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Yaddo Founders
Lola Ridge
       Yaddo, 1929
       Yaddo, 1930
       > Dance of Fire
Sylvia Plath
       Coming Soon 
Newton Arvin
Constance Carrier

Lola Ridge: Dance of Fire

Dance of Fire, 1935

Lola Ridge, Dance of Fire. New York: Harrison Smith and Robert Haas, 1935

Letter and envelope, 1934

David Lawson to Lola Ridge, signed autograph letter, 19 July 1934. With two typescript carbons of sonnets by Lola Ridge, annotated by David Lawson.

While Ridge was visiting friends on Long Island, Lawson sent his wife some suggestions for two sonnets later published in Dance of Fire. He hoped the sequence would end on a “progressive chord.”

Dignity of spirit, a wide range of sympathies balanced within her individual integrity, her unique and at the same time communicable vision of the past, the present, and the future, her perception of the spirit of fire awake in revolution—these are of Lola Ridge as a person and as a poet.

Review, 1935

Jean Toomer, Review of Dance of Fire in New Democracy 4:6 (15 May 1935):105

Review excerpt, 1935

Marion Strobel, Review of Dance of Fire in Chicago Tribune, holograph draft, 13 July 1935

Harlem Renaissance poet Jean Toomer was a good friend of Lola Ridge. He reviewed Ridge’s last book, Dance of Fire, for New Democracy. He, like Marion Strobel, associate editor of Poetry, was impressed by the advance of Ridge’s self-purification in her new sonnets as well as the deepening of “her social sympathies.” As Strobel observed, “We are, according to Lola Ridge, living in a dynasty of fire; we are in the midst of the fire-dance.” Ridge hoped, as she wrote on the dust jacket, “we may come forth, for a period, into the time of light.”

Obituary, 1941

Click to read all of William Rose Benét's “Lola Ridge, 1883-1941,” from The Saturday Review of Literature, tear sheet, 31 May 1941

Photograph, 1935

Lola Ridge, studio photograph, undated

Lola Ridge died on 19 May 1941 at her home in Brooklyn. “Harassed by bodily infirmity,” according to William Rose Benét in his obituary, “she came to live almost the life of a recluse, devoting herself with white passion to the search for the fiery core of life.” Her last poem, “Sonnet to Beauty,” was published posthumously in The Saturday Review of Literature.

Tear sheet, 1941

Lola Ridge, “Sonnet to Beauty,” The Saturday Review of Literature, tear sheet, 7 June 1941

Next Page: Lola Ridge, Case Five

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