George Sterling

By Charles K. Field

In George's poet's garland let me fall upon a little Western flower, a naturally obscure posy in that wreath of his fame. Call it a "four-o-clock," since it has to do with time and occasion. I recall many a fine performance that resulted from the dealy summons to write something to order on a given topic for a stated time. Knowing what George could do "on his own," this ability to command his Muse impressed me. I have known him to do delightfully humorous things for dinners—lesser men have done as much—(I wonder if Tagore ever saw that one on himself) —but take "The Evanescent City": I asked George to lament the passing of the Exposition and to see that the lament was in to the typesetter on the following Tuesday—Monday would be lots better. Twelve years later, the New York Times laments the passing of our great poet and "The Evanescent City" has first place. At least, the little "four-o-clock" is the stuff that laureates are made on!


From Overland Monthly and Out West Magazine (1868-1935); Dec 1927; Vol LXXXV, NUMBER 12; PG 363.