Malcolm Cowley (August 24, 1898 – March 27, 1989) was an American novelist, poet, literary critic, and journalist.
Born August 28, 1898 in Western Pennsylvania, Cowley grew up in Pittsburgh, where his father William was a homeopathic doctor. He graduated from Peabody High School where his friend Kenneth Burke was also a student. in 1920 he earned a B.A. from Harvard University.
He interrupted his undergraduate studies to join the American Field Service in France during World War I. From the Western Front he reported on the war for The Pittsburgh Gazette (today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).
Marriage and ... more »
Click here to add this poet to your My Favorite Poets.
Malcolm Cowley Poems
Farmhouses curl like horns of plenty, hide scrawny bare shanks against a barn, or crouch empty in the shadow of a mountain. Here there is no house at all—
August and on the vine eight melons sleeping, drinking the sunlight, sleeping, while below their roots obscurely work in the dark loam;
The Long Voyage
NOT that the pines were darker there, nor mid-May dogwood brighter there, nor swifts more swift in summer air; it was my own country,
Regiments at a time pass through our village And, filthy with the caked mud of the front They lie along the roadside, or else hunt Their billets in damp cellars, or in stables
We Had Great Argument
After a tardy sun had set We four untried lieutenants chose The back room of the town buvette And there, until the next sun rose,
Stone Horse Shoals
'TO wade the sea-mist, then to wade the sea JL at dawn, let drift your garments one by one, follow the clean stroke of a sea-gull's wing breast-high against the sun;
Ballad Of French Service
No more to stroll for half a day Along the careless Avenue, No more to doze the night away, Reading of deeds that others do.
By day The town basks in the sun like some Aztec ruin. There is quiet in the trenches nearby; quiet and strained watching. The crumbling walls of the village are without habitant.
Comments about Malcolm Cowley
Farmhouses curl like horns of plenty, hide
scrawny bare shanks against a barn, or crouch
empty in the shadow of a mountain. Here
there is no house at all—
only the bones of a house,
lilacs growing beside them,
roses in clumps between them,
a gap for a door, a chimney
mud-chinked, an immense fireplace,
the skeleton of a pine,
and gandy dancers working on the rails
that run not thirty yards from the once door.
I heard a gandy dancer playing on a jew's harp
Where is now that merry party I remember long ago?
Nelly was a ...