My Favorite Poem – Antigonish

I can’t let World Poetry Day go by without sharing my favorite poem.


It is Antigonish by William Hughes Mearns.


Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn’t there

He wasn’t there again today

I wish, I wish, he’d go away…


When I came home last night at three

The man was waiting there for me

But when I looked around the hall

I couldn’t see him there at all!

Go away, go away, don’t you come back any more!

Go away, go away, and please don’t slam the door…


Last night I saw upon the stair

A little man who wasn’t there

He wasn’t there again today

Oh, how I wish he’d go away…


Hearns wrote the poem in 1899 as part of a play for Harvard University. In 1939 it was made into a song with credits by Harold Adamson and Bernie Hanighan. In July of the same year the Glenn Miller Orchestra made it a hit.


Bits of the poem have been included in many songs and movies. My favorite is in Identity. An actor that I love, Pruitt Taylor Vince, mutters the first stanza and that is where I first heard it.


I have written about the poem before, in my blog post No Sleep For Me.

Reciting it helps me when I am anxious.


Do you have a favorite poem? Do you have one that helps you in times of anxiety and/or depression? Please do share in the comments.

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2 responses to “My Favorite Poem – Antigonish

  1. One of my favourite poems is Dylan Thomas ‘The Hand that Signed the Paper’
    I wrote a little review on it today for World Poetry Day…
    https://confessionsofalitaddict.wordpress.com/2015/03/21/world-poetry-day-2015/

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