Study Guide

Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio

by James Wright

Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio eText - eText

Text of the Poem

In the Shreve High football stadium,  
I think of Polacks nursing long beers in     
          Tiltonsville,  

And gray faces of Negroes in the blast furnace at     
          Benwood,  

And the ruptured night watchman of Wheeling     
          Steel, 
Dreaming of heroes.      

All the proud fathers are ashamed to go home.  
Their women cluck like starved pullets,  
Dying for love. 

Therefore, 
Their sons grow suicidally beautiful     
At the beginning of October, 
And gallop terribly against each other's bodies.