Holland, Ermina Carpenter. “Mushrooms.” Spartanburg Herald (Spartanburgh, SC) 9 June 1938: 7.

This author is a bit of an enigma. She was from Quebec, part of a relatively large family of Irish heritage. So what is her poetry doing in South Carolina? And is “Trails” a book? I can find no other evidence of it. Nor of any published book (although she did also publish in the Canadian Poetry Magazine). Nor can I find the source for “Sea Lanes,” another poem I have an image of, and would like to post, if I could only discover where it is from…

“Mushrooms” was published in Alan Creighton and Hilda Ridley’s New Canadian Anthology, also in 1938, so I am not sure which was first. Regardless, here is the poem…


Slow-creeping dawn
Follows a night of rain-mist
Down the quiet pasture.

Here in a circlet of trees
That droop mist-heavy boughs,
The searcher comes upon them,
Tiny, elfin umbrellas,
Peeping through sheen of cobwebs
By the zigzag path.

And as she bends to gather them,
Slipping her pale fingers
Among their white and pink softness,
Her gray hair and eyes
Seem a part of the mist,
And her cheeks take the rose-color
Of the mushroom gills.
Then walking through deep lushness
To her lonely house,
Her skirt drips water,
But her basket brims,
Scattering wet fragrance,
And she carries it lifted
To clear the swishing grass.

Ermina Carpenter Holland, in Trails.