Summer 1939 • Vol. I No. 3 PoetryJuly 1, 1939 |

The Furnishings of a House

The incommensurate odds and ends arrangeA riotous paisely table by my loungeAnd are the most of grace that I can showTo you, critical caller at my infare,Stiff in my ladder-back, rush-bottom chair. Those niceties, untabulated bitsOne browses out, happens on, or inherits,Are there in their humorous contiguity—Sweet alabaster birds, three monkeys in brass,A repoussé goblet, a gavel cut of glass. My house though comprehensive is unready;And should I show what yet may be a study,A place to breakfast, a bath, we’d have to faceThe toothless shelves, the misfit window-shades,The unappointed pictures, the scattered blades.

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U.S. short-story writer, novelist, and playwright Peter Taylor (1917-1994) focused his works in the urban South. He taught at Kenyon College and the University of Virginia after studying under critics Allen Tate and John Crowe Ransom. His novel A Summons to Memphis (1986) won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and his collection The Old Forest and Other Stories (1985) won the PEN/Faulkner Award. He is best known for his short stories which mainly take place in contemporary Tennessee.

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