31 May 2011

Beacon Hill, Boston, Massachusetts

Beacon Hill is a neighborhood in Boston north of the Public Garden and Boston Common, with the boundaries Storrow Drive to the west, Cambridge Street to the north, Beacon Street to the south, and Somerset Street to the east. Many notable literary figures have lived here, but unfortunately the dense foliage and the parked vehicles make it very difficult to take a decent photo. However, I managed a few.

This quotation on a mural in Charles Street, Beacon Hill, is from Robert Lowell's 'The Ruins of Time', which consists of two sonnets, and the tercet here is from the end of the second sonnet:

'O Rome! From all your palms, dominion, bronze
and beauty, what was firm has fled. What once
was fugitive maintains its permanence.'

This second sonnet is a version of 'A Roma sepultada en ruinas' by Francisco de Quevedo y Villegas (1580–1645), of which the second tercet is:

Oh Roma!, en tu grandeza, en tu hermosura
huyó lo que era firme, y solamente
lo fugitivo permanece y dura.'

And this in turn is a Spanish translation of the fourth sonnet  of the 'Les Antiquités de Rome' sequence (1556) by Joachim du Bellay (c. 1522-60), of which the second tercet is:

'Reste de Rome. Ô mondaine inconstance !
Ce qui est ferme, est par le temps détruit,
Et ce qui fuit, au temps fait résistance.'

'From 1865 to 1893
THE HOME OF
FRANCIS PARKMAN
American Historian' 

As I've already mentioned Parkman in the Mount Auburn Cemetery post, I shall say nothing here. Except that it was impossible to photograph the house because the foliage rendered it almost invisible.

Henry David Thoreau once lived in an apartment at 4 Pinckney Street.

Irish-American Louise Imogen Guiney (1861-1920) was a poet and essayist born in Roxbury, MA, and was a friend of Annie Fields and Sarah Orne Jewett. Her most noted publications are A Roadside Harp (1893) and Patrins (1897). She died in Chipping Camden, England.

'20 Pinckney Street

As a litle girl Louisa May Alcott lived in rented rooms at 20 Pinckney Street. The Alcott home was part of the Boston literary scene during the decades before the Civil War.  Louisa's father, Bronson Alcott, was an innovative educator whose friends included Ralph Waldo Emerson, William Ellery Channing, and William Lloyd Garrison.

In the 1880s, her reputation and fortune secure, Miss Alcott returned to Beacon Hill. She lived at 10 Louisberg Square until her death.'


'ROBERT LEE FROST
1874-1963

AMERICA'S "POET LAUREATE
AND FOUR-TIME PULITZER PRIZE WINNER
LIVED AT 88 MT. VERNON STREET
FROM 1938-1941
WHILE TEACHING POETRY
AT HARVARD UNIVERSITY

"THE FIGURE A POEM MAKES,
IT BEGINS IN DELIGHT AND ENDS IN WISDOM."'

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