Monday, October 17, 2011

Muriel Cameron Bodkin (ca. 1903-?)

Poet, Author, and Editor
Born ca. 1903, New York, New York
Died ?

Muriel F. Bodkin was born in about 1903 in New York City, the daughter of immigrants from the British Isles. Her father was a farmer and orchardist, her mother a dressmaker and designer. Between 1908 and 1920, Muriel's mother ran her own firm, the Charlotte Bodkin Company, Inc. (The name "Bodkin" would seem fitting for a clothing maker.) John and Charlotte Bodkin had three children: Muriel, John, and Robert. In 1910 and 1920, they were enumerated in Little Falls Township, Passaic County, New Jersey. In 1930, Charlotte Bodkin was alone in Manhattan with her daughter Muriel, then working for a publisher.

Muriel Cameron Bodkin wrote a single poem for Weird Tales. Entitled "A Witch Passes," it appeared in the March 1933 issue of "The Unique Magazine." She also wrote stories for Love Book Magazine and All-Story Love Stories in the latter part of the decade. Muriel had been writing for some time. As a child, she submitted a story to St. Nicholas and won mention in the magazine's roll of honor. During the 1920s, her poetry appeared in The Forum, a magazine published in New York City. In 1931, she was named head of publicity and advertising at Jonathan Cape and Harrison Smith, Inc., a New York publishing house. And then her trail goes cold.

Muriel Cameron Bodkin's Poem in Weird Tales
"A Witch Passes" (Mar. 1933)

Further Reading
Poems by Muriel Bodkin:

I Was a Garden

I was a garden
   That grew beside the road
Where sailor man and journeyman
   Made sweet abode.

I gave them drink of crystal spring,
   A posy of heart's-bane,
They gave a gramercy to me
   And went their way again.

There came a youth a-wandering
   To take solace of me. . . .
Alack--he found my well was dry
   Of too much charity.

(From The Forum, 1927)


I would make myself 
A crystal chalice for your love,
   And hide myself within some ancient crypt
A frail amphora pregnant of soft wine;
   Until the sweetness of the juice, sipped
By all the nomad breezes of the place
   Floats, one dim stream about the world.

(From The Forum, 1925)

PLEASE NOTE (Oct. 8, 2013): With new information provided by Randal A. Everts, I have updated this posting. You can read the new version at this link:

Thanks to Randal A. Everts for further information on Muriel Cameron Bodkin.
Original text copyright 2011 Terence E. Hanley

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