I shall build me a house where the larkspur blooms
In a narrow glade in an alder wood,
Where the sunset shadows make violet glooms,
And a whip-poor-will calls in eerie mood.
I shall lie on a bed of river sedge,
And listen to the glassy dark,
With a guttered light on my window ledge,
While an owl stares in at me white and stark.
I shall burn my house with the rising dawn,
And leave but the ashes and smoke behind,
And again give the glade to the owl and the fawn,
When the grey wood smoke drifts away with the wind.
Robert Penn Warren entered Vanderbilt University in 1921, where he became the youngest member of the group of Southern poets called the Fugitives. Warren's first poems were published in The Fugitive, a magazine which the group published from 1922 to 1925. The Fugitives were advocates of the rural Southern agrarian tradition and based their poetry and critical perspective on classical aesthetic ideals.