Stephen Vincent Benet

(1898 - 1943 / Pennsylvania / United States)

Ghosts of a Lunatic Asylum


Here, where men's eyes were empty and as bright
As the blank windows set in glaring brick,
When the wind strengthens from the sea -- and night
Drops like a fog and makes the breath come thick;

By the deserted paths, the vacant halls,
One may see figures, twisted shades and lean,
Like the mad shapes that crawl an Indian screen,
Or paunchy smears you find on prison walls.

Turn the knob gently! There's the Thumbless Man,
Still weaving glass and silk into a dream,
Although the wall shows through him -- and the Khan
Journeys Cathay beside a paper stream.

A Rabbit Woman chitters by the door --
-- Chilly the grave-smell comes from the turned sod --
Come -- lift the curtain -- and be cold before
The silence of the eight men who were God!

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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

Read poems about / on: fog, silence, woman, dream, wind, sea, god, night, journey, women

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 (Ghosts of a Lunatic Asylum by Stephen Vincent Benet )

Enter the verification code :

  • Stephinie Mckenzie (2/11/2010 2:15:00 PM)

    i feel like i can connect with this poem it speaks to me in more then just words i feel what Stephen is saying to us in my soul. (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  9. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Rape, gajanan mishra
  2. In the End, Gandhi and King Were Murdered, Lawrence Beck
  3. Love's labor lost, PRIYANKA BHANDARKAR
  4. mens sana in corpore sano -a healthy mi.., Sadiqullah Khan
  5. Do not leave us, Sadiqullah Khan
  6. Regal Grace, Sadiqullah Khan
  7. Another Lesson Learned, Danielle Mari Nidea
  8. A Birthday Wish, Adonis Enricuso
  9. What Why When.......Its Gone Wrong?, Jayatissa Liyanage
  10. Envy, Nassy Fesharaki

Poem of the Day

poet Robert Herrick

Here we are all, by day; by night we're hurl'd
By dreams, each one into a several world.... Read complete »

   
[Hata Bildir]