Treasure Island

Anthony Evan Hecht

(16 January 1923 - 20 October 2004 / New York)

Quotations

  • ''It's all very well to dream of a dove that saves,
    Picasso's or the Pope's
    The one that annually coos in Our Lady's ear
    Half the world's hopes,''
    Anthony Hecht (b. 1923), U.S. poet. Birdwatchers of America (l. 1-4). . . New Oxford Book of American Verse, The. Richard Ellmann, ed. (1976) Oxford University Press.
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  • ''The air was clear. He seemed in ultimate peace

    Except that he had no eyes. Rigid and bright
    Upon the forehead, furred
    With a light frost, crouched an outrageous bird.''
    Anthony Hecht (b. 1923), U.S. poet. Birdwatchers of America (l. 21-24). . . New Oxford Book of American Verse, The. Richard Ellmann, ed. (1976) Oxford University Press.
  • ''And in their fairy tales
    The warty giant and witch
    Get sealed in doorless jails
    And the match-girl strikes it rich.''
    Anthony Hecht (b. 1923), U.S. poet. It Out-Herods Herod. Pray You, Avoid It (l. 5-8). . . Oxford Book of Contemporary Verse, The, 1945-1980. D. J. Enright, comp. (1980) Oxford University Press.
  • ''And that their sleep be sound
    I say this childermas
    Who could not, at one time,
    Have saved them from the gas.''
    Anthony Hecht (b. 1923), U.S. poet. It Out-Herods Herod. Pray You, Avoid It (l. 33-36). . . Oxford Book of Contemporary Verse, The, 1945-1980. D. J. Enright, comp. (1980) Oxford University Press.
  • ''No prayers or incense rose up in those hours
    Which grew to be years, and every day came mute
    Ghosts from the ovens, sitting through crisp air,
    And settled upon his eyes in a black soot.''
    Anthony Hecht (b. 1923), U.S. poet. "More Light! More Light!" (L. 29-32). . . Oxford Book of War Poetry, The. Jon Stallworthy, ed. (1984) Oxford University Press.
  • ''Composed in the Tower before his execution
    These moving verses, and being brought at that time
    Painfully to the stake, submitted, declaring thus:
    "I implore my God to witness that I have made no crime."''
    Anthony Hecht (b. 1923), U.S. poet. "More Light! More Light!" (L. 1-4). . . Oxford Book of War Poetry, The. Jon Stallworthy, ed. (1984) Oxford University Press.
  • ''Samuel Sewall, in a world of wigs,
    Flouted opinion in his personal hair;
    For foppery he gave not any figs,
    But in his right and honor took the air.''
    Anthony Hecht (b. 1923), U.S. poet. Samuel Sewall (l. 1-4). . . Norton Book of Light Verse, The. Russell Baker, ed. (1986) W. W. Norton & Company.
  • ''But all the time he was talking she had in mind
    The notion of what his whiskers would feel like
    On the back of her neck.''
    Anthony Hecht (b. 1923), U.S. poet. The Dover Bitch (l. 9-11). . . Oxford Book of American Light Verse, The. William Harmon, ed. (1979) Oxford University Press.
  • ''So there stood Matthew Arnold and this girl
    With the cliffs of England crumbling away behind them,
    And he said to her, "Try to be true to me,
    And I'll do the same for you, for things are bad
    All over, etc., etc."''
    Anthony Hecht (b. 1923), U.S. poet. The Dover Bitch (l. 1-5). . . Oxford Book of American Light Verse, The. William Harmon, ed. (1979) Oxford University Press.
  • ''A great black presence beats its wings in wrath.
    Above the boneyard burn its golden eyes.
    Some small grey fur is pulsing in its grip.''
    Anthony Hecht (b. 1923), U.S. poet. The End of the Weekend (l. 24-26). . . Faber Book of Modern Verse, The. Michael Roberts, ed. (4th ed. revised by Peter Porter, 1982) Faber and Faber.

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Third Avenue In Sunlight

Third Avenue in sunlight. Nature's error.
Already the bars are filled and John is there.
Beneath a plentiful lady over the mirror
He tilts his glass in the mild mahogany air.
I think of him when he first got out of college,
Serious, thin, unlikely to succeed;
For several months he hung around the Village,
Boldly T-shirtet, unfettered but unfreed.

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