Medusa

By Louise Bogan 1897–1970 Louise Bogan
I had come to the house, in a cave of trees,
Facing a sheer sky.
Everything moved,—a bell hung ready to strike,
Sun and reflection wheeled by.

When the bare eyes were before me
And the hissing hair,
Held up at a window, seen through a door.
The stiff bald eyes, the serpents on the forehead
Formed in the air.

This is a dead scene forever now.
Nothing will ever stir.
The end will never brighten it more than this,
Nor the rain blur.

The water will always fall, and will not fall,
And the tipped bell make no sound.
The grass will always be growing for hay
Deep on the ground.

And I shall stand here like a shadow
Under the great balanced day,
My eyes on the yellow dust, that was lifting in the wind,
And does not drift away.

Source: Body of this Death: Poems (1923)

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Poet Louise Bogan 1897–1970

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Subjects Time & Brevity, Living, Mythology & Folklore

Poetic Terms Free Verse, Rhymed Stanza

 Louise  Bogan

Biography

Louise Bogan has been called by some critics the most accomplished woman poet of the twentieth century. Her subtle, restrained style was partially influenced by writers such as Rilke and Henry James, and partially by the English metaphysical poets such as George HerbertJohn Donne, and Henry Vaughan, though she distanced herself from her intellectually rigorous, metaphysical contemporaries. Some critics have placed her in a . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Time & Brevity, Living, Mythology & Folklore

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Poetic Terms Free Verse, Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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