Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go. ~ E. L. Doctorow

Friday, April 15, 2011

Prose from the Pros #9: M is for Monroe


burnhamplan100.uchicago.edu


On the Train
By Harriet Monroe

        I

THE lady in front of me in the car,
With little red coils close over her ears,
Is talking with her friend;
And the circle of ostrich foam around her hat,
Curving over like a wave,
Trembles with her little windy words.
What she is saying, I wonder,
That her feathers should tremble
And the soft fur of her coat should slip down over her shoulders?
Has her string of pearls been stolen,
Or maybe her husband?

          II

He is drunk, that man --
Drunk as a lord, a lord of the bibulous past.             [sic]
He shouts wittily from his end of the car to the man in the corner;
He bows to me with chivalrous apologies.
He philosophizes, plays with the wisdom of the ages,
Flings off his rags,
Displays his naked soul --
Athletic, beautiful, grotesque.
In the good time coming,
When men drink no more,
Shall we ever see a nude soul dancing
Stript and free
In the temple of his god?

          II

She comes smiling into the car
With irridescent bubbles of children.
She blooms in the close plush seats
Like a narcissus in a bowl of stones.
She croons to a baby in her lap --
The trees come swinging by to listen,
And the electric lights in the ceiling are stars.

4 comments:

Angela Felsted said...

This is wonderful. I wish I could have written that. The objects have personalities; the words have movement; the poem shows thought and care and work. I love it.

Josh Hoyt said...

I like the imagery your words produce. This is very interesting and delightful to read.

M Pax said...

I loved reading this. Wonderful and so moving.

Amy Brantley said...

Simply wonderful.

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