Mary Elizabeth Frye

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Mary Elizabeth Frye
Born Mary Elizabeth Clark
(1905-11-13)November 13, 1905
Dayton, Ohio
Died September 15, 2004(2004-09-15) (aged 98)
Baltimore, Maryland
Spouse(s) Claud Frye
(m. 1927–?)

Mary Elizabeth Frye (November 13, 1905 – September 15, 2004) was a Baltimore housewife and florist, best known as the author of the poem Do not stand at my grave and weep, written in 1932.[1]

She was orphaned at the age of three and moved to Baltimore when she was twelve. She was an avid reader with a remarkable memory. In 1927 she married Claud Frye, who ran a clothing business, while she grew and sold flowers. The poem for which she became famous was originally composed on a brown paper shopping bag. Because people liked her twelve-line, untitled verse, she made many copies and circulated them privately. She never published or copyrighted the poem.[1]

The identity of the author of the poem was unknown until the late 1990s, when Frye revealed that she had written it. Her claim was confirmed in 1998 after research by Abigail Van Buren.[1]


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