“Her Smile” a Poem by Dr. Bert E. Doyle

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Rounding out National Poetry Month 2020, is a beautiful love poem by Dr. Bert E. Doyle, School of Dentistry Class of 1904.  The poem, titled “Her Smile” was published in the 1903 Bones, Molars, and Briefs, the original name for the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s yearbook.   

“Her Smile” by Dr. Bert E. Doyle, School of Dentistry Class of 1904. Poem from the 1903 Bones, Molars, and Briefs Yearbook.

Perhaps written with Doyle’s love interest in mind, “Her Smile” describes the life-altering effect and beauty of the smile of a girl named Pansy.  In December of 1903, Doyle married his “Pansy”, a Baltimorean named Mary Eleanor Porter.  A sketch of his wedding was also featured in the 1903 yearbook.  

Sketch of a bride and groom in the midst of their marriage ceremony.

Sketch by Bert E. Doyle, School of Dentistry, Class of 1904. He married Mary Porter in December 1903. Sketch from Bones, Molars, and Briefs Yearbook, 1903.

Dr. Bert E. Doyle was born in 1877 in Vermont.  He attended the University of Maryland Baltimore, serving as the Class of 1904’s treasurer.  Dr. Doyle was remembered in the yearbook as follows: “Doyle, our popular married man, is beyond criticism; in fact, Doyle never gives his friends a chance to see him. The cause you may well know; he has just been married.” Following graduation from the Department of Dentistry (the predecessor of the School of Dentistry) in 1904, Dr. Doyle returned with the new Mrs. Doyle to Vermont to start up a dental practice.  The couple had two daughters: Vera and Madeline.  Dr. Doyle died in 1976. 

Early yearbooks were a common place for students at the University to share their creativity.  Yearbooks feature artwork, poetry, essays, music, and play scripts to name a few.  The artwork and literature tended to have themes relating to the student’s coursework or current events; thus, yearbooks, as the poem and sketch in this post show, are an excellent window into student life at UMB.   

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