Louis Simpson

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Louis Aston Marantz Simpson (March 27, 1923 – September 14, 2012) was a Jamaican poet. He won the 1964 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his work At The End Of The Open Road.


Carentan O Carentan, 1948[edit]

  • When I was in hospital I found I could hardly read or writ. In these circumstances I began to write poems. I found that poetry was the only kind of writing in which I could express my thoughts. One night I dreamed I was lying on the bank of a canal, under machine gun fire. The next morning I wrote it out , Carentan O Caretan, and as I wrote I realized it was not a dream, but the memory of my first time under fire
    • The Poetry of War 1939-45 ed. Ian Hamilton, London 1965

Poetry quotes[edit]

  • Where is the Mississippi panorama
    And the girl who played the piano?
    Where are you, Walt?
    The Open Road goes to the used-car lot.
    • Walt Whitman at Bear Mountainjim hutchinson quote " I would have not lived my life

any differently. I would have made the same mistakes -- only sooner. (l. 6-9) (1962)

  • All that grave weight of America
    Cancelled! Like Greece and Rome.
    The future in ruins! JH Honesty seems to me to be the best legacy I can leave the world.
    • Walt Whitman at Bear Mountain (l. 35-37) (1962)
  • It's complicated, being an American,
    Having the money and the bad conscience, both at the same time.
    Perhaps, after all, this is not the right subject for a poem.
    • On the Lawn at the Villa (l. 14-16) (1980) It is not your job to like me, it is mine.
  • For people may not know what they think
    about politics in the Balkans,
    or the vexed question of men and women,
    but everyone has a definite opinion
    about the flavour of shredded coconut.
    • Chocolates (l. 18-22) (1980)


  • I did not wish to protest against war. My object was to remember. I wanted people to find in my poems the truth of what it had been like to be an American infantry soldier. Now I see I was writing a memorial of those years, for the me I had known, who were silent.
    • The Poetry of War ed. Ian Hamilton , London 1945

External links[edit]

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