John Orley Allen Tate was an American poet, essayist, social commentator, and Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1943 to 1944.
Tate was born near Winchester, Kentucky to John Orley Tate, a businessman, and Eleanor Parke Custis Varnell. In 1916 and 1917 Tate studied the violin at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.
He began attending Vanderbilt University in 1918, where he met fellow poet Robert Penn Warren . Warren and Tate were invited to join a group of young Southern poets under the leadership of John Crowe Ransom; the group were known as the Fugitive Poets and later as the Southern Agrarians. Tate contributed to the ... more »
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Allen Tate Poems
Ode To The Confederate Dead
Row after row with strict impunity The headstones yield their names to the element, The wind whirrs without recollection; In the riven troughs the splayed leaves
Where we went in the boat was a long bay a slingshot wide, walled in by towering stone-- Peaked margin of antiquity's delay, And we went there out of time's monotone:
Dark accurate plunger down the successive knell Of arch on arch, where ogives burst a red Reverberance of hail upon the dead
I Towards nightfall when the wind Tries the eaves and casements (A winter wind of the mind
The Meaning Of Death
I rise, gentlemen, it is the pleasant hour. Darkness falls. The night falls.
There are wolves in the next room waiting With heads bent low, thrust out, breathing At nothing in the dark; between them and me
To A Romantic
You hold your eager head Too high in the air, you walk As if the sleepy dead Had never fallen to drowse
The Meaning Of Life
Think about it at will: there is that Which is the commentary; there's that other, Which may be called the immaculate
Landor, not that I doubt your word, That you had strove with none At seventy-five and had deferred To nature and art alone;
There is a place that some men know, I cannot see the whole of it Nor how I came there. Long ago Flame burst out of a secret pit
To The Romantic Traditionists
I have looked at them long, My eyes blur; sourceless light Keeps them forever young Before our ageing sight.
Last Days Of Alice
Alice grown lazy, mammoth but not fat, Declines upon her lost and twilight age; Above in the dozing leaves the grinning cat
Death Of Little Boys
When little boys grown patient at last, weary, Surrender their eyes immeasurably to the night, The event will rage terrific as the sea;
The Robber Bridegroom
Turn back. Turn, young lady dear A murderer's house you enter here
Quotationsmore quotations »
''I suck in smoke! I smile at grimy mirth,Allen Tate (1899-1979), U.S. poet, critic. "Fair Cuirass Shattered."
And laugh to think that you had parried death.''
''every son-of-a-bitch is Christ, at least Rousseau....''Allen Tate (1899-1979), U.S. poet, critic. "Retroduction to American History."
''For intellect is a mansion where waste is without drain....''Allen Tate (1899-1979), U.S. poet, critic. "Retroduction to American History."
''The innocent mansion of a panther's heart!''Allen Tate (1899-1979), U.S. poet, critic. "Idiot."
''The twilight is long fingers and black hair.''Allen Tate (1899-1979), U.S. poet, critic. "Long Fingers."
Comments about Allen Tate
Ode To The Confederate Dead
Row after row with strict impunity
The headstones yield their names to the element,
The wind whirrs without recollection;
In the riven troughs the splayed leaves
Pile up, of nature the casual sacrament
To the seasonal eternity of death;
Then driven by the fierce scrutiny
Of heaven to their election in the vast breath,
They sough the rumour of mortality.
Autumn is desolation in the plot
Of a thousand acres where these memories grow
From the inexhaustible bodies that are not
Dead, but feed the grass row after rich row.
Think of the autumns that have ...