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Novelist William Faulkner also wrote poetry

His two collections of verse serve as an apprenticeship for his fiction

  • After Fifty Years
  • Her house is empty and her heart is old,
  • And filled with shades and echoes that deceive
  • No one save her, for still she tries to weave
  • With blind bent fingers, nets that cannot hold.
  • Once all men’s arms rose up to her, ‘tis told,
  • And hovered like white birds for her caress:
  • A crown she could have had to bind each tress
  • Of hair, and her sweet arms the Witches’ Gold. 
  • Her mirrors know her witnesses, for there
  • She rose in dreams from other dreams that lent
  • Her softness as she stood, crowned with soft hair.
  • And with his bound heart and his young eyes bent
  • And blind, he feels her presence like shed scent,
  • Holding him body and life within its snare.
  • A Poplar
  • Why do you shiver there
  • Between the white river and the road?
  • You are not cold,
  • With the sunlight dreaming about you;
  • And yet you lift your pliant supplicating arms as though
  • To draw clouds from the sky to hide your slenderness.
  • You are a young girl
  • Trembling in the throes of ecstatic modesty,
  • A white objective girl
  • Whose clothing has been forcibly taken away from her.
  • Sapphics
  • So it is: sleep comes not on my eyelids.
  • Nor in my eyes, with shaken hair and white
  • Aloof pale hands, and lips and breasts of iron,
  •    So she beholds me.
  • And yet though sleep comes not to me, there comes
  • A vision from the full smooth brow of sleep,
  • The white Aphrodite moving unbounded
  •    By her own hair.
  • In the purple beaks of the doves that draw her,
  • Beaks straight without desire, necks bent backward
  • Toward Lesbos and the flying feet of Loves
  •    Weeping behind her.
  • She looks not back, she looks not back to where
  • The nine crowned muses about Apollo
  • Stand like nine Corinthian columns singing 
  •    In clear evening.
  • She sees not the Lesbians kissing mouth
  • To mouth across lute strings, drunken with singing,
  • Nor the white feet of the Oceanides
  •    Shining and unsandalled.
  • Before her go cryings and lamentations
  • Of barren women, a thunder of wings,
  • While ghosts of outcast Lethean women, lamenting,
  •    Stiffen the twilight.
William Faulkner

William Faulkner (1897-1962) was an American writer and winner of the 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature. While he is best known for his novels—which earned him a place among the greatest of American writers—he also wrote poetry, which often reflected the same concern for place or region as an essential dynamic in the psychological struggle to comprehend modern reality that he exhibited in his novels and short stories about the South. His two collections of verse, Visions of Spring (1921) and The Marble Faun and a Green Bough (1924), serve as a sort of apprenticeship for his fiction; both were written prior to his debut novel, A Soldier’s Pay (1926).

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  • After Fifty Years
  • Her house is empty and her heart is old,
  • And filled with shades and echoes that deceive
  • No one save her, for still she tries to weave
  • With blind bent fingers, nets that cannot hold.
  • Once all men’s arms rose up to her, ‘tis told,
  • And hovered like white birds for her caress:
  • A crown she could have had to bind each tress
  • Of hair, and her sweet arms the Witches’ Gold. 
  • Her mirrors know her witnesses, for there
  • She rose in dreams from other dreams that lent
  • Her softness as she stood, crowned with soft hair.
  • And with his bound heart and his young eyes bent
  • And blind, he feels her presence like shed scent,
  • Holding him body and life within its snare.
  • A Poplar
  • Why do you shiver there
  • Between the white river and the road?
  • You are not cold,
  • With the sunlight dreaming about you;
  • And yet you lift your pliant supplicating arms as though
  • To draw clouds from the sky to hide your slenderness.
  • You are a young girl
  • Trembling in the throes of ecstatic modesty,
  • A white objective girl
  • Whose clothing has been forcibly taken away from her.
  • Sapphics
  • So it is: sleep comes not on my eyelids.
  • Nor in my eyes, with shaken hair and white
  • Aloof pale hands, and lips and breasts of iron,
  •    So she beholds me.
  • And yet though sleep comes not to me, there comes
  • A vision from the full smooth brow of sleep,
  • The white Aphrodite moving unbounded
  •    By her own hair.
  • In the purple beaks of the doves that draw her,
  • Beaks straight without desire, necks bent backward
  • Toward Lesbos and the flying feet of Loves
  •    Weeping behind her.
  • She looks not back, she looks not back to where
  • The nine crowned muses about Apollo
  • Stand like nine Corinthian columns singing 
  •    In clear evening.
  • She sees not the Lesbians kissing mouth
  • To mouth across lute strings, drunken with singing,
  • Nor the white feet of the Oceanides
  •    Shining and unsandalled.
  • Before her go cryings and lamentations
  • Of barren women, a thunder of wings,
  • While ghosts of outcast Lethean women, lamenting,
  •    Stiffen the twilight.
William Faulkner

William Faulkner (1897-1962) was an American writer and winner of the 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature. While he is best known for his novels—which earned him a place among the greatest of American writers—he also wrote poetry, which often reflected the same concern for place or region as an essential dynamic in the psychological struggle to comprehend modern reality that he exhibited in his novels and short stories about the South. His two collections of verse, Visions of Spring (1921) and The Marble Faun and a Green Bough (1924), serve as a sort of apprenticeship for his fiction; both were written prior to his debut novel, A Soldier’s Pay (1926).

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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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