A Tale

It is time to introduce Louise Bogan. This American poet is worth the reading! If you did not read any of her poems, a tale is a good introduction to her work.

About the poet

Louise Brogan was a child of the nineteenth century. She was born three years before the ending of the nineteenth century (in 1897). She was born in Livermore Falls in the American state Maine. Her father, Daniel Bogan, worked in the local industy. During her childhood, she moved several times. In Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts she lived with her family in hotels and boarding houses until 1904.

With financial aid she was able to attend the Girl’s Latin School for five years. Afterwards she studied at the Boston University. She broke her study to marry Curt Alexander. This marriage ended in 1918. She moved to New York City to start a writing career. Her only daughter was left in the care of her parents.

As from 1920 she moved to the Austrian capitol Vienna. She wrote about the loneliness she was confronted with. After returning to New York City in 1923, her first book was published. Body of This Death: Poems was inspired by the death of her first husband (1920) and the loneliness she felt when she was in Austria.

In 1925 she married the poet and writer Raymond Holden. During this time she wrote, but she did not publish any work. In 1929 her second book was published: Dark Summer: Poems. She was employed by The New Yorker. Her marriage with Holden was less than successful, she decided to divorce him in 1937.

Bogan is one of the great American poets from the twentieth century. Her work consists of many poems. A tale is ‘just’ one of them.

Bogan died in 1970.


A tale

A tale

By Louise Bogan

This youth too long has heard the break
Of waters in a land of change.
He goes to see what suns can make
From soil more indurate and strange.


He cuts what holds his days together
And shuts him in, as lock on lock:
The arrowed vane announcing weather,
The tripping racket of a clock;


Seeking, I think, a light that waits
Still as a lamp upon a shelf, —
A land with hills like rocky gates
Where no sea leaps upon itself.


But he will find that nothing dares
To be enduring, save where, south
Of hidden deserts, torn fire glares
On beauty with a rusted mouth, —


Where something dreadful and another
Look quietly upon each other.

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