Léonie Adams

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Léonie Fuller Adams (9 December 1899 – 27 June 1988) was an American poet. She was appointed the seventh Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1948.

Adams was born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in an unusually strict environment. She was not allowed on the subway until she was eighteen, and even then her father accompanied her. She studied at Barnard ... more »

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Best Poem of Léonie Adams


From weariness I looked out on the stars
And there beheld them, fixed in throbbing joy,
Nor racked by such mad dance of moods as mars
For us each moment's grace with swift alloy.
And as they pierced the heavens' serene deep
An envy of that one consummate part
Swept me, who mock. Whether I laugh or weep,
Some inner silences are at my heart.
Cold shame is mine for all the masks I wear,
Belying that in me which shines and sings
Before Him, to face down man's alien stare—
A graceless puppet on unmeaning strings,
I that looked out, and ...

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