Inspired by the Italian actress Eleonora Duse who she saw while travelling in Europe, Amy began to study and write poetry in 1902. She travelled to England where she spent some time during the First World War and where she met Ezra Pound, the Imagist poet whose work she admired. “Free verse” was Amy’s preferred style and she frequently dispensed with line breaks in a system she called “polyphonic prose”.
While in London, Amy attended a poetry reading given by the poet Rupert Brooke* at the Poetry Bookshop, which opened in 1913 and was run by Harold Munro in Devonshire Road off Holborn. Rupert’s voice was apparently rather soft and Amy, who was at the back, called out “Speak up!”
Some of Amy’s work was published in “Atlantic Monthly” and she also had volumes of her poetry published. She was working on a biography of the poet John Keats when she died on 12th May 1926. Amy was buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Tommy’s soldiers march to battle,
Trumpets flare and snare drums rattle.
How the horses sweat and prance!
Cannon drawn up in a line
Glitter in the dizzy shine
Of the morning sunlight. Flags
Ripple colours in great jags.
Red blows out, then blue, then green,
Then all three – a wearing sheen
Of prismed patriotism. March
Tommy’s soldiers, stiff and starch,
Boldly stepping to a rattle
Of the drums, they go to battle.
*British WW1 soldier poet Rupert Brooke joined the Royal Naval Division in WW1 and died on the way to Gallipoli in April 1915 - see www.forgottenpoetsofww1.blogspot.co.uk