John Crowe Ransom

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John Crowe Ransom (April 30, 1888July 3, 1974) was a southern American poet, essayist and academic. He was prominent among the Fugitives, the Southern Agrarians and the American exponents of the New Criticism.


  • For I could tell you a story which is true;
    I know a lady with a terrible tongue,
    Blear eyes fallen from blue,
    All her perfections tarnished—and yet it is not long
    Since she was lovelier than any of you.
    • "Blue Girls", line 13, from Two Gentlemen in Bonds (1927).
  • And weeping fast as she had breath
    Janet implored us, "Wake her from her sleep!"
    And would not be instructed in how deep
    Was the forgetful kingdom of death.
    • "Janet Waking", line 25, from Two Gentlemen in Bonds (1927).

Chills and Fevers (1924)[edit]

  • And a wandering beauty is a blade out of its scabbard.
    You know how dangerous, gentlemen of threescore?
    May you know it yet ten more.
    • "Judith of Bethulia", line 4.
  • Here lies a lady of beauty and high degree.
    Of chills and fever she died, of fever and chills,
    The delight of her husbands, her aunts, an infant of three,
    And of medicos marveling sweetly on her ills.
    • "Here Lies a Lady", line 1.
  • Two evils, monstrous either one apart,
    Possessed me, and were long and loath at going:
    A cry of Absence, Absence, in the heart,
    And in the wood the furious winter blowing.
    • "Winter Remembered", line 1.

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