Allen Tate

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John Orley Allen Tate (November 19, 1899February 9, 1979) was an American poet, essayist, and social commentator, and Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, 1943–1944.


  • They darted down and rose up like a wave
    Or buzzed impetuously as before;
    One would have thought the corpse was held a slave
    To living by the life it bore!
    • A Carrion, from Poems (1961).
  • What is the flesh and blood compounded of
    But a few moments in the life of time?
    This prowling of the cells, litigious love,
    Wears the long claw of flesh-arguing crime.
    • I, from Collected Poems (1970).
  • Now remember courage, go to the door,
    Open it and see whether coiled on the bed
    Or cringing by the wall, a savage beast
    Maybe with golden hair, with deep eyes
    Like a bearded spider on a sunlit floor
    Will snarl—and man can never be alone.
    • The Wolves, from Collected Poems (1970).

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