Spirits of the Dead
Thy soul shall find itself alone 'Mid dark thoughts of the grey tomb-stone; Not one, of all the crowd, to pry Into thine hour of secrecy. Be silent in that solitude, Which is not loneliness — for then The spirits of the dead, who stood In life before thee, are again In death around thee, and their will Shall overshadow thee; be still. The night, though clear, shall frown, And the stars shall not look down From their high thrones in the Heaven With light like hope to mortals given, But their red orbs, without beam, To thy weariness shall seem As a burning and a fever Which would cling to thee for ever. Now are thoughts thou shalt not banish, Now are visions ne'er to vanish; From thy spirit shall they pass No more, like dew-drop from the grass. The breeze, the breath of God, is still, And the mist upon the hill Shadowy, shadowy, yet unbroken, Is a symbol and a token. How it hangs upon the trees, A mystery of mysteries!
This poem is in the public domain.
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In this collection, we examine the significance of place in contemporary American poetry. Here you'll find a range of poems, commentary, and essays that revolve around what we mean by the idea of "home" or of "homelessness" resulting from travel or displacement. Some works deal with a specific time and location, while others focus on a more socially-constructed view of place through the lenses of pop culture and identity. In the end, we hope this collection both confirms and challenges your notion of place in American poetry.
For a more thorough exploration of our theme, check out W. T. Pfefferle's anthology Poets on Place: Essays & Tales from the Road.