Kenneth Patchen

(13 December 1911 - 8 January 1972 / Ohio)

Let Us Have Madness - Poem by Kenneth Patchen

Let us have madness openly.
O men Of my generation.
Let us follow
The footsteps of this slaughtered age:
See it trail across Time's dim land
Into the closed house of eternity
With the noise that dying has,
With the face that dead things wear--
nor ever say
We wanted more; we looked to find
An open door, an utter deed of love,
Transforming day's evil darkness;
but We found extended hell and fog Upon the earth,
and within the head
A rotting bog of lean huge graves.


Comments about Let Us Have Madness by Kenneth Patchen

  • Tariq Al (9/5/2019 2:50:00 PM)

    Gracefully inclining us to revolution! The same goes for most generations as we find ourselves saying we wanted more or we should have done more. (Report)Reply

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  • Sylvia Frances Chan (9/5/2019 8:53:00 AM)

    All we have to possess is LOVE and PEACE only. Excellent poem, but rather an eerie society as the poet described. This is not my society, but truly enjoyed it as a poem to read. CONGRATULATIONS upon being chosen as The Modern Poem Of The Day to the family of the late poet. As I noticed the poet died young, at 61 years of age. A precious poem to be read and to be understood. PEACE and LOVE to all of us here on PH (Report)Reply

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  • Rajnish Manga (9/5/2019 8:45:00 AM)

    Startling images have been created to bring out the harsh reality of old age.
    Thanks & Congrats.
    (Report)Reply

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  • (9/5/2019 5:41:00 AM)

    Without regret or bitterness. A nice conceptualization. (Report)Reply

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  • (9/5/2019 5:38:00 AM)

    We wanted more we looked to find
    An open door, an utter deed of love"
    Well deserved modern poem of the Day.
    (Report)Reply

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  • Mahtab Bangalee (9/5/2019 3:58:00 AM)

    nor ever say
    We wanted more; we looked to find
    An open door, an utter deed of love, ......////yeah; great expression
    (Report)Reply

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  • Kumarmani Mahakul (9/5/2019 3:20:00 AM)

    We wanted more; we looked to find
    An open door, an utter deed of love, ......outstanding conceptualization. Beautiful poem.
    (Report)Reply

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  • Paul Brookes (9/5/2019 2:10:00 AM)

    This is so timeless it has antiwar as its message and it has the futility of said we but we like the poet find still the 'rotting bog of lean huge graves.' As valid as the day it was written. (Report)Reply

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  • R Soos (12/13/2016 9:15:00 AM)

    Ronald Reagan was born the same year as Kenneth Patchen, and was a great influence on the Governor and then President. Let us have madness openly, O men of my generation! Reagan closed all the mental institutions, and allowed the former inmates to roam the streets as homeless people in the 1980's; and the trend continues today. It is indeed marvelous when poets are listened to by politicians! Unfortunately different communities have treated the madmen out in the open differently, and many have incarcerated them and placed them in prison cells. So, we need a new Patchen shouting in the streets! (Report)Reply

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  • (12/13/2016 1:59:00 AM)

    The poor state of affairs in the society that created in the poem a good idea. (Report)Reply

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  • Daniel Brick (12/12/2016 11:04:00 PM)

    Since our societies are greedy and justify ambition, since our governments see war as a simple solution to complex problems, since our morality accept human sacrifice to our secular gods in the form of massive battlefield losses, we are living in a comprehensive madness. So why continue to extol our civilization as one of reason and our behavior as rational? Let us have madness and stop deceiving ourselves. Three images conclude the poem: Hell is the suffering we have unleashed on everyone, Fog is our intellectual and moral confusion, and Graves symbolize our collective Death Wish. Poetry, in its highest manifestation, is truth-telling. Will this truth free us? (Report)Reply

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  • Terry Craddock (12/12/2016 10:31:00 PM)

    too many listened, too many made madness openly, time to stop the rot, the wars, the slaughter; time to make time for peace and love to sow restoration and regeneration (Report)Reply

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  • (12/12/2016 5:59:00 AM)

    Quite good poem but I wouldn't like to be in that world! (Report)Reply

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  • Anil Kumar Panda (12/12/2016 4:42:00 AM)

    Some lines are really nice...like...We wanted more; we looked to find
    An open door, an utter deed of love, ..... Thanks for sharing.
    (Report)Reply

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  • Edward Kofi Louis (12/12/2016 4:12:00 AM)

    Openly. Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report)Reply

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  • Bernard F. Asuncion (12/12/2016 1:41:00 AM)

    We wanted more; we looked to find
    An open door, an utter deed of love,

    All we have to possess is love......
    (Report)Reply

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  • Brian Jani (5/5/2014 4:21:00 AM)

    Nice poem.well written (Report)Reply

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  • Brian Jani (5/5/2014 4:19:00 AM)

    Bravo, nice poem (Report)Reply

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  • (9/8/2007 9:08:00 PM)

    it seems my head explodes.
    private sledgehammer,
    you haven't a bash in you.
    heavy and loaded with grief, good,
    the way angels breathe.
    the way it ought to be.
    illegible, scrawled with disbelief.

    in come the detectives.
    fit with bow-tie.
    they use the school, search for clues.
    this could be the work madmen...
    this could be the work of genius,
    this could be no work at all.
    Simple faucet drip to someone inside.
    In shirt-sleeve, pant-suit tieing his life
    around her finger.
    Slowly,
    the way the noose does.
    (Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
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Read poems about / on: fog, evil, house, time, love



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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