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joyce kilmer Quotes

Joyce Kilmer Quotes

Birth Date: 1886-12-06 (Monday, December 6th, 1886)
Date of Death: 1918-07-30 (Tuesday, July 30th, 1918)



    • At present, I am a poet trying to be a soldier. To tell the truth, I am not interested in writing nowadays, except in so far as writing is the expression of something beautiful ... The only sort of book I care to write about the war is the sort people will read after the war is over - a century after it is over.
    • In a wood they call the Rouge Bouquet, There is a new-made grave today, Built by never a spade nor pick, Yet covered with earth ten meteres thick. There lie many fighting men. Dead in their youthful prime Never to laugh nor love again Nor taste the Summertime.
    • I think that I shall never see A poem lovely as a tree. A tree whose hungry mouth is prest Against the earth's sweet flowing breast; A tree that looks at God all day, And lifts her leafy arms to pray; A tree that may in Summer wear A nest of robins in her hair; Upon whose bosom snow has lain; Who intimately lives with rain. Poems are made by fools like me, But only God can make a tree.
    • Yes, God forgives and men forget, And you're forgiven and forgotten. You might be gaily sinning yet And quick and fresh instead of rotten. And when you think of love and fame And all that might have come to pass, Then don't you feel a little shame? And don't you think you were an ass?
    • They shall not live who have not tasted death. They only sing who are struck dumb by God.
    • There is no strange and distant place That is not gladdened by His face. And every nation kneels to hail The Splendour shining through Its veil.
    • An iron hand has stilled the throats That throbbed with loud and rhythmic glee And dammed the flood of silver notes That drenched the world in melody.
    • I have no vision of gods, not of Eros with love-arrows laden, Jupiter thundering death or of Juno his white-breasted queen, Yet have I seen All of the joy of the world in the innocent heart of a maiden.
    • When Dawn strides out to wake a dewy farm Across green fields and yellow hills of hay The little twittering birds laugh in his way And poise triumphant on his shining arm. He bears a sword of flame but not to harm The wakened life that feels his quickening sway And barnyard voices shrilling 'It is day!' Take by his grace a new and alien charm. But in the city, like a wounded thing That limps to cover from the angry chase, He steals down streets where sickly arc-lights sing, And wanly mock his young and shameful face; And tiny gongs with cruel fervor ring In many a high and dreary sleeping place.
    • Here is a shop of wonderment. From every land has come a prize; Rich spices from the Orient, And fruit that knew Italian skies, And figs that ripened by the sea In Smyrna, nuts from hot Brazil, Strange pungent meats from Germany, And currants from a Grecian hill.
    • He is the lord of goodly things That make the poor man's table gay, Yet of his worth no minstrel sings And on his tomb there is no bay.
    • Perhaps he lives and dies unpraised, This trafficker in humble sweets, Because his little shops are raised By thousands in the city streets. Yet stars in greater numbers shine, And violets in millions grow, And they in many a golden line Are sung, as every child must know.
    • For, once he thrilled with high romance And tuned to love his eager voice. Like any cavalier of France He wooed the maiden of his choice. And now deep in his weary heart Are sacred flames that whitely burn. He has of Heaven's grace a part Who loves, who is beloved in turn.
    • The scene shall never fit the deed. Grotesquely wonders come to pass. The fool shall mount an Arab steed And Jesus ride upon an ass.
    • This man has home and child and wife And battle set for every day. This man has God and love and life; These stand, all else shall pass away.
    • O Carpenter of Nazareth, Whose mother was a village maid, Shall we, Thy children, blow our breath In scorn on any humble trade? Have pity on our foolishness And give us eyes, that we may see Beneath the shopman's clumsy dress The splendor of humanity!
    • God be thanked for the Milky Way that runs across the sky, That's the path that my feet would tread whenever I have to die. Some folks call it a Silver Sword, and some a Pearly Crown, But the only thing I think it is, is Main Street, Heaventown.
