Pulitzer Poetry 100

Pulitzer Poetry 100

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Moving from left to left, the light is heavy on the Dome, and coarse. One small lunette turns it aside and blankly stares off to the side like a big white old wall-eyed horse. On the east steps the Air Force Band in uniforms of Air Force blue is playing hard and loud, but – queer – The music doesn’t quite come through.…

...A kind of religion to make sense of a past mysterious as basements with upholstered wet bars and black-light velvet panthers, maybe, but as such a youngster I thought every American a Philadelphia Negro, blue-eyed soulsters and southpaws alike getting strong now, mounting the art museum steps together like children swept up in Elton’s freedom from Fern Rock to Veterans Stadium, endorphins clanging like liberty- themed tourist trolleys unloading outside the Penn Relays, a temporal echo, an offspring, of Mexico City where Tommie Smith and John Carlos made a human kinara with the human rights salute while my father scaled the Summit Avenue street sign at the edge of his lawn holding a bomb p…

II. PATRIOTS' DAY (Wellesley, Massachusetts) Restless that noble day, appeased by soft Drinks and tobacco, littering the grass While the flag snapped and brightened far aloft, We waited for the marathon to pass, We fathers and our little sons, let out Of school and office to be put to shame. Now from the street-side someone raised a shout, And into view the first small runners came.…

This is the soldier home from the war. These are the years and the walls and the door that shut on a boy that pats the floor to see if the world is round or flat. this is a Jew in a newspaper hat that dances carefully down the ward, walking the plank of a coffin board with the crazy sailor that shows his watch that tells the time of the wretched man that lies in the house of Bedlam.…

I The bronze General Grant riding a bronze horse in Lincoln park Shrivels in the sun by day when the motor cars whirr by in the long processions going somewhere to keep ap- pointment for dinner and matinees and buying and selling Though in the dusk and nightfall when high waves are piling On the slabs of the promenade along the lake shore near by I have seen the general dare the combers come closer And make to ride his bronze horse out into the hoofs and guns of the storm. II I cross Lincoln Park on a winter night when the snow is falling. Lincoln in bronze stands among the white lines of snow, his bronze forehead meeting soft echoes of the new- sies crying forty thousand men are dead long t…

Back then, before we came To this calm bay and savage oceanside, When Bedloes Island had no English name, The waves were but the subjects of the tide And vassals of the harnessed wind, which blew Not as it chose, but as it had to do.…

At night the factories struggle awake, wretched uneasy buildings veined with pipes attempt their work. Trying to breathe, the elongated nostrils haired with spikes give off such stenches, too. And I shall sell you sell you sell you of course, my dear, and you’ll sell me.…

This is where we came to swim around grassy islands, past dories and osprey nests hoisted high under the muted blues, ravenous reds and lush hospitable yellows of the wide East Hampton sky– a place, you said, where one can almost forgive oneself.…

Turning among its images, your mind Produced the names of streets, the exact look Of lilacs, 1903, in Cincinnati, —Random, as if your testament were made, The round sums all bestowed, and now you spent Your pocket change, so as to be rid of it.…

Heading North, straw hat cocked on the back of his head, tight curls gleaming with brilliantine, he didn’t stop until the nights of chaw and river-bright had retreated, somehow into another’s life. He landed in Akron, Ohio 1921, on the dingy beach of a man-made lake.…
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