Montparnasse

By Ernest M. Hemingway 1899–1961
There are never any suicides in the quarter among people one knows
No successful suicides.
A Chinese boy kills himself and is dead.
(they continue to place his mail in the letter rack at the Dome)
A Norwegian boy kills himself and is dead.
(no one knows where the other Norwegian boy has gone)
They find a model dead
alone in bed and very dead.
(it made almost unbearable trouble for the concierge)
Sweet oil, the white of eggs, mustard and water, soap suds
and stomach pumps rescue the people one knows.
Every afternoon the people one knows can be found at the café.

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Poet Ernest M. Hemingway 1899–1961

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Subjects Living, Death

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Ernest M. Hemingway

Biography

"The writer's job is to tell the truth," Ernest Hemingway once said. When he was having difficulty writing he reminded himself of this, as he explained in his memoirs, A Moveable Feast. "I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, 'Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.' So finally I would write . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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