Josephine Jacobsen

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Josephine Jacobsen (August 19, 1908July 9, 2003) was an American poet, short story writer, and critic. She served as Poet Laureate of the United States 1971–1973.


  • I may,
    if I can,
    sleep; since I must,
    Some say,
    • "The Monosyllable" lines 15–20, The Chinese Insomniacs: New Poems, 1981, University of Pennsylvania Press, ISBN 0812278186
  • The ancient usual retreat
    Takes down the steps the scattering horde;
    Adam again has met defeat,
    Has missed connections with the Lord.

    But where the altar-candles die
    Waits God, and in a corner prays
    The last of heroes who will try
    The Gate again in seven days.

    • "Non Sum Dignus" st. 4–5, In the Crevice of Time: New and Collected Poems, 1995, Johns Hopkins University Press, ISBN 0801851165

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