Young Man

By John Haines 1924–2011 John Haines
I seemed always standing
before a door
to which I had no key,
although I knew it hid behind it
a gift for me.

Until one day I closed
my eyes a moment, stretched
then looked once more.
And not surprised, I did not mind it
when the hinges creaked
and, smiling, Death
held out his hands to me.

Reprinted from ABZ: A Poetry Magazine, No. 1, 2006, by permission of the author. Copyright © 2006, by John Haines, whose most recent book of poetry is Of Your Passage, O Summer, Limberlost Press, 2004.

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Poet John Haines 1924–2011

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

Subjects Death, Living

Occasions Funerals

Poetic Terms Free Verse, Metaphor

 John  Haines

Biography

Poet and essayist John Haines was born in 1924 and studied art and painting at the National Art School, the American University, and the Hans Hoffmann School of Fine Art. In 1947, Haines bought a 160-acre homestead claim 80 miles outside of Fairbanks, Alaska, intending to pursue painting. According to Haines, when his paints froze, he turned to writing. His collections of poetry include Winter News (1966); The Stone Harp (1971); . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Death, Living

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse, Metaphor

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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