Q & A

By Kenneth Fearing 1902–1961 Kenneth Fearing
Where analgesia may be found to ease the infinite, minute scars of the day;
What final interlude will result, picked bit by bit from the morning's hurry, the lunch-hour boredom, the fevers of the night;
Why this one is cherished by the gods, and that one not;
How to win, and win again, and again, staking wit alone against a sea of time;
Which man to trust and, once found, how far—

Will not be found in Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John,
Nor Blackstone, nor Gray's, nor Dun & Bradstreet, nor Freud, nor Marx,
Nor the sage of the evening news, nor the corner astrologist, nor in any poet,

Nor what sort of laughter should greet the paid pronouncements of the great,
Nor what pleasure the mulitudes have, brining lunch and the children to watch the condemned to be plunged into death,

Nor why the sun should rise tomorrow,
Nor how the moon still weaves upon the ground, through the leaves, so much silence and so much peace.

Kenneth Fearing, "Q & A" from Collected Poems of Kenneth Fearing. Published by Random House, 1940. Reprinted by the permission of Russell & Volkening, Inc., as agents for the author. Copyright © 1994 by Jubal Fearing and Phoebe Fearing.

Source: Collected Poems of Kenneth Fearing (Random House Inc., 1940)

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Poet Kenneth Fearing 1902–1961

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Subjects Faith & Doubt, Arts & Sciences, Philosophy

Biography

Kenneth Fearing, a well-known proletarian poet of the 1930s, a pulp-magazine writer with several pseudonyms, and a Chicago and New York publicity and editorial writer, turned to writing “psycho-thrillers” in the 1940s and 1950s. His fourth novel The Big Clock (1946) achieved much popularity and was released as a film by Paramount in 1947. Although some scholars now consider Fearing’s main contribution to be in the genre of . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Faith & Doubt, Arts & Sciences, Philosophy

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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