'Be Music, Night'

By Kenneth Patchen 1911–1972 Kenneth Patchen
Be music, night,
That her sleep may go
Where angels have their pale tall choirs

Be a hand, sea,
That her dreams may watch
Thy guidesman touching the green flesh of the world

Be a voice, sky,
That her beauties may be counted   
And the stars will tilt their quiet faces   
Into the mirror of her loveliness

Be a road, earth,
That her walking may take thee
Where the towns of heaven lift their breathing spires

O be a world and a throne, God,
That her living may find its weather
And the souls of ancient bells in a child's book   
Shall lead her into Thy wondrous house

Kenneth Patchen, “Be Music, Night” from Collected Poems. Copyright 1943 by Kenneth Patchen. Reprinted with the permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.

Source: Collected Poems (New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1967)

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Poet Kenneth Patchen 1911–1972

SCHOOL / PERIOD Beat

Subjects Love, Relationships, Romantic Love, Heartache & Loss

 Kenneth  Patchen

Biography

Largely a self-taught writer, Kenneth Patchen never appeared to win widespread recognition from the professors at universities or many literary critics. As the New York Times Book Review noted, "While some critics tended to dismiss his work as naive, romantic, capricious and concerned often with the social problems of the 1930's, others found him a major voice in American poetry.... Even the most generous praise was usually . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Relationships, Romantic Love, Heartache & Loss

SCHOOL / PERIOD Beat

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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