John Crowe Ransom
John Crowe Ransom was an American poet, essayist, magazine editor, and professor.
Ransom was the third of four children of a Methodist minister. His family was highly literate. As a child, he read his family's library and engaged his father in passionate discussions. He published five main books of poetry, four books of essays, and edited three anthologies. He also published one textbook on writing, A College Primer of Writing (1943).
Ransom was home schooled until age ten, and entered Vanderbilt University at fifteen, graduating first in his class in 1909. He interrupted his studies for two years to teach sixth and seventh grades in Taylorsville, ... more »
Click here to add this poet to your My Favorite Poets.
John Crowe Ransom Poems
Twirling your blue skirts, travelling the sward Under the towers of your seminary, Go listen to your teachers old and contrary Without believing a word.
Bells For John Whiteside's Daughter
There was such speed in her little body, And such lightness in her footfall, It is no wonder her brown study Astonishes us all
The friar had said his paternosters duly And scourged his limbs, and afterwards would have slept; But with much riddling his head became unruly, He arose, from the quiet monastery he crept.
Captain Carpenter rose up in his prime Put on his pistols and went riding out But had got wellnigh nowhere at that time Till he fell in with ladies in a rout.
-- I am a gentleman in a dustcoat trying To make you hear. Your ears are soft and small And listen to an old man not at all, They want the young men's whispering and sighing.
Prelude to an Evening
Do not enforce the tired wolf Dragging his infected wound homeward To sit tonight with the warm children Naming the pretty kings of France.
The little cousin is dead, by foul subtraction, A green bough from Virginia's aged tree, And none of the county kin like the transaction, Nor some of the world of outer dark, like me.
Full of her long white arms and milky skin He had a thousand times remembered sin. Alone in the press of people traveled he, Minding her jacinth, and myrrh, and ivory.
Beautifully Janet slept Till it was deeply morning. She woke then And thought about her dainty-feathered hen, To see how it had kept.
Two evils, monstrous either one apart, Possessed me, and were long and loath at going: A cry of Absence, Absence, in the heart, And in the wood the furious winter blowing.
By dark severance the apparition head Smiles from the air a capital on no Column or a Platonic perhaps head On a canvas sky depending from nothing;
Conrad in Twilight
Conrad, Conrad, aren't you old To sit so late in your mouldy garden? And I think Conrad knows it well, Nursing his knees, too rheumy and cold
Emily Hardcastle, Spinster
We shall come tomorrow morning, who were not to have her love, We shall bring no face of envy but a gift of praise and lilies
An American Addresses Philomela
Procne, Philomela, and Itylus, Your names are liquid, your improbable tale Is recited in the classic numbers of the nightingale.
Comments about John Crowe Ransom
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
Twirling your blue skirts, travelling the sward
Under the towers of your seminary,
Go listen to your teachers old and contrary
Without believing a word.
Tie the white fillets then about your hair
And think no more of what will come to pass
Than bluebirds that go walking on the grass
And chattering on the air.
Practice your beauty, blue girls, before it fail;
And I will cry with my loud lips and publish
Beauty which all our power shall never establish,
It is so frail.
For I could tell you a story which is true;
I know a woman with ...