Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Something Robert Penn Warren Wrote That Did Not Win The Pulitzer

He won for fiction in 1947 for All the King's Men, and he won for poetry in 1958 for Promises: Poems 1954-1956. But Guthrie's Robert Penn Warren did not win for You, Emperors, and Others: Poems 1957-1960, which is where "Mother Makes the Biscuits" comes from. I don't care; I love it--plus, it's really hard to repeat.

Mother makes the biscuits,
Father makes the laws,
Grandma wets the bed sometimes,
Kitty-cats have claws.

Mother sweeps the kitchen,
Father milks the cow,
Grandpa leaves his pants unbuttoned,
Puppy-dogs bark, bow-wow.

All do as God intends,
The sun sets in the west,
Father shaves his chin, scrape-scrape,
Mother knows best.

Clap hands, children,
Clap hands and sing!
Hold hands together, children,
And dance in a ring,

For the green worm sings on the leaf,
The black beetle folds hands to pray,
And the stones in the field wash their faces clean
To meet break of day.

But we may see this only
Because all night we have stared
At the black miles past where stars are
Till the stars disappeared.

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