Saturday, June 26, 2010

Not Too Hard Persuaded

Flute Player and Bats, by Oskar Kokoschka

Keep me from going to sleep too soon
Or if I go to sleep too soon
Come wake me up. Come any hour
Of 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.

Robert Francis, 1901 - 1987
American Poet from Pennsylvania


  1. Kitti, thanks! I don't remember seeing this. Maybe it was before I had reconnected with you. I really think Robert Francis is one of my 20th Century poets. Of course, his mentor was Frost, right? Have you read Juniper? I think it is quite profound, "So many shades of green, and I so long before I saw them.." just one line.

  2. Burnetta -- I just went and looked up "Juniper" in the poetry anthology that you recommended awhile back: _The Voice That Is Great Within Us_ and I love this line:
    Are rich in point of view if they are rich
    In anything . . . "
    Here is a quote you will appreciate: "Robert Frost, an important influence on the poet, said that Francis was 'of all the great neglected poets, the greatest.' "