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Poem Title:  Sonnet 4 (Sonnet IV)

Poem Category:  Sonnets

Poet:  Alan Seeger

Poet Biography: 
Alan Seeger (1888-1916) was born in New York to parents from old New England families. In 1912 he moved to Paris and just after the outbreak of the World War One, he enlisted in the French Foreign Legion. He served in the trenches on the western front. During the Battle of the Somme he was severely wounded when advancing on the German lines. He died shortly afterwards and was posthumously awarded the Croix de Guerre and the Medaille Militaire.



Poem: 
Up at his attic sill the South wind came
And days of sun and storm but never peace.
Along the town's tumultuous arteries
He heard the heart-throbs of a sentient frame:
Each night the whistles in the bay, the same
Whirl of incessant wheels and clanging cars:
For smoke that half obscured, the circling stars
Burnt like his youth with but a sickly flame.
Up to his attic came the city cries --
The throes with which her iron sinews heave --
And yet forever behind prison doors
Welled in his heart and trembled in his eyes
The light that hangs on desert hills at eve
And tints the sea on solitary shores. . . .


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