Weldon Kees

(1914 - 1955 / Nebraska / United States)

Weldon Kees
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Weldon Kees was born in Beatrice, Nebraska, on February 24, 1914. His father, John Kees, owned a hardware store. As a boy, Kees had an interest in music, art, and writing. He also published his own movie magazine. In 1935, he graduated from the University of Nebraska with a B.A. degree. While still in college, Kees began to publish fiction in many mid-western literary magazines.

Kees began to write and publish poems shortly after college. His first job was working for the Federal Writers' Project in Lincoln, Nebraska. Through the 1930s Kees mostly wrote short stories, placing them in the little magazines and intellectual quarterlies (Prairie Schoone, Horizon, Rocky Mountain ... more »

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Comments about Weldon Kees

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  • Thomas. Goodwin (2/22/2018 11:47:00 AM)

    Trying to get my workout

  • Thomas Goodwin (12/15/2017 12:29:00 PM)

    Trying to get my name out there

  • Constance Steckel (12/1/2013 6:48:00 AM)

    Kees deserves to be much better known. The New Yorker did publish many of his poems.

  • Midnight Solitude (12/11/2011 7:52:00 PM)

    One of America's greatest poets.

  • Pietro Roversi (2/19/2010 3:21:00 PM)

    True great poetry, like Dickinson, Stevens or Moore, hard to read but the reward is definitively there!

  • Lamont Palmer (11/25/2006 7:07:00 PM)

    Kees is probably the greatest obscure poet of the 20th century in American poetry. Nearly on par with Stevens in his words and music. -LP

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Best Poem of Weldon Kees

1926

The porchlight coming on again,
Early November, the dead leaves
Raked in piles, the wicker swing
Creaking. Across the lots
A phonograph is playing Ja-Da.

An orange moon. I see the lives
Of neighbors, mapped and marred
Like all the wars ahead, and R.
Insane, B. with his throat cut,
Fifteen years from now, in Omaha.

I did not know them then.
My airedale scratches at the door.
And I am back from seeing Milton Sills
And Doris Kenyon. Twelve years old.
The porchlight coming on again.

Read the full of 1926

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