The fisherman goes out at dawn
When every one's abed,
And from the bottom of the sea
Draws up his daily bread.
Abbie Farwell Brown
About Abbie Farwell Brown
Abbie Farwell Brown was born in Boston, Massachusetts on August 21, 1871. Her family resided in New England for ten generations, and Brown spent her entire life living in the family's home. She was the oldest of two children. Her sister, Clara, was also part of the literary world; she became an author and illustrator, using the pen name of Ann Underhill.
In 1886, Brown received the honor of valedictorian of the Bowdoin School. When she went on to the Girls' Latin School, she was one of the founders of the school newspaper, The Jabberwock. Still being published by the school, it is one of the oldest newspapers in the United States. From Girls' Latin School, Brown went to Radcliff College in 1891.
It was during her time at Girls' Latin School that Brown began contributing her writing pieces to magazines, launching her career. In 1900 she published her first children's book, The Book of Saints and Friendly Beasts. In addition to stories, Brown also produced poetry for children. Her poetry for adults was not as successful. Writing song lyrics was also part of her accomplishments. The official song of the Girl Scouts of the USA, "On the Trail," was written in part by Brown.
Literary life was important to Brown, and she became a member of various literary clubs and did editing work.
Brown passed away on March 5, 1927 from cancer. She was 55 years old.
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The way the poet described the life of a fisherman, his continuous effort and sacrifice to stand independent, and the powerful simile used, makes the poem a classic one.