Earlier today I learned about the passing of a dear mentor, Dr. Elaine Smokewood. She was truly a brilliant woman, and I had so much more I could have learned from her. She challenged me, in my writing and my thinking, and a majority of my literary thesis and on-going research into Emily Dickinson is because of her. She knew so much about the transcendentalists-- Emerson, Whitman & Thoreau-- as well as their contemporary writers like Hawthorne, Meville, and Dickinson.
She has suffered much, and she lived her life with graciousness and dignity. It was a comfort to know that she passed in her sleep, and I hope it truly was in peace. My prayers go out to her family. I wish we could have know just a fraction more of her thoughts and research. The world of literary criticism lost a brilliant mind, and we lost a beautiful person.
A friend of mine said it best when she simply stated "Thank you, Dr. Smokewood"