Allen Tate

(19 November 1899 - 9 February 1979 / Winchester, Kentucky)

Light - Poem by Allen Tate

Last night I fled until I came
To streets where leaking casements dripped
Stale lamplight from the corpse of flame;
A nervous window bled.

The moon swagged in the air.
Out of the mist a girl tossed
Spittle of song; a hoarse light
Spattered the fog with heavy hair.

Damp bells in a remote tower
Sharply released the throat of God,
I leaned to the erect night
Dead as stiff turf in winter sod.

Then with the careless energy
Of a dream, the forward curse
Of a cold particular eye
In the headlong hearse.

Comments about Light by Allen Tate

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (11/19/2016 6:32:00 PM)

    Beautiful poem! ! ! ......
    Thanks for sharing.......
    (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Anil Kumar Panda (11/19/2016 9:17:00 AM)

    This is a very good poem about significance of light. Very nice. Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • Birgitta Abimbola Heikka (11/19/2016 9:00:00 AM)

    Love the style of writing.—reminds me of Emily Dickinson. Interesting comparison of the erect night to “stiff turf in winter sod” in the 3rd verse. Love the ending “the forward curse of a cold eye in the headlong hearse.” Enjoyed reading this piece (Report) Reply

  • R Soos (11/19/2016 8:53:00 AM)

    'released the throat of God'
    Alan Tate is such an interesting read. He rides the cusp between the free verse and imagry movement ('with the careless energy of a dream') and the strict rhyme/meter of the 19th century with grace and brilliance. (Report) Reply

  • (11/19/2016 7:37:00 AM)

    A nervous window bled
    Stunning write depicting diverse manifestations of light. Thanks for sharing it here.
    (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (11/19/2016 3:14:00 AM)

    Bells! !
    In a remote tower. Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010

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