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Short poem

Selected Poetry of Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914?)

from Representative Poetry On-line
Prepared by members of the Department of English at the University of Toronto
from 1912 to the present and published by the University of Toronto Press from 1912 to 1967.
RPO Edited by Ian Lancashire
A UTEL (University of Toronto English Library) Edition
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries
© 2005, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto

Index to poems

Take not God's name in vain: select
A time when it will have effect.
  1. "Alone"
  2. The Day of Wrath / Dies Iræ
  3. "Decalogue"
  4. "Elegy"
  5. "Freedom"
  6. An Inscription
  7. The New Decalogue
  8. "Piety"
  9. "Rimer"
  10. "Safety-Clutch"
  11. The Statesmen
  12. To the Bartholdi Statue
  13. "Weather"
  14. With a Book

Notes on Life and Works

Cartoonist, political satirist, poet, and writer of fiction, Ambrose Bierce was born in Horse Cave Creek, Ohio. He enlisted very young in the 9th Indiana Infantry in the American civil war and had risen to the rank of lieutenant by its close. He then travelled to care for his brother Albert in San Francisco, the only member of his family on whom he was on good terms, and embarked on a career in angry political journalism. For twenty years he was married to Mary Ellen Day, but he enjoyed the company of other women and they divorced in 1891. At the height of his influence, from the late 1880s, his vitriolic attacks stung many politicians. During this period, Bierce was columnist for William Randolph Hearst's San Francisco Examiner (from 1887) and afterwards Washington correspondent for the New York American (until 1909). The book on which Bierce's enduring reputation rests on The Cynic's Word Book (1909), later titled The Devil's Dictionary. See the enlarged version edited by Ernest Jerome Hopkins (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1967; PS 1097 D4 1967 Robarts Library). Biographies of Bierce have been written by Walter Neale (New York, 1929; CT B477N Victoria College Library) and Richard O'Connor (Boston: Little, Brown, 1967; PS 1097 Z5 O3 Robarts Library). Bertha Clark Pope has edited his letters (New York: Gordian Press, 1967; PS 1097 Z5A3 Robarts Library). Bierce's apparent death in Mexico in 1914 or afterwards is mysterious, but he may have fallen victim to its civil war.

Biographical information

Given name: Ambrose
Family name: Bierce
Birth date: 1842
Death date: 1914?