“Balladic” compositions from “The Margaret-Ghost,” which is Section One of “Knowledge,” which is Part Three of
“By the Tree of Knowledge,” which is Book Five of “The Gardens of Flora Baum,” a poem in five books. All of the
pieces in this section are “letters” that have some connection with Margaret Fuller (1810-1850). The three given
here also have connections with ballads that Margaret Fuller knew and pondered and quoted.
With No. 216 (January 10-11) cf., e.g., “Fair Margaret and Sweet William” (Child 74, esp. 74B) and Margaret
Fuller’s letter to William Henry Channing (Cambridge, Mass., probably Sept. 1, 1844) citing lines from this ballad
and reflecting upon the names Margaret, William, and Julia. With No. 228 (March 9) and No. 229 (March 15) cf., e.g.,
“Fair Helen” (Scott, Minstrelsy, vol. 2) and the poem by Margaret Fuller which Fuller attributes to her character Mariana
in the fourth chapter of Summer on the Lakes, in 1843 (Boston, 1844) and which she explicitly connects with
Copyright © 2009 by Julia Budenz.