By Louise Bogan 1897–1970 Louise Bogan
To me, one silly task is like another.
I bare the shambling tricks of lust and pride.   
This flesh will never give a child its mother,—
Song, like a wing, tears through my breast, my side,   
And madness chooses out my voice again,   
Again. I am the chosen no hand saves:   
The shrieking heaven lifted over men,   
Not the dumb earth, wherein they set their graves.

Louise Bogan, “Cassandra” from The Blue Estuaries: Poems 1923-1968. Copyright © 1968 by Louise Bogan. Used by permission of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, LLC, 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)

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Poet Louise Bogan 1897–1970

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic


Subjects Mythology & Folklore

Poetic Terms Allusion, Rhymed Stanza

 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 . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Mythology & Folklore

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic


Poetic Terms Allusion, Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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