Else von Freytag-Loringhoven &
Felix Paul Greve, a.k.a. Grove


Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven (sometimes also called Else von Freytag-von Loringhoven) (July 12, 1874 – December 15, 1927) was a German-born avant-garde, Dadaist artist and poet who worked for several years in Greenwich Village, New York City, United States. Freytag-Loringhoven was born Elsa Hildegard Plötz in Swinemünde (Swinoujscie), German Empire, to Adolf Plötz and Ida Kleist. Her father, a mason, sexually and physically abused her in her childhood. She practiced prostitution, and had numerous affairs with both men and women throughout her lifetime, including the writer Djuna Barnes.

At some point she came to the USA with Frederick Philip Grove (February 14, 1879–1948), born Felix Paul Greve in Radomno, West Prussia, German Empire (now in Poland). He was best known as a prolific translator before he left Berlin to start a new life in North America in late July 1909. In 1912, he came to Manitoba, where he first taught school in Haskett, Winkler, Virden, Gladstone, & finally Rapid City, from where he emerged as a Canadian author in 1922. He died in 1948 on his estate in Simcoe, Ontario, where he had resided since 1930.

They left Europe because they needed to. Apparently Greve / Grove had done some double dealing, and had faked a suicide. Anyway, they hid out for a year, evidently in Sparta. One of the many poems she dedicated to Greve makes the explicit and unique reference to “Sparta, Kentucky, am Eagle Creek” (“Am” is German for “On”) at the top of the page, thus pin-pointing the precise location of the couple's otherwise elusive American year.  The poem is in German, so we didn't re-type it, and can't read it. Greve/Grove may have abandoned her in Sparta. Then there's also this draft of a poem online called In the Midst which mentions Sparta in it's last line.

Googling either will give you lots more information, and searching for images on Google Images will give you several, uh, entertaining pictures of her.