SPOKEN WORD: American Actress Blanche DeBar Booth ~ Niece of John Wilkes Booth (c.1922) - Video
PUBLISHED:  Jan 20, 2012
American Actress Blanche DeBar Booth (1844-1930) / I Have A Rendezvous With Death (Alan Seeger) / In Flanders Fields (Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae) / Recorded: c.1922 (Courtesy of Lawrence F. Holdridge... with special thanks!) --

Blanche DeBar Booth, daughter of Junius Brutus Booth, Jr. with his first wife, and the niece of actor Ben DeBar. Both Blanche and her uncle Ben DeBar, reportedly "enthusiastic" and "violent" in their pro-Confederate views, had been close to Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth (she is alleged to have said it would be right to kill Lincoln), and were investigated for possible complicity because of their friendship with the actor, but both were cleared. Her debut, she did not use the name Booth on stage, was in 1865 at Ben DeBar's Theatre in St. Louis, as Kate Hardcastle in "She Stoops to Conquer." She then toured the West and South with leads in stock. In 1868 the actress married George Riddell. Her New York debut was in 1869 at the theater of Edwin Booth, her uncle, brother of John Wilkes. She played Ophelia opposite Edwin Booth in "Hamlet," and the lead in "Davy Crockett." Later she was in Mrs. John Drew's Philadelphia company, Joseph Jefferson's "Rip Van Winkle," John T. Ford's Baltimore stock company, Booth's stock company and the play "Enoch Arden." She retired from the stage in 1900 to conduct a dramatic school, making her home in Minneapolis .She died in 1930, aged 86, in Amityville, Long Island, New York. (Sources: The New York Times; The Lincoln Murder Conspiracies by William Hanchett [University of Illinois Press - 1989]; Lawrence F. Holdridge) --

"I Have a Rendezvous with Death"
by Alan Seeger

Alan Seeger (1888-1916) was a young, early 20th century U.S. poet, a contemporary of T.S. Eliot, although very different in poetic style. Seeger died at Belloy-en-Santerre on July 4, 1916 while serving in the French Foreign Legion. "I Have a Rendezvous with Death" was one of John F. Kennedy's favorite poems and he often asked his wife to recite it. (http://www.jfklibrary.org/)

I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
When Spring comes back with rustling shade
And apple-blossoms fill the air-
I have a rendezvous with Death
When Spring brings back blue days and fair.

It may be he shall take my hand
And lead me into his dark land
And close my eyes and quench my breath-
It may be I shall pass him still.
I have a rendezvous with Death
On some scarred slope of battered hill,
When Spring comes round again this year
And the first meadow-flowers appear.

God knows 'twere better to be deep
Pillowed in silk and scented down,
Where love throbs out in blissful sleep,
Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
Where hushed awakenings are dear...
But I've a rendezvous with Death
At midnight in some flaming town,
When Spring trips north again this year,
And I to my pledged word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous.

In Flanders Fields

"In Flanders Fields" is one of the most notable poems written during World War I, created in the form of a French rondeau. It has been called "the most popular poem" produced during that period. Canadian physician and Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae wrote it on 3 May 1915 (see 1915 in poetry), after he witnessed the death of his friend, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, 22 years old, the day before. The poem was first published on 8 December of that year in the London-based magazine Punch. The poppies referred to in the poem grew in profusion in Flanders in the disturbed earth of the battlefields and cemeteries where war casualties were buried and thus became a symbol of Remembrance Day. The poem is often part of Remembrance Day solemnities in Allied countries which contributed troops to World War I, particularly in countries of the British Empire that did so.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

The FULL wikipedia article can be found here:


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