What they call the “jazz age,”
Lone Hero lived in;
Low key livings offstage,
Memories that never left him.
What they call the “lost generation,”
War never recovered them,
Fighting the darkness between escalation;
Darkness claimed, and reclaimed his life.
The day that he lost,
From all his struggles,
Coveted his windowsill.
If he ever found,
What war took from him,
If he ever forgot the battleground…
He would have died in peace, that day…
On his mother’s land,
He was born, September 1896,
St. Paul Minnesota and
His father’s Maryland name, tied him here.
Second cousin, three times removed,
Francis Scott Key,
Saw the flag as it stood,
And wrote a verse of Baltimore Harbor.
He grew up without a hometown,
Back and forth, Syracuse to Buffalo,
Then went to college, New Jersey, Princeton,
1917, dropped out of school.
World War 1,
Before reporting to duty,
Before picking up his gun;
He wrote his first novel.
The Romantic Egoist,
Finished just weeks before the call;
The publisher rejected that young artist,
And the artist headed for war.
For his Alabama girl,
Married Zelda, in New York;
This Side of Paradise.
Frances, their only child,
New future begun,
But the grey will still cloud him.
Out the dark,
Out of the trance,
The Beautiful and the Damned
A Novel, and so many short stories,
So many opportunities; A blue sky…
The last rise came before the fall,
A last novel; The Great Gatsby,
This the Jazz Age; All,
And then the world changes…
Zelda’s mental illness,
With his alcoholism;
Life in his literary senses
Become, Tender is the Night.
In the midst of all these struggles,
His novel doesn’t sell,
World becomes trouble,
He lives, anyway…
Half a script,
By heart attack.
Maryland was his father’s land,
- Scott remembered its Rolling Hills.
Rockville Union Cemetery,
Long journey; Long road of words and colors,
Brought him originally to this place without hurry,
And away from his deceased family; though not too far away.
His funeral was in Bethesda,
Denied a Catholic Burial,
25 people in the rain; clouds and umbrellas,
The minister didn’t know who he was.
Seven years late,
A fire led Zelda to the same grounds,
She was buried too, above her fate,
And our soil held them there.
After 35 revolutions,
Their graves were moved; to Saint Mary’s Catholic Church,
Fitzgerald family plot, their locations,
And Fitzgerald’s daughter chose the headstone.
“So we beat on,
boats against the current,
borne back ceaselessly
into the past.”
-The Great Gatsby
Was a writer,
We can read his thoughts, and
Remember his struggles.
He is inspiration,
As he lies, unfinished,
And there could be hope…
Because there is rain.
Montgomery County’s literary community admires his life and works.