April is National Poetry Month! So to celebrate NVDNP will be posting poems that were featured in Nevada Newspapers. This poem was printed in the Tonopah Daily Bonanza April 13th, 1909 – VOL. V. NO. 145 paper. As a response to an inquiry by a newspaper subscriber, the editor did not know who the author was, and even believed that this poem had never appeared in print before 1909. Given the time period it would appear to be so, however, with the power of the internet and Chronicling America, we find that it has been printed in other papers. Unfortunately, the reason behind it being reprinted so widely is due to the author’s death.
Langdon Smith died on April 8, 1908. He was a war correspondent, and writer for the New York Herald. “Evolution” was the only poem he ever wrote. He married Marie Antoinette Wright on February 12, 1884. He started writing the poem in 1895, and around 1899 – 1905 it was first published in the New York Journal. Sadly, two months after his death, his wife committed suicide in their home in Brooklyn, NY. This was her second attempt.
In his preface to Mr. Smith’s book, Lewis Allen Browne writes: “Their lives and affections linked as they were, in his poetic fancy at least, since the beginning of time seem to have created between them in reality a bond too close to survive a parting.”