Juan’s Song

By Louise Bogan 1897–1970 Louise Bogan
When beauty breaks and falls asunder   
I feel no grief for it, but wonder.
When love, like a frail shell, lies broken,   
I keep no chip of it for token.
I never had a man for friend
Who did not know that love must end.   
I never had a girl for lover
Who could discern when love was over.   
What the wise doubt, the fool believes—
Who is it, then, that love deceives?

Louise Bogan, “Juan’s Song” from The Blue Estuaries: Poems 1923-1968. Copyright © 1968 by Louise Bogan. Used by permission of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, LLC, www.fsgbooks.com. All rights reserved. Caution: Users are warned that this work is protected under copyright laws and downloading is strictly prohibited. The right to reproduce or transfer the work via any medium must be secured with Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC.

Source: The Blue Estuaries: Poems 1923-1968 (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 1968)

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Louise Bogan 1897–1970

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic


Subjects Relationships, Love, Men & Women, Realistic & Complicated

Holidays Valentine's Day

Poetic Terms Couplet

 Louise  Bogan


Louise Bogan has been called by some critics the most accomplished woman poet of the twentieth century. Her subtle, restrained style was partially influenced by writers such as Rilke and Henry James, and partially by the English metaphysical poets such as George HerbertJohn Donne, and Henry Vaughan, though she distanced herself from her intellectually rigorous, metaphysical contemporaries. Some critics have placed her in a . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Love, Men & Women, Realistic & Complicated

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic


Poetic Terms Couplet

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.