Alan Seeger Poems

Poems » alan seeger

Alan Seeger
Alan Seeger (June 22, 1888 – July 4, 1916) was an American poet. Born in New York, Seeger moved with his family to Staten Island at the age of one and remained there until the age of ten. In 1900, his family moved to Mexico for two years, which influenced the imagery of some of his poetry. His brother Charles Seeger, a noted musicologist, was the father of the American folk singer, Pete Seeger. Seeger entered Harvard in 1906 after attending several elite preparatory schools, including Hackley School, where he became an editor of and contributor to the Harvard Monthly. After graduating in 1910, he moved to Greenwich Village for two years, where he wrote poetry and enjoyed the life of a young bohemian. Having moved to the Latin Quarter of Paris to continue his seemingly itinerant, intellectual lifestyle, on August 24, 1914, Seeger joined the French Foreign Legion so that he could fight for the Allies in World War I (the United States did not enter the war until 1917). He was killed in action at Belloy-en-Santerre, famously cheering on his fellow soldiers in a successful charge after being hit several times himself by machine gun fire. One of his more famous poems, I Have a Rendezvous with Death, was published posthumously. Indeed, a recurrent theme in both his poetic works and his personal writings prior to falling in battle was his desire for his life to end gloriously at an early age. Seeger's poetry was not published until 1917, a year after his death. 'Poems' was not a successful work, due, according to Eric Homberger, to its lofty idealism and language, qualities out of fashion in the early decades of the twentieth century. 'Poems' was reviewed in The Egoist, where the critic commented that "Seeger was serious about his work and spent pains over it. The work is well done, and so much out of date as to be almost a positive quality. It is high-flown, heavily decorated and solemn, but its solemnity is thorough going, not a mere literary formality. Alan Seeger, as one who knew him can attest, lived his whole life on this plane, with impeccable poetic dignity; everything about him was in keeping." The man who wrote this review of 'Poems' was T. S. Eliot, Seeger's classmate at Harvard.

fata morgana
O sweet illusions of song
That tempt me everywhere,
In the lonely fields, and the throng... [read poem]
i have a rendezvous with death
I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
When Spring comes back with rus... [read poem]
the day is done
The day is done, and the darkness
Falls from the wings of Night,
As a feather is wafted do... [read poem]
hiawatha's departure
By the shore of Gitchie Gumee,
By the shining Big-Sea-Water,
At the doorway of his wigwam,... [read poem]
a psalm of life
What the heart of the young man said to the psalmist

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,... [read poem]
the song of the wage-slave
When the long, long day is over, and the Big Boss gives me my pay,
I hope that it won't be hell... [read poem]
the slave's dream
Beside the ungathered rice he lay,
His sickle in his hand;
His breast was bare, his matt... [read poem]
Shawondasee, fat and lazy,
Had his dwelling far to southward
In the drowsy, dreamy sunshin... [read poem]
the children’s hour
Between the dark and the daylight,
When the night is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in ... [read poem]
there was a little girl
There was a little girl,
Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.... [read poem]
the shooting of dan mcgrew
A bunch of the boys were whooping it up in the Malamute saloon;
The kid that handles the music-... [read poem]
the telegraph operator
I will not wash my face;
I will not brush my hair;
I "pig" around the place --
... [read poem]
paul revere's ride
Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteen... [read poem]
the wreck of the hesperus
It was the schooner Hesperus,
That sailed the wintry sea;
And the skipper had taken his ... [read poem]
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