Winter 1957 • Vol. XIX No. 1 Poetry |

Ballad of a Sweet Dream of Peace

(a) And Don't Forget Your Corset-Cover, Either And why, in God's name, is that elegant bureau Standing out here in the woods and dark? Because, in God's name, it would create a furor If such a Victorian piece were left in the middle of Central Park, To corrupt the morals of young and old With its marble top and drawer-pulls gilt gold And rosewood elaborately scrolled, And would you, in truth, want your own young sister to see it   in the park? But she knows all about it, her mother has told her, And besides, these days, she is getting much older, And in God's name, why is that bureau left in the woods? All right, I'll tell you why. It has as much right there as you or I, For the woods are God's temple, and even a bureau has moods. But why, in God's name, is that elegant bureau left all alone in   the woods? It is left in the woods for the old lady's sake, For there's privacy here for a household chore, And Lord, I can't tell you the time it can take To apply her own

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Robert Penn Warren (1905-1989) was one of the preeminent authors of the twentieth century: a poet, novelist, and literary critic who was one of the founders of New Criticism. He earned a master's degree at the University of California, studied at New College, Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar; he taught at Vanderbilt, Louisiana State, the University of Minnesota, and Yale University. Warren was a charter member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. He received the Pulitzer Prize three times, for All the King's Men (1946) and for poetry (1958 and 1979). Three years before his death, he was appointed the first poet laureate of the United States.

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Switzerland

By Robert Penn Warren

(a) And Don't Forget Your Corset-Cover, Either And why, in God's name, is that elegant bureau Standing out here in the woods and dark? Because, in God's name, it would […]

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