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Robert Francis


The Satirical Rogue Returns

Spring 1970 | Articles

It must be the puritan in me that responds to the challenge to purify the language of the tribe. Presumably even the lowliest poet can assist in this job, acting like a small auxiliary filter in the water supply system.

Ways of Looking Back

Huntsman, What Quarry? By Edna St. Vincent Millay. New York: Harper and Brothers. $2.00. Solitude. By V. Sackville-Wcst. New York: Douhleday, Doran and Company. $1.75. Corn. By Paul Engle. New York: Doubleday, Doran and Company. $2.00. If there is [...]


Here might a man, childlike, unbind his boots, Go with bared feet, and sometimes, pausing, stand To feel with the foot's depth the years of mold Through which the buried roots, the living roots Climb down to levels more profoundly old— Eons of rock [...]

Three Pastorals in White

THREE PASTORALS IN WHITESolstice Do not believe, do not believe Your day-dulled eyes on this charmed night. The moon has colors to deceive You—cream, crystal, and moonstone-white. Do not believe that luminous shadow Is only, only what by day Men ca [...]

The Gardner

I watch an old man working in his garden Dealing life to plant and death to weed. Of one he saves, of one destroys the seed. He knows the weeds and not one will he pardon. He bids the pea vines bloom and they obey. He teaches them to climb. He [...]


The man you are, the boy you were Have sometimes been together here Like elder brother and younger brother Of whom we say How like each other. The boy you were, the man you are Though far apart seemed not so far, Seemed like a son and father ra [...]

Distance and Peace

Go far enough away from anything In time or space (and space is only time) And you have peace. The clashes of the stars Do not disturb the starlit night of earth. And earthly wars if they are old enough Make restful reading to a man in bed. An [...]