You Say, Columbus with his Argosies

By Trumbull Stickney 1874–1904 Trumbull Stickney
You say, Columbus with his argosies
Who rash and greedy took the screaming main
And vanished out before the hurricane
Into the sunset after merchandise,
Then under western palms with simple eyes
Trafficked and robbed and triumphed home again:
You say this is the glory of the brain
And human life no other use than this?
I then do answering say to you: The line
Of wizards and of saviours, keeping trust
In that which made them pensive and divine,
Passes before us like a cloud of dust.
What were they? Actors, ill and mad with wine,
And all their language babble and disgust.

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Poet Trumbull Stickney 1874–1904

Subjects Time & Brevity, Heroes & Patriotism, Living, Social Commentaries

Poetic Terms Sonnet

 Trumbull  Stickney

Biography

Trumbull Stickney is best remembered as a promising young poet and scholar who died before his work could fully mature. As William Payne described his poems in a 1906 review for Dial: "Promise rather than fulfillment is the mark of this work as a whole, for it reveals Stickney as still groping for a distinctive manner rather than as having reached a definitive expression of his powers." A brilliant scholar and enthusiastic poet, . . .

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SUBJECT Time & Brevity, Heroes & Patriotism, Living, Social Commentaries

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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