Literature: Craft and Voice (Volume 2, Poetry) / Edition 1

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Better readers make better writers.

Today’s students do read—we know that they read a significant amount of email, text messages, web pages, and even magazines. What many do not do is read in a sustained way. Many do not come to college prepared to read long texts, nor do they come with the tools necessary to analyze and synthesize what they read. Nick Delbanco and Alan Cheuse have proven in their own teaching that when you improve students’ ability and interest in reading, you will help them improve their writing.

Bringing writers to students, Bringing students to writing.

Literature: Craft and Voice is an innovative new Introductory Literature program designed to engage students in the reading of Literature, all with a view to developing their reading, analytical, and written skills. Accompanied by, and integrated with, video interviews of dozens of living authors who are featured in the text, conducted by authors Nick Delbanco and Alan Cheuse specifically for use with their textbook, the book provides a living voice for the literature on the page and creates a link between the student and the authors of great works of literature. The first text of its kind, Literature: Craft and Voice offers a more enjoyable and effective reading experience through its fresh, inviting design and accompanying rich video program.

Take a virtual product tour

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780077214241
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, The
  • Publication date: 5/8/2009
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 608
  • Sales rank: 904,944
  • Product dimensions: 7.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Nicholas Delbanco

Nick Delbanco is the Robert Frost Distinguished University Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan, where he formerly directed the prestigious Hopwood Awards Program in creative writing and where the Delbanco Prize was established in his honor for students who need financial assistance to attend the Hopwood Program (only 25 students are admitted each year). He is also a co-founder (together with the late John Gardner) of the Bennington Writing Workshops

As the Delbanco Prize implies, Nick is a beloved teacher and through his teaching has been in the thick of the modern literary scene. His students have praised his enormous frame of literary reference, his eagerness to devour a new work, and his ability to home in on its weaknesses. Richard Tillinghast, a poet and colleague at Michigan, said of Nick, “When you have someone with an eye and ear like Nick's, you can really learn a lot about what talents you have and how to use them.”

Describing Nick’s teaching style, the New York Times said, “Mr. Delbanco delights in horrifying his students by urging them to imitate rather than innovate. He tells them that imitation is the surest route to originality and warns against self-expression, self-discovery.” His students also talk of his sociability (he loves a good story, to tell it and to hear it), his honesty, and his devotion to his students. One student said, “He gave me confidence when I had no confidence. He's also very blunt and honest. He has no problem tossing your manuscript back at you and saying, 'This stinks.' He would dismantle me and then take me into his office and tell me I could be a writer.”

Nick has won several awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, and two Writer’s Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. He is the author of twenty-four books of fiction and non-fiction, a frequent contributor to Harper’s, and often seen in the New York Times. Some have called him a “writer’s writer” —to which he replies “it's hard to see it as an insult at all. The worst you could say is that it's a kind way of saying nobody buys your books.” He has written a previous McGraw-Hill text, The Sincerest Form: Writing Fiction through Imitation. His most recent novel is The Count of Concord, a work of historical fiction that tells the tale of Count Rumford: inventor of the coffeepot, philosopher, and spy (among other things). The Chicago Sun says, “Novelist Nicholas Delbanco has done us a great service by rescuing Rumford from obscurity…In ‘The Count of Concord’ we see a veteran novelist working at the height of his powers.”

Alan Cheuse

Alan Cheuse has been reviewing books on All Things Considered since the 1980s.

Formally trained as a literary scholar, Alan also writes fiction and novels and publishes short stories. He is the author of three novels, two collections of short fiction, and the memoir Fall out of Heaven. With Caroline Marshall, he has edited two volumes of short stories. Alan’s short fiction has appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, The Antioch Review, Ploughshares, and Another Chicago Magazine. His most recent collection of his short fiction was published in September 1998 and his essay collection, Listening to the Page, appeared in 2001.

Alan splits his time between the two coasts, spending nine months of the year in Washington, D.C., where he teaches writing at George Mason University. His summers are spent in Santa Cruz, Calif. teaching writing at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. Cheuse earned his Ph.D. in comparative literature with a focus on Latin American literature from Rutgers University in 1974.

