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Best Famous Louise Bogan Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Louise Bogan poems. This is a select list of the best famous Louise Bogan poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Louise Bogan poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Louise Bogan poems.

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Written by Raymond Carver |

Circulation

 And all at length are gathered in.
--LOUISE BOGAN By the time I came around to feeling pain and woke up, moonlight flooded the room.
My arm lay paralyzed, propped up like an old anchor under your back.
You were in a dream, you said later, where you'd arrived early for the dance.
But after a moment's anxiety you were okay because it was really a sidewalk sale, and the shoes you were wearing, or not wearing, were fine for that.
* "Help me," I said.
And tried to hoist my arm.
But it just lay there, aching, unable to rise on its own.
Even after you said, "What is it? What's wrong?" it stayed put -- deaf, unmoved by any expression of fear or amazement.
We shouted at it, and grew afraid when it didn't answer.
"It's gone to sleep," I said, and hearing those words knew how absurd this was.
But I couldn't laugh.
Somehow, between the two of us, we managed to raise it.
This can't be my arm is what I kept thinking as we thumped it, squeezed it, and prodded it back to life.
Shook it until that stinging went away.
We said a few words to each other.
I don't remember what.
Whatever reassuring things people who love each other say to each other given the hour and such odd circumstance.
I do remember you remarked how it was light enough in the room that you could see circles under my eyes.
You said I needed more regular sleep, and I agreed.
Each of us went to the bathroom, and climbed back into bed on our respective sides.
Pulled the covers up.
"Good night," you said, for the second time that night.
And fell asleep.
Maybe into that same dream, or else another.
* I lay until daybreak, holding both arms fast across my chest.
Working my fingers now and then.
While my thoughts kept circling around and around, but always going back where they'd started from.
That one inescapable fact: even while we undertake this trip, there's another, far more bizarre, we still have to make.

Written by Louise Bogan |

Solitary Observation Brought Back From A Sojourn In Hell

 At midnight tears
Run in your ears.

Written by Louise Bogan |

Song For The Last Act

 Now that I have your face by heart, I look
Less at its features than its darkening frame
Where quince and melon, yellow as young flame,
Lie with quilled dahlias and the shepherd's crook.
Beyond, a garden, There, in insolent ease The lead and marble figures watch the show Of yet another summer loath to go Although the scythes hang in the apple trees.
Now that I have your face by heart, I look.
Now that I have your voice by heart, I read In the black chords upon a dulling page Music that is not meant for music's cage, Whose emblems mix with words that shake and bleed.
The staves are shuttled over with a stark Unprinted silence.
In a double dream I must spell out the storm, the running stream.
The beat's too swift.
The notes shift in the dark.
Now that I have your voice by heart, I read.
Now that I have your heart by heart, I see The wharves with their great ships and architraves; The rigging and the cargo and the slaves On a strange beach under a broken sky.
O not departure, but a voyage done! The bales stand on the stone; the anchor weeps Its red rust downward, and the long vine creeps Beside the salt herb, in the lengthening sun.
Now that I have your heart by heart, I see.

More great poems below...

Written by Louise Bogan |

The Dream

 O God, in the dream the terrible horse began
To paw at the air, and make for me with his blows,
Fear kept for thirty-five years poured through his mane,
And retribution equally old, or nearly, breathed through his nose.
Coward complete, I lay and wept on the ground When some strong creature appeared, and leapt for the rein.
Another woman, as I lay half in a swound Leapt in the air, and clutched at the leather and chain.
Give him, she said, something of yours as a charm.
Throw him, she said, some poor thing you alone claim.
No, no, I cried, he hates me; he is out for harm, And whether I yield or not, it is all the same.
But, like a lion in a legend, when I flung the glove Pulled from my sweating, my cold right hand; The terrible beast, that no one may understand, Came to my side, and put down his head in love.

Written by Louise Bogan |

Knowledge

 Now that I know
How passion warms little
Of flesh in the mould,
And treasure is brittle,--

I'll lie here and learn
How, over their ground
Trees make a long shadow
And a light sound.

Written by Louise Bogan |

The Dream

 I have a dream
to fill the golden sheath
of a remembered day.
.
.
.
(Air heavy and massed and blue as the vapor of opium.
.
.
domes fired in sulphurous mist.
.
.
sea quiescent as a gray seal.
.
.
and the emerging sun spurting up gold over Sydney, smoke-pale, rising out of the bay.
.
.
.
) But the day is an up-turned cup and its sun a junk of red iron guttering in sluggish-green water-- where shall I pour my dream?

Written by Louise Bogan |

Epitaph For A Romantic Woman

 She has attained the permanence 
She dreamed of, where old stones lie sunning.
Untended stalks blow over her Even and swift, like young men running.
Always in the heart she loved Others had lived, -- she heard their laughter.
She lies where none has lain before, Where certainly none will follow after.

