by Florette Kilgore Haguewood (1878-1934)
The sun falls on my window sill
And lights the room and spaces fill with
Phantom forms of radiant mien.
‘Tis memory hall with changing scene
Hath opened portals, these scenes revealed
to gladden hearts by sorrows sealed.
Day is adorned, old times renew.
Tomorrow comes, majestic, true.
My great grandmother wrote this poem, and it inspired me to begin writing poetry as I entered my teenage years, and I have been writing ever since. I like to think that my passion for writing poetry partly comes from her.
She was born in Ralston, Tennessee in 1878 to Lasaphine Arnn Kilgore and Simeon Edgar Kilgore. Primarily a wife to James L. Haguewood and mother to their six children, Florette lived in Rutherford, Tennessee. As a member of the Methodist church, she was head of the women’s missionary society. In a 19917-1919 World War I honor role for Gibson County, Tennessee, she is listed as Secretary of the Rutherford Red Cross, Chairwoman for War Work, chairwoman for French Orphan work, a member of the Librarian Home Demonstration Club (which is interesting to know as my grandmother was a librarian), and “author and poet” (“The Honor Role”). She was very active in the public, church, and political spheres, and she was a prolific writer.
She died in 1934 at age 56 when the family was being ravaged by tuberculosis. Her husband died of tuberculosis about two years earlier. The old Rutherford family home was burned down and most of the family moved on to Texas, but my family line stayed in the East. She was known as a writer and poet according to those who knew her, and yet my family’s only creative vestige of her is this single poem, a story she wrote about Davy Crocket, and a melancholic song titled “Since You Went” copyrighted in 1921. Perhaps more answers about this fascinating and influential woman are still out there, and perhaps only heaven knows now. She is buried in Rutherford Cemetery in Rutherford, Tennessee.
“The Honor Roll, Gibson County, Tennessee, U. S. A., 1917-1918-1919.” My Heritage. https://www.myheritage.com/research/record-90100-446272099/the-honor-roll-gibson-county-tennessee-u-s-a?s=1158670651&indId=individual-1158670651-1500005. Accessed 22 Jun 2021.