Stephen Vincent Benet

(1898 - 1943 / Pennsylvania / United States)

Stephen Vincent Benet
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Stephen Vincent Benét was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, into an army family. His father, Colonel J. Walker Benét, served as a commanding officer of ordinance posts in California and Georgia. Frances Neill (Rose) Benét, Stephen's mother, was a descendant of an old Kentucky military family. Because his father was an avid reader, Benét grew up in home, where reading literature was valued and enjoyed.

At the age about ten, Benét was sent to the Hitchcock Military Academy. He did not like the brutality of the school and later wrote about it in his poem about Shelley at Eton: "His pile of books scattered about his feet, / Stood Shelley while two others held him fast, / And the ... more »

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  • ''I am tired of loving a foreign muse.''
    Stephen Vincent Benét (1898-1943), U.S. poet. American Names (l. 20). . . Oxford Book of American Verse, The. F. O. Matthiessen, ed. (1950) Oxford...
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Best Poem of Stephen Vincent Benet

Elegy for an Enemy

(For G. H.)

Say, does that stupid earth
Where they have laid her,
Bind still her sullen mirth,
Mirth which betrayed her?
Do the lush grasses hold,
Greenly and glad,
That brittle-perfect gold
She alone had?

Smugly the common crew,
Over their knitting,
Mourn her -- as butchers do
Sheep-throats they're slitting!
She was my enemy,
One of the best of them.
Would she come back to me,
God damn the rest of them!

Damn them, the flabby, fat,
Sleek little darlings!
We gave them tit for tat,
Snarlings for ...

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