"The greatest challenge of this work [at NPR]," he says, "is to make each two-minute review as fresh and interesting as you can while trying to focus on the essence of the book itself."

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Table of Contents


A Conversation on Writing with Carolyn Forché, video interview available

online @

An Interactive Reading: Carolyn Forche, The Museum of Stones
The Craft of Poetry

Robert Burns, O My Luve’s Like a Red, Red Rose

Robert Hayden, Those Winter Sundays

Sappho, A Fragment [“The moon has set”]

William Wordsworth, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

Mary Oliver, At Blackwater Pond

William Butler Yeats, Sailing to Byzantium

Stephen Dunn, Poem for People That Are Understandably Too Busy to

Read Poetry

An Interactive Reading: William Shakespeare My Mistress’ Eyes Are

Nothing like the Sun

Leonard Cohen, For Anne

Song of Solomon 4:1-7 [“Behold thou art fair, my love”]

D. H. Lawrence, Piano

William Butler Yeats, Leda and the Swan

George Gordon, Lord Byron, Don Juan [“Bob Southey, you’re a poet”]

George Gordon, Lord Byron, Don Juan [“I want a hero”]

Robert Browning, My Last Duchess

A Conversation on Translation with Stephen Mitchell, video interview

available online @

Bhagavad Gita [The Secret of Life], translated by Stephen Mitchell

Rumi, Some Kiss We Want, translated by Coleman Parks

Pablo Neruda, Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You, translated by

Gustavo Escobedo
For Review and Further Study

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Go From Me

Robert Browning, Love Among the Ruins

William Dickey, Therefore

Edna St. Vincent Millay, Not In A Silver Casket Cool With Pearls

Adrienne Rich, Living In Sin

Rainer Maria Rilke, Archaic Torso of Apollo, translated by Stephen Mitchell

A Conversation on Writing with Li-Young Lee, video interview available

online @

Li-Young Lee, Eating Alone

Li-Young Lee, Eating Together

An Interactive Reading of Eating Alone

A Student’s Critical Analysis Paper on Eating Alone (three drafts)

A Conversation on Writing with Marie Howe, video interview available online


Marie Howe, What the Living Do
Word Choice: Varieties of Diction

John Keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn

W. H. Auden, Funeral Blues

Gwendolyn Brooks, We Real Cool
General vs. Specific Language

William Shakespeare, Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Matthew Arnold, Dover Beach

Anthony Hecht, The Dover Bitch

Philip Larkin, Aubade
Denotation vs. Connotation

Elizabeth Bishop, The Fish

James Wright, A Blessing
Word Order

Robert Frost, Stopping by woods on a snowy evening

Wallace Stevens, The Emperor of Ice-Cream

Lucille Clifton, Homage to my hips

Walt Whitman, Crossing Brooklyn Ferry
For Review and Further Study

Wanda Coleman, The ISM

Billy Collins, The Names

E.E. Cummings, in Just –

John Donne, A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning

Alan Dugan, Love Song: I and Thou

Louise Gluck, Song of Obstacles

Samuel Hazo, Just Words

Naomi Shihab Nye, The World In Translation

A Checklist: Reading for Words

Suggestions for Writing about Words
CHAPTER 19: VOICE: Persona, Tone, and Irony

A Conversation on Writing with Stephen Dunn, video interview available

online @

Stephen Dunn, After

Randall Jarrell, The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner

Theodore Roethke, My Papa’s Waltz

Wallace Stevens, Sunday Morning

Anne Bradstreet, The Author to Her Book
For Review and Further Study

Charlotte Mew, I So Liked Spring

Gary Soto, Mexicans Begin Jogging

William Stafford, Traveling Through the Dark

William Carlos Williams, This Is Just To Say

Ben Jonson, On My First Son

Sylvia Plath, Daddy

Rita Dove, Flash Cards

Mark Doty, Golden Retrievals

Ai, Riot Act, April 29, 1992

William Butler Yeats, Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop
For Review and Further Study

