Robert Duncan

(January 7, 1919 – February 3, 1988)

Quotations

  • ''Often I am permitted to return to a meadow
    as if it were a given property of the mind
    that certain bounds hold against chaos,

    that is a place of first permission,
    everlasting omen of what is.''
    Robert Duncan (b. 1919), U.S. poet. Often I Am Permitted to Return to a Meadow (l. 19-23). . . New Oxford Book of American Verse, The. Richard Ellmann, ed. (1976) Oxford University Press.
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  • ''The world like Great Sodom lies under Love
    and knows not the hand of the Lord that moves.''
    Robert Duncan (b. 1919), U.S. poet. This Place Rumor'd to Have Been Sodom (l. 29-30). . . New Oxford Book of American Verse, The. Richard Ellmann, ed. (1976) Oxford University Press.
  • ''This was once
    a city among men, a gathering together of spirit.
    It was measured by the Lord and found wanting.''
    Robert Duncan (b. 1919), U.S. poet. This Place Rumor'd to Have Been Sodom (l. 5-7). . . New Oxford Book of American Verse, The. Richard Ellmann, ed. (1976) Oxford University Press.
  • ''The devout have laid out gardens in the desert.''
    Robert Duncan (b. 1919), U.S. poet. This Place Rumor'd to Have Been Sodom (l. 17). . . New Oxford Book of American Verse, The. Richard Ellmann, ed. (1976) Oxford University Press.

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An African Elegy

In the groves of Africa from their natural wonder
the wildebeest, zebra, the okapi, the elephant,
have enterd the marvelous. No greater marvelous
know I than the mind’s
natural jungle. The wives of the Congo
distil there their red and the husbands
hunt lion with spear and paint Death-spore
on their shields, wear his teeth, claws and hair
on ordinary occasions. There the Swahili

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