Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

About Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Ella Wheeler Wilcox was an American author and poet. Ella was born on November 5, 1850 to a poor farm family in Wisconsin. The youngest of four children, her mother was fond of literature and encouraged her to develop a love for reading and writing.

Wilcox's first poem was written when she was 8 years old, and by the age of 14, she was published. Before graduating high school, Wilcox was known as a poet by those who lived in Wisconsin.

Her most famous poem was "Solitude," which contains the lines: "Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone." It was inspired by a woman she came in contact with while traveling to the Governor's inaugural ball. It was published by the New York Sun on February 25, 1883, and she received $5 for it.

During her life, Wilcox received many rejection letters before a publisher gave her books of poetry a chance. Despite these rejections, Wilcox remained very optimistic. Her best-known poetry book was Poems of Passion (1883).

Many of the subjects Wilcox wrote about included theosophy, new thought, and spiritualism. She believed in reincarnation, which was a source of her optimism. Her goal was to lift people's spirits with her writing.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox died of cancer on October 30, 1919.



    Poems by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

  • A Naughty Little Comet

    in Famous Life Poems

    There was a little comet who lived near the Milky Way!
    She loved to wander out at night and jump about and play.

    The mother of the comet was a very good old star;

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    • Favorited 3
    • Votes 36
    • Rating 4.42
  • I Love You

    in Famous Love Poems

    I love your lips when they’re wet with wine
    And red with a wild desire;
    I love your eyes when the lovelight lies
    Lit with a passionate fire.

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    • Shares 5085
    • Favorited 26
    • Votes 1234
    • Rating 4.36
    • Poem of the Day
  • Life's Scars

    in Famous Family Poems


    They say the world is round, and yet
    I often think it square,
    So many little hurts we get
    From corners here and there.

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    • Favorited 32
    • Votes 201
    • Rating 4.47
    • Poem of the Week
  • Solitude

    in Famous Sad Poems

    Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
    Weep, and you weep alone;
    For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
    But has trouble enough of its own.

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    • Stories 4
    • Shares 1118
    • Favorited 49
    • Votes 1359
    • Rating 4.39
    • Poem of the Day
    Featured Shared Story

    I found this poem in a book that I had. It was during the time that I was going through a breakup and I felt really lost. We had broken up, because in his words, ''I was too depressed.'' I...

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  • The Little White Hearse

    in Famous Death Poems

    Somebody's baby was buried to-day--
    The empty white hearse from the grave rumbled back,
    And the morning somehow seemed less smiling and gay
    As I paused on the walk while it crossed on its way,

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    • Stories 1
    • Shares 210
    • Favorited 7
    • Votes 308
    • Rating 4.34
    Featured Shared Story

    Just read this poem after discovering your fantastic site, and I've not been so touched by verse for a very long time! I LOVE her poetry anyway, (I've seen it copied by others on Facebook!),...

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  • View All Poems by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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