Thomas Walsh (poet)

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Thomas Walsh was a poet, literary critic, translator, and scholar of Latin American and Spanish literature.


Early life and education

Walsh was born in Brooklyn, New York on October 14, 1875 to Michael Kavanagh Walsh and Catherine Farrell Walsh. [1] He lived with his brothers Frank M. Walsh [2] and Edward Maris Walsh, and sisters Lorna Walsh and Lydia Walsh, in the family's Brooklyn home. [3]

Walsh was educated at Columbia University, Georgetown, Notre Dame, and Marquette University, from which institutions he received degrees in law, philosophy, and literature. [1] [3] He graduated from Georgetown in 1892, during which year he wrote the class poem, "Columbus." [4] [3] He also composed the Georgetown alumni ode "The Crusaders" in 1901, and read an ode for the dedication of the university's monument to John Carroll in 1912. [4]

Columbia University Private Ivy League research university in New York City

Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university in New York City. Established in 1754 near the Upper West Side region of Manhattan, Columbia is the oldest institution of higher education in New York and the fifth-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. It is one of nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence, seven of which belong to the Ivy League. It has been ranked by numerous major education publications as among the top ten universities in the world.

Georgetown University Private university in Washington, D.C., United States

Georgetown University is a private research university in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Founded by Bishop John Carroll in 1789 as Georgetown College, the university has grown to comprise ten undergraduate and graduate schools, among which are the School of Foreign Service, School of Business, Medical School, Law School, and a campus in Qatar. Located on a hill above the Potomac River, the school's main campus is identifiable by its flagship Healy Hall, a National Historic Landmark.

University of Notre Dame Private Catholic university in Notre Dame, Indiana, United States

The University of Notre Dame du Lac is a private Catholic research university in Notre Dame, Indiana, outside the city of South Bend. The main campus covers 1,261 acres (510 ha) in a suburban setting and it contains a number of recognizable landmarks, such as the Golden Dome, the Word of Life mural, the Notre Dame Stadium, and the Basilica. The school was founded on November 26, 1842, by Edward Sorin, who was also its first president.

Career as poet and translator

Walsh was well known in Brooklyn for having composed an ode which he read at the formal unveiling of the Prison Ship Martyrs' Monument in Fort Greene Park on November 14, 1908. [5] [6] He was the occasion's poet laureate. [7] During his lifetime, Walsh published four books of poetry: The Prison Ships and Other Poems (1909), The Pilgrim Kings: Greco, Goya and Other Poems of Spain (1915), Gardens Overseas and Other Poems (1918), and Don Folquet and Other Poems (1920).

Prison Ship Martyrs Monument Monument in Brooklyn, New York

The Prison Ship Martyrs' Monument in Fort Greene Park, in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, is a memorial to the more than 11,500 American prisoners of war who died in captivity aboard sixteen British prison ships during the American Revolutionary War. The remains of a small fraction of those who died on the ships are interred in a crypt beneath its base. The ships included HMS Jersey, Scorpion, Hope, Falmouth, Stromboli, Hunter, and others.

Fort Greene Park park in New York, United States of America, United States of America

Fort Greene Park is a city-owned and -operated park in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, New York City. The 30.2-acre (12.2 ha) park was named after the fort which was formerly located there, originally named Fort Putnam, and then renamed Fort Greene in 1812 for Nathanael Greene, a hero of the American Revolutionary War.

Walsh was an editor of the Catholic Encyclopedia and an anthology of translated Spanish poetry, the Hispanic Anthology (1920). [1] [3] [8] According to John Bunker, "it is beyond question that his versions of many of the Spanish and Spanish-American poets introduced them to their first North American audience." [3] He also served as an editor of Commonweal magazine from its founding in 1924 until his death in 1928. [3] In addition to editing, Walsh also wrote many short articles and reviews, including several for the New York Times. [9] [10]

<i>Catholic Encyclopedia</i> English-language encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia: An International Work of Reference on the Constitution, Doctrine, Discipline, and History of the Catholic Church, also referred to as the Old Catholic Encyclopedia and the Original Catholic Encyclopedia, is an English-language encyclopedia published in the United States and designed to serve the Roman Catholic Church. The first volume appeared in March 1907 and the last three volumes appeared in 1912, followed by a master index volume in 1914 and later supplementary volumes. It was designed "to give its readers full and authoritative information on the entire cycle of Catholic interests, action and doctrine".

<i>Commonweal</i> (magazine) Liberal American Catholic journal of opinion

Commonweal, founded in 1924, is the oldest independent lay-edited Catholic journal of opinion in the United States. Free of ecclesiastical control or agenda, Commonweal seeks to provide a forum for civil, reasoned debate on the interaction of faith with contemporary politics and culture. Since its founding the magazine has been liberal in temperament, opinionated and engaged, but tolerant in tone, prioritizing reasoned discussion over sectarianism.


Walsh died suddenly of heart disease on the morning of October 29, 1928 on the steps of his home. [1] A posthumous collection of his poems, Selected Poems of Thomas Walsh, was published in 1930. The volume "embodies about one-half of his entire poetic product" [3] and includes a memoir of Walsh written by friend and fellow writer John Bunker and "appreciations" of Walsh by his friends Edward L. Keyes and Michael Williams. In his memoir, Bunker writes, "it is no exaggeration to say that he was one of the most noteworthy of our modern American ambassadors of culture." [3]

Awards and honors

Throughout his career, Walsh received many awards and honors for his work. He was given honorary memberships in the Royal Academy of Letters of Seville ("a distinction he shared with only one other American" [3] ), the Academy of Colombia, and the Hispanic Society of America. He also received the Grand Cross of Isabella Catolica, and the Honorary Medal of the Society of the Army of the Potomac. [3]

Order of Isabella the Catholic Spanish civil order granted in recognition of services that benefit the country

The Order of Isabella the Catholic is a Spanish civil order in which membership is granted in recognition of services that benefit the country. The Order is not open to Spaniards exclusively, and it has been used to award many foreigners.

The Society of the Army of the Potomac was a military society founded in 1869 which was composed of officers and enlisted men who served with the Army of the Potomac during the American Civil War.


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  1. 1 2 3 4 "Dr. Thomas Walsh, Poet, Heart Victim". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. October 29, 1928. Retrieved December 13, 2016 via
  2. "Frank M. Walsh, Architect, Builder". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. July 17, 1940. Retrieved December 13, 2016 via
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Bunker, John (1930). "Thomas Walsh". Selected Poems of Thomas Walsh. New York: The Dial Press. pp. v–xxvi.
  4. 1 2 "Georgetown University Archival Resources | Georgetown University Manuscripts | Keyes, Edward Loughborough, Jr., Papers". Archived from the original on August 1, 2017. Retrieved 2016-12-13.
  5. "Dedication of the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument in Fort Greene Park To-Day". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. November 14, 1908. Retrieved December 13, 2016 via
  6. "Martyrs Monument Day". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. November 11, 1908. Retrieved December 13, 2016 via
  7. "Nation Honors Martyred Dead". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. November 15, 1908. p. 6. Retrieved December 23, 2016 via
  8. Le Gallienne, Richard (January 9, 1921). "Spanish Poetry in English". New York Times.
  9. Walsh, Thomas (July 24, 1921). "Two Master Poets of South America". New York Times.
  10. Walsh, Thomas (May 31, 1914). "A New Goya". New York Times.