Friday, September 5, 2008

Summons, a poem by Robert Francis.

Robert Francis is one of the best-kept secrets in American poetry. He wrote in a clear, concise, musical style that combined the best qualities of Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson. Yet his style was uniquely his own. This is a poet not to be missed.
He was born in Upland, Pennsylvania in 1901 and educated at Harvard University. Prolific in many disciplines, Francis also wrote a novel, We Fly Away (1948). He died in July, 1987.

Summons by Robert Francis

Keep me from going to sleep too soon
Or if I go to sleep too soon
Come wake me up. Come any hour
Of the night. Come whistling up the road.
Stomp on the porch. Bang on the door.
Make me get out of bed and come
And let you in and light a light.
Tell me the northern lights are on
And make me look. Or tell me clouds
Are doing something to the moon
They never did before, and show me.
See that I see. Talk to me till
I’m half as wide awake as you
And start to dress wondering why
I ever went to bed at all.
Tell me the walking is superb.
Not only tell me but persuade me.
You know I’m not too hard persuaded.

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