Reminder: Stephen King’s Wife Tabitha Is Her Own, Talented Person and Poet

The couple just made a $1.25 million donation to New England Historic Genealogical Society, but some headlines didn’t acknowledge her. 

Stephen King and his wife of thirty-eight years, Tabitha King, have made a huge donation to Boston’s New England Historic Genealogical Society, the oldest and largest genealogical society in the United States.

But many headlines referred to “Stephen King and his wife” when citing their generous contribution—to which Steve responded via irritated tweet that the gift was in fact Tabitha’s idea, thus she deserves equal credit.  

In case you did not know, Tabitha is an award-winning philanthropist and a published author in her own right. A few Twitter jokesters suggested alternate headlines, including “Tabitha King donates 1.25M to New England Historic Genealogical Society. Mrs. King lives with a small dog and a husband” and the even shorter, sweeter introduction “Tabitha King and also some horror writer…”

In a memorable section of Stephen’s memoir On Writing (2000), he includes a beautiful poem about a hibernating bear written by his wife in college. Describing himself watching Tabitha read it aloud in class (they met while attending University of Maine), it seems like one of the first things that made him fall in love with her. Find Tabitha’s poem below. 

“A Gradual Canticle for Augustine” (1969) 

The thinnest bear is awakened in the winter
by the sleep-laughter of locusts,
by the dream-blustering of bees,
by the honeyed scent of desert sands
that the wind carries in her womb
into the distant hills, into the houses of Cedar.

The bear has heard a sure promise.
Certain words are edible; they nourish
more than snow heaped upon silver plates
or I is overflowing golden bowls. Chips of ice
from the mouth of a lover are not always better,
nor a desert dreaming always a mirage.
The rising bear sings a gradual canticle
woven of sand that conquers cities
by a slow cycle. His praise seduces
a passing wind, traveling to the sea
wherein a fish, caught in a careful net,
here is a bear’s song in the cool-scented snow.


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