Thou art divine, thou livest, -- as of old,
Apollo springing naked to the light,
And all his island shivered into flowers.
(Live Blindly and upon the Hour, 12-14)
Joseph Trumbull Stickney was born in Geneva on June 20, 1874, and grew up (to a height of six feet four inches) as his parents travelled widely ... Wiesbaden, Florence, Nice, London, and New York. After being educated by his father Austin at home in Latin and Greek, Trumbull entered Harvard University in 1891. He graduated magna cum laude in June 1895. The following eight years were spent studying for the degree of Doctorat ès Lettres at the Sorbonne in Paris. For this he wrote two theses, one on the letters of Ermolao Barbaro, a 15th-century ambassador to Rome, and the other on aphorisms in Greek verse. His Dramatic Verses was published in Boston in 1902, dedicated from Paris to his friend "Bay" (George) Lodge, who would co-edit Stickney's collected poems in 1905. In 1903 his second thesis was published as Les Sentences dans la Poésie Grècque: this won him the first Sorbonne Doctorat awarded to an American. Stickney then took on a position as instructor in Greek at Harvard in 1903 and travelled abroad in Greece from April to June that year. A brain tumor caused headaches and partial blindness from early in 1904 and led to his death in Boston on Oct. 11. He is buried in Hartford, Connecticut. For his biography, see Homage to Trumbull Stickney: Poems, edited by James Reeves and Seán Haldane (London: Heinemann, 1968), pp. 1-16 (New York Public Library shelfmark D-18-2147).
Given name: Trumbull
Family name: Stickney
Birth date: 1874
Death date: 1904