Ghost-Raddled

By Robert Graves 1895–1985 Robert Graves
“Come, surly fellow, come! A song!
     “What, madmen? Sing to you?
Choose from the clouded tales of wrong
     And terror I bring to you.

Of a night so torn with cries,
     Honest men sleeping
Start awake with glaring eyes,
     Bone chilled, flesh creeping.

Of spirits in the web-hung room
     Up above the stable,
Groans, knocking in the gloom
     The dancing table.

Of demons in the dry well
     That cheep and mutter,
Clanging of an unseen bell,
     Blood, choking the gutter.

Of lust, frightful, past belief,
     Lurking unforgotten,
Unrestrainable, endless grief
     From breasts long rotten.

A song? What laughter or what song
     Can this house remember?
Do flowers and butterflies belong
     To a blind December?”

from The Owl, 1919

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Poet Robert Graves 1895–1985

POET’S REGION England

Subjects Mythology & Folklore, Ghosts & the Supernatural

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

 Robert  Graves

Biography

Robert Graves often stirred controversy in his endeavors as a poet, novelist, critic, mythographer, translator, and editor. Stephen Spender in the New York Times Book Review characterized Graves as a free thinker: "All of his life Graves has been indifferent to fashion, and the great and deserved reputation he has is based on his individuality as a poet who is both intensely idiosyncratic and unlike any other contemporary poet . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Mythology & Folklore, Ghosts & the Supernatural

POET’S REGION England

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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