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About this Poem 

“To Jake” was published in Jake (Boni and Liveright, 1921).

To Jake

You are turned wraith. Your supple, flitting hands,
As formless as the night wind’s moan,
Beckon across the years, and your heart’s pain
Fades surely as a stainèd stone. 

And yet you will not let me rest, crying
And calling down the night to me
A thing that when your body moved and glowed,
Living, you could not make me see.

Lean down your homely, mist-encircled head
Close, close above my human ear,
And tell me what of pain among the dead—
Tell me, and I will try to hear.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on September 1, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on September 1, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

Eunice Tietjens

Eunice Tietjens

Eunice Tietjens, born July 29, 1884, is the author of four poetry collections: China (Wheeler Publishing Company, 1930), Leaves in Windy Weather (Alfred A. Knopf, 1929), Body and Raiment (Alfred A. Knopf, 1919), and Profiles from China: Sketches in Free Verse of People and Things Seen in the Interior (Alfred A. Knopf, 1917).

by this poet

poem
who visits me in a hospital

Like a fleet with bellying sails, 
Like the great bulk of a sea-cliff with the staccato bark 
     of waves about it, 
Like the tart tang of the sea breeze
Are you;
Filling the little room where I lie straitly on a white 
     island between pain and pain.