Perseus by Robert Hayden


Her sleeping head with its great gelid mass
of serpents torpidly astir
burned into the mirroring shield–
a scathing image dire
as hated truth the mind accepts at last
and festers on.
I struck. The shield flashed bare.

Yet even as I lifted up the head
and started from that place
of gazing silences and terrored stone,
I thirsted to destroy.
None could have passed me then–
no garland-bearing girl, no priest
or staring boy–and lived

Robert Hayden

Robert Hayden
Born: 4 August 1913, Michigan, USA
Nationality: American
Died: 25 February 1980, Michigan, USA

Hayden was a poet, educator, and essayist. From 1976 to 1978 he was a Consultant un Poetry to the Library of Congress, a role now known as US Poet Laureate. Hayden was first African-American to hold the office

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