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Elders by Louise Bogan |

by Louise Bogan

At night the moon shakes the bright dice of the water;

And the elders, their flower light as broken snow upon the bush,

Repeat the circle of the moon.

Within the month

Black fruit breaks from the white flower.

The black-wheeled berries turn

Weighing the boughs over the road.

There is no harvest.

Heavy to withering, the black wheels bend

Ripe for the mouths of chance lovers,

Or birds.

Twigs show again in the quick cleavage of season and season.

The elders sag over the powdery road-bank,

As though they bore, and it were too much,

The seed of the year beyond the year.


About This Poem

Louise Bogan was loath to discuss her private life, and therefore skeptical of confessional poetry, preferring to write verse about subjects separate from the poet's identity.

Today is the anniversary of Louise Bogan's birth.
Louise Bogan was born in Livermore Falls, Maine, on August 11, 1897. As a writer, Bogan was known for tending to reject many of the trends of modernist poetry. She was a longtime poetry reviewer for The New Yorker, and was the 1959 recipient of the Academy of American Poets Fellowship. She died in 1970.
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