Frank Bidart, Herbert White

Juan Felipe Herrera, Autobiography of a Chicano Teen Poet

Natasha Trethewey, Letter Home—New Orleans, November 1910

Paul Laurence Dunbar, To a Captious Critic

Wilfred Owen, Dulce et Decorum Est

Kenneth Fearing, AD

Edwin Arlington Robinson, Richard Corey

Thomas Hardy, The Convergence of the Twain

Stephen Dunn, To a Terrorist
For Review and Further Study

E. E. Cummings, next to of course god America I

Dorothy Parker, Sonnet for the End of a Sequence

A Checklist: Reading for Voice

Suggestions for Writing about Voice

A Conversation on Writing with Jane Hirshfield, video interview available

online @

Jane Hirshfield, Tree Button

Kobayashi Issa, On a branch, translated by Jane Hirshfield

Matsuo Basho, A caterpillar, translated by Robert Hass

Ezra Pound, In a Station of the Metro

H. D., Sea Poppies

William Carlos Williams, The Red Wheelbarrow

Wallace Stevens, Anecdote of the Jar

Jane Kenyon, The Blue Bowl
Poems and Paintings

W. H. Auden, Musee des Beaux Arts with Breughel’s Fall of Icarus

Anne Carson, Automat with Edward Hopper’s Automat

Cathy Song, Girl Powdering Her Neck with Kitagawa Utamaro’s Ukiyo-e

print of Girl Powdering Her Neck
For Review and Further Study

Robert Bly, Driving to Town Late to Mail a Letter

John Dryden, Song for Saint Cecelia’s Day, 1687

Paul Laurence Dunbar, Farm House By the River

John Keats, Ode to a Nightingale

Shirley Geok-Lin Lim, Scavenging on a Double Bluff

Amy Lowell, Patterns

Robert Lowell, The Quaker Graveyard In Nantucket

Cleopatra Mathis, Lilacs

Howard Nemerov, The Blue Swallows

Pablo Neruda, The Stolen Branch, translated by Donald D. Walsh

Octavio Paz, Motion

Carole Satyamarti, I Shall Paint My Nails Red

Sara Teasdale, I Am Not Yours

A Checklist: Reading for Images and Symbols

Suggestions for Writing about Images and Symbols

A Conversation on Writing with Robert Pinsky, video interview available

online @

Robert Pinsky, Shirt

Michael Ondaatje, Sweet Like a Crow

Robert Pinsky, To Television
Simile and Metaphor

Margaret Atwood, You fit into me

Jane Kenyon, The Suitor

Sylvia Plath, Metaphors

Linda Pastan, Jump Cabling

Paul Muldoon, Symposium
Hyperbole and Understatement
Synechdoche and Metonymy

Czeslaw Milosz, Encounter, translated by Czeslaw Milosz and Lillian Vallee

Diane Wakoski, Inside Out
Personification and Apostrophe

William Wordsworth, Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3,


William Blake, Ah! Sunflower

Gabriella Mistral, Fugitive Woman, translated by Randall Couch
Parodox and Oxymoron

Matsuo Basho, Kyoto, translated by Robert Hass

William Butler Yeats: The Fisherman

A. R. Ammons, Their Sex Life

Julie Sheehan, I Hate You
For Further Review and Study

John Keats, To Autumn

Marge Piercy, The Secretary Chant

Theodore Roethke, Root Cellar

Walt Whitman, A Noiseless, Patient Spider

Nancy Willard, Saint Pumpkin

A Checklist: Reading for Figures of Speech

Suggestions for Writing about Figures of Speech

Conversation on Writing with Thomas Lynch, video interview available

online @

Thomas Lynch, Iambs for the day of burial

Seamus Heaney, Digging
For Further Review and Study

John Keats, Bright Star – Would I Were As Steadfast As Thou Art

Edna St. Vincent Millay, Only Until This Cigarette Is Ended

Christina Rossetti, A Birthday

Alexander Pope, True ease in writing comes from art, not chance [excerpt

from “An Essay on Criticism”]

