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About this Poem 

 

“Apostate” by Léonie Adams was Adams’s first published poem. It appeared in the August 1921 issue of The New Republic.

Apostate

Léonie Adams, 1899 - 1988
From weariness I looked out on the stars
   And there beheld them, fixed in throbbing joy, 
Nor racked by such mad dance of moods as mars
   For us each moment’s grace with swift alloy. 
And as they pierced the heavens’ serene deep
   An envy of that one consummate part
Swept me, who mock. Whether I laugh or weep,
   Some inner silences are at my heart.
Cold shame is mine for all the masks I wear,
   Belying that in me which shines and sings
Before Him, to face down man’s alien stare—
   A graceless puppet on unmeaning strings, 
I that looked out, and saw, and was at rest,
   Stars, and faint wings, rose-etched along the west.

This poem is in the public domain.

This poem is in the public domain.

Léonie Adams

Léonie Adams

Born in 1899 in Brooklyn, New York, Léonie Adams graduated from Barnard College in 1922