famous poetry
Roleplay | Writing Forum | Viral news today | Music Theory

At The Executed Murderer's Grave Analysis

Author: poem of James Wright Type: poem Views: 13

Roleplay | Writing Forum | Viral news today | Music Theory

for J.L.D.

Why should we do this?  What good is it to us?  Above all,

how can we do such a thing?  How can it possibly be done?



My name is James A. Wright, and I was born

Twenty-five miles from this infected grave,

In Martins Ferry, Ohio, where one slave

To Hazel-Atlas Glass became my father.

He tried to teach me kindness.  I return

Only in memory now, aloof, unhurried,

To dead Ohio, where I might lie buried,

Had I not run away before my time.

Ohio caught George Doty.  Clean as lime,

His skull rots empty here.  Dying's the best

Of all the arts men learn in a dead place.

I walked here once.  I made my loud display,

Leaning for language on a dead man's voice.

Now sick of lies, I turn to face the past.

I add my easy grievance to the rest:


Doty, if I confess I do not love you,

Will you let me alone?  I burn for my own lies.

The nights electrocute my fugitive,

My mind.  I run like the bewildered mad

At St. Clair Sanitarium, who lurk,

Arch and cunning, under the maple trees,

Pleased to be playing guilty after dark.

Staring to bed, they croon self-lullabies.

Doty, you make me sick.  I am not dead.

I croon my tears at fifty cents per line.


Idiot, he demanded love from girls,

And murdered one.  Also, he was a thief.

He left two women, and a ghost with child.

The hair, foul as a dog's upon his head,

Made such revolting Ohio animals

Fitter for vomit than a kind man's grief.

I waste no pity on the dead that stink,

And no love's lost between me and the crying

Drunks of Belaire, Ohio, where police

Kick at their kidneys till they die of drink.

Christ may restore them whole, for all of me.

Alive and dead, those giggling muckers who

Saddled my nighmares thirty years ago

Can do without my widely printed sighing.

Over their pains with paid sincerity.

I do not pity the dead, I pity the dying.


I pity myself, because a man is dead.

If Belmont County killed him, what of me?

His victims never loved him.  Why should we?

And yet, nobody had to kill him either.

It does no good to woo the grass, to veil

The quicklime hole of a man's defeat and shame.

Nature-lovers are gone.  To hell with them.

I kick the clods away, and speak my name.


This grave's gash festers.  Maybe it will heal,

When all are caught with what they had to do

In fear of love, when every man stands still

By the last sea,

And the princes of the sea come down

To lay away their robes, to judge the earth

And its dead, and we dead stand undefended everywhere,

And my bodies--father and child and unskilled criminal--

Ridiculously kneel to bare my scars,

My sneaking crimes, to God's unpitying stars.


Staring politely, they will not mark my face

From any murderer's, buried in this place.

Why should they?  We are nothing but a man.


Doty, the rapist and the murderer,

Sleeps in a ditch of fire, and cannot hear;

And where, in earth or hell's unholy peace,

Men's suicides will stop, God knows, not I.

Angels and pebbles mock me under trees.

Earth is a door I cannot even face.

Order be damned, I do not want to die,

Even to keep Belaire, Ohio, safe.

The hackles on my neck are fear, not grief.

(Open, dungeon!  Open, roof of the ground!)

I hear the last sea in the Ohio grass,

Heaving a tide of gray disastrousness.

Wrinkles of winter ditch the rotted face

Of Doty, killer, imbecile, and thief:

Dirt of my flesh, defeated, underground.


Roleplay | Writing Forum | Viral news today | Music Theory

||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

There have been no submitted criqiques, be the first to add one below.

Post your Analysis


Roleplay | Writing Forum | Viral news today | Music Theory
Most common keywords

At The Executed Murderer's Grave Analysis James Wright critical analysis of poem, review school overview. Analysis of the poem. literary terms. Definition terms. Why did he use? short summary describing. At The Executed Murderer's Grave Analysis James Wright Characters archetypes. Sparknotes bookrags the meaning summary overview critique of explanation pinkmonkey. Quick fast explanatory summary. pinkmonkey free cliffnotes cliffnotes ebook pdf doc file essay summary literary terms analysis professional definition summary synopsis sinopsis interpretation critique At The Executed Murderer's Grave Analysis James Wright itunes audio book mp4 mp3 mit ocw Online Education homework forum help

Poetry 154
Poetry 62
Poetry 164
Poetry 214
Poetry 122
Poetry 20
Poetry 55
Poetry 188
Poetry 120
Poetry 37
Poetry 109
Poetry 93
Poetry 56
Poetry 49
Poetry 182
Poetry 32
Poetry 174
Poetry 106
Poetry 18
Poetry 219