Treasure Island

Allen Tate

(19 November 1899 - 9 February 1979 / Winchester, Kentucky)

Quotations

  • ''I've often wondered why she laughed
    On thinking why I wondered so;
    It seemed such waste that long white hands
    Should touch my hands and let them go.''
    Allen Tate (1899-1979), U.S. poet, critic. "Edges."
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  • ''She, her head back, waited
    Barbarous the stalking tide;
    Her, nor balked nor sated
    But plunged into the wide
    Area of mental ire,
    Lay at her wandering side.''
    Allen Tate (1899-1979), U.S. poet, critic. "Pastoral."
  • ''There are wolves in the next room waiting
    With heads bent low, thrust out, breathing
    At nothing in the dark; between them and me
    A white door patched with light from the hall
    Where it seems never (so still is the house)
    A man has walked from the front door to the stair.''
    Allen Tate (1899-1979), U.S. poet, critic. "The Wolves."
  • ''Our loss put six feet under ground
    Is measured by the magnolia's root;
    Our gain's the intellectual sound
    Of death's feet round a weedy tomb.''
    Allen Tate (1899-1979), U.S. poet, critic. "Elegy."
  • ''Come to me, Jenny, let's dance a bit tonight,
    The long small tremor's at my back again....''
    Allen Tate (1899-1979), U.S. poet, critic. "Perimeters."
  • ''I've heard the wolves scuffle, and said: So this
    Is man; so what better conclusion is there
    The day will not follow night, and the heart
    Of man has a little dignity, but less patience
    Than a wolf's....''
    Allen Tate (1899-1979), U.S. poet, critic. "The Wolves."
  • ''No more the white refulgent streets,
    Never the dry hollows of the mind
    Shall he in fine courtesy walk
    Again, for death is not unkind.''
    Allen Tate (1899-1979), U.S. poet, critic. "Elegy."
  • ''Hide your pink knees from the gaze of other men.
    You must be pure—go slow with that home-brew''
    Allen Tate (1899-1979), U.S. poet, critic. "Perimeters."
  • ''So this
    Is man; so—what better conclusion is there—
    The day will not follow night, and the heart
    Of man has a little dignity, but less patience
    Than a wolf's,''
    Allen Tate (1899-1979), U.S. poet. The Wolves (l. 14-18). . . Collected Poems, 1919-1976 [Allen Tate]. (1989) Louisiana State University Press.
  • ''Your death, dear Lady, was quite cold
    For all the brave tears and ultimate spasm.
    So civilized were your thin hands, I marvel
    They too, like jelly fishes, came from protoplasm.''
    Allen Tate (1899-1979), U.S. poet, critic. "Elegy for Eugenesis."

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A Pauper

. . . and the children's teeth shall be set on edge.

I see him old, trapped in a burly house
Cold in the angry spitting of a rain
Come down these sixty years.

Why vehemently
Astride the threshold do I wait, marking
The ice softly pendent on his broken temple?

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