Archibald MacLeish

(7 May 1892 – 20 April 1982 / Glencoe, Illinois)

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The End of the World


Quite unexpectedly, as Vasserot
The armless ambidextrian was lighting
A match between his great and second toe,
And Ralph the lion was engaged in biting
The neck of Madame Sossman while the drum
Pointed, and Teeny was about to cough
In waltz-time swinging Jocko by the thumb
Quite unexpectedly to top blew off:

And there, there overhead, there, there hung over
Those thousands of white faces, those dazed eyes,
There in the starless dark, the poise, the hover,
There with vast wings across the cancelled skies,
There in the sudden blackness the black pall
Of nothing, nothing, nothing -- nothing at all.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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Comments about this poem (The End of the World by Archibald MacLeish )

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  • Freshman - 1,979 Points Valerie Dohren (12/17/2013 5:47:00 AM)

    Regardless of the typo, I love this - especially the second stanza. Cancelled skies - brilliant. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie alan barlow (12/22/2011 6:04:00 AM)

    Two years later, the same poem has the same typo:

    'Quite unexpectedly to top blew off: '

    should be:

    'Quite unexpectedly the top blew off: ' (Report) Reply

Read all 4 comments »

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