Philip E. Burnham, Jr.
History teacher and poet, Philip Edward Burnham, Jr,. died in Cambridge, MA on June 13, 2018. Born January 2, 1938 in Rochester, NY, Philip grew up in Concord, NH, prepared at the Groton School and graduated in 1960 from Harvard with an A.B. cum laude in English History and was a member of Winthrop House. After serving in the U.S. State Department, Philip received, in 1972, a Ph.D. in Medieval Studies from Tufts University. He taught history at schools throughout New England. Upon his retirement, Philip turned to writing full time, publishing six volumes of poetry from 2002-2017. Many of his poems were published earlier, beginning in 1966. Philip Burnham’s poems have been described as having “a slow building intensity that gathers from the first few lines and takes the reader into the heart of his experience of nature, love, history and place.” In the words of another reader, his poems are “formal, precise in description and elegant.” Spanning more than half a century of writing, Burnham’s poems deal with the miracles of the natural world, the delights of love, the lessons of history and the pathos of loss. “His care for language and his exquisite ear make the poems a gift for any reader.”
Married to Louise Maude Hassel of Kenilworth, IL, for 42 years, until her death in 2002, Philip lived with his family in Newton Centre. He leaves his wife, the poet Frannie Lindsay; his children, Elizabeth, Philip and Nicholas; his beloved grandchildren, Tristan, Eloise, Malakai, August and Raighen; and his brother, Jonathan.