Marianne Moore, The Fish

Emily Dickinson, The difference between Despair
For Further Review and Study

Julia Alvarez, Women’s Work

Kelly Cherry, The Raiment We Put On

Marilyn Nelson, Chopin
Stresses and Pauses

Gwendolyn Brooks, Sadie and Maud

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Trochee trips from long to short
Metrical Variation

Gerard Manley Hopkins, Pied Beauty
For Further Review and Study

Anonymous, Bonnie Barbara Allen

Amy Clampitt, John Donne in California

John Donne, Hymn to God, My God, In My Sickness

Sonia Sanchez, Poem at Thirty

Kevin Young, Jook

A Checklist: Reading for Sound, Rhyme, and Rhythm

Suggestions for Writing about Sound, Rhyme, and Rhythm

A Conversation on Writing with Edward Hirsch, video interview available

online @

Edward Hirsch, My First Theology Lesson
Form, Fixed Form, Open Form
Stanzas, Couplets, Tercets, Quatrains
The Building Blocks of Form
The Sonnet

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways

John Keats, On First Looking into Chapman's Homer

William Shakespeare, When, in Disgrace with Fortune and Men's Eyes

Maxine Kumin, Saga

Dylan Thomas, Do not go gentle into that good night

Elizabeth Bishop, One Art

Elizabeth Bishop, Sestina

Donald Justice, Pantoum of the Great Depression

Erica Funkhouser, First Pantoum of Summer

Matsuo Basho, Deep autumn—, translated by Robert Hass

Yosa Buson, Tethered horse, translated by Robert Hass

Kobayashi Issa, Don’t worry, spiders, translated by Robert Hass

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, What Is an Epigram?

Langston Hughes, Prayer

J. V. Cunningham, Two Epigrams

A. R. Ammons, Small Song

Edward Lear, There was an Old Man with a gong

J. D. Landis, Starvation Diet

Laurence Perrine, The limerick’s never averse

A. E. Housman, To an Athlete Dying Young

W. H. Auden, In Memory of W. B. Yeats

Theodore Roethke, Elegy for Jane

Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ode to the West Wind
For Review and Further Study

Louise Bogan, Changed Woman

Nikki Giovanni, Knoxville, Tennessee

Marilyn Hacker, Elektra on Third Avenue

Seamus Heaney, Mid-Term Break

Andrew Hudgins, Elegy for My Father

Dorianne Laux, The Shipfitter’s Wife

Jacqueline Osherow, Sonnet for the Music in the Warsaw Ghetto

Robert Pinsky, Sonnet

Mary Jo Salter, Video Blues

Gjertrud Schnackenburg, Snow Melting

David Wojahn, The Assassination of John Lennon as Depicted by the

Madame Tussaud Wax Museum Niagara Falls, Ontario, l987

A Checklist: Reading for Fixed Poetic Forms

Suggestions for Writing about Fixed Poetic Forms

A Conversation on Writing with Robert Hass, video interview available

online @

Robert Hass, Meditation at Lagunitas
Open Form Poetry

Walt Whitman, Song of Myself [I Celebrate myself, and sing myself]

