May Swenson

(May 28, 1913 – December 4, 1989 / Utah)

Question - Poem by May Swenson

Body my house
my horse my hound
what will I do
when you are fallen

Where will I sleep
How will I ride
What will I hunt

Where can I go
without my mount
all eager and quick
How will I know
in thicket ahead
is danger or treasure
when Body my good
bright dog is dead

How will it be
to lie in the sky
without roof or door
and wind for an eye

With cloud for shift
how will I hide?

Comments about Question by May Swenson

  • Savita Tyagi (2/2/2018 9:10:00 AM)

    An eternal question portrayed so simply and beautifully. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • (1/11/2018 11:31:00 AM)

    lmao i dont get it (crying laughing emoji) (Report) Reply

  • Gajanan Mishra (8/8/2016 11:03:00 PM)

    all eager and quick, good one. (Report) Reply

  • Denis Mair (8/8/2016 8:30:00 PM)

    The question is especially poignant because her body was beautiful. Through her intensely feminine poetry, her body inspire daydreams. When you go into a daydeam like that, you have only wind for ansendeye/ and a cloud for a robe. (Report) Reply

  • Susan Williams (8/8/2016 6:03:00 PM)

    Don't kick me out of PH- -but could this be about a flea? (Report) Reply

  • (8/8/2016 3:33:00 PM)

    How will it be
    to lie in the sky
    without roof or door
    and wind for an eye- beautiful poem having a deep meaning.
    (Report) Reply

  • (8/8/2016 11:25:00 AM)

    A beautiful and captivating poem. A great pleasure to read.
    How it will be
    to lie in the sky
    without roof or door
    and wind for an eye.
    (Report) Reply

  • Rajnish Manga (8/8/2016 6:34:00 AM)

    Awesome description of nature and its images including pleasures of keeping pet animals. Loved reading this poem. Thanks. (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (8/8/2016 12:13:00 AM)

    How will i hide? Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • (2/11/2016 7:40:00 PM)

    ............a superb write on the top 500 list...and well deserving ★ (Report) Reply

  • Thabani Khumalo (6/16/2015 9:10:00 AM)

    I have a vision to write like this, only if god would bless me enough (Report) Reply

  • (4/29/2015 11:47:00 AM)

    Are all you commenters on drugs? What are you saying Hannington? Fecundity defined is fruitfulness, or very fertile. How can that leave anything to desire? Or better yet, what does it have to with her dog? I don't understand. And by the way THE POEM IS ABOUT HER DOG, who she counts on to alert her to trouble. And it is not a sad poem. It is a masterful tribute to her dog. He is not dead. She is merely looking into the future and wondering about that eventual moment when he ultimately will die, and here she is merely counting the blessings that this dog lovingly provides to her. Did anybody else get that? Or should I start smoking crack? (Report) Reply

    (7/14/2018 9:17:00 AM)

    Maybe you should. This poem has nothing to do with her dog. It's about her body. The body in general. How would you feel when you're dead, when you have left your body. This is the question she raises so beautifully. She compares our body with a home (obviously) , a hound (your best companion) , or a horse (the one you ride to conquer the world) . And what would it be to float in air, being pure consciousness. Will we feel homeless, exposed or free?

  • (3/17/2015 4:49:00 AM)

    Your prolific fecundity leaves much to be desired (Report) Reply

  • Aftab Alam Khursheed (10/31/2014 10:02:00 AM)

    Body as house for soul and thought is horse and mind 's envelop is greed when dog dies greed die but when body is ruined- buried the soul is without umbrella - no place to hide a nice question - when body is ruined and soul is homeless then can we change the body to hide as an umbrell - something like tis mystery is hid (Report) Reply

  • Oilibheir Álain Christie (10/31/2014 9:59:00 AM)

    Question indeed! But everything comes in due time. We would always like to know in advance. (Report) Reply

  • (11/25/2013 12:54:00 PM)

    a mysterious question which there is no answer... (Report) Reply

  • Smoky Hoss (10/31/2013 7:28:00 PM)

    What shall become of the soul, really, when the body no longer controls/contains it? (Report) Reply

  • (3/6/2007 4:25:00 PM)

    May Swenson (1913-1989)

    I wonder what it would be like
    to love May Swenson
    now that she hides in the wind.

    Lying in the sky
    wearing clouds for a shift
    she solemnly smiles
    through the mist.
    I hear her throb
    in the blood
    of my ears.
    She tickles
    the hairs
    on my wrist.

    “You’re not alone
    it only seems
    that way.
    I’m with you
    every moment
    of the day.”
    (Report) Reply

  • (12/29/2006 1:45:00 PM)

    'Question' affects me deeply because Ms. Swenson doesn't provide an answer, or a tidy solution, and it helps that her use of poetic devices is masterful.
    This poem is heartbreakingly sad and poignant, it makes me run to Gerard Manley Hopkins for comfortable answers, even though his 'Margaret are you grieving...' has the same theme.
    (Report) Reply

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# 461 poem on top 500 Poems

User Rating:
3,3 / 5 ( 74 votes ) 19

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Read poems about / on: horse, dog, house, sleep, wind, sky, hunting

Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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