Smith, Alexander

(1829/30-1867)
   Scottish poet, born in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, he followed his father into becoming a lace-pattern designer, but encouraged by the publication of his poetry in the Critic and the Eclectic Review in 18511852, he gave up his trade. After editing the Glasgow Miscellany for a short time and doing other journalistic and literary work in Glasgow, in 1854 he was appointed secretary to Edinburgh University. In 1854 he made the acquaintance of Sydney Dobell (see entry), then living in Edinburgh, and they collaborated in a series titled Sonnets on the Crimean War (1855). In 1864 Smith spent six weeks exploring the island of Skye - his wife's home. "A Summer in Skye" is his magnificent prose poem celebrating the island and its people. In 1866 he edited John W.S. Howe's Golden Leaves from the American Poets. He died at Granton, Midlothian, and was buried in Warriston Cemetery, Edinburgh. Some of his publications are: Life Drama and Other Poems, 1853. Poems, 1856. City Poems, 1857. Edwin of Deira, 1861. Last Leaves, 1868. Some of his poems: "A Boy's Poem," "A Life Drama," "America," "An Evening at Home," "Barbara," "Blaavin," "Miss Nightingale."
   Sources: A Book of Scottish Verse. Maurice Lindsay and R.L. Mackie, eds. St. Martin's Press, 1983. A Summer in Skye, Alexander Smith, Word Power (http://www.wordpower.co.uk/catalogue/1874744386). Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. English Poetry: Author Search. ChadwyckHealey Ltd., 1995 (http://www.lib.utexas.edu:8080/search/epoetry/author.html). Poems, by Alexander Smith. Ticknoe, Reed, and Fields, 1853. The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The New Penguin Book of Scottish Verse. Robert Crawford and Mick Imlah, eds. Penguin Books, 2000. The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse. Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. Oxford University Press, 1971. The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000. Victorian Verse. George MacBeth, ed. Penguin Books, 1986.

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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  • SMITH, ALEXANDER —    poet, born in Kilmarnock; began life as a pattern designer, contributed to the Glasgow Citizen, wrote a volume of poems, A Life Drama, and produced other works in a style characterised as spasmodic, and which, according to Tennyson, showed… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Smith, Alexander — (1830 1867)    Poet and essayist, s. of a Paisley pattern designer, at first followed the same occupation in Glasgow, but having become known as a poet of promise was, in 1854, appointed Sec. of Edin. Univ. After contributing to the Glasgow… …   Short biographical dictionary of English literature

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