He was believed by his peers to be an important poet,
But his erotic obsession, condemned and strictly forbidden,
Compromised his standing, and led to his ruin.
Over sixty, and a father many times over,
The objects of his attention grew younger and younger:
He tried to corrupt the sons of his dearest friends;
He pressed on them drinks and drugs,
And of course he was caught and publicly shamed.
Was his death a suicide? No one is sure.
But that’s not the whole story; it’s too sordid to tell.
Besides, the memory of his poems deserves better.
Though we were unable to look at them for a time
His poems survive his death.
There he appears as his finest self:
Attractive, scholarly, dedicated to love.
At last we can read him again, putting aside
The brute facts of his outer life,
And rejoice at the inner voice, so lofty and pure.
- Enjoy Poetry over the Holidays 🤗INSCRIBED WITH ALL FAITH AND AFFECTION To all the little children: — The happy ones; and sad ones;The sober and the silent ones; the boisterous and glad ones;The good ones — Yes, the good ones, too; and all the lovely bad ones. Little Orphant Annie’s come to our house to stay,An’ wash the cups an’ […]
- Dolls and little GirlsThere! little girl; don’t cry!They have broken your doll, I know;And your tea-set blue,And your play-house, too,Are things of the long ago;But childish troubles will soon pass by. —There! little girl; don’t cry! There! little girl; don’t cry!They have broken your slate, I know;And the glad, wild waysOf your schoolgirl daysAre things of the long […]
- Of woody pathways winding endlesslyA barefoot boy! I mark him at his play — For May is here once more, and so is he, — His dusty trousers, rolled half to the knee,And his bare ankles grimy, too, as they:Cross-hatchings of the nettle, in array Of feverish stripes, hint vividly to me Of woody pathways winding endlesslyAlong the creek, […]
- She has one good bumblebee
which she leads about town
on a leash of clover.She has one good bumblebeewhich she leads about townon a leash of clover.It’s as big as a Saint Bernardbut also extremely fragile.People want to pet its long, shaggy coat.These would be mostly whirling dervishesout shopping for accessories.When Lily winks they understand everything,right down to the particleof a butterfly’s wing lodgedin her last good eye,so the […]
- In my secret room, plans are hatched: we’ll explore the Smoky Mountains.I take the long walk up the staircase to my secret room.Today’s big news: they found Amelia Earhart’s shoe, size 9.1992: Charlie Christian is bebopping at Minton’s in 1941.Today, the Presidential primaries have failed us once again.We’ll look for our excitement elsewhere, in the last snowthat is falling, in tomorrow’s Gospel Concert in Springfield.It’s a […]
- Starry NightsAS we rush, as we rush in the Train, The trees and the houses go wheeling back,But the starry heavens above the plain Come flying on our track. All the beautiful stars of the sky, The silver doves of the forest of Night,Over the dull earth swarm and fly, Companions of our flight. We will […]
- Fearless ~Hail, mildly pleasing solitude,Companion of the wise and good;But, from whose holy, piercing eye,The herd of fools, and villains fly.Oh! how I love with thee to walk,And listen to thy whisper’d talk,Which innocence, and truth imparts,And melts the most obdurate hearts. A thousand shapes you wear with ease,And still in every shape you please.Now wrapt […]
- Famous Poets ~I LORD of the grass and hill, Lord of the rain, White Overlord of will, Master of pain, I who am dust and air Blown through the halls of death, Like a pale ghost of prayer,— I am thy breath. Lord of the blade and leaf, Lord of the bloom, Sheer Overlord of grief, Master […]
- And who in this world knows?Away, sad thoughts, and teasing Perplexities, away! Let other blood go freezing, We will be wise and gay. For here is all heart-easing, An ecstasy at play.The children dancing, dancing, Light upon happy feet, Both eye and heart entrancing Mingle, escape, and meet; Come joyous-eyed and advancing Or floatingly retreat.Now slow, now swifter treading Their […]
- And beheld an immense glory
Flooding with fire the drops
Spilled on miraculous leaves
Of the fresh green lime-tree tops.The rain was ending, and lightLifting the leaden skies.It shone upon ceiling and floorAnd dazzled a child’s eyes. Pale after fever, a captiveApart from his schoolfellows,He stood at the high room’s windowWith face to the pane pressed close, And beheld an immense gloryFlooding with fire the dropsSpilled on miraculous leavesOf the fresh green lime-tree tops. […]
- The rain was ending, and light
Lifting the leaden skies.
It shone upon ceiling and floor
And dazzled a child’s eyes.The rain was ending, and lightLifting the leaden skies.It shone upon ceiling and floorAnd dazzled a child’s eyes. Pale after fever, a captiveApart from his schoolfellows,He stood at the high room’s windowWith face to the pane pressed close, And beheld an immense gloryFlooding with fire the dropsSpilled on miraculous leavesOf the fresh green lime-tree tops. […]
- Woods ~ So old nowSo old is the wood, so old, Old as Fear. Wrinkled roots; great stems; hushed leaves; No sound near.Shadows retreat into shadow, Deepening, crossed. Burning light singles a low leaf, a bough, Far within, lost. Advertisements
- Of sinister fancy, PoetryGuns! far and nearQuick, sudden, angry,They startle the still street,Upturned faces appear,Doors open on darkness,There is a hurrying of feet,And whirled athwart gloomWhite fingers of alarmPoint at last thereWhere illumined and dumbA shape suspendedHovers, a demon of the starry air!Strange and cold as a dreamOf sinister fancy,It charms like a snake,Poised deadly in the gleam,While […]