Randall Jarrell

(May 6, 1914 – October 14, 1965 / Nashville)

Hope


The spirit killeth, but the letter giveth life.
The week is dealt out like a hand
That children pick up card by card.
One keeps getting the same hand.
One keeps getting the same card.
But twice a day -- except on Saturday --
The wheel stops, there is a crack in Time:
With a hiss of soles, a rattle of tin,
My own gray Daemon pauses on the stair,
My own bald Fortune lifts me by the hair.
Woe's me! woe's me! In Folly's mailbox
Still laughs the postcard, Hope:
Your uncle in Australia
Has died and you are Pope,
For many a soul has entertained
A Mailman unawares --
And as you cry, Impossible,
A step is on the stairs.
One keeps getting the same dream
Delayed, marked "Payment Due,"
The bill that one has paid
Delayed, marked "Payment Due" --
Twice a day, in rotting mailbox,
The white grubs are new:
And Faith, once more, is mine
Faithfully, but Charity
Writes hopefully about a new
Asylum -- but Hope is as good as new.
Woe's me! woe's me! In Folly's mailbox
Still laughs the postcard, Hope:
Your uncle in Australia
Has died and you are Pope,
For many a soul has entertained
A mailman unawares --
And as you cry, Impossible,
A step is on the stairs.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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

Form:


Read poems about / on: hope, faith, children, hair, dream, child

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 (Hope by Randall Jarrell )

  • Freshman - 1,849 Points Kevin Patrick (12/31/2014 5:50:00 PM)

    There is a supernatural quality about about this can read this three or four times and it seems the meaning about it always changes, there is a vividness about this that is captivating. An interesting and enigmatic poem (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

Famous Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  3. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  4. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  8. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe
Trending Poets
Trending Poems
  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. If, Rudyard Kipling
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  5. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  6. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  7. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
  8. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  9. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep, Mary Elizabeth Frye
  10. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
[Hata Bildir]