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Music I Heard

Conrad Aiken
Conrad Aiken
  • Music I heard with you was more than music,
  • And bread I broke with you was more than bread;
  • Now that I am without you, all is desolate;
  • All that was once so beautiful is dead.
  • Your hands once touched this table and this silver,
  • And I have seen your fingers hold this glass.
  • These things do not remember you, beloved,
  • And yet your touch upon them will not pass.
  • For it was in my heart that you moved among them,
  • And blessed them with your hands and with your eyes;
  • And in my heart they will remember always,—
  • They knew you once, O beautiful and wise.


When Conrad Aiken was still a young boy his father killed his mother and then committed suicide. The boy was raised by a great-great-aunt in Massachusetts and graduated from Harvard in 1912, and two years later his first collection of poetry,
Earth Triumphant, was published. He edited Emily Dickinson’s Selected Poems in 1924, bringing that unknown poet to the attention of the public and establishing her reputation as one of our towering poetic figures. Aiken was chosen as poetry consultant to the Library of Congress from 1950–’52, becoming, in effect, America’s Poet Laureate. He also won the Bollingen Prize and other major awards. Aiken died in Savannah in 1973.

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Conrad Aiken
Conrad Aiken
  • Music I heard with you was more than music,
  • And bread I broke with you was more than bread;
  • Now that I am without you, all is desolate;
  • All that was once so beautiful is dead.
  • Your hands once touched this table and this silver,
  • And I have seen your fingers hold this glass.
  • These things do not remember you, beloved,
  • And yet your touch upon them will not pass.
  • For it was in my heart that you moved among them,
  • And blessed them with your hands and with your eyes;
  • And in my heart they will remember always,—
  • They knew you once, O beautiful and wise.


When Conrad Aiken was still a young boy his father killed his mother and then committed suicide. The boy was raised by a great-great-aunt in Massachusetts and graduated from Harvard in 1912, and two years later his first collection of poetry,
Earth Triumphant, was published. He edited Emily Dickinson’s Selected Poems in 1924, bringing that unknown poet to the attention of the public and establishing her reputation as one of our towering poetic figures. Aiken was chosen as poetry consultant to the Library of Congress from 1950–’52, becoming, in effect, America’s Poet Laureate. He also won the Bollingen Prize and other major awards. Aiken died in Savannah in 1973.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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