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Scudder Middleton (d. 1959) was an acclaimed Greenwich Village poet during the 1910s and 1920s. His poems appeared in such publications as The Forum, The Bellman, Harper's Magazine, and The Poetry Review. His book Streets and Faces was published in 1917, followed by two more collections of poetry in 1919 and 1927. In 1918, Middleton had a brief romance with Edna St. Vincent Millay. As Daniel Mark Epstein has pointed out, Millay's poem "To S. M.: If he should lie a-dying" likely discusses Middleton's departure for Europe during World War I. The poem appears in the second edition of Millay's A Few Figs from Thistles, published by Frank Shay at his bookshop in 1921.
Selected images from "A Dinner Table" from A Canticle of Pan by Witter Bynner (New York: Knopf, 1920). Inscribed by Bynner and Idella Purnell Stone, with a tipped-in photograph of Bynner
The poem "A Dinner-Table" portrays Middleton's behavior during a dinner party. Bynner, like Middleton, was at one point romantically involved with Edna St. Vincent Millay: the two were engaged for a short time in 1921.