Allen Tate Poems
Comments about Allen Tate
Ode To The Confederate Dead
Row after row with strict impunity
The headstones yield their names to the element,
The wind whirrs without recollection;
In the riven troughs the splayed leaves
Pile up, of nature the casual sacrament
To the seasonal eternity of death;
Then driven by the fierce scrutiny
Of heaven to their election in the vast breath,
They sough the rumour of mortality.
Autumn is desolation in the plot
Of a thousand acres where these memories grow
From the inexhaustible bodies that are not
Dead, but feed the grass row after rich row.
Think of the autumns that have ...
. . . and the children's teeth shall be set on edge.
I see him old, trapped in a burly house
Cold in the angry spitting of a rain
Come down these sixty years.
Astride the threshold do I wait, marking
The ice softly pendent on his broken temple?