Katharine Tynan

(23 January 1861 - 2 Apirl 1931 / 23 January 1861 – 2 April 1931)

Quiet Eyes - Poem by Katharine Tynan

The boys come home, come home from war,
With quiet eyes for quiet things --
A child, a lamb, a flower, a star,
A bird that softly sings.

Young faces war-worn and deep-lined,
The satin smoothness past recall;
Yet out of sight is out of mind
For the worst wrong of all.

As nightmare dreams that pass with sleep,
The horror and grief intolerable.
The unremembering young eyes keep
Their innocence. All is well!

The worldling's eyes are dusty dim,
The eyes of sin are weary and cold,
The fighting boy brings home with him
The unsullied eyes of old.

The war has furrowed the young face.
Oh, there's no all-heal, no wound-wort!
The soul looks from its hidden place
Unharmed, unflawed, unhurt.


Comments about Quiet Eyes by Katharine Tynan

  • Susan Williams (8/10/2018 11:32:00 PM)

    I'm glad this was selected POTD again- -I think she is a clever intelligent poet and I shall read more by her this time around. (Report)Reply

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  • Kumarmani Mahakul (8/10/2018 6:29:00 PM)

    This is my second visit to this poem that is selected as POD. for second time just after one year. Congratulations. (Report)Reply

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  • Glen Kappy (8/10/2018 4:57:00 PM)

    The last two lines of this poem being contrary to my understanding of what taking life does to a soul, I wonder if Tynan was being ironic, stating the opposite of what was true. Are not the nightmares and physical signs she notes evidence of what has happened to soldiers’ souls? -GK (Report)Reply

    Susan Williams(8/10/2018 11:30:00 PM)

    That's what I was thinking too, Glen. She sounds too intelligent about the boys' homecoming to believe their soul untouched

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  • Anil Kumar Panda (8/10/2018 10:48:00 AM)

    A very sad poem indeed about kids returning from wars and their scars in heart and mind. Excellent. (Report)Reply

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  • Adrian Flett (8/10/2018 9:09:00 AM)

    'The soul looks from its hidden place' The sad ravages of war. (Report)Reply

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  • Drtony Brahmin (8/10/2018 4:53:00 AM)

    The worldling's eyes are dusty dim,
    The eyes of sin are weary and cold, a very good poem indeed. tony
    (Report)Reply

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  • Lungelo S Mbuyazi (8/10/2018 3:27:00 AM)

    A deeply sad write about the human struggle to do what thought is right for human race (Report)Reply

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  • Paul Brookes (8/10/2018 2:30:00 AM)

    The sadness and leaving and losing part of yourself War may not kill the participants but it surly scars them Great piece of writing. (Report)Reply

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  • Ruta Mohapatra (8/10/2018 2:17:00 AM)

    'The soul looks from its hidden place
    Unharmed, unflawed, unhurt'.........So the soul remains untouched by worldly events! Vedic philosophy!
    (Report)Reply

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  • Fredrick Nemes (8/10/2018 2:11:00 AM)

    let us hear them war stories,
    for the boys are now men,
    They are home from war,
    With stories to share though with tears and blood.
    (Report)Reply

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  • Mahtab Bangalee (8/10/2018 1:11:00 AM)

    Excellent Writing-

    As nightmare dreams that pass with sleep,
    The horror and grief intolerable.
    The unremembering young eyes keep
    Their innocence. All is well!

    .....
    All is well!
    All is well!
    All is well!
    (Report)Reply

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  • Bernard F. Asuncion (8/10/2017 7:12:00 PM)

    Nice and touching poem.... (Report)Reply

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  • Susan Williams (8/10/2017 3:43:00 PM)

    Extraordinary piece of writing. Recognizing PTSD so many years ago. I thought we'd only recently recognized this. (Report)Reply

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  • Rajesh Thankappan (8/10/2017 12:44:00 PM)

    The soldiers who return back alive from war carry with them their nightmarish past and if their eyes have some unsullied eyes of past, it should be because of man's yearning for peace and harmony. (Report)Reply

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  • Kumarmani Mahakul (8/10/2017 12:14:00 PM)

    Insightful poem.

    The war has furrowed the young face.
    Oh, there's no all-heal, no wound-wort!
    The soul looks from its hidden place
    Unharmed, unflawed, unhurt.

    Congratulation to his / her soul.
    (Report)Reply

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  • Seamus O Brian (8/10/2017 11:51:00 AM)

    Powerful writing. I have thought previously that no one ever comes home from war. Those who return are never the same people as those who ventured out. But this piece argues for a part of the soul that remains unharmed by the horror of war. Something to contemplate, but exquisitely wrought nonetheless... (Report)Reply

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  • Edward Kofi Louis (8/10/2017 11:11:00 AM)

    The eye of sin are weary and cold! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report)Reply

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  • Anil Kumar Panda (8/10/2017 10:20:00 AM)

    Parents are the most happiest people when they see their sons return from war unharmed. Though bruised and looking tired as oldmen for them they are their little boys. Very nice. Congrats.

    The war has furrowed the young face.
    Oh, there's no all-heal, no wound-wort!
    The soul looks from its hidden place
    Unharmed, unflawed, unhurt.
    ......is a very nice stanza.
    (Report)Reply

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  • Jayatissa K. Liyanage (8/10/2017 4:52:00 AM)

    In whatever form boys come home from war front, so long as they are amongst living, parents will be the happiest to receive them. However much they are changed over time, still, they are their boys. Very thoughtful and sensational indeed. Thanks for sharing. Congrats for the positioning. (Report)Reply

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  • (8/10/2017 4:01:00 AM)

    Boys always come home from war as men. Still the adoration of assumed innocence resonate in the lines. (Report)Reply

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 14, 2010



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