    • They say that life is a highway and its milestones are the years, And now and then there's a toll-gate where you buy your way with tears. It's a rough road and a steep road and it stretches broad and far, But at last it leads to a golden Town where golden Houses are.
    • Unlock the door this evening And let your gate swing wide, Let all who ask for shelter Come speedily inside. What if your yard be narrow? What if your house be small? There is a Guest is coming Will glorify it all.
    • There is no rope can strangle song And not for long death takes his toll. No prison bars can dim the stars Nor quicklime eat the living soul.
    • It seems appropriate to me to state According to a venerable and agreeable custom, That I love a beautiful lady.Her eyes, Monsignore, Are so blue that they put lovely little blue reflections On everything that she looks at, Such as a wall Or the moon Or my heart.
    • Her soul's light shines through, But her soul cannot be seen. It is something elusive, whimsical, tender, wanton, infantile, wise And noble.
    • Loving her, Monsignore, I love all her attributes; But I believe That even if I did not love her I would love the blueness of her eyes, And her blue garment, made in the manner of the Japanese.
    • But, of your courtesy, Monsignore, Do me this favour: When you this morning make your way To the Ivory Throne that bursts into bloom with roses because of her who sits upon it, When you come to pay your devoir to Our Lady, I beg you, say to her: 'Madame, a poor poet, one of your singing servants yet on earth, Has asked me to say that at this moment he is especially grateful to you For wearing a blue gown.'
    • The song within your heart could never rise Until love bade it spread its wings and soar.
    • Love is made out of ecstasy and wonder; Love is a poignant and accustomed pain. It is a burst of Heaven-shaking thunder; It is a linnet's fluting after rain.
    • Because Mankind is glad and brave and young, Full of gay flames that white and scarlet glow, All joys and passions that Mankind may know By you were nobly felt and nobly sung. Because Mankind's heart every day is wrung By Fate's wild hands that twist and tear it so, Therefore you echoed Man's undying woe, A harp Aeolian on Life's branches hung.
    • Your eyes, that looked on glory, could discover The angry scar to which the world was blind: And it was grief that made Mankind your lover, And it was grief that made you love Mankind.
    • For blows on the fort of evil That never shows a breach, For terrible life-long races To a goal no foot can reach, For reckless leaps into darkness With hands outstretched to a star, There is jubilation in Heaven Where the great dead poets are.
    • There is joy over disappointment And delight in hopes that were vain. Each poet is glad there was no cure To stop his lonely pain. For nothing keeps a poet In his high singing mood Like unappeasable hunger For unattainable food.
    • Lord Byron and Shelley and Plunkett, McDonough and Hunt and Pearse See now why their hatred of tyrants Was so insistently fierce. Is Freedom only a Will-o'-the-wisp To cheat a poet's eye? Be it phantom or fact, it's a noble cause In which to sing and to die!
    • When you say of the making of ballads and songs that it is woman's work You forget all the fighting poets that have been in every land.
    • The title of poet's a noble thing, worth living and dying for, Though all the devils on earth and in Hell spit at me their disdain. It is stern work, it is perilous work, to thrust your hand in the sun And pull out a spark of immortal flame to warm the hearts of men: But Prometheus, torn by the claws and beaks whose task is never done, Would be tortured another eternity to go stealing fire again.
    • At the foot of the Cross on Calvary Three soldiers sat and diced, And one of them was the Devil And he won the Robe of Christ.
    • Oh, he can be the forest, And he can be the sun, Or a buttercup, or an hour of rest When the weary day is done. I saw him through a thousand veils, And has not this sufficed? Now, must I look on the Devil robed In the radiant Robe of Christ?
    • He comes, and his face is sad and mild, With thorns his head is crowned; There are great bleeding wounds in his feet, And in each hand a wound. How can I tell, who am a fool, If this be Christ or no? Those bleeding hands outstretched to me! Those eyes that love me so!
    • O Mother of Good Counsel, lend Intelligence to me! Encompass me with wisdom, Thou Tower of Ivory! 'This is the Man of Lies,' she says, 'Disguised with fearful art: He has the wounded hands and feet, But not the wounded heart.'
    • joyce kilmer

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