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Robert Penn Warren

Accept these images for what they are— Out of the past a fragile element Of substance into accident. I would speak honestly and of a full heart; I would speak surely for the tale is short, And the soul’s remorseless catalogue Assumes its quick and piteous sum. — Robert Penn Warren, from “San Francisco Night… Continue reading Robert Penn Warren

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American Culture · American Literature · Anthology · Classic · Collection · Compilation · Contemporary · Excerpt · Fellowship of Southern Writers · New Criticism · Passage · Poetry · Southern Literature

Robert Penn Warren

Waters, hypnotic, long after moonset, murmur Under your window, and Time Is only a shade on the underside of the beech-leaf Which, upward, reflects a tiny refulgence of stars. What can you dream to make Time real again? I have read in a book that dream is the mother of memory, And if there’s no… Continue reading Robert Penn Warren

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Robert Penn Warren

And she drew my face down and pressed her lips against mine to stop my words. Her lips were cold, but they hung upon mine. I too was perfectly cold, as of mortal chill. And the coldness was the final horror of the act which we performed, as though two dolls should parody the shame… Continue reading Robert Penn Warren

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American Culture · American Literature · Anthology · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · Fellowship of Southern Writers · Fragment · New Criticism · Poetry · Southern Literature

Robert Penn Warren

[A]nd the world Whirls green on a string, then The leaves go quiet, wink From their own shade, secretly. Keep still, just a moment, leaves. There is something I am trying to remember. — Robert Penn Warren, from “2. Deciduous Spring,” in section II “Love: Two Vignettes” of “Delight,” Tale of Time: Poems 1960-1966, in… Continue reading Robert Penn Warren

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American Culture · American Literature · Anthology · Classic · Collection · Compilation · Contemporary · Excerpt · Fellowship of Southern Writers · Fragment · New Criticism · Poetry · Southern Literature

Robert Penn Warren

But why should I lie here longer? I am not dead yet … And the world’s way is yet long to go, And I love the world even in my anger, And love is a hard thing to outgrow. —Robert Penn Warren, from “American Portrait: Old Style,” Now and Then: Poems, 1976-1978 (Random House, 1978)

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American Culture · American Literature · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · Fellowship of Southern Writers · Fragment · New Criticism · Poetry · Southern Literature

Robert Penn Warren

Never expect to be able to will a poem into existence. It must happen to you because You are what you are– With all your defects. —Robert Penn Warren, from “A Few Axioms for a Young Man,” Uncollected Poems 1943-1989, The Collected Poems of Robert Penn Warren. (Louisiana State University Press, 1998)

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American Culture · American Literature · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · Fellowship of Southern Writers · Fragment · New Criticism · Passage · Poetry · Southern Literature

Robert Penn Warren

While out of Time, Timelessness brims Like oil on black water, to coil out and spread On the time that seems past and the time that may come, And both the same under The present’s darkening dome. —Robert Penn Warren, from “Antinomy: Time and Identity,” Being Here: Poetry 1977-1979 (Random House, 1980)

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