Thursday, 29 October 2020

A poem by Katharine Tynan, (1859–1931) – Irish poet and writer

 With thanks to Historian Debbie Cameron for finding this information about a poem by Katharine Tynan 

"The Dream - for my Father"

Autograph manuscript signed, [1917–1918]

Over and over again I dream a dream,

I am coming home to you in the starlit gloam;

Long was the day from you and sweet 'twill seem

The day is over and I am coming home.

Then I shall find you as in days long past,

Sitting so quietly in the firelight glow;

'Love,' you will say to me, 'you are come at last.'

Your eyes be glad of me as long ago.

All I have won since then will slip my hold,

Dear love and children, the long years away;

I shall come home to you the girl of old,

Glad to come home to you -- oh, glad to stay!

Often and often I am dreaming yet

Of the firelit window when I've crossed the hill

And I coming home to you from night and wet:

Often and often I am dreaming still.

Over and over again I dream my dream.

Ah, why would it haunt me if it wasn't true?

I am travelling home to you by the last red gleam,

In the quiet evening I am finding you.

Katharine Tynan was born in Dublin. She was a very prolific writer who wrote fiction as well as poetry and was also a journalist. In 1898 Katharine married Henry Albert Hinkson, a writer and barriester and the couple went to live in London. Katharine was a close friend and literary associate of William Butler Yeats, she was also a friend of Lady Wilde, the poet known as “Speranza” (who was the mother of Oscar Wilde). 

During the First World War, Katharine was living in Ireland. Two of her sons served overseas. Katharine's collection entitled “Herb o' Grace: Poems in War- Time” (1918) contained the lyric “The Dream,” which was subtitled “(For My Father).” This manuscript version of the poem has a different text and includes an unpublished final stanza.

Katharine Tynan was included in the second exhibition of Fmale Poets of the First World War and is in  Volume 2 of “Female Poets of the First World War” 

Katharine’s WW1 collections were:

“Collected poems” (Macmillan, London, 1930); “Evensong” (Blackwell, Oxford, 1922); “Flower of youth: poems in wartime” (Sidgwick & Jackson, London, 1915); Herb o’grace: poems in wartime” Sidgwick & Jackson, London 1918); “The Holy War” (Sidgwick & Jackson, London 1916); “Late songs” (Sidgwick  & Jackson, London, 1917); “Poems – edited and with an introduction by Monk Gibbon (Figgis, Dublin, 1963);  “Selected poems” (Benn, 1931); “Twilight songs” (Blackwell, Oxford, 1927).  She also had poems printed in eighteen WW1 poetry anthologies.

Catherine W. Reilly “English Poetry of the First World War: A Bibliography” (St/ Martin’s Press, New York, 1978) p. 320