What a wonderful departure from the humdrum were James Wiseman's reflections on poetry and archaeology! His observations led me back to a scrapbook which I had begun in 1949, about the time ARCHAEOLOGY first appeared.
In its fragile pages are two poems by New Englander Frances Minturn Howard. The first, "To an Unborn Archaeologist," appeared in the Saturday Review some time in the 1950s. The second, "Delos," was printed in the Christian Science Monitor of April 10, 1980.
Howard's economy of language nicely communicates her love of antiquity and her sympathy with the ordinary and extraordinary men and women who fashioned what was best of our legacy from the world of Greece and Rome. And in the first of the two poems she also reflects on how our achievement may be seen by the men and women of futurity.
The two call to mind Virginia Woolf's remark: "All the centuries seemed lit up, the past expressive, articulate; not dumb and forgotten; One had a sense of links fished up into the light which are usually submerged."
Such at any rate is the sense stirred by her lines in this writer.
Of the poet I have been able to find nothing biographical except for a note that she calls Andover, Massachusetts home. In the 1950s E.P. Dutton and Company published two anthologies from her pen:
All Keys Are Glass, 1950
Sleep Without Armor, 1953
Anyway, perhaps you may find it worthwhile to share one or perhaps both of these fine verses with ARCHAEOLOGY's readership, feeling, as I do, that they deserve a wider audience.
Best wishes as your 50th Anniversary year unfolds. May there be at least another fifty!