Author: Nancy Byrd Turner

Dark-Eyed Lad Columbus by Nancy Byrd Turner

Nancy Byrd Turner (1830–1971) was a poet, editor and children’s author whose work spanned over more than half a century. Turner was born in Boydton, Virginia to Episcopal minister Byrd Thornton Turner, the eldest of five children. She began publishing her poetry during the 1920s in magazines such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, and Harper’s. Her first book of poetry, A Riband on My Rein, was published in 1929. Over the course of her career she published fifteen books, ranging from adult poetry to children’s literature and lyrics. She retired to Ashland, Virginia. 

Columbus (1919)

Nancy Byrd Turner

In this 1919 poem, from The Youth’s Companion, which she edited, the American poet Nancy Byrd Turner (1880–1971) celebrates the character of Columbus. For which virtues especially does she honor him? She emphasizes his dream and his prayer.