Blanche Trask: Poet-Explorer-Naturalist

Blanche Trask, Poet-Explorer-Naturalist, did most of her California wild nature exploration and writing on the Channel Islands of Southern California. She was a resident of Avalon on Santa Catalina Island in Los Angeles County, California from 1895 to 1915 (20 Years). Her winter home was located next to the Tuna Club in Avalon, but she also had a summer home at the Isthmus where the Institute of Environmental Studies of USC is currently located. She corresponded with professors and scientists at UC Berkeley, Harvard University, the Smithsonian, and at the California Academy of Sciences in San Franciso. She also corresponded with Charles Lummis, editor of the Land of Sunshine, a literary magazine in which the following poem first appeared.

Blanche Trask published THE COMING OF THE SILENCE in LAND OF SUNSHINE in May 1899 after living on Catalina Island for about four (4) years. THE COMING OF THE PAST was published just ten months after her last poem called A SONG, and three (3) years after her first poem. THE COMING OF THE SILENCE is the fifth (5th) of ten (10) poems published by Blanche Trask spanning 10 years between 1896 and 1905. This poem is the only one that was published with a subtitle as (After the Summer Tide.)

The above narrative and the poem was written and compiled by Robert Roy Jan van de Hoek, April 2000, for educational purposes in recognition of the Moon and Sun, their pull on the tides of Earth waters and Women.

This brief introduction to Blanche Trask has since been revised in August 2000.


LAND OF SUNSHINE Volume 10, Number 6, Page 309. May 1899 

THE COMING OF THE SILENCE
(After the Summer Tide)
by
Blanche Trask

She doth not walk the village street,
Lest ways too smooth should harm her feet;

She waits until the tide is low,
And there 'mid old rocks, see her go

(The rocks which long must buried be,
'Till winter's low tide sets them free).

She loiters on the long wet sand,
A trailing seaweed in her hand.

The gulls which loud, discordant cry,
Fly seaward as she passes by;

The fog which long for her doth wait
Enthrones and mantles her in state.

The winds that pray her slaves to be,
As scepters holds she o'er the sea.

The low, low tides yet lower creep,
'Till all the world is lost in sleep.
* * * * *
Theh mantled fog she throws aside,
The sceptred wind she scatters wide,

And thro' long days she dares to be
What she meant - eternity.

Avalon, Catalina.1 1 1