Robert Francis, born in Upland, Pennsylvania in 1901. He was educated at Harvard University. After graduating, he moved into a small house in Amherst, Massachusetts that he named "Fort Juniper", inspiring editors at the University of Massachusetts Press to name their poetry award the Juniper Prize. His autobiography, The Trouble with Francis (1971), recounts in alarming detail the ... more »
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Robert Francis Poems
Keep me from going to sleep too soon Or if I go to sleep too soon Come wake me up. Come any hour Of night. Come whistling up the road.
Two boys uncoached are tossing a poem together, Overhand, underhand, backhand, sleight of hand, everyhand, Teasing with attitudes, latitudes, interludes, altitudes, High, make him fly off the ground for it, low, make him stoop,
Winter uses all the blues there are. One shade of blue for water, one for ice, Another blue for shadows over snow. The clear or cloudy sky uses blue twice-
Paper Men To Air Hopes And Fears
The first speaker said Fear fire. Fear furnaces Incinerators, the city dump The faint scratch of a match.
Farm Boy After Summer
A seated statue of himself he seems. A bronze slowness becomes him. Patently The page he contemplates he doesn't see.
backroad leafmold stonewall chipmunk underbrush grapevine woodchuck shadblow woodsmoke cowbarn honeysuckle woodpile
Bull by day And dozes by night. Would that the bulldozer
The winter apples have been picked, the garden turned. Rain and wind have picked the maple leaves and gone. The last of them now bank the house or have been burned. None are left upon the trees or on the lawn.
Four Tao philosophers as cedar waxwings chat on a February berry bush in sun, and I am one.
Words of a poem should be glass But glass so simple-subtle its shape Is nothing but the shape of what it holds.
Squash in Blossom
How lush, how loose, the uninhibited squash is. If ever hearts (and these immoderate leaves Are vegetable hearts) were worn on sleeves, The squash's are. In green the squash vine gushes.
Hallelujah: A Sestina
A wind's word, the Hebrew Hallelujah. I wonder they never gave it to a boy (Hal for short) boy with wind-wild hair. It means Praise God, as well it should since praise
From where I stand the sheep stand still As stones against the stony hill. The stones are gray
Fair And Unfair
The beautiful is fair. The just is fair. Yet one is commonplace and one is rare, One everywhere, one scarcely anywhere.
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Edgar Allan Poe
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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
Of night. Come whistling up the road.
Stomp on the porch. Bang on the door.
Make me get out of bed and come
And let you in and light a light.
Tell me the northern lights are on
And make me look. Or tell me clouds
Are doing something to the moon
They never did before, and show me.
See that I see. Talk to me till
I'm half as wide awake as you
And start to dress wondering why
I ever went to bed at all.
Tell me the walking is superb.
Not only tell me but ...