William Bronk

(1918 - 1999 / Fort Edward, New York)

William Bronk
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William Bronk (February 17, 1918 - February 22, 1999) was an American poet. For the 1981 collection Life Supports he won the National Book Award for Poetry.

William Bronk was born in a house on Lower Main Street in Fort Edward, New York. He had an older brother, Sherman, who died young and two older sisters, Jane and Betty. William attended Dartmouth College, arriving there at the age of 16, and after graduation spent one semester at Harvard.

Bronk served in World War II first as a draftee but later, after attending OCS, as an officer. He was discharged from the Army in October 1945 and started teaching English at Union College, Schenectady, New York. He left Union in ... more »

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Best Poem of William Bronk

The Smile on the Face of a Kouros

This boy, of course, was dead, whatever that
might mean. And nobly dead. I think we should feel
he was nobly dead. He fell in battle, perhaps,
and this carved stone remembers him
not as he may have looked, but as if to define
the naked virtue the stone describes as his.
One foot is forward, the eyes look out, the arms
drop downward past the narrow waist to hands
hanging in burdenless fullness by the heavy flanks.
The boy was dead, and the stone smiles in his death
lightening the lips with the pleasure of something achieved:
an end. To come to an end. To ...

Read the full of The Smile on the Face of a Kouros

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