Robert Penn Warren
Excerpt from

Evening Hawk

From plane of light to plane, wings dipping through
Geometries and orchids that the sunset builds,
Out of the peak's black angularity of shadow, riding
The last tumultuous avalanche of
Light above pines and the guttural gorge,
The hawk comes.

Robert Penn Warren home page

Robert Penn Warren at Modern American Poetry

Robert Penn Warren at The Academy of American Poets

The Paris Review Interview
INTERVIEWER What were the works that were especially meaningful for you? What books were--well, doors opening?

 WARREN Well, several things come right away to mind. First of all, when I was six years old, "Horatius at the Bridge." I thought was pretty grand--when they read it to me, to be more exact.


 WARREN Yes, "How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix," at about age nine; I thought it was pretty nearly the height of human achievement. I didn’t know whether I was impressed by riding a horse that fast or writing the poem. I couldn’t distinguish between the two, but I knew there was something pretty fine going on . . . Then "Lycidas."

 INTERVIEWER At what age were you then?

WARREN Oh, thirteen, something like that. By that time I knew it wasn’t what was happening in the poem that was important--it was the poem. I had crossed the line.

Love Recognized