Edward Rowland Sill

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Edward Rowland Sill
Portrait of Edward Rowland Sill.jpg
Born (1841-04-29)April 29, 1841
Windsor, Connecticut
Died February 27, 1887(1887-02-27) (aged 45)
Cleveland, Ohio

Edward Rowland Sill (April 29, 1841 – February 27, 1887) was an American poet and educator.


Born in Windsor, Connecticut, he graduated from Yale in 1861, where he was Class Poet and a member of Skull and Bones.[1]:112 He engaged in business in California, and entered the Harvard Divinity School in 1867 but soon left for a position on the staff of the New York Evening Mail. After teaching at Wadsworth and Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio (1868-1871), he became principal of Oakland High School in Oakland, California.

From 1874 to 1882, Sill was professor of English literature at the University of California. His health failing, he returned to Cuyahoga Falls in 1883. He devoted himself to literary work, abundant and largely anonymous, until his death in 1887 in Cleveland, Ohio.


Much of his poetry was contributed to The Atlantic Monthly, the Century Magazine, and the Overland Monthly. Many of his prose essays appeared in The Contributors Club, and others appeared in the main body of the Atlantic. Among his works are:

  • A translation of Rau's Mozart (1868).
  • The Hermitage and Other Poems (1868).
  • The Venus of Milo and Other Poems (1883), a farewell tribute to his California friends.
  • Poems (1887).
  • The Hermitage and Later Poems (1889).
  • Hermione and Other Poems (1900).
  • The Prose of Edward Rowland Sill (1900).
  • Poems (1902).

A memorial volume was privately printed by his friends in 1887. A biographical sketch in The Poetical Works of Edward Rowland Sill, edited by William Belmont Parker with Mrs Sill's assistance was printed in 1906, and his poem "The Fool's Prayer" (1879) was selected for inclusion in the Yale Book of American Verse in 1912.[2] In 1911 the Encyclopædia Britannica praised him, stating, "He was a modest and charming man, a graceful essayist, a sure critic. His contribution to American poetry is small but of fine quality. His best poems, such as "The Venus of Milo," "The Fool's Prayer" and "Opportunity," gave him a high place among the minor poets of America, which might have been higher but for his early death."

Sill was the subject of biographies by William Belmont Parker in 1915[3] and by Alfred Riggs Ferguson in 1955.[4]


  1. ^ Catalogue of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity. The Delta Kappa Epsilon council. 1910. Retrieved March 25, 2011. 
  2. ^ "The Fool's Prayer." In: Thomas R. Lounsbury, ed., Yale Book of American Verse. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1912 ISBN 1-58734-031-3.
  3. ^ Parker, William Belmont (1915). Edward Rowland Sill: His Life and Work. Boston & New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.
  4. ^ Ferguson, Alfred Riggs (1955). Edward Roland Sill: The Twilight Poet. The Hague, Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff.

External links[edit]