By W. D. Snodgrass 1926–2009
Sweet beast, I have gone prowling,
    a proud rejected man
who lived along the edges
    catch as catch can;
in darkness and in hedges
    I sang my sour tone
and all my love was howling
    conspicuously alone.

I curled and slept all day
    or nursed my bloodless wounds
until the squares were silent
    where I could make my tunes
singular and violent.
    Then, sure as hearers came
I crept and flinched away.
    And, girl, you've done the same.

A stray from my own type,
    led along by blindness,
my love was near to spoiled
    and curdled all my kindness.
I find no kin, no child;
    only the weasel's ilk.
Sweet beast, cat of my own stripe,
    come and take my milk.

W.D. Snodgrass, "Song [Sweet Beast, I have gone Prowling]" from Not for Specialists: New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 2006 by W.D. Snodgrass.  Reprinted by permission of Kathleen Snodgrass.

Source: Not for Specialists: New and Selected Poems (BOA Editions Ltd., 2006)

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Poet W. D. Snodgrass 1926–2009

SCHOOL / PERIOD Confessional

Subjects Relationships, Love, Men & Women, Pets, Nature, Break-ups & Vexed Love

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

 W. D. Snodgrass


W. D. Snodgrass is often credited with being one of the founding members of the "confessional" school of poetry, even though he dislikes the term confessional and does not regard his work as such. Nevertheless, his Pulitzer Prize-winning first collection, Heart's Needle, has had a tremendous impact on that particular facet of contemporary poetry. "Like other confessional poets, Snodgrass is at pains to reveal the repressed, . . .

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SUBJECT Relationships, Love, Men & Women, Pets, Nature, Break-ups & Vexed Love

SCHOOL / PERIOD Confessional

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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