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(21 July 1899 - 2 July 1961 / Oak Park, Illinois)

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Montparnasse

There are never any suicides in the quarter among people one knows
No successful suicides.
A Chinese boy kills himself and is dead.
(they continue to place his mail in the letter rack at the Dome)
A Norwegian boy kills himself and is dead.
(no one knows where the other Norwegian boy has gone)
They find a model dead
alone in bed and very dead.
(it made almost unbearable trouble for the concierge)
Sweet oil, the white of eggs, mustard and water, soap suds
and stomach pumps rescue the people one knows.
Every afternoon the people one knows can be found at the café.

Submitted: Tuesday, August 31, 2010


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Comments about this poem (Shock Troops by Ernest Hemingway )

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  • Paul Smith (12/5/2013 11:19:00 AM)

    Very blasé attitude towards suicide. Certainly helped his reputation for 'manliness'.

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  • John Doe (3/26/2012 9:05:00 AM)

    It is so sad that this was Hemingway's basic worldview. It drips from the majority of his poetry. It bears witness to the hopelessness that he felt and obviously it reflects his ultimate end. Such a void can only be filled by Jesus Christ.

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