Mary Frye


Mary Frye (November 13, 1905 – September 15, 2004) was a Baltimore housewife and florist, best known as the author of the poem ‘Do not stand at my grave and weep’, written in 1932.

She was orphaned at the age of three and moved to Baltimore when she was twelve. She was an avid reader with a remarkable memory. She married Claud Frye in 1927; he ran a clothing business while she grew and sold flowers. The poem for which she became famous was originally composed on a brown paper shopping bag. Because people liked her twelve-line, untitled verse, she made many copies and circulated them privately. She never published or copyrighted the poem. She never claimed to be a poet or writer, but said the poem came in a ‘flash of inspiration. She never sought to copyright the poem, but in an interview in 2000, she said she was the author from many years ago.

The identity of the author of the poem was unknown until the late 1990s, when Frye revealed that she had written it. Her claim was confirmed in 1998 after research by Abigail Van Buren.

Poem by Mary Frye – Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep