The Poetry of Amelia Reynolds Long
Amelia Reynolds Long's first poem, "Lucifer's Reply," was
published in Kaleidograph in the early 1930's. It won first prize in a contest
and remains a quite startling piece. After quitting the fields of mysteries and science
fiction, poetry became Long's predominant interest, and she continued to write poems for
the rest of her life. A number of her poems were published in various journals and
periodicals such as The Harrisburg Evening News and The Swordsman Review.
The Pennsylvania Poetry Society, of which she was a member, printed two chapbook
collections of her previously published poetry work in 1974 and 1975. With haunting and
beautiful poems such as "The Paxtang Indian Path" and "Should We Feel
Shame," it is clear that Long had a gift for creating works of studied beauty, with
an often poignant, human touch. A richly expressive style is evident in poems such as
"I Love Old Things," and in "The Mastodon's Complaint," we see a
humorous side to her work. Her two poetry collections, detailed below, remain rare and
elusive gems that deserve a wider audience.
Shreds and Patches
by Amelia Reynolds Long
Published by The Pennsylvania Poetry Society, 1974.
Ballads: Graeme Park, Henry William Stiegel, Washington's Crossing, The
Ballad of Jean Laffite, A Ballad of Davy Crockett, The True Story of Pecos Bill, The
Ballad of Nat Turner, The Flight of the Black Coach, The Ballad of Will Hardy, Witch-Wife,
Kehoe of the Molly Maguires, The Battle of Suan Juan Hill.
Portraits: Eve, Moses on Sinai, On Seeing a Mitten Once Worn by Father
Gallitzin, A Declaration by the Representatives..., Tom Lincoln, Brierfield, 1868, Gifford
"A Little Nonsense...:" Bestiae, Saepe Immanes..., Mary's
Little Lamb, The Telephone, To a Pewter Chamber Pot.
by Amelia Reynolds Long
Published by The Pennsylvania Poetry Society, 1975.
Counterpoint, Cain, Lot's Wife, Our Ghosts Draw From the Crowded Future, I Dreamed of Long
Dead Cities, Lucifer's Reply, On a Roman Tear Vase, Candle, The Paxtang Indian Path,
Paxtang's Fighting Parson, Betsy Ross Undertakes to Make the American Flag, Soldier in
Grease Paint, The Gleam, the Glory..., Should We Feel Shame, Ave Atque Vale Aves, The
Shooting of Wild Bill Hickok, On the Death of Walt Disney, First Man on the Moon, Fallen
Star, To My Friend E.P.L. and My Dog Mike, I Love Old Things, Flower Song, Excalibur, Son
of the Sidh, An Irish American Dreams of Ireland, Sounds of Splendor, Sault Sainte Marie,
The Mastodon's Complaint, Johan Printz, Two Sides of the Coin, Too Be or Not To Be, A Rose
Is a Rose Is a..., Modern Theme to Ancient Music, He May Fly High, To Meter Not to Mete,
Doggone!, Basis for Concern, The Wicked Flea, Geographically Speaking, Milady's Corset.
Note: In addition to the books detailed above, Long also edited the poetry
collection A Goodly Heritage; Poems of Pennysylvania (The Pennsylvania Poetry
Society, 1968). This collection of verse includes the work of various poets who deal with
aspects of Pennsylvania's history, legends, landscape, people and places.