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Conrad Aiken

Conrad Aiken (1869-1973) was born in Savannah, Georgia.  He received the 1954 National Book Award in poetry for Collected Poems (Oxford University Press) and served as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1950 to 1952.



Listen: the ancient voices hail us from the farther shore: now, more than ever, in the New England spring, we hear from the sea once more the ghostly leavetakings, the hawser falling, the anchor weighing, cries and farewells, the weeping on the quays [...]


Spring 1934 | Poetry

Or else a room, and in the room five voices speaking at once and what delicious babble "sherbet" and "velvet" and "purple" and "fragrant" and "loud"—


Autumn 1935 | Poetry

As if you were a child again; you smooth
a little space of sand, with careful fingers
pick out a twig, a stone, a scrap of paper,

Silent Snow, Secret Snow

Just why it should have happened, or why it should have happened just when it did, he could not, of course, possibly have said; nor perhaps would it even have occurred to him to ask. The thing was above all a secret, something to be preciously concea [...]


Summer 1931 | Poetry

I Poor fool, deluded toy, brief anthropomorph, You who depend at center of your web, Thinking the web projected from yourself, With all its silver spokes and drops of dew, Its antic flies and frantic wings, and such,— Consider now if you yourself [...]