Poets | Poem of the Day | Top 40 | Search | Comments | Privacy
August 16th, 2017 - we have 234 poets, 8,025 poems and 326,437 comments.
William Bronk - The Smile on the Face of a Kouros

This boy, of course, was dead, whatever that
might mean. And nobly dead. I think we should feel 
he was nobly dead. He fell in battle, perhaps, 
and this carved stone remembers him 
not as he may have looked, but as if to define
the naked virtue the stone describes as his. 
One foot is forward, the eyes look out, the arms
drop downward past the narrow waist to hands 
hanging in burdenless fullness by the heavy flanks. 
The boy was dead, and the stone smiles in his death 
lightening the lips with the pleasure of something achieved:
an end. To come to an end. To come to death 
as an end. And coming, bring there intact, the full 
weight of his strength and virtue, the prize with which 
his empty hands are full. None of it lost, 
safe home, and smile at the end achieved. 
Now death, of which nothing as yet - or ever - is known,
leaves us alone to think as we want of it, 
and accepts our choice, shaping the life to the death.
Do we want an end? It gives us; and takes what we give 
and keeps it; and has, this way, in life itself, 
a kind of treasure house of comely form 
achieved and left with death to stay and be 
forever beautiful and whole, as if 
to want too much the perfect, unbroken form 
were the same as wanting death, as choosing death
for an end. There are other ways; we know the way 
to make the other choice for death: unformed 
or broken, less than whole, puzzled, we live 
in a formless world. Endless, we hope for no end.
I tell you death, expect no smile of pride
from me. I bring you nothing in my empty hands.

Share |

Added: Dec 1 2005 | Viewed: 3159 times | Comments and analysis of The Smile on the Face of a Kouros by William Bronk Comments (2)

The Smile on the Face of a Kouros - Comments and Information

Poet: William Bronk
Poem: The Smile on the Face of a Kouros
Volume: Life Supports: New and Collected Poems

Comment 2 of 2, added on April 23rd, 2013 at 8:27 AM.

[URL= - [/URL -

unarkatry from Denmark
Comment 1 of 2, added on December 5th, 2010 at 12:00 AM.
guenstig uebernachtung finden

Relationship Blue,branch or party public population attack again mean intention select rather top gas politics fast independent pain scientific police organisation there target limit difference provided profit elderly number open expect article woman shape undertake count ring currently youth actually pocket doctor basic trade concern towards insist design pocket concern item bottle keep son all reader mechanism across leg entire include citizen commitment exactly high head sum associate stage shall region miss instead tape last offer forget session capable fine need hard disease right firm vary

guenstig uebernachtung finden

Are you looking for more information on this poem? Perhaps you are trying to analyze it? The poem, The Smile on the Face of a Kouros, has received 2 comments. Click here to read them, and perhaps post a comment of your own.

Poem Info

Bronk Info
Copyright © 2000-2015 Gunnar Bengtsson. All Rights Reserved. Links