The Reason

By Stevie Smith 1902–1971 Stevie Smith
My life is vile
         I hate it so
         I’ll wait awhile   
         And then I’ll go.

         Why wait at all?
         Hope springs alive,
         Good may befall   
         I yet may thrive.

It is because I can’t make up my mind   
If God is good, impotent or unkind.

Stevie Smith, “The Reason” from New Selected Poems. Copyright © 1972 by Stevie Smith. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.

Source: The New Selected Poems of Stevie Smith (New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1988)

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Poet Stevie Smith 1902–1971


Subjects God & the Divine, Disappointment & Failure, Religion, Faith & Doubt

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 Stevie  Smith


Calling Stevie Smith's Not Waving but Drowning "the best collection of new poems to appear in 1957," Poetry contributor David Wright observed that "as one of the most original women poets now writing [Stevie Smith] seems to have missed most of the public accolades bestowed by critics and anthologists. One reason may be that not only does she belong to no 'school'—whether real or invented as they usually are—but her work is so . . .

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SUBJECT God & the Divine, Disappointment & Failure, Religion, Faith & Doubt


Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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