John Crowe Ransom

(30 April 1888 - 3 July 1974 / Pulaski Tennessee)

Dead Boy


The little cousin is dead, by foul subtraction,
A green bough from Virginia's aged tree,
And none of the county kin like the transaction,
Nor some of the world of outer dark, like me.

A boy not beautiful, nor good, nor clever,
A black cloud full of storms too hot for keeping,
A sword beneath his mother's heart—yet never
Woman bewept her babe as this is weeping.

A pig with a pasty face, so I had said,
Squealing for cookies, kinned by poor pretense
With a noble house. But the little man quite dead,
I see the forbears' antique lineaments.

The elder men have strode by the box of death
To the wide flag porch, and muttering low send round
The bruit of the day. O friendly waste of breath!
Their hearts are hurt with a deep dynastic wound.

He was pale and little, the foolish neighbors say;
The first-fruits, saith the Preacher, the Lord hath taken;
But this was the old tree's late branch wrenched away,
Grieving the sapless limbs, the short and shaken.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: tree, woman, beautiful, house, mother, green, dark, death, world, heart, women, wind

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Dead Boy by John Crowe Ransom )

Enter the verification code :

  • Rookie Christopher White (4/18/2005 12:53:00 AM)

    This poem is Ransom at his clever best. Too often Ransom seems to verge on collapsing under the weight of his own importance. But I think he pulls off some effective effects here without seeming to be too enamored of his own sleights of hand.

    -chrispoet@netscape.net (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  4. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  5. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  6. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  7. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  8. If, Rudyard Kipling
  9. To an Athlete Dying Young, Alfred Edward Housman
  10. Mending Wall, Robert Frost

Poem of the Day

poet Alfred Edward Housman

The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.

...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

New Poems

  1. I Want A Foreigner Girl For Me, Bijay Kant Dubey
  2. Blackberries / Briars, Frank Avon
  3. Daru Pikar Naya Varsha Shuru Karne Ka Er.., Bijay Kant Dubey
  4. It Is Time, Bijay Kant Dubey
  5. Mother's Love, Father's Love, Sister's L.., Bijay Kant Dubey
  6. 52, Frank Avon
  7. Treasure, M.J. Lemon
  8. For A Friend... (Prose) ..., Frank James Ryan Jr...FjR
  9. Thank you Poets!, Paul Sebastian
  10. One Mourning In The August of '17, Frank James Ryan Jr...FjR
[Hata Bildir]