I Have Not Lived

By Walter Clyde Curry 1887–1967
Though half my years besiege the aged sun,
     I have not lived. My robust preparation
     Lags tardily behind fit consummation,
Droops sweatily in courses just begun.

Oh, I have loved and lusted with the best,
     Plucked momentary music from the senses;
     I’ve kissed a lip or two with fair pretenses
And wept for softness of a woman’s breast.

My mind rebounds to nether joys and pain,
     Toying with filth and pharisaic leaven;
     I know the lift up sundry peaks to heaven,
And every rockless path to hell again.

I wait the hour when gods have more to give
Than husks and bare insatiate will to live.

from The Fugitive, 1922

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Poet Walter Clyde Curry 1887–1967

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

SCHOOL / PERIOD Fugitive

Subjects Living, Time & Brevity, Relationships, Love, Social Commentaries, Life Choices

Poetic Terms Sonnet

Biography

Born in Graycourt, South Carolina, poet and medieval scholar Walter Clyde Curry earned a BA at Wofford College and an MA and PhD at Stanford University. He was a founding member of the Fugitives, an influential literary group that first met around 1915 at Vanderbilt University. The group, which included poets Robert Penn Warren, Donald Davidson, and Allen Tate, has been seen as a predecessor to the New Criticism movement. They . . .

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Poems by Walter Clyde Curry

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Time & Brevity, Relationships, Love, Social Commentaries, Life Choices

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

SCHOOL / PERIOD Fugitive

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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