To a Dead Lover

By Louise Bogan 1897–1970 Louise Bogan
The dark is thrown
Back from the brightness, like hair
Cast over a shoulder.
I am alone,

Four years older;
Like the chairs and the walls
Which I once watched brighten
With you beside me. I was to waken
Never like this, whatever came or was taken.

The stalk grows, the year beats on the wind.
Apples come, and the month for their fall.
The bark spreads, the roots tighten.
Though today be the last
Or tomorrow all,
You will not mind.

That I may not remember
Does not matter.
I shall not be with you again.
What we knew, even now
Must scatter
And be ruined, and blow
Like dust in the rain.

You have been dead a long season
And have less than desire
Who were lover with lover;
And I have life—that old reason
To wait for what comes,
To leave what is over.

Originally published in Poetry, August 1922.

Source: Poetry (August 1922).

MORE FROM THIS ISSUE

This poem originally appeared in the August 1922 issue of Poetry magazine

August 1922
  • Transit
    by Katherine Wisner McCluskey
  • Numbers
    by Elizabeth Madox Roberts
  • Elsa
    by Hilda Conkling
 Louise  Bogan

Biography

Louise Bogan has been called by some critics the most accomplished woman poet of the twentieth century. Her subtle, restrained style was partially influenced by writers such as Rilke and Henry James, and partially by the English metaphysical poets such as George HerbertJohn Donne, and Henry Vaughan, though she distanced herself from her intellectually rigorous, metaphysical contemporaries. Some critics have placed her in a . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Time & Brevity, Relationships, Living, Sorrow & Grieving, Love, Death, Separation & Divorce, Heartache & Loss

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

Report a problem with this poem


Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

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.