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Best Famous Weldon Kees Poems

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

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Written by Weldon Kees |

The Bell From Europe

 The tower bell in the Tenth Street Church
Rang out nostalgia for the refugee
Who knew the source of bells by sound.
We liked it, but in ignorance.
One meets authorities on bells infrequently.
Europe alone made bells with such a tone, Herr Mannheim said.
The bell Struck midnight, and it shook the room.
He had heard bells in Leipzig, Chartres, Berlin, Paris, Vienna, Brussels, Rome.
He was a white-faced man with sad enormous eyes.
Reader, for me that bell marked nights Of restless tossing in this narrow bed, The quarrels, the slamming of a door, The kind words, friends for drinks, the books we read, Breakfasts with streets in rain.
It rang from europe all the time.
That was what Mannheim said.
It is good to know, now that the bell strikes noon.
In this day's sun, the hedges are Episcopalian As noon is marked by the twelve iron beats.
The rector moves ruminantly among the gravestones, And the sound of a dead Europe hangs in the streets.

Written by Weldon Kees |


 The porchlight coming on again,
Early November, the dead leaves
Raked in piles, the wicker swing
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.

Written by Weldon Kees |

The End Of The Library

 When the coal
Gave out, we began
Burning the books, one by one;
First the set
Of Bulwer-Lytton
And then the Walter Scott.
They gave a lot of warmth.
Toward the end, in February, flames Consumed the Greek Tragedians and Baudelaire, Proust, Robert Burton And the Po-Chu-i.
Ice Thickened on the sills.
More for the sake of the cat, We said, than for ourselves, Who huddled, shivering, Against the stove All winter long.

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Written by Weldon Kees |

The Furies

 Not a third that walks beside me,
But five or six or more.
Whether at dusk or daybreak Or at blinding noon, a retinue Of shadows that no door Excludes.
--One like a kind of scrawl, Hands scrawled trembling and blue, A harelipped and hunchbacked dwarf With a smile like a grapefruit rind, Who jabbers the way I do When the brain is empty and tired And the guests no longer care: A clown, who shudders and suddenly Is a man with a mouth of cotton Trapped in a dentist's chair.
Not a third that walks beside me, But five or six or more: One with his face gone rotten, Most hideous of all, Whose crutches shriek on the sidewalk As a fingernail on a slate Tears open some splintered door Of childhood.
Down the hall We enter a thousand rooms That pour the hours back, That silhouette the walls With shadows ripped from war, Accusing and rigid, black As the streets we are discolored by.
The crutches fall to the floor.
Not a third that walks beside me, But five or six, or more Than fingers or brain can bear-- A monster strung with guts, A coward covered with hair, Matted and down to his knees, Murderers, liars, thieves, Moving in darkened rows Through daylight and evening air Until the eyelids close, Snapped like the blades of a knife, And your dream of their death begins.
Possessors and possessed, They keep the bedside wake As a doctor or a wife Might wait the darkness through Until the pale daybreak-- Protectors of your life.

Written by Weldon Kees |


 The dog stops barking after Robinson has gone.
His act is over.
The world is a gray world, Not without violence, and he kicks under the grand piano, The nightmare chase well under way.
The mirror from Mexico, stuck to the wall, Reflects nothing at all.
The glass is black.
Robinson alone provides the image Robinsonian.
Which is all of the room--walls, curtains, Shelves, bed, the tinted photograph of Robinson's first wife, Rugs, vases panatelas in a humidor.
They would fill the room if Robinson came in.
The pages in the books are blank, The books that Robinson has read.
That is his favorite chair, Or where the chair would be if Robinson were here.
All day the phone rings.
It could be Robinson Calling.
It never rings when he is here.
Outside, white buildings yellow in the sun.
Outside, the birds circle continuously Where trees are actual and take no holiday.

Written by Weldon Kees |

A Pastiche For Eve

 Unmanageable as history: these
Followers of Tammuz to the land
That offered no return, where dust
Grew thick on every bolt and door.
And so the world Chilled, and the women wept, tore at their hair.
Yet, in the skies, a goddess governed Sirius, the Dog, Who shines alike on mothers, lesbians, and whores.
What are we governed by? Dido and Carrie Chapman Catt arrange themselves as statues near The playground and the Tivoli.
While warming up the beans, Miss Sanders broods on the Rhamnusian, the whole earth worshipping Her godhead.
Later, vegetables in Athens.
Chaste in the dungeon, swooning with voluptuousness, The Lady of the Castle weds pure Christ, the feudal groom.
Their bowels almost drove Swift mad.
"Sad stem, Sweet evil, stretching out a lion's jaws," wrote Marbode.
Now we cling together in our caves.
That not impossible she That rots and wrinkles in the sun, the shadow Of all men, man's counterpart, sweet rois Of vertew and of gentilness.
The brothel and the crib endure.
Past reason hunted.
How we die! Their pain, their blood, are ours.

Written by Weldon Kees |

Covering Two Years

 This nothingness that feeds upon itself:
Pencils that turn to water in the hand,
Parts of a sentence, hanging in the air,
Thoughts breaking in the mind like glass,
Blank sheets of paper that reflect the world
Whitened the world that I was silenced by.
There were two years of that.
Slowly, Whatever splits, dissevers, cuts, cracks, ravels, or divides To bring me to that diet of corrosion, burned And flickered to its terminal.
--Now in an older hand I write my name.
Now with a voice grown unfamiliar, I speak to silences of altered rooms, Shaken by knowledge of recurrence and return.

