University of Delaware Library

Special Collections Department

Wilbert Snow
Letters to Homer E. Woodbridge

1925 - 1951
(bulk dates 1925-1935 and 1949-1951)

Manuscript Collection Number: 317
Accessioned: Purchase, November 1994.
Extent: 32 items (.1 linear ft.)
Content: Letters and poems.
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: April 1995 by Anita A. Wellner.

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Table of Contents

Biographical Note

American poet and educator Charles Wilbert Snow was born on April 6, 1884, on White Head Island, St. George, Maine. Snow grew up on the Maine seacoast and spent a good portion of his adult life there as well. His experiences related to the Maine seacoast became the focus of much of his poetry.

Wilbert Snow was educated at Bowdoin College, receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1907, and at Columbia University, receiving his Master of Arts degree in 1910. During World War I Snow served as an artillery captain in the U. S. Army.

Snow completed his extensive academic career as a Professor Emeritus of Wesleyan University (1921-1952), having taught there for thirty-one years. Prior to Wesleyan, Snow taught English at New York University (1907-1908), Bowdoin College (1908-1909), Williams College (1909-1910), the University of Utah (1913-1915), Indiana University (1916-1918, 1919-1921), and Reed College (1918-1919).

Always interested in politics, Wilbert Snow had a brief political career, serving as the Lieutenant-Governor of Connecticut in 1945-1946 and as the state's Governor for twelve days in January of 1947. He also served as a U.S. Department of State lecturer in Europe and the Near East in 1951 and 1952.

With the exception of his autobiography titled Codline's Child (1973), all of Wilbert Snow's published work is comprised of books of poetry.

Snow's first book of poems, Maine Coast, was published by Harcourt in 1923. Maine Coast was followed by Inner Harbor: More Maine Coast poems (1926), Down East (1932), Selected Poems (1936), Before the Wind (1938), Maine Tides (1940), Sonnets to Steve, and Other Poems (1957), Spruce Head (1958), and The Collected Poems of Wilbert Snow (1963).

Wilbert Snow died on September 28, 1977, at Spruce Head Island, Maine.


Kinsman, Clare D. and Mary Ann Tennenhouse (eds.) Contemporary Authors. Volumes 9-12. Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1974. pp. 850-851.

Locher, Frances (ed.) Contemporary Authors. Volumes 73-76. Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1978.

Scope and Content Note

The twenty-eight letters in this collection were written by Wilbert Snow to Homer E. Woodbridge, who was also a professor at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. Spanning the dates 1925-1951 (with bulk dates 1925-1935 and 1949-1951), the letters were written during the period when Snow was on the faculty of Wesleyan University. In addition to the letters, four typescript poems, written by Snow, are enclosed.

Consisting of over 160 pages, the letters convey a warm friendship between Snow and Woodbridge. In fact one of the letters reveals that Snow dedicated his book Down East (1932) to Woodbridge.

In his letters, Snow discusses a variety of personal and professional topics. Snow's family and their vacations, his friendship with Robert Frost, his health, and his political ideas are all considered in detail and with humor.

Snow also discusses his academic work, curriculum, Wesleyan colleagues, and his poetry and its publication. Further, the letters reveal a dialogue between Snow and Woodbridge about Woodbridge's critical writings, such as a review of Gosse. It is also obvious from the letters that Woodbridge's critical evaluations of Snow's poetry were seriously considered by Snow.

Several of the letters include descriptions of Snow's visits with Robert Frost, including mention of Frost's children, pets, home, and appreciation of Snow's poetry.

The four typescript poems written by Snow are titled "Why Stand You So Aloof, Beloved Tree," "The Angel," "To Certain Fathers," and "The Shepherd Left Behind."

Related collections:

Ms 99 Wilbert Snow letter to Henry Bacon Collamore

Contents List

Folder -- Contents

Letters, 1925-1951

F1   1925-1927

F2   1928-1931

F3   1932
          Note:  Includes typescript copies of Snow's poems "Why
          Stand You So Aloof, Beloved Tree," "The Angel," and "To
          Certain Fathers."

F4   1933-1934

F5   1935

F6   1949-1951
          Note:  Includes a typescript copy of Snow's poem "The
          Shepherd Left Behind."

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