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  4. A Poplar by William Faulkner
A Poplar

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Why do you shiver there
Between the white river and the road?
You are not cold,
With the sun light dreaming about you;
And yet you lift your pliant supplicating arms as though
To draw clouds from the sky to hide your slenderness.

You are a young girl
Trembling in the throes of ecstatic modesty,
A white objective girl
Whose clothing has been forcibly taken away from her.

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A Poplar

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  •  
    One of the 20th century’s greatest novelists, William Cuthbert Falkner, as his name was originally spelled, never graduated from high school. He was born in New Albany, Mississippi, the first of four sons, and moved with his family to Oxford, Mississippi, at the age of five. As a young man, influenced by the work of English poets A.E. Housman and Algernon Charles Swinburne, he began writing poems that explored Romantic themes of lost love and natural beauty.
     
    After a brief stint in the Canadian Royal Air Force (where it is believed he claimed the “Faulkner” spelling), he enrolled at the University of Mississippi for three semesters, during which time he published his first poem, “L’Apres-Midi d’un Faune,” in the New Republic. In 1924 his first book, a poetry collection entitled The Marble Faun, was published.
     
    Soon thereafter, Faulkner moved to New Orleans, where he began...

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