Irony

By Louis Untermeyer 1885–1977 Louis Untermeyer
Why are the things that have no death
The ones with neither sight nor breath!
Eternity is thrust upon
A bit of earth, a senseless stone.
A grain of dust, a casual clod
Receives the greatest gift of God.
A pebble in the roadway lies—
                           It never dies.

The grass our fathers cut away
Is growing on their graves today;
The tiniest brooks that scarcely flow
Eternally will come and go.
There is no kind of death to kill
The sands that lie so meek and still. . . .
But Man is great and strong and wise—
                           And so he dies.

Source: The New Poetry: An Anthology of Twentieth-Century Verse in English (1936)

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Poet Louis Untermeyer 1885–1977

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Subjects Time & Brevity, Religion, Living, Death, God & the Divine

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Couplet

 Louis  Untermeyer

Biography

Louis Untermeyer was the author, editor or compiler, and translator of more than one hundred books for readers of all ages. He will be best remembered as the prolific anthologist whose collections have introduced students to contemporary American poetry since 1919. The son of an established New York jeweler, Untermeyer's interest in poetry led to friendships with poets from three generations, including many of the century's . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Time & Brevity, Religion, Living, Death, God & the Divine

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Couplet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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