Written by Louise Bogan |

The Dream

 Love, if I weep it will not matter,
 And if you laugh I shall not care;
Foolish am I to think about it,
 But it is good to feel you there.
Love, in my sleep I dreamed of waking,— White and awful the moonlight reached Over the floor, and somewhere, somewhere, There was a shutter loose,—it screeched! Swung in the wind,—and no wind blowing!— I was afraid, and turned to you, Put out my hand to you for comfort,— And you were gone! Cold, cold as dew, Under my hand the moonlight lay! Love, if you laugh I shall not care, But if I weep it will not matter,— Ah, it is good to feel you there!

Written by Louise Bogan |

The Alchemist

 I burned my life, that I may find
A passion wholly of the mind,
Thought divorced from eye and bone
Ecstasy come to breath alone.
I broke my life, to seek relief From the flawed light of love and grief.
With mounting beat the utter fire Charred existence and desire.
It died low, ceased its sudden thresh.
I had found unmysterious flesh-- Not the mind's avid substance--still Passionate beyond the will.

Written by Louise Bogan |

Portrait

 She has no need to fear the fall 
Of harvest from the laddered reach 
Of orchards, nor the tide gone ebbing 
 From the steep beach.
Nor hold to pain's effrontery Her body's bulwark, stern and savage, Nor be a glass, where to forsee Another's ravage.
What she has gathered, and what lost, She will not find to lose again.
She is possessed by time, who once Was loved by men.

Written by Louise Bogan |

Words For Departure

 Nothing was remembered, nothing forgotten.
When we awoke, wagons were passing on the warm summer pavements, The window-sills were wet from rain in the night, Birds scattered and settled over chimneypots As among grotesque trees.
Nothing was accepted, nothing looked beyond.
Slight-voiced bells separated hour from hour, The afternoon sifted coolness And people drew together in streets becoming deserted.
There was a moon, and light in a shop-front, And dusk falling like precipitous water.
Hand clasped hand Forehead still bowed to forehead-- Nothing was lost, nothing possessed There was no gift nor denial.
2 I have remembered you.
You were not the town visited once, Nor the road falling behind running feet.
You were as awkward as flesh And lighter than frost or ashes.
You were the rind, And the white-juiced apple, The song, and the words waiting for music.
3 You have learned the beginning; Go from mine to the other.
Be together; eat, dance, despair, Sleep, be threatened, endure.
You will know the way of that.
But at the end, be insolent; Be absurd--strike the thing short off; Be mad--only do not let talk Wear the bloom from silence.
And go away without fire or lantern Let there be some uncertainty about your departure.

Written by Louise Bogan |

Portrait

 A child draws the outline of a body.
She draws what she can, but it is white all through, she cannot fill in what she knows is there.
Within the unsupported line, she knows that life is missing; she has cut one background from another.
Like a child, she turns to her mother.
And you draw the heart against the emptiness she has created.

Written by Louise Bogan |

Sonnet

 FLESH, I have knocked at many a dusty door, 
Gone down full many a midnight lane, 
Probed in old walls and felt along the floor, 
Pressed in blind hope the lighted window-pane, 
But useless all, though sometimes when the moon 
Was full in heaven and the sea was full, 
Along my body's alleys came a tune 
Played in the tavern by the Beautiful.
Then for an instant I have felt at point To find and seize her, whosoe'er she be, Whether some saint whose glory doth anoint Those whom she loves, or but a part of me, Or something that the things not understood Make for their uses out of flesh and blood.

Written by Louise Bogan |

The Dream

 I WOKE to find my pillow wet
 With the tears for deeds deep hid in sleep.
I knew no sorrow here, but yet The tears fell softly through the deep.
Your eyes, your other eyes of dream, Looked at me through the veil of blank; I saw their joyous, starlit gleam Like one who watches rank on rank.
His victor airy legions wind And pass before his awful throne— Was there thy loving heart unkind, Was I thy captive all o’erthrown?

Written by Louise Bogan |

Medusa

 I had come to the house, in a cave of trees, 
Facing a sheer sky.
Everything moved, -- a bell hung ready to strike, Sun and reflection wheeled by.
When the bare eyes were before me And the hissing hair, Held up at a window, seen through a door.
The stiff bald eyes, the serpents on the forehead Formed in the air.
This is a dead scene forever now.
Nothing will ever stir.
The end will never brighten it more than this, Nor the rain blur.
The water will always fall, and will not fall, And the tipped bell make no sound.
The grass will always be growing for hay Deep on the ground.
And I shall stand here like a shadow Under the great balanced day, My eyes on the yellow dust, that was lifting in the wind, And does not drift away.