Fools, fools, fools,
Your blood is hot to-day.
When you are clay.
It joins the very clod
Wherein you look at God,
Wherein at last you see
The living God
The loving God,
Which was your enemy.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on October 19, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.
About this Poem
“War” was published in 1914 in The Nation.
Witter Bynner was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1881. He graduated from Harvard University in 1902. After college, he worked as a newspaper reporter and, later, as the assistant editor of McClure’s magazine.
Bynner published his first poetry collection, An Ode to Harvard (Small, Maynard, & Co.), in 1907. He was also the author of New Poems (Alfred A. Knopf, 1960); Take Away the Darkness (Alfred A. Knopf, 1947); The Beloved Stranger (Alfred A. Knopf, 1919); Tiger (M. Kennerley, 1913); and several other poetry collections.
Bynner was also known for his works in translation, including The Way of Life According to Laotzu: An American Version (John Day Co., 1944), and a literary biography, Journey with Genius: Recollections and Reflections Concerning the D. H. Lawrences (J. Day Co, 1951).
In 1916, Bynner and Arthur David Ficke published Spectra: A Book of Poetic Experiments, under the pseudonyms Emanuel Morgan and Anne Krish. The book included poems and a manifesto on “spectrism,” a parody of Imagism. In 1918, Bynner admitted that the book was a hoax.
In 1922, Bynner settled in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his partner, Robert Hunt. He died there on June 1, 1968.
Date Published: 1914-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/war-0