Skip to main content

Wilkinson, Marguerite Ogden (1883–1928)

Wilkinson, Marguerite Ogden (1883–1928)

Canadian-born American poet. Born Marguerite Ogden Bigelow on November 15, 1883, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; died as the result of a swimming accident on January 12, 1928, in New York City; daughter of Nathan Kellogg Bigelow and Gertrude (Holmes) Bigelow; educated privately and at Northwestern University; married James G. Wilkinson (a school administrator), in 1909.

Published several volumes of poetry, beginning with In Vivid Gardens (1911); became poetry reviewer for The New York Times Book Review (c. 1915); published New Voices (1919), an anthology of modern poetry, to critical acclaim; lectured on modern poetry at schools, library associations, and women's clubs.

Selected writings:

In Vivid Gardens (1911); By a Western Wayside (1912); Golden Songs of the Golden State (1917); New Voices (1919); The Dingbat of Arcady (1922); Contemporary Poetry (1923); Yule Fire (1925); Citadels (1928).

Marguerite Ogden Wilkinson was born in 1883 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, although she and her family left that area of Canada soon after for Evanston, Illinois. Wilkinson was raised with a love of the outdoors, despite her frail aspect, and her sensitive nature found an outlet in poetry, which she began to write during her student years at Northwestern University. In 1909, the 26-year-old Marguerite married James G. Wilkinson, a school principal in New Rochelle, New York, and moved there. In addition to taking on the domestic duties required of her married station, Wilkinson continued to write. Her first full collection of poetry, In Vivid Gardens (1911), was soon followed by several other collections which were characterized by her workmanlike approach to verse writing. Wilkinson also completed several prose works, including The Dingbat of Arcady (1922), a humorous volume that reflects her love of nature in its description of the events occurring during one of the many annual fishing excursions she took with her husband.

After publishing several volumes of her own poetry, Wilkinson began reviewing the poems of others in The New York Times Book Review, becoming enough of an expert in 20th-century verse to lecture at colleges, library clubs, and other interested gatherings. Her New Voices (1919), an anthology and criticism of British and American contemporary verse, was hailed by many as a well-balanced presentation of the state of modern poetry. Among her own writings, Citadels (1928) reflects her interest in early Christianity, while The Great Dream (1923) is a long poem in which Wilkinson mused upon the changes that might be wrought in spirituality during the 20th century.

In her late 30s, Wilkinson began to grow increasingly drawn into spiritual concerns and fears for the future, and this obsession led to a nervous breakdown in 1928. In an attempt to cope with her increasing fears, she forced herself to learn how to fly a small plane and how to perform several flying stunts, paying for the course by writing a booklet advertising aviation training. In addition to flying every afternoon when the weather was good, Wilkinson arose each morning and took a bracing swim in the ocean off Coney Island, where she also tested her mettle by performing swimming stunts. It was on one of these morning swims, while practicing a new stunt, that she was drowned at the age of 44.

sources:

Kunitz, Stanley J., and Howard Haycraft, eds. Twentieth Century Authors. NY: Wilson, 1942.

Pamela Shelton , freelance writer, Avon, Connecticut

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Wilkinson, Marguerite Ogden (1883–1928)." Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Jan. 2019 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Wilkinson, Marguerite Ogden (1883–1928)." Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 19, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/women/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/wilkinson-marguerite-ogden-1883-1928

"Wilkinson, Marguerite Ogden (1883–1928)." Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia. . Retrieved January 19, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/women/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/wilkinson-marguerite-ogden-1883-1928

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.