Written by Weldon Kees |

The Doctor Will Return

 The surgical mask, the rubber teat
Are singed, give off an evil smell.
You seem to weep more now that heat Spreads everywhere we look.
It says here none of us is well.
The warty spottings on the figurines Are nothing you would care to claim.
You seem to weep more since the magazines Began revivals on the Dundas book.
It says here you were most to blame.
But though I cannot believe that this is so, I mark the doctor as a decent sort.
I mix your medicine and go Downstairs to leave instructions for the cook.
It says here time is getting short.
That I can believe.
I hear you crying in your room While watching traffic, reconciled.
Out in the park, black flowers are in bloom.
I picked some once and pressed them in a book.
You used to look at them, and smile.

Written by Weldon Kees |

The Smiles Of The Bathers

 The smiles of the bathers fade as they leave the water,
And the lover feels sadness fall as it ends, as he leaves his love.
The scholar, closing his book as the midnight clock strikes, is hollow and old: The pilot's relief on landing is no release.
These perfect and private things, walling us in, have imperfect and public endings-- Water and wind and flight, remembered words and the act of love Are but interruptions.
And the world, like a beast, impatient and quick, Waits only for those who are dead.
No death for you.
You are involved.

Written by Weldon Kees |


 In the broken light, in owl weather,
Webs on the lawn where the leaves end,
I took the thin moon and the sky for cover
To pick the cat's brains and descend
A weedy hill.
I found him groveling Inside the summerhouse, a shadowed bulge, Furred and somnolent.
—"I bring," I said, "besides this dish of liver, and an edge Of cheese, the customary torments, And the usual wonder why we live At all, and why the world thins out and perishes As it has done for me, sieved As I am toward silences.
Where Are we now? Do we know anything?" —Now, on another night, his look endures.
"Give me the dish," he said.
I had his answer, wise as yours.

Written by Weldon Kees |

The Upstairs Room

 It must have been in March the rug wore through.
Now the day passes and I stare At warped pine boards my father's father nailed, At the twisted grain.
Exposed, where emptiness allows, Are the wormholes of eighty years; four generations' shoes Stumble and scrape and fall To the floor my father stained, The new blood streaming from his head.
The drift Of autumn fires and a century's cigars, that gun's Magnanimous and brutal smoke, endure.
In March the rug was ragged as the past.
The thread rots like the lives we fasten on.
Now it is August, And the floor is blank, worn smooth, And, for my life, imperishable.

Written by Weldon Kees |

The Beach

 Squat, unshaven, full of gas,
Joseph Samuels, former clerk
in four large cities, out of work,
waits in the darkened underpass.
In sanctuary, out of reach, he stares at the fading light outside: the rain beginning: hears the tide that drums along the empty beach.
When drops first fell at six o'clock, the bathers left.
The last car's gone.
Sun's final rays reflect upon the streaking rain, the rambling dock.
He takes an object from his coat and holds it tightly in his hand (eyes on the stretch of endless sand).
And then, in darkness, cuts his throat.

Written by Weldon Kees |

Dead March

 Under the bunker, where the reek of kerosene 
Prepared the marriage rite, leader and whore, 
Imperfect kindling even in this wind, burn on.
Someone in uniform hums Brahms.
Servants prepare Eyewitness stories as the night comes down, as smoking coals await Boots on the stone, the occupying troops.
Howl ministers.
Deep in Kyffhauser Mountain's underground, The Holy Roman Emperor snores on, in sleep enduring Seven centuries.
His long red beard Grows through the table to the floor.
He moves a little.
Far in the labyrinth, low thunder rumbles and dies out.
Twitch and lie still.
Is Hitler now in the Himalayas? We are in Cleveland, or Sioux Falls.
The architecture Seems like Omaha, the air pumped in from Düsseldorf.
Cold rain keeps dripping just outside the bars.
The testicles Burst on the table as the commissar Untwists the vise, removes his gloves, puts down Izvestia.
(Old saboteurs, controlled by Trotsky's Scheming and unconquered ghost, still threaten Novgorod.
) --And not far from the pits, these bones of ours, Burned, bleached, and splintering, are shoveled, ready for the fields.

Written by Weldon Kees |

A Musicians Wife

 Between the visits to the shock ward
The doctors used to let you play
On the old upright Baldwin
Donated by a former patient
Who is said to be quite stable now.
And all day long you played Chopin, Badly and hauntingly, when you weren't Screaming on the porch that looked Like an enormous birdcage.
Or sat In your room and stared out at the sky.
You never looked at me at all.
I used to walk down to where the bus stopped Over the hill where the eucalyptus trees Moved in the fog, and stared down At the lights coming on, in the white rooms.
And always, when I came back to my sister's I used to get out the records you made The year before all your terrible trouble, The records the critics praised and nobody bought That are almost worn out now.
Now, sometimes I wake in the night And hear the sound of dead leaves against the shutters.
And then a distant Music starts, a music out of an abyss, And it is dawn before I sleep again.

Written by Weldon Kees |

Late Evening Song

 For a while
Let it be enough:
The responsive smile,
Though effort goes into it.
Across the warm room Shared in candlelight, This look beyond shame, Possible now, at night, Goes out to yours.
Hidden by day And shaped by fires Grown dead, gone gray, That burned in other rooms I knew Too long ago to mark, It forms again.
I look at you Across those fires and the dark.