Sherman Alexie, Defending Walt Whitman

E. E. Cummings, Since Feeling Is First

Galway Kinnell, After Making Love We Hear Footsteps

C. K. Williams, Tar

Sharon Olds, Sex without Love

Robert Hass, Dragonflies Mating
Visual Poetry

George Herbert, Easter Wings

John Hollander, Swan and the Shadow

Chen Li, War Symphony

Dylan Thomas, Vision and Prayer (i)
Prose Poems

Carolyn Forche, The Colonel

Louis Jenkins, Football

Ray Gonzalez, Corn Face Mesilla
For Further Review and Study

Marilyn Chin, Turtle Soup

Sandra Cisneros, Pumpkin Eater

Mari Evans, Spectrum

Allen Ginsberg, A Supermarket in California

Lorna Goodison, On Becoming a Tiger

D. H. Lawrence, Snake

Denise Levertov, Ache of Marriage

Alberto Alvaro Rios, Nani

Robert Sward, God Is In the Cracks

James Wright, Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio

A Checklist: Reading for Open Forms

Suggestions for Writing about Open Forms

A Conversation on Writing with Al Young, video interview available online @

Al Young, Doo-Wop: The Moves
The Power of Rhythm

Anonymous, Western Wind
Story in Brief Song: Ballads

Anonymous, Sir Patrick Spence
Songs of the Countryside: Pastoral Poetry

Christopher Marlowe, The Passionate Shepherd to His Love
Shakespeare in Song

William Shakespeare, Feare no more the heat of the sun
Language as Melody

John Donne, Song: Go and catch a falling star
Native American Poetry

Joy Harjo, Morning Song
Spoken Word Pioneers

The Last Poets, My People

Marc Smith, Dusty Blues
Three Spoken Word Poems

Kenneth Carroll, So What! (for the White Dude who said this ain’t poetry)

Lawson Fusao Inada, Grandmother

Emily XYZ, Ship of State of Fools
For Further Review and Study

Miguel Algarin, HIV

Jimmy Santiago Baca, Choices

Lewis Carroll, Jabberwocky

Gil Scott Heron, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Langston Hughes, The Blues

Audre Lorde, The Electric Slide Boogie

Willie Perdomo, Postcards of El Barrio

Quincy Troupe, Poem Reaching for Something

A Checklist: Reading Song and Spoken Word

Suggestions for Writing about Song and Spoken Word

A Case Study on Langston Hughes and his Contemporaries
Difficult Beginnings

A Turning Point

The Harlem Renaissance

Blues and Jazz

Hughes’s Poetry

Facts of Life
Langston Hughes

Ballad of the Landlord

Dream Boogie

The Dream Keeper


Theme for English B

Let America Be America Again

The Negro Speaks Of Rivers

I, Too

Minstrel Man

Mother to Son



A New Song

Night Funeral In Harlem

Po’ Boy Blues


Song for a Dark Girl

The Weary Blues
Essay: “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain”
Hughes’ Contemporaries

Countee Cullen, Incident

Helene Johnson, Sonnet to a Negro in Harlem

Claude McKay, White City

Jean Toomer, Reapers

Jesse Redmon Fauset, Touche

Angelina Weld Grimke, Fragment

Getting Started: A Research Project

Further Suggestions for Writing and Research

Some Sources for Research
William Blake’s Art and Poetry

An Unconventional Mind

Blake in Context: Eighteenth Century London
From Songs of Innocence

Introduction to Songs of Innocence

The Echoing Green with Illustrations

The Little Lamb

The Little Black Boy

The Chimney Sweeper

The Little Boy Lost

The Little Boy Found

Holy Thursday

The Divine Image with Illustration
From Songs of Experience

Holy Thursday with Illustration

The Chimney Sweeper

The Sick Rose

The Tyger


The Human Abstract

A Little Boy Lost

A Little Girl Lost

The Voice of the Ancient Bard

The Clod & the Pebble

Garden of Love with Illustration

Making Connections: Songs of Innocence and Experience

Making Connections: Reading Text and Image

Getting Started: A Research Project

Learning to Read Images: William Blake’s The Fly with Illustration

Further Suggestions for Writing and Research

Some Sources for Research
Two Case Studies: Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost
Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost

The Roots of American Plain Style

The Plain Style
Emily Dickinson

Success is counted sweetest

I Taste a Liquor Never Brewed

Some keep the Sabbath going to Church

Safe in Their Alabaster Chambers

I like a look of Agony

Wild Nights—Wild Nights

There’s a Certain Slant of Light

I felt a Funeral in my Brain

I’m Nobody! Who are You

The Soul Selects Her Own Society

After Great Pain, a Formal Feeling Comes

Much Madness Is Divinest Sense

I died for Beauty—but was scarce

I Heard a Fly Buzz—When I Died

The Brain—Is Wider Than the Sky

I started early, took my dog

Because I Could Not Stop for Death

One Need Not Be A Chamber – To Be Haunted

A narrow Fellow in the Grass

The Bustle in a House

Tell all the Truth, but tell it slant

There is no Frigate like a Book
Robert Frost


After Apple-Picking

Mending Wall


"Out, Out—"

