Welcome to this website honoring the life and works of . . .

Robert Penn Warren

1905 - 1989

1905 - 1989

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Robert Franklin Warren

Father of

Robert Penn Warren


February 14, 1869


January 17, 1955


Highland Cemetery-Guthrie, Ky.

Robert Franklin Warren and Anna Ruth Penn were married in her father's home in Cerulean, KY on July 6, 1904 at 6 A.M. in order to catch the Illinois Central morning train in Princeton, KY, twenty miles away, to go on their honeymoon. After attending the World's Fair in St. Louis they proceeded on to visit the Great Lakes and probably Niagara Falls too. Exactly a month after his mother's thirtieth birthday their first child was born. In her clear, flowing, schoolteacher's hand she recorded it in the big family Bible:

"Robt Penn Warren Guthrie, Todd County Ky April 24--1905."*

*Note-The above info is taken from Joseph Blotner's Robert Penn Warren A Biography. Not verbatim.

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Anna Ruth Penn Warren

Mother of

Robert Penn Warren


February 15, 1875


October 5, 1931


Highland Cemetery-Guthrie, Ky.


The center of attention--an infantile face.…


That center of attention, swathed in a sort of white dress,

Is precious to the woman who, pretty and young,

Leans with a look of surprised blessedness

At the mysterious miracle forth-sprung.


 In the background somewhat, the masculine figure

Looms, face agleam with achievement and pride.



From the poem, Old Photograph of the Future, included in the book New & Selected Poems: 1923-1985, Random House, (1985), copyright 1985 by Robert Penn Warren. Reprinted by permission of William Morris Agency, Inc., New York,  on behalf of the Author.


Note- Because of problems of spacing the line breaks in the poetry hereon are not always shown as they were written by the author.  Text is identical. 

All predictable--lunch, the baby asleep, children gone

But not far, and Father and Mother gone, hand in hand,

Heads together as though in one long conversation

That even now I can't think has had an end…


 But picnics have ends, and just as the sun set,

My mother cried out, "Could a place so beautiful be!"

And my father said, "My ship will come in yet,

And you'll see all the beautiful world there is to see."

"What more could I want, "she now cried,---

"when I love everything I now see?"


So she swung the baby against the rose-tinted sky

And a bird note burst from her throat, and she gaily sang

As we clop-clopped homeward while the shadows, sly,

Leashed the Future up, like a hound with a slavering fang.


But sleepy, I didn't know what a Future was, as she sang.


 And she sang.


From the poem October Picnic Long Ago included in the book Being Here: Poetry 1977-1980, Random House, (1980), copyright 1978,1979,1980 by Robert Penn Warren.  Reprinted by permission of William Morris Agency, Inc., New York, on behalf of the Author.


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