elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Robert Hunt & Witter Bynner

Harold Witter Bynner (August 10, 1881 – June 1, 1968) was an American poet, writer and scholar, known for his long residence in Santa Fe, New Mexico, at what is now the Inn of the Turquoise Bear. Bynner settled in Santa Fe, in a steady and acknowledged 30-year homosexual relationship with Robert Hunt. He became a friend of D. H. Lawrence, and traveled with him and Frieda von Richthofen in Mexico; he much later in 1951 wrote on Lawrence, while he and his partner Willard Johnson are portrayed in Lawrence's The Plumed Serpent. Bynner and Hunt had numerous parties at their house, hosting many notable writers, actors, and artists, which guests included Ansel Adams, Willa Cather, Igor Stravinsky, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Robert Frost, W. H. Auden, Aldous Huxley, Clara Bow, Errol Flynn, Rita Hayworth, Christopher Isherwood, Carl Van Vechten, Martha Graham, Georgia O'Keeffe and Thornton Wilder.

Bynner was born in Brooklyn, New York, and brought up in Brookline, Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard University in 1902. Initially he pursued a career in journalism, and edited McClure's Magazine. He then turned to writing, living in Cornish, New Hampshire until about 1915.

In 1916 he was one of the perpetrators, with Arthur Davison Ficke, a friend from Harvard, of an elaborate literary hoax. It involved a purported 'Spectrist' school of poets, along the lines of the Imagists, based in Pittsburgh. Spectra, a slim collection, was published under the pseudonyms of Anne Knish (Ficke) and Emanuel Morgan (Bynner). Marjorie Allen Seiffert, writing as Elijah Hay, was roped in to bulk out the 'movement'.

Witter “Hal” Bynner was an American poet, writer and scholar, known for his long residence in Santa Fe, New Mexico, at what is now the Inn of the Turquoise Bear. He moved there in 1922 and he and his partner, Robert Hunt, entertained artists and literary figures such as D.H. Lawrence, Georgia O'Keeffe, Carl Sandburg, Ansel Adams, Willa Cather, Igor Stravinsky, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Robert Frost, W.H. Auden, Aldous Huxley, Christopher Isherwood, Martha Graham, and Thornton Wilder. He became a friend of D.H. Lawrence, and traveled with him and Frieda Weekley in Mexico; he much later, in 1951, wrote on Lawrence, while he and his partner are portrayed in Lawrence's The Plumed Serpent.

Witter Bynner & Robert Hunt's ashes were buried beneath a carved stone weeping dog at the house where they lived on Atalaya Hill in Santa Fe, now used as the president's home for St. John's College.

In early 1917 he traveled to Japan with Ficke.

In New York, Bynner was a member of The Players club, the Harvard Club, and the Mac Dowell Club. In San Francisco, he joined the Bohemian Club.

Bynner had a short spell in academia in 1918-1919 during World War I, at the University of California, Berkeley as Professor of Oral English. There, he composed Canticle of Praise and taught classes in poetry and verse writing. He was forced to leave after serving alcohol to freshmen during Prohibition.

He then traveled to China, and studied Chinese literature. He subsequently produced many translations from Chinese. His verse showed both Japanese and Chinese influences, but the latter were major. Bynner became more of a modernist in consequence, where previously he had been inclined to parody Imagism, and dismiss the orientalist pronouncements with which Ezra Pound was free.

On January 18, 1965, Bynner had a severe stroke. He never recovered, and required constant care until he died on June 1, 1968. His papers are archived in the New Mexico State University Library.

His house is, as of 2008, the Inn of the Turquoise Bear, a bed and breakfast

An Ode to Harvard and Other Poems (1907)
Tiger (1913)
The Little King (1914)
The New World (1915)
The Beloved Stranger
Iphigenia in Tauris (1916) translator
Spectra (1916) poems with Arthur Davison Ficke
Grenstone Poems (1917)
Pins for Wings
Canticle of Praise (1919)
A Canticle of Pan (1920)
Roots (1929) poems
The Jade Mountain (1929) translations from Chinese with Kiang Kang-hu
Indian Earth (1929) poems
Guest Book (1935) poems
Selected Poems (1943)
The Way of Life, according to Lao Tzu (1944)  translator (illust. by Frank Wren)
Take Away the Darkness (1947)
Journey with Genius (1951) memoir of D. H. Lawrence
New Poems (1960)
Selected Poems (1978)

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witter_Bynner

Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1500563323
ISBN-13: 978-1500563325
Amazon: Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time

Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher

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Tags: author: witter bynner, days of love

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