In April 1893, Ernest Dowson made an awkward marriage proposal to his beloved Adelaide Foltinowicz, while her father was dying. She refused his offer. In a letter to Samuel Smith sent at the end of that month, after telling the story he wrote:
The important thing is that one should have, just once, experienced this mystery, an absolute absorption in one particular person. It reconciles all inconsistencies in the order of things, and above all it seems once and for all to reduce to utter absurdity any material explanation of itself or of the world.
This letter is like Tristan and Isolde, it has nothing but love and death in it.
Source: Letter number 247 in The Letters of Ernest Dowson, Desmond Flower and Henry Maas (editors), Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1967, pages 279–280.
Ernest Christopher Dowson died 115 years ago on 23 February 1900, his body worn out by tuberculosis and neglect, and his heart wounded by grief and unrequited love.
Writing to Leonard Smithers from Paris just after hearing news of his death, Oscar Wilde paid Ernest Dowson the most fitting tribute:
Poor wounded wonderful fellow that he was, a tragic reproduction of all tragic poetry, like a symbol, or a scene. I hope bay leaves will be laid on his tomb and rue and myrtle too for he knew what love was.
Dowson loved younger girls in the purest way, so I will honour him by quoting from the 5th of his Sonnets of a Little Girl:
… yet once in a while
Dream of a day departed and a friend
Who placed above the world and Fortune’s prize
The love that centred in thy childish eyes.
Many famous people become surrounded by a legend after their death. For example Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, the author of the Alice books better known as Lewis Carroll, has been consistently presented as a shy man shunning adults and living only for little girls; some people, in particular psychoanalists, have proclaimed, with the certainty and smugness typical of expert ignorance, that he was beyond any doubt a paedophile. CONTINUE READING…
I usually don’t care about Saint Valentine, and for me 14 February is always an ordinary day like any other. I find no interest in heteronormative stories about a man and a woman who live in a couple and tell how much they love each other… really?
But I liked this one. On the 14th, a single father brought his daughter aged six to restaurant and took well care of her. A couple gave him a little note warmly approving him and saying that they would pay the restaurant bill:
Sorry to spy but my husband & I saw you out with your little Date & were so impressed with what a great Dad you are.
From two Adults who grew up without dads, it’s so important to have a male role model at a young age.
Keep up the good work Dad!
Dinner is on us! 🙂
As a single dad, I took my six year old daughter out to valentines dinner tonight when this happened. I wont lie, I teared up at the table. So, thank you random strangers. Thank you.
Yes, little girls need to be loved and cherished by a devoted and caring mature person.
The poet bids farewell to the child whose smile was the sweetest thing in his life, and she will remain his dearest memory. CONTINUE READING…