Louise Bogan, Body of this Death: Poems (New York: Robert M. McBride, 1923): 23. PS 3503 O195 B66 1923 Robarts Library.
2They are provident instead,
3Content in the tight hot cell of their hearts
4To eat dusty bread.
5They do not see cattle cropping red winter grass,
6They do not hear
7Snow water going down under culverts
8Shallow and clear.
9They wait, when they should turn to journeys,
10They stiffen, when they should bend.
11They use against themselves that benevolence
12To which no man is friend.
13They cannot think of so many crops to a field
14Or of clean wood cleft by an axe.
15Their love is an eager meaninglessness
16Too tense, or too lax.
17They hear in every whisper that speaks to them
18A shout and a cry.
19As like as not, when they take life over their door-sills
20They should let it go by.
1] For the poet's own recording of this poem, see Louise Brogan Read from Her Own Works (Decca Records DL 9132; Carillon Records 308). Back to Line
Publication Start Year
Measure 12 (Feb. 1922): 14
RPO poem Editors