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Robert Hayden Poems

A collection of select Robert Hayden famous poems that were written by Robert Hayden 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 Hayden, Robert
 I 

Jesús, Estrella, Esperanza, Mercy: 

Sails flashing to the wind like weapons, 
sharks following the moans the fever and the dying; 
horror the corposant and compass rose. 

Middle Passage:...Read More



by Hayden, Robert
 The Triumph of Wit Over Suffering

Head alone shows you in the prodigious act
Of digesting what centuries alone digest:
The mammoth, lumbering statuary of sorrow,
Indissoluble enough to riddle the guts
Of a...Read More

by Hayden, Robert
 O masks and metamorphoses of Ahab, Native Son

I

The icy evil that struck his father down
and ravished his mother into madness
trapped him in violence of a punished self
struggling to break...Read More

by Hayden, Robert
 Runs falls rises stumbles on from darkness into darkness 
and the darkness thicketed with shapes of terror 
and the hunters pursuing and the hounds pursuing 
and the night cold...Read More

by Hayden, Robert
 (And I, I am no longer of that world)

Naked, he lies in the blinded room
chainsmoking, cradled by drugs, by jazz
as never by any lover's cradling flesh.

Miles Davis coolly blows...Read More



by Hayden, Robert
 Today as the news from Selma and Saigon
poisons the air like fallout,
I come again to see
the serene, great picture that I love.

Here space and time exist in light
the eye...Read More

by Hayden, Robert
 Steel doors – guillotine gates – 
of the doorless house closed massively.
We were locked in with loss. 

Guards frisked us, marked our wrists,
then let us into the drab Rec...Read More

by Hayden, Robert
 The old woman across the way
 is whipping the boy again
and shouting to the neighborhood
 her goodness and his wrongs.

Wildly he crashes through elephant ears,
 pleads in dusty zinnias,
while...Read More

by Hayden, Robert
 (For Maia and Julie) 

Drifting night in the Georgia pines, 
coonskin drum and jubilee banjo. 
Pretty Malinda, dance with me. 

Night is juba, night is congo. 
Pretty Malinda, dance...Read More

by Hayden, Robert
 Her sleeping head with its great gelid mass
of serpents torpidly astir
burned into the mirroring shield--
a scathing image dire
as hated truth the mind accepts at last
and festers on.
I struck. The...Read More

by Hayden, Robert
 Sundays too my father got up early
And put his clothes on in the blueback cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No...Read More