Collected Poems, 1919-1976 by Allen Tate

By Allen Tate

One of many early-twentieth century Southern intellectuals and artists of the early 20th century often called the Agrarians, Allen Tate wrote poetry that was once rooted strongly in that region's past—in the land, the folks, and the traditions of the yank South in addition to within the varieties and matters of the vintage poets. In "Ode to the accomplice Dead"— normally well-known as his maximum poem—he delineates either the horror of the sight of rows of tombstones at a accomplice cemetery and the glory that such sacrifice embodies, leading to "a masterpiece that may no longer be transcended" (William Pratt).

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He gave me his second daughter as a consolation. 22 II TOM THOMSON IN FLIGHT Kent: Give me thy hand. Who’s there? Fool: A spirit, a spirit. He says his name’s Poor Tom. —King Lear This page intentionally left blank Prelude Of all the things that modern man does well there’s one above all else fills him with pride: he’s learned to minimize his prison cell and carries it with him always, on the inside. 25 Tom Thomson in Space Some nights, when Tom retires, he pretty much implodes: sucked back through nostril or an ear into the starry void that lies behind his sleep-blanked visage .

25 Tom Thomson in Space Some nights, when Tom retires, he pretty much implodes: sucked back through nostril or an ear into the starry void that lies behind his sleep-blanked visage . . Though his body crouch corpse-still, sunk in suspended animation, arid as freeze-dried food, his spirit finds no rest—a cosmonaut, it treks where no man (and even fewer women) have gone before: Tom’s Inner Self. Its never-ending mission: to seek out a new life—one not to bear, but live . . Out of range now of Ground Control, and hurtling straight through Ursa Major, Tom accelerates toward the inner wall —the universe’s limit—of his skull .

And so he trips the circuit, and flashbulbs light up the room as the echo bounces lightly off the moon and he (re)packs, makes ready to (re)do the endless circuit. Flashbulbs light up the room: Quiet on the set. Zapruder film, take two . . All progress has its equal opposite price. But what’s worth doing is worth doing twice. 38 Tom Thomson in Tune His radio receiver’s fixed on Mars. There, they play Pavement all the time. And Beck. And, on state holidays, the Flaming Lips. He thinks of when his own lips were on fire with tunes of longing, songs of burning want .

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