Born in Livermore Falls, Maine, in 1897. She attended Boston Girls' Latin School and spent one year at Boston University. She married in 1916 and was widowed in 1920. In 1925, she married her second husband, the poet Raymond Holden, whom she divorced in 1937. Her poems were published in the New Republic, the Nation, Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, Scribner's and Atlantic Monthly. For thirty-eight years, she reviewed poetry for The New Yorker.
Bogan found the confessional poetry of Robert Lowell and John Berryman distasteful and self-indulgent. With the poets whose work she admired, however, such as Theodore Roethke, she was extremely supportive and encouraging. She was reclusive and... more »
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Louise Bogan Poems
Up from the bronze, I saw Water without a flaw Rush to its rest in air, Reach to its rest, and fall.
O God, in the dream the terrible horse began To paw at the air, and make for me with his blows, Fear kept for thirty-five years poured through his mane, And retribution equally old, or nearly, breathed through his nose.
The Crossed Apple
I’ve come to give you fruit from out my orchard, Of wide report. I have trees there that bear me many apples. Of every sort:
I had come to the house, in a cave of trees, Facing a sheer sky. Everything moved, -- a bell hung ready to strike, Sun and reflection wheeled by.
Tears In Sleep
All night the cocks crew, under a moon like day, And I, in the cage of sleep, on a stranger's breast, Shed tears, like a task not to be put away--- In the false light, false grief in my happy bed,
I burned my life, that I might find A passion wholly of the mind, Thought divorced from eye and bone, Ecstasy come to breath alone.
Last Hill in a Vista
Come, let us tell the weeds in ditches How we are poor, who once had riches, And lie out in the sparse and sodden Pastures that the cows have trodden,
Men Loved Wholly Beyond Wisdom
Men loved wholly beyond wisdom Have the staff without the banner. Like a fire in a dry thicket Rising within women's eyes
To A Dead Lover
The dark is thrown Back from the brightness, like hair Cast over a shoulder. I am alone,
Song For The Last Act
Now that I have your face by heart, I look Less at its features than its darkening frame Where quince and melon, yellow as young flame, Lie with quilled dahlias and the shepherd's crook.
Women have no wilderness in them, They are provident instead, Content in the tight hot cell of their hearts To eat dusty bread.
It is yourself you seek In a long rage, Scanning through light and darkness Mirrors, the page,
You have put your two hands upon me, and your mouth, You have said my name as a prayer. Here where trees are planted by the water I have watched your eyes, cleansed from regret,
The Frightened Man
In fear of the rich mouth I kissed the thin,-- Even that was a trap To snare me in.
Quotationsmore quotations »
''Because language is the carrier of ideas, it is easy to believe that it should be very little else than such a carrier.''Louise Bogan (1897-1970), U.S. poet, critic. "A Revolution in European Poetry," (written 1941), published in A Poet's Alphabet (1970).
''But childhood prolonged, cannot remain a fairyland. It becomes a hell.''Louise Bogan (1897-1970), U.S. poet and critic. repr. In Selected Criticism: Poetry and Prose (1955). "Childhood's False Eden," (1940). Referring ...
''The intellectual is a middle-class product; if he is not born into the class he must soon insert himself into it, in order to exist. He is the fine nervous flower of the bourgeoisie.''Louise Bogan (1897-1970), U.S. poet, critic. "Some Notes on Popular and Unpopular Art," (written 1943), published in Selected Criticism: Poetry and Pr...
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
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Edgar Allan Poe
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(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
Up from the bronze, I saw
Water without a flaw
Rush to its rest in air,
Reach to its rest, and fall.
Bronze of the blackest shade,
An element man-made,
Shaping upright the bare
Clear gouts of water in air.
O, as with arm and hammer,
Still it is good to strive
To beat out the image whole,
To echo the shout and stammer
When full-gushed waters, alive,
Strike on the fountain's bowl
After the air of summer.