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William Faulkner’s

If there be grief, then let it be but rain,

And this but silver grief for grieving's sake,

If these green woods be dreaming here to wake

Within my heart, if I should rouse again.


But I shall sleep, for where is any death

While in these blue hills slumbrous overhead

I'm rooted like a tree? Though I be dead,

This earth that holds me fast will find me breath.

-----William Faulkner

Before he turned his hand to fiction, Faulkner’s literary career was mostly as a poet, fashioning poems modeled rather conscientiously upon such fin de siècle poets as Swinburne and Housman. Essentially a Romantic, Faulkner’s poems frequently reveled in melancholy, unrequited love, and love of nature. Both his first nationally published work — the poem “L’Apres-Midi d’un faune” — and his first published book, The Marble Faun, were poetry.

Later, after turning primarily to fiction as an outlet for his creativity, Faulkner would call himself a “failed poet.”

Published Poetry Collections:

Vision in Spring, privately printed [Mississippi], 1921.

The Marble Faun (also see below), Four Seas (Boston), 1924.

This Earth, a Poem, drawings by Albert Heckman, Equinox, 1932.

A Green Bough (includes The Marble Faun), H. Smith and R. Haas, 1933, published as The Marble Faun [and] A Green Bough, Random House, 1965.

Mississippi Poems (also see below), limited edition with introduction by Joseph Blotner and afterword by Luis Daniel Brodsky, Yoknapatawpha Press (Oxford, Mississippi), 1979.

Helen, a Courtship [and] Mississippi Poems, introductory essays by Carvel Collins and Joseph Blotner, Tulane University and Yoknapatawpha Press, 1981.

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How to cite this page (MLA style):

Padgett, John B. “William Faulkner’s Poetry.” William Faulkner on the Web. 17 August 2006. 22 August 2019 <http://www.mcsr.olemiss.edu/~egjbp/faulkner/lib_poetry.html>.

This page was last modified on Thursday, August 17, 2006, at 03:19 PM CDT.
Copyright © 1995 – 2006 by John B. Padgett.
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