Hyer, Helen von Kolonitz | South Carolina Public Radio


"H" is for Hyer, Helen von Kolonitz (1896-1983). Poet, writer. While still in her teens, Hyer published her first poems. She joined the Poetry Society in 1920. Her first poetry collection, Santee Songs was published in 1923—followed by Wine Dark Sea in 1935. Frequent topics of Hyer’s verse included Confederate heroes, South Carolina history, and southern romance. Her more serious compositions were balanced with playful poems. In 1968, her limerick won the Poetry Society’s prize:

“A lady who lived just to borrow, 

Moved next to us, much to our sorrow.

We fulfilled all her wishes, 

Now she has all our dishes-- 

To our sorrow, we’ll borrow, tomorrow.”

In 1974 Helen von Kolnitz Hyer became South Carolina’s second poet laureate—a fitting honor for a poet whose work reflected a deep love for her state.

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