Fall 1958 • Vol. XX No. 4 Poetry |

Penthesilea and Achilles: Fatal Interview

Beautiful, bold, shaking the gold glint of sun-foil, Which light is, scurrying and scouring the plain now, she rides To distribute man-death, Greek-death—oh, she is the darling Of war, Troy, and Ares, her black-bristled father, whose toil Was her dream on moon-pillow. What forced her moon-moan              was such dream of blood-moil. She never remembered her dream at advent of daylight, But sat with breasts heavy, eyes sad, and the honey tasteless, And her only pleasure for morning to finger the sword-edge Till from lucky unstitching on thumb-ball one drop blushed to                         sight. Then with blood-taste on tongue, she watched bees weaving sun                   and dreamed of night. But now Greeks flee; for few can withstand Beauty's rage. Her arrows are spilling afar what will unparch earth now. Leaping in knee-clip, her courser neighs loud and rol

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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

Beautiful, bold, shaking the gold glint of sun-foil, Which light is, scurrying and scouring the plain now, she rides To distribute man-death, Greek-death—oh, she is the darling Of war, Troy, […]

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