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 LONGING in LAND OF SUNSHINE in July 1896 after living on Catalina Island for about one year. LONGING was published just one month after MASKING. LONGING is the second (2nd) of 10 poems published by Blanche Trask spanning 10 years between 1896 and 1905. The above narrative and the poem was written and compiled by Robert Roy van de Hoek, April 2000, for educational purposes in recognition of Earth Day and the birthday of John Muir. The brief biography of Blanche Trask has since been revised in July 2000.

LAND OF SUNSHINE Volume 5, Number 2, Page 69. July 1896
Avalon, Santa Catalina Island1


O, wind from o'er the sea!
From days that used to be
Blow back my dream to me

 O, sea-gull! floating free
Over the great, wide sea,
Seek, seek my dream for me.

 'Twas not a merry dream;
You'll know it by its grace,
And by the tears which seem
A veil before its face.

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