An Intellectual’s Funeral

By Jonathan David Jonathan David
On such a day we put him in a box
And carried him to that last house, the grave;
All round the people walked upon the streets
Without once thinking that he had gone.
Their hard heels clacked upon the pavement stones.

A voiceless change had muted all his thoughts
To a deep significance we could not know;
And yet we knew that he knew all at last.
We heard with grave wonder the falling clods,
And with grave wonder met the loud day.

The night would come and day, but we had died.
With new green sod the melancholy gate
Was closed and locked, and we went pitiful.
Our clacking heels upon the pavement stones
Did knock and knock for Death to let us in.

from The Fugitive, 1922

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Jonathan David

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

SCHOOL / PERIOD Fugitive

Subjects Living, Death, Relationships

Biography

Poet Stanley Johnson published poems under the pseudonym Jonathan David. He was closely aligned with the Fugitives, a group of poets associated with Vanderbilt University that included John Crowe Ransom and Allen Tate. His poems appeared in the Fugitive, the journal published by the group from 1922 to 1925.

Continue reading this biography

Poems by Jonathan David

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death, Relationships

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

SCHOOL / PERIOD Fugitive

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.