Robert Francis

(August 12, 1901 - July 13, 1987 / Pennsylvania / United States)

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Keep me from going to sleep too soon
Or if I go to sleep too soon
Come wake me up. Come any hour
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Comments about this poem (Summons by Robert Francis )

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  • Freshman - 1,353 Points Kay Staley (9/19/2014 11:56:00 AM)

    This could be about practically anything. I like to think that the author is worried about falling asleep in life and missing all the things that matter. He is worried that he is only half awake and that the world is persuading him to see only parts of his environment and not letting him be truly alive. I like stuff like this but its truly a shame that this doesnt rhyme. (Report) Reply

    Veteran Poet - 3,614 Points Susan Williams (9/19/2014 2:47:00 PM)

    Enjoyed the thought you put into your reply. I would like you to spread your wings and develop a taste for poetry that does not rhyme. There is such a huge variety of poetry forms out there and there are truly elegant and satisfying poets that use them. Perhaps this poem could be addressing all of us who close their borders and batten down the hatches to the experiences of life whether it be in nature or in art or in literature... I have also enjoyed other comments that you have made on this site because so many of your remarks reveal the joy you have in the written word.

  • Rookie Rob Burns (2/17/2013 5:23:00 PM)

    I think it is about those people that enter our lives and open the doors. The people who we never expect to come along. We don't plan for the meeting, it is the spontaneous nature of time and chance that puts these people in our lives that they change us, a sea change into something rich and strange. (Report) Reply

    Rookie - 261 Points Stephen W (9/19/2014 5:54:00 PM)

    The last line suggests it is addressed to someone he knows.

  • Rookie Mm Loewin (9/20/2012 10:43:00 AM)

    Does anyone happen to know where/when this poem was first published? I'm trying to figure out how I came upon it in the 1970s in Vermont. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Carlos Echeverria (9/19/2012 2:40:00 PM)

    The words WHISTLING, STOMP, BANG set an urgent tone to the reading of this poem-the passion of lovers-a hot energy. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 2,087 Points Pranab K Chakraborty (9/19/2012 2:20:00 AM)

    Marvelous by its lucid expression which intensifying the passion of living. Great love towards life. Great indeed......Pranab k c (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Diana Varney (6/2/2009 11:56:00 AM)

    Kiarra: I've loved this poem for decades and now you have helped me to fully understand why. Your analysis was spot-on for me. Thank you so much! ! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Susan Folkes (7/9/2008 11:17:00 AM)

    I'm with Zack - sort of - I think it's being in love with life. It reminds me of a time in Manila when the meteorite shower went on from about 2: 00 am until 5: 00 am. My friend and I had gone to bed, having had a good evening out and feeling tired. We had decided not to join our friends on the top of a skyscraper to watch the promised spectacle. One of our friends came bashing on the door at 1: 00 am until we woke up and we dressed and travelled to the top of the tower to watch. We lay on our backs watching the cosmic fireworks until morning. A night never forgotten, and shared with friends. It's a message not to take life for granted, a desire to share special moments. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Kiarra Smith (6/13/2007 5:58:00 PM)

    At Missouri Fine Arts Academy, we tried to analyze this poem. To me, it should be read in an almost mystical way with a soft voice. Though it sounds like death, I personally think it is about inspiration. The sleeping person is ignoring creativity and the beauty of life, yet wants to experience it. That is why the narrator is asking 'Persuade me'. This is shown throughout the poem by the things the narrator wants to see such as the beautiful aurora borealis. They tell them to 'Knock on the porch. Bang on the door' meaning to force them to listen even if they have to shout, 'Look! Look at all of the wonder you are missing! ' They want to see these things before they become a prisoner of their own negativity which is proven in the line 'Keep me from going to sleep too soon.' Of course, this is just my opinion. At the age of 17 now, it could change when I'm 20 or 30. (Report) Reply

    Veteran Poet - 3,614 Points Susan Williams (9/19/2014 2:57:00 PM)

    Wow! What an intelligent and sensitive teenager! Now you are 24... I wish you'd come back and tell us what you think now! You are one of the reasons I read the comments- you add truth and beauty to your analysis

  • Rookie Zack Arsenault (6/11/2007 8:25:00 PM)

    I am a teenager, and I dont see this as something about death and dying young. Quite the opposite really. I see this as a poem about someone deeply in love with someone else. I see this because every view in this poem screams how much he cares, how much he wants to just be around this person. I say he because these are my feelings for the person I love. I may only be 15 but I know well enough what my feelings mean. I feel he same way as in this poem. Perhaps that is only my mind thinking on its own, but I see this as Pure Love. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Debra Polsky (6/21/2006 1:10:00 PM)

    I agree that it's about seizing life, not sleeping or sleepwalking through it. It also speaks to me about friendship, about the kind of friendship that knows what you need and pushes you to grab it. I think teenagers think everything is about death and dying young. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Steven Reader (11/17/2005 12:45:00 AM)

    See that I see. I asked my class what they thought this poem was to them and several answered death and dying young. I think it is about life and living fully. (Report) Reply

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