Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ELEGY FOR EUGENESIS, by JOHN ORLEY ALLEN TATE

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ELEGY FOR EUGENESIS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Your death, dear lady, was quite cold
Last Line: As I light this cigarette - and under an inscrutable curse.
Alternate Author Name(s): Tate, Allen

Your death, dear Lady, was quite cold
For all the brave tears and ultimate spasm.
So civilized were your thin hands, I marvel
They too, like jellyfishes, came from protoplasm.

O ineffable cheeks of rhododendron bloom,
It cannot be you've withered so mortally!
Your husband is heartbroken - he said so,
Winking at his cocktail, talking dollars carefully.

Dead Lady, it is revealed that you were twenty-six
And died giving us an homunculus with bald head:
May your black hair darken even the dark Styx,
May your soul have no tears, forgetful of protoplasm.

We buried you in the unremissive ground.
I went home. Somewhere I heard the clang of a hearse.
You are very far away, dear Lady -
As I light this cigarette - and under an inscrutable curse.

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