Poet Margaret "Peggy" Freydberg of Chilmark dies at 107

Family and friends surrounded Peggy Freydburg on her 107th birthday. Back (in purple): Elise Thomas; foreground (in dark blue): Emily Sloan (granddaughter), Naomi Kulp (child), Wendy Marzbanian (light blue, with cake), Tamara Sloan (granddaughter), Peggy Freydburg. — Courtesy of Tamara Sloan

Margaret Howe “Peggy” Freydberg, whose poetry, longevity and zest for life provided a beacon for those much younger as they contemplated the road ahead, died Friday, March 27 at her home overlooking Stonewall Pond in Chilmark, just three weeks after she celebrated her birthday on Friday, March 6 with family and friends. She was 107.

Seven years ago, in anticipation of her 100th birthday party she composed a poem titled “Birthday Party,” about celebrating the beauty of the day with friends:

“And when I bent to blow the candles out,

I did not need to make a wish for something better. Instead,

with one great whoosh of liberation,

I blew away ninety years of little lies.

And then I cut the cake,

and passed it,

saying thank you.”

At the 100 year mark, Ms. Freydberg, had already authored six novels, two volumes of poetry, one non-fiction book, and other poems and articles. It was a list that continued to grow up until her death.

“My personal goal is to be 100 and to look and be like that,” said Susan Murphy, echoing the thoughts of many of those present that day. “She’s upped the ante for all of us about what it means to be older.”

A full obituary appears here.