Poetry News

Erin Adair-Hodges
4 min read
Dead Poets Society
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The connections between art, madness and tragedy are often sensationalized. Far be it for us to go against that grain. Match these famous poets with the way they died and some of their verses. Happy Poetry Month!

Poetry News Poets

1) Gwendolyn Brooks

John Keats

Federico García Lorca

Czesław Miłosz

Frank O’Hara

Anne Sexton

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Gertrude Stein

Poetry News Deaths

a. Self-induced carbon monoxide poisoning

b. Drowned under mysterious circumstances

c. Died in a dune buggy accident on Fire Island

d. Died of tuberculosis at 25

e. Pretty old

f. Executed

g. Died in Paris of inoperable cancer

h. Was really, really old

Poetry News Verses


"You do not always know what I am feeling.

Last night in the warm spring air while I was

blazing my tirade against someone who doesn’t

interest me, it was love for you that set me

afire, and isn’t it odd? for in rooms full of

strangers my most tender feelings

writhe and bear the fruit of screaming."

From "For Grace After a Party"


"Winged, to be winged means that white is yellow and pieces pieces that are brown are dust color if dust is washed off, then it is choice that is to say it is fitting cigarettes sooner than paper.

An increase why is an increase idle, why is silver cloister, why is the spark brighter, if it is brighter is there any result, hardly more than ever."

From "Tender Buttons [A Box]"


"Darkling I listen; and, for many a time

I have been half in love with easeful Death,

Call’d him soft names in many a mused rhyme,

To take into the air my quiet breath;

Now more than ever seems it rich to die,

To cease upon the midnight with no pain,

While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad

In such an ecstasy!

Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain—

To thy high requiem become a sod."

From "Ode to a Nightingale"


"My darling, the wind falls in like stones

from the whitehearted water and when we touch

we enter touch entirely. No one’s alone.

Men kill for this, or for as much.

And what of the dead? They lie without shoes

in the stone boats. They are more like stone

than the sea would be if it stopped. They refuse

to be blessed, throat, eye and knucklebone."

From "The Truth the Dead Know"


"On the day the world ends

Women walk through the fields under their umbrellas,

A drunkard grows sleepy at the edge of a lawn,

Vegetable peddlers shout in the street

And a yellow-sailed boat comes nearer the island,

The voice of a violin lasts in the air

And leads into a starry night.

And those who expected lightning and thunder

Are disappointed.

And those who expected signs and archangels’ trumps

Do not believe it is happening now.

As long as the sun and the moon are above,

As long as the bumblebee visits a rose,

As long as rosy infants are born

No one believes it is happening now."

From "A Song on the End of the World"


"Life is not a dream. Careful! Careful! Careful!

We fall down the stairs in order to eat the moist earth

or we climb to the knife edge of the snow with the voices of the dead

dahlias. But forgetfulness does not exist, dreams do not exist;

flesh exists. Kisses tie our mouths

in a thicket of new veins,

and whoever his pain pains will feel that pain forever

and whoever is afraid of death will carry it on his shoulders."

From "City That Does Not Sleep"


"We real cool. We

Left school. We

Lurk late. We

Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We

Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We

Die soon."

From "We Real Cool"


"The warm sun is falling, the bleak wind is wailing,

The bare boughs are sighing, the pale flowers are dying,

And the Year

On the earth is her death-bed, in a shroud of leaves dead, Is lying."

From "Autumn: A Dirge"

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author. Payne, a former city councilor, can be reached at greg@alibi.com.

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