Body Of Dead Poetess Returns To Its Ashes


Nora French"s Lover Places Flowers on Her Bosom Ere Body is Burned
Ceremony is Simple
All that Remains of Gifted Girl to be Scattered to the Four Winds

Bearing on its bosom a cluster of forget-me-nots plucked from the grave of a young girl, the body of Nora May French, the suicide poetess, was yesterday consigned to the flames in the crematory in the Odd Fellows" cemetery.

Gathered around the body of the young women were the few bohemian friends with whom she had lived and worked and who had recognized in her song the spark of genius long before the world at large had given her recognition. Deep grief marked the faces of all. There were present Miss Helen French, the dead girl"s sister; James Hopper, the author; George Sterling, the poet, at whose house she had taken her life; Henry A. Lafler, a local writer, and Captain Thomas Allen Hiley, the English soldier of fortune and semi-recluse to whom Nora May French was engaged.

It was the latter who plucked the flowers from a nearby grave and placed them on the breast of his dead fiancée as the body was being given to the flames.

In silence the small group waited while the fire turned to ashes the beauty of the dead poetess, and in silence they retraced their steps back to Carmel, where they will give to the winds and the sea all that remains of the loveliness and gifted powers of the songstress who stilled by her own hands the songs of her youth.

It had been planned to scatter the ashes yesterday afternoon, but it was feared that the publicity which had been given the affair would draw a large crowd impelled by curiosity to view the ceremony, and it was decided to postpone the last rite to a future date, when none but her close friends would be present.

When that will be is kept secret. The outside world, which had refused to accept the dead girl"s offerings for years and by its indifference embittered her girlish soul, will not be there. None but the few friends who spurred her on and believed in her and her genius will be present at Cypress Point when the wind and the sea, from which she drew her inspiration and whose moods she shared, will be given the ashes of Nora May French.

The San Francisco Call, Volume CII, No 170, pg 40. November 17th, 1907.