The Oven Bird

The Road Not Taken

Fire and Ice

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Acquainted with the Night

Desert Places


Come In

The Gift Outright

The Silken Tent

Getting Started: A Research Project

Further Suggestions for Writing and Research

Some Sources for Research

Kim Addonizio, First Poem for You

Gloria Anzaldua, To live in the Borderlands means you

W. H. Auden, The Unknown Citizen

Anne Bradstreet, To My Dear and Loving Husband

Emily Bronte, Come Walk with Me

Robert Browning, Meeting at Night

Robert Browning, Parting at Morning

George Gordon, Lord Byron, She Walks in Beauty

John Ciardi, Most Like An Arch This Marriage

Judith Ortiz Cofer, Quinceañera

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Kubla Khan

E.E. Cummings, l(a

E.E. Cummings, anyone lived in a pretty how town

E.E. Cummings, buffalo bill’s defunct

John Donne, Batter My Heart, Three-Personed God, for You

John Donne, Death, Be not Proud

John Donne, The Flea

John Donne, The Sun Rising

T. S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Louise Erdrich, Dear John Wayne

Rhina Espaillat, Bilingual/Bilingue

Linda Gregg, Something Scary

Kimiko Hahn, The Details We Fall For

Donald Hall, Letter with No Address

Thomas Hardy, The Darkling Thrush

George Herbert, Love

Robert Herrick, Upon Julia's Clothes

Robert Herrick, Delight In Disorder

Robert Herrick, To the Virgins, to make much of Time

Gerard Manley Hopkins, God’s Grandeur

Gerard Manley Hopkins, The Windhover

A.E. Housman, Loveliest of trees, the cherry now

A.E. Housman, When I was One and Twenty

Ben Jonson, To Celia

John Keats, La Belle Dame Sans Merci

Yusef Komunyakaa, Facing It

Emma Lazarus, Colossus

Thomas Lynch, Liberty

Archibald MacLeish, Ars Poetica

Andrew Marvell, To His Coy Mistress

Gerda Mayer, Narcissus

James Merrill, The Victor Dog

W. S. Merwin, For the Anniversary of My Death

John Milton, Paradise Lost [“Of Man’s first disobedience…”]

John Milton, When I Consider How My Light Is Spent

Wilfred Owen, Anthem of Doomed Youth

Grace Paley, Here

Linda Pastan, Ethics

Molly Peacock, Desire

Sylvia Plath, Mirror

Edgar Allan Poe, Annabel Lee

Ezra Pound, The River Merchant’s Wife: A Letter

Sir Walter Raleigh, The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd

Dudley Randall, Ballad of Birmingham

Henry Reed, Naming of Parts

Adrienne Rich, Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers

Adrienne Rich, Diving into the Wreck

Wendy Rose, Leaving Port Authority for the St. Regis Rez

Christina Rossetti, Echo

Sappho, a lyric

Carl Sandburg, Fog

Ann Sexton, Letter Written on a Ferry While Crossing Long Island Sound

William Shakespeare, Let me not to the marriage of true minds

William Shakespeare, Not marble nor the gilded monuments

William Shakespeare, That time of year thou mayest in me behold

Jane Shore, My Mother’s Chair

Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ozymandias

Sir Phillip Sidney, To the Sad Moon

Gary Soto, Saturday at the Canal

Wallace Stevens, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Ulysses

Anne Waldman, Bluehawk

Phyllis Wheatley, On Begin Brought from Africa to America

Richard Wilbur, The Writer

William Carlos Williams, Spring and All

William Wordsworth, London, 1802

William Wordsworth, The World Is Too Much With Us

William Wordsworth, The Solitary Reaper

James Wright, Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island,


William Butler Yeats, The Second Coming

William Butler Yeats, When You Are Old
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