Fall 1950 • Vol. XII No. 4 Poetry |

Halloween

  Tonight our streets are filled With beardless pirates and their high-heeled wives Who own no maps of treasure and have killed Nobody with their aimless wooden knives; They cry us charity for their cups of tin.   Tonight their plea is styled With signs of poison and the threat of crones, While from behind a soap-scrawled window-pane, A pumpkin with a candle for a brain   Flashes its hacked-out grin At Jolly Roger, ensign of the child Who stalks the street, superfluous of bones.   One time the children came "Souling" with little songs for all the dead, Soliciting in Mystery's full name Apples and cakes and pies, for it was said A hermit raised a trapdoor and was shown   Where purgatory burned, Whistled and hurt; he heard the demons yell Against the monks of Cluny for their prayers That lifted cripples up the spiral stairs.   And singing made it known: To do grace to the dead, lest they returned, Apples were prayers and giving was a spell   And sing

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Anthony Hecht (1923- 2004) followed the G.I. bill to study with John Crowe Ransom at Kenyon. He wrote eight books of poetry and two works of nonfiction, winning the Pulitzer Prize for his poetry collection The Hard Hours in 1967. In his lifetime he also received the Bollingen Prize, the Ruth Lilly Prize, the Loines Award, the Librex-Guggenheim Eugenio Montale Award, and the Harriet Monroe Poetry Award, as well as fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, the American Academy in Rome, the Ford Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation. He was a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and lived in Washington, D.C.

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  Tonight our streets are filled With beardless pirates and their high-heeled wives Who own no maps of treasure and have killed Nobody with their aimless wooden knives; They cry us […]

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  Tonight our streets are filled With beardless pirates and their high-heeled wives Who own no maps of treasure and have killed Nobody with their aimless wooden knives; They cry us […]

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