Long to Love and Memory: Poetry (Tabb)

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The exquisite poetry of John B. Tabb (1845-1909) is rich in technical precision and concise expression. His keen perspective looks carefully around, peers into the depths of the soul, and gazes up at the heights. Little in nature escaped Father Tabb’s notice: flowers; birdsong; the beating of the rain; the passage of sun, moon, and stars; the cycles of the seasons; and the march of the years. Everywhere, he saw reflections and heard echoes of the gamut of human experience—loneliness and companionship, losses and rewards, regrets and hopes, man and God.

He expressed the essence of his unique vision in a profusion of small poems. This collection of 244 poems—most of which have no more than eight lines—displays the best of Tabb’s work, gathered into sets that showcase his various approaches to similar topics. With notes to help the reader with unfamiliar words and concepts, Long to Love and Memory brings John B. Tabb’s gems out into the light once more and sets them anew for a new century.

Tabb was a Catholic convert, priest, and professor of English. A poet popular on both sides of the Atlantic at the turn of the 20th century, he was a talented pianist and sketch artist who lost his eyesight a year before he died. Virginia's smallest state park marks his birthplace.