I Killed a Fly

By David Ignatow 1914–1997 David Ignatow
I killed a fly
and laid my weapon next to it
as one lays the weapon of a dead hero   
beside his body—the fly
that tried to mount the window
to its top; that was born out of a swamp   
to die in a bold effort beyond itself,
and I am the one who brought it to an end.   
Tired of the day and with night coming on   
I lay my body down beside the fly.

David Ignatow, “I Killed a Fly” from Against the Evidence: Selected Poems 1934-1994. Copyright © 1993 by David Ignatow. Reprinted with the permission of Wesleyan University Press.

Source: Against the Evidence: Selected Poems 1934-1994 (Wesleyan University Press, 1993)

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Poet David Ignatow 1914–1997

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Living, Death

 David  Ignatow

Biography

David Ignatow is remembered as a poet who wrote popular verse about the common man and the issues encountered in daily life. In all, he wrote or edited more than twenty-five books and was the recipient of numerous awards, including the Poetry Society of America's Shelley Memorial Prize and Robert Frost Medal, the Bollingen Prize, and the John Steinbeck Award. Early in his career he worked in a butcher shop. He also helped out in . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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