Bruce Bennett

A Fine Address to Death

“Death, be not proud”: A fine address to Death,
That sadist skeleton, that mocking skull,
That zero sum game threatening to annul
Identity and being with our breath.
Yes, we can gird our courage to defy
That Knight of Nothingness, that Bully Power,
And stand and brave Him in that shining hour
We’re given till we really have to die
And go we know not where, though we can guess—
And there’s the rub—we’re pretty sure we know,
Despite the faith we’re eager to profess.
No wonder we’re so eager not to go,
Until that time arrives when it seems right
That we go, gentle, into that goodnight.

Bruce Bennett is the author of ten full-length collections of poetry and more than thirty poetry chapbooks. His most recent book is Just Another Day in Just Our Town: Poems New And Selected, 2000-2016 (Orchises Press, 2017). His most recent chapbook is A Man Rode Into Town (FootHills Publishing, 2018). He taught English and American Literature and Creative Writing and directed the Visiting Writers Series at Wells College from 1973 until his retirement in 2014, and is now Emeritus Professor of English. In 2012 he received a Pushcart Prize for a villanelle in Ploughshares. His poetry website is



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