Allen Tate

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

To A Romantic Poem by Allen Tate


To Robert Penn Warren

You hold your eager head
Too high in the air, you walk
As if the sleepy dead
Had never fallen to drowse
From the sublimest talk
Of many a vehement house.
Your head so turned turns eyes
Into the vagrant West;
Fixing an iron mood
In an Ozymandias* breast
And because your clamorous blood
Beats an impermanent rest
You think the dead arise
Westward and fabulous:
The dead are those whose lies
Were doors to a narrow house.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010

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