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Best Famous John Crowe Ransom Poems

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

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by John Crowe Ransom | |

Blue Girls

 Twirling your blue skirts, travelling the sward 
Under the towers of your seminary, 
Go listen to your teachers old and contrary 
Without believing a word.
Tie the white fillets then about your hair And think no more of what will come to pass Than bluebirds that go walking on the grass And chattering on the air.
Practice your beauty, blue girls, before it fail; And I will cry with my loud lips and publish Beauty which all our power shall never establish, It is so frail.
For I could tell you a story which is true; I know a woman with a terrible tongue, Blear eyes fallen from blue, All her perfections tarnished -- yet it is not long Since she was lovelier than any of you.


by John Crowe Ransom | |

Bells For John Whitesides Daughter

 There was such speed in her little body, 
And such lightness in her footfall, 
It is no wonder her brown study Astonishes us all 

Her wars were bruited in our high window.
We looked among orchard trees and beyond Where she took arms against her shadow, Or harried unto the pond The lazy geese, like a snow cloud Dripping their snow on the green grass, Tricking and stopping, sleepy and proud, Who cried in goose, Alas, For the tireless heart within the little Lady with rod that made them rise From their noon apple-dreams and scuttle Goose-fashion under the skies! But now go the bells, and we are ready, In one house we are sternly stopped To say we are vexed at her brown study, Lying so primly propped.


by John Crowe Ransom | |

Piazza Piece

 -- I am a gentleman in a dustcoat trying
To make you hear.
Your ears are soft and small And listen to an old man not at all, They want the young men's whispering and sighing.
But see the roses on your trellis dying And hear the spectral singing of the moon; For I must have my lovely lady soon, I am a gentleman in a dustcoat trying.
-- I am a lady young in beauty waiting Until my truelove comes, and then we kiss.
But what grey man among the vines is this Whose words are dry and faint as in a dream? Back from my trellis, Sir, before I scream ! I am a lady young in beauty waiting.


by John Crowe Ransom | |

Conrad in Twilight

 Conrad, Conrad, aren't you old 
To sit so late in your mouldy garden? 
And I think Conrad knows it well, 
Nursing his knees, too rheumy and cold 
To warm the wraith of a Forest of Arden.
Neuralgia in the back of his neck, His lungs filling with such miasma, His feet dipping in leafage and muck: Conrad! you've forgotten asthma.
Conrad's house has thick red walls, The log on Conrad's hearth is blazing, Slippers and pipe and tea are served, Butter and toast are meant for pleasing! Still Conrad's back is not uncurved And here's an autumn on him, teasing.
Autumn days in our section Are the most used-up thing on earth (Or in the waters under the earth) Having no more color nor predilection Than cornstalks too wet for the fire, A ribbon rotting on the byre, A man's face as weathered as straw By the summer's flare and winter's flaw.


by John Crowe Ransom | |

Dead Boy

 The little cousin is dead, by foul subtraction,
A green bough from Virginia's aged tree,
And none of the county kin like the transaction,
Nor some of the world of outer dark, like me.
A boy not beautiful, nor good, nor clever, A black cloud full of storms too hot for keeping, A sword beneath his mother's heart—yet never Woman bewept her babe as this is weeping.
A pig with a pasty face, so I had said, Squealing for cookies, kinned by poor pretense With a noble house.
But the little man quite dead, I see the forbears' antique lineaments.
The elder men have strode by the box of death To the wide flag porch, and muttering low send round The bruit of the day.
O friendly waste of breath! Their hearts are hurt with a deep dynastic wound.
He was pale and little, the foolish neighbors say; The first-fruits, saith the Preacher, the Lord hath taken; But this was the old tree's late branch wrenched away, Grieving the sapless limbs, the short and shaken.


by John Crowe Ransom | |

Winter Remembered

 Two evils, monstrous either one apart,
Possessed me, and were long and loath at going:
A cry of Absence, Absence, in the heart,
And in the wood the furious winter blowing.
Think not, when fire was bright upon my bricks, And past the tight boards hardly a wind could enter, I glowed like them, the simple burning sticks, Far from my cause, my proper heat and center.
Better to walk forth in the frozen air And wash my wound in the snows; that would be healing; Because my heart would throb less painful there, Being caked with cold, and past the smart of feeling.
And where I walked, the murderous winter blast Would have this body bowed, these eyeballs streaming, And though I think this heart's blood froze not fast It ran too small to spare one drop for dreaming.
Dear love, these fingers that had known your touch, And tied our separate forces first together, Were ten poor idiot fingers not worth much, Ten frozen parsnips hanging in the weather.