there. Oh, and I'm also an occasional contributor to Artomat (artomat.org).

2 thoughts on “Ruth Denning – Wealth

  1. Ruth Denning’s volume of poetry was titled “In Quest of Beauty.” The poems were collected and edited by my maternal grandfather Ray Broughton and published in Joliet in 1931. He inscribed his copy to me and I have just rediscovered it yesterday as I was going through cartons of family stuff in the basement.

    “Wealth” is the first poem in the volume, actually placed before the contents page, so my grandfather must have considered it particularly fine. The rest are also astonishingly good for so young a poet. In the course of my teaching career, I have read a lot of student poetry,so I have some standards for judgment on this matter. You’re correct in recalling that she died “instantly” in a car crash. Nice to know that she’s still remembered.

    R. D. Stock, Emeritus Professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

  2. Prof. Stock, I’m not sure you’ll see this, as your comment is from four years ago, but it warmed my heart to find it. Ruth was my mother’s sister. I’m always touched when other people discover her work. I believe there were only 500 copies printed of “In Quest of Beauty,” so it’s always a delightful surprise to find someone who’s read her poetry. Nice to know, indeed, that she’s remembered.

    Marna Poole

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