-Marcia A Taylor

1881 - 1969


This poet is perhaps the most mysterious of all my obscure poetesses. Marcia Adelle Taylor was born on 27 July 1881 in Caribou, Maine to parents William Henry Taylor (Civil war vet - private in 17th Maine Infantry) and Adelle M Page. Marcia had three elder brothers; Jesse, Russel and Josiah and an elder sister Ella as well as a younger sister, Harriette ("Hattie"). The family lived in Burlington, ME for a time and then moved to Bangor, where it seems she spent most of her childhood and the final years of her life.

Marcia never married. It is possible that she was homosexual, as she is listed in several census reports as living with Rachel A Hall, who was teaching at a business school (in Cambridge, MA 1920). Marcia herself worked as a life insurance saleswoman for her father's insurance agency, W.H. Taylor and Sons Insurance Co.

Rachel is listed as "boarder", but Marcia was renting the home. In 1930 the pair was listed as living in Boston, but Marcia also appears as living in Maine with her mother and two sisters in that year. Perhaps she moved back to Bangor for part of 1930, or her mother listed her as a member of her household even though she wasn't living in the house. Marcia and Rachel were still sharing a home in 1940 at 16B Washington Ave. in Chelsea, Massachusetts. This time Rachel is listed as head of household with Marcia as "partner".

Another clue that Marcia and Rachel may have been lovers is a small poem that is included in Marcia's book. Although she never married, she wrote this tender little poem to...... someone!

Marcia Adelle Taylor

Marcia with sisters Ella

(standing) and Hattie (left)


Beloved is a star dipped word,

A witching word, a happy word,

A radiant, fragrant, jewelled word,

A synonym for you!

Would she use the words "radiant, fragrant, jewelled" for a man? It doesn't seem so.

I can't find much about Rachel, except that she was probably the child of Frank Hall and Alice Bently, was born 19 September 1885, and died 11 December 1952 in Bangor at age 64. We will never know for sure, but it could be that Marcia and Rachel were a life-long, devoted gay couple.

While we don't know with certainty about her enigmatic roommate/partner Rachel, we do know that Marcia came to a tragic end. On 28 November 1969, when she was 88 years old, Marcia perished in a horrific fire at her home at 263 Pine Street in Bangor, Maine where she lived alone. The article from the newspaper can be read below.

It seems strange to me that they ruled the fire accidental when it appeared to have started in multiple areas of the house. What would cause flames to burst out from basement to attic? And Marcia had two match sticks in her hand? Perhaps it is over-dramatic to speculate, but it seems that she herself may have set her own house on fire, for some reason. But would she burn herself to death? Seems a very gruesome way to choose to leave this world. Yet what other explanation is there? Marcia did write about suicide and death, which the visitor may read below, and draw their own conclusions.

Marcia published her poetry book, Dweller in the Sun, in 1930 when she was 49 years old. On the title page it says "by Marcia A Taylor, author of The Cup, etc." I have found no other reference to The Cup. She also wrote a book called The Open Gate in 1950 at age of 69. This is listed as fiction by the reprint companies who offer it for sale, but it is only 36 pages, so it could be a short story. One day I'll acquire the book and update!

Dweller in the Sun


by Marcia A Taylor

From the Sixth Floor

Autumn Pastels

They pass in gray array

Along the crowded way!

Red and violet and green!

Now and then a black is seen.

Why mourning on a day of snow?

See the green and scarlet go!

The purple one's a gay affair!

The green one steps as though on air!

The red one goes with laugh and shout!

The brown one's turning inside out, ....

As though to show its rage!

The black one walks... with... age.

Green umbrellas! Red umbrellas!

Umbrellas! See them go!

An army of umbrellas

Marching in the snow!


Is a toe dancer

Who trips over the rim of the earth

In gorgeous draperies,

And the world is filled

with color!


Is a brightly colored bird

That flies away into the woods

Of night, leaving the world

In velvet shadows.


Is a magician

Who spreads a cloak

Of midnight blue

Over the tired world

And hovers near

Until morning.




Is a black vulture

That patrols the sea of mind

And carries off faith and courage

In his cruel beak, leaving nothing

But a ripple widening in contempt

At human weakness.

So this is Death?

This sudden ease of pain,

This coming out of darkness

To far light of stars?

This gift of instant freedom,

This sense that all is well,

Clear sound of distant harmonies,

The vast, unfolding Light?


Is a quiet pool

In which to rest

And dream

A while.

A Bright Smile


I have forgotten

Many things, but I remember

A smile you flung at me

Over your shoulder,....

A bright smile

On a dull morning

In September,

Like a sudden flash

Of a crimson-breasted bird

Seen in swift passing!

I remember

A bright smile you gave me

Making vivid my grey

Morning hours!


Is the dry stalk

Of a once thrifty plant

That blazed with color.


Of translucent red,

Midnight shadows of violet,

And elusive odor of yellow roses

Pay little unexpected visits

To us and the dry plant

Takes fresh root

And blooms again.


Dweller in the Sun

The snow is falling softly, covering all

With fleecy whiteness: only the poplars stand

Against the wall, naked and strong and tall,

Defying northern winds, — the icy hand

Of winter reaching out across the land.

White flakes have draped each larch with finest lace:

Red cedars gaily flaunt an ermine band,

Each shrub, with small bowed head is saying grace,

As God in robes of white, reveals His friendly face.



is a white bird

That comes at dusk

Singing a lullaby....

I have thrown off the shackles of old memories,

Cast them aside like so much baggage at the terminal,--

Old memories that tear and sear and scorch

With their tongues of flame, they weigh down and depress.

What have I to do with old memories and vain regrets

Covered with the cobwebs of forgotten years

Like old clothes left hanging in the attic?

I put the bomb of laughter underneath them,

Then touched it off with the glowing match of joy,

And they lie shattered like so many nothings!

After all, the tapestry grows threadbare with the years:

I have torn it in fragments with my thoughts!

Left it in shreds for the ragbag of discarded things.

Thoughts are potent things, live, vibrant things!

They make us what we are and what we will become!

What have I to do with old memories and vain regrets?

My soul is full of laughter! I am free!

I am happy! I am a DWELLER IN THE SUN!