Anna was the third wife of American poet Edwin Markham who was famous for writing several poems including "Man with a Hoe". Anna was born in Placer County, California and at one time taught school at Iowa Hill. An article in the Placer Herald referred to her poem "A Sierra Memory" as "the best ever written of scenes and old times of Placer's mining country of the Iowa Hill and Forest Hill divides." She first met Edwin Markham in 1882 at a teacher's convention in San Jose, California. Fifteen years passed before they met once again. After marrying Edwin Markham in San Francisco 1898, she became secretary of the Poetry Society of America. In 1900, she and her husband travelled to Rio de Janiero to study the natives. They moved to New York and lived in Brooklyn and Staten Island. After a lecture in San Francisco, she ended by reciting "A Sierra Memory" (first and last stanza below):
"A Sierra Memory"
"Sometimes, O California, far away,
I stop and fondly say your name,
As when one speaks a secret word of prayer
Upon a heart-remembered holiday.
And then, once more,like sudden altar-flame,
Burns up the long, bright gold adown the air,
Behind your mountain crests that break the sky,
My earliest memory of time----your flight
Of purple peaks that edge the night,
Crowned with ineffable, far, fadeless light."
"O California,just the dear old sound----
Again that one word can the whole world bound!
Thank God for that Sierran world;a king
Might go, his way, long envying,
Among illimitable peaks, high-hung
With forests, dateless,deathless, ever-young---
The child-world bright with faith and hope.
Larger, not safer, sweeter now the scope
Than when in my Sierran mining camp
I knew the folk at every evening lamp;
Was welcome at each hearth and sill;
Was friend with every grave upon the hill;
That time when every man of earth
Walked down our roads as brothers of one birth."
(Anna died in 1938, and her famous husband two years later, in 1940. He is buried at Calvary Cemetery in Los Angeles; it is unknown where she is buried.)
Edwin Markham (1852 - 1940)
Created by: Valarie Vine
Record added: Feb 07, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 84649525
Remembering you... Rest in Peace|
D C McJonathan-Swarm
Added: Jan. 25, 2014
Added: May. 2, 2013
Remembering Anna Catherine Markham, a "poetess of Placer County" where she was born.|
Added: Feb. 7, 2012