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Born in New York on September 19, 1894, Theda lived most of her life in Brooklyn. Although she was the daughter of an Episcopal priest and theologian, she was encouraged to write, and write she did. At the age of 13, she had a letter published in St. Nicholas magazine, a portent of later success.

Theda wrote poetry, short stories, and novels, her most famous being Witches Still Live: A Study of the Black Art Today (1929). Pretty bold, being a preacher's daughter. She was published in The Argosy, Munsey's, Everybody's Magazine, McCall's, The Red Cross Magazine, The New York Times, and Breezy Stories.

I found the following poem in a battered old green book, lent by a friend, on page 355, nestled among poems by Robert Louis Stevenson, John Keats and Carl Sandburg's simple "Fog":


WEALTH


"That is a clump of silver oak,"

Said he.

"It is the Forest of Ardenne!"

Breathed she.


"That is a squatter's cabin—

Shiftless folk!"

"The witch!" And dimples glimmered

As she spoke.


He shrugged. "You waste time dreaming!

How can you expect to make your fortune

While you do?"


She smiled—"Is poverty as poor

As it seems?

Are you more rich with leaden facts

Than I—with golden dreams?"


Theda Kenyon was also known to read her prose and poetry on the radio, as well as in person, once with Edward Arlington Robinson and Robert Frost. Despite her name being an anagram for "death", she lived to the age of 103, dying in New Jersey on November 16, 1997.

There was no date on the above poem. The source was The Junior Poetry Cure, A First-Aid Kit of Verse For the Young of All Ages, compounded by Robert Haven Schauffler, published by Dodd, Mead and Company, New York, 1931.

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