Skip to main content
By Kenneth Patchen

Be music, night,

That her sleep may go

Where angels have their pale tall choirs


Be a hand, sea,

That her dreams may watch

Thy guidesman touching the green flesh of the world


Be a voice, sky,

That her beauties may be counted   

And the stars will tilt their quiet faces   

Into the mirror of her loveliness


Be a road, earth,

That her walking may take thee

Where the towns of heaven lift their breathing spires


O be a world and a throne, God,

That her living may find its weather

And the souls of ancient bells in a child’s book   

Shall lead her into Thy wondrous house


Kenneth Patchen, “Be Music, Night” from Collected Poems. Copyright 1943 by Kenneth Patchen. Reprinted with the permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.

Source: Collected Poems (New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1967)

  • Love
  • Relationships

Poet Bio

Kenneth Patchen
An inspiration for the Beat Generation and a true “people’s poet,” Kenneth Patchen was a prolific writer, visual artist and performer whose exuberant, free-form productions celebrate spontaneity and attack injustices, materialism, and war. Born in Niles, Ohio, he was an avid reader as a child and kept a diary from an early age; later he traveled throughout the United States, meeting a wide range of people and having the experiences he would explore in his prose and poetry. Patchen was also one of the first poets to read his work to a background of jazz. See More By This Poet

More By This Poet

More Poems about Love

Browse poems about Love

More Poems about Relationships

Browse poems about Relationships Get a random poem