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James Tate Poems

A collection of select James Tate famous poems that were written by James Tate or written about the poet by other famous poets. PoetrySoup is a comprehensive educational resource of the greatest poems and poets on history.

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by Tate, James
 Some people go their whole lives
without ever writing a single poem.
Extraordinary people who don't hesitate
to cut somebody's heart or skull open.
They go to baseball games with the greatest of...Read More



by Tate, James
 This is the hardest part:
When I came back to life
I was a good family dog
and not too friendly to strangers.
I got a thirty-five dollar raise
in salary, and through the...Read More

by Tate, James
 They ask me if I've ever thought about the end of
the world, and I say, "Come in, come in, let me
give you some lunch, for God's sake." After a...Read More

by Tate, James
 Jim just loves to garden, yes he does. 
He likes nothing better than to put on 
his little overalls and his straw hat. 
He says, "Let's go get those...Read More

by Tate, James
 A motorist once said to me, 
and this was in the country, 
on a county lane, a motorist 
slowed his vehicle as I was 
walking my dear old collie,
Sithney,...Read More

by Tate, James
 It seemed as if the enormous journey 
was finally approaching its conclusion.
From the window of the train
the last trees were dissipating,
a child-like sailor waved once,
a seal-like dog barked and...Read More

by Tate, James
 Speaking of sunsets,
last night's was shocking.
I mean, sunsets aren't supposed to frighten you, are they?
Well, this one was terrifying.
Sure, it was beautiful, but far too beautiful. 
It wasn't natural.
One...Read More



by Tate, James
 The directions to the lunatic asylum were confusing,
more likely they were the random associations
and confused ramblings of a lunatic.
We arrived three hours late for lunch
and the lunatics were stacked...Read More

by Tate, James
 After the burial 
we returned to our units 
and assumed our poses. 
Our posture was the new posture 
and not the old sick posture. 
When we left our stations...Read More

by Tate, James
 I sit on the tracks,
a hundred feet from
earth, fifty from the
water. Gerald is
inching toward me
as grim, slow, and
determined as a
season, because he
has no trade and wants
none. It's been nine...Read More

by Tate, James
 My felisberto is handsomer than your mergotroid,
although, admittedly, your mergotroid may be the wiser of the two. 
Whereas your mergotroid never winces or quails, 
my felisberto is a titan...Read More

by Tate, James
 I swerved to avoid hitting a squirrel
in the center of the road and that's when
the deer came charging out of the forest
and forced me to hit the brakes for...Read More

by Tate, James
 The disorganization to which I currently belong
has skipped several meetings in a row
which is a pattern I find almost fatally attractive.
Down at headquarters there's a secretary
and a janitor who...Read More

by Tate, James
 Jesus got up one day a little later than usual. He had been dream-
ing so deep there was nothing left in his head. What was it?
A nightmare, dead bodies...Read More

by Tate, James
 The common is unusually calm--they captured the storm
last night, it's sleeping in the stockade, relieved
of its duty, pacified, tamed, a pussycat.
But not before it tied the flagpole in knots,
and...Read More