Lifetime: 1888 - 1941 Passed: ≈ 82 years ago


Poet, Author


United States

Aline Kilmer

In the realm of American literature, Aline Murray Kilmer stands as a notable figure, her name forever intertwined with that of her husband, the renowned poet Joyce Kilmer. Born in 1888, Kilmer emerged as a gifted writer in her own right, crafting poignant poetry, captivating children's stories, and thoughtful essays. Her life, marked by both personal triumphs and profound sorrows, left an indelible mark on the literary landscape of the early 20th century.

A Literary Lineage

Aline Kilmer's literary inclinations stemmed from a rich family heritage, with her father serving as an editor and her stepfather as the esteemed head of Harper's magazine. Her mother, a poet herself, instilled in Aline a deep appreciation for language and the power of storytelling.

A Budding Poet and Marriage to Joyce Kilmer

Kilmer's poetic talent blossomed during her school years at Rutgers College Preparatory School and later at Vail-Deane School. It was at Rutgers Prep that she met Joyce Kilmer, a fellow student who would become her husband in 1908.

Their marriage, marked by mutual admiration and intellectual companionship, proved to be a catalyst for their respective literary pursuits. Joyce Kilmer's fame grew, with his poem "Trees" becoming an enduring symbol of American patriotism and love for nature.

A Life Intertwined with Poetry and Tragedy

Despite their shared love of poetry, the Kilmers' lives were not without their share of hardships. The loss of their young daughter, Rose, to polio in 1917 cast a shadow over their lives. Shortly after, Joyce Kilmer was tragically killed in World War I, leaving Aline a widow with four children to raise.

A Widow's Journey of Literary Expression

Aline Kilmer's grief and resilience found expression in her own poetic works, characterized by a blend of sorrow, introspection, and spiritual longing. Her poems, often infused with religious themes, explored the depths of human emotion and the search for meaning in the face of loss.

Notable Works and Literary Recognition

Kilmer's notable works include her poetry collections, such as "Vigils" and "Candles That Burn," as well as her children's books, "The Poor King's Daughter" and "Hunting a Hair Shirt and Other Spiritual Adventures." Her essays, insightful and thought-provoking, delved into topics ranging from literature to faith.

Philosophy and Legacy

Kilmer's philosophy was deeply rooted in her Christian faith, which provided her with solace and strength during times of adversity. Her writings reflected her belief in the power of love, the resilience of the human spirit, and the unwavering hope for redemption.

Her legacy extends beyond her literary contributions. She played a pivotal role in preserving and promoting Joyce Kilmer's work, ensuring his place among the greats of American poetry.

An Enduring Impact

Aline Murray Kilmer's life, a tapestry woven with threads of poetry, love, and loss, serves as a testament to the enduring power of the human spirit to create and persevere. Her works continue to inspire and resonate with readers, reminding us of the beauty and depth of language, the resilience of the human heart, and the transformative power of literature.

Books by Aline Kilmer

In Spring Cover image

In Spring

Nature Spring Poems Explore Life Verses Winter

As the world awakens from its winter slumber, Aline Kilmer's "In Spring" invites us into a captivating realm of rebirth and renewal. With each line, she paints a vivid tapestry of nature's resurgence, capturing the essence of a season brimming with l...

To Two Little Sisters of the Poor Cover image

To Two Little Sisters of the Poor

Spirit Faith Poems Verses Fortnightly Charity Women Compassion Humble

In Aline Kilmer's heartfelt poem, To Two Little Sisters of the Poor, the reader is drawn into the world of two remarkable women who dedicate their lives to serving others. Through Kilmer's evocative verses, we witness the profound impact these humble...