City

C
Morning Song and Evening Walk by Sonia Sanchez
Sonia Sanchez
1.

Tonite in need of you
and God
I move imperfect
through this ancient city.

Quiet. No one hears
No one feels the tears
of multitudes.
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A Vision by Adonis
Adonis
Our city fled,
So I sought its paths in haste
And looked around—I saw only horizon,
And I perceived that those who flee tomorrow
And those who return tomorrow
Are a body I tear apart on my page.

I could see: the clouds were a throat,
The water formed walls of flame.
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"Still will I harvest beauty where it grows" by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Still will I harvest beauty where it grows:
In coloured fungus and the spotted fog
Surprised on foods forgotten; in ditch and bog
Filmed brilliant with irregular rainbows
Of rust and oil, where half a city throws
Its empty tins; and in some spongy log
Whence headlong leaps the oozy emerald frog. . . .
And a black pupil in the green scum shows.
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Harlem Riot, 1943 by Pauli Murray
Pauli Murray
Not by hammering the furious word,
Nor bread stamped in the streets,
Nor milk emptied in gutter,
Shall we gain the gates of the city.

But I am a prophet without eyes to see;
I do not know how we shall gain the gates
of the city.

August, 1943
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These New York City Pigeons by Jayne Cortez
Jayne Cortez
These New York City Pigeons
cooing in the air shaft
are responsible for me
stubbing my toe
spraining my ankle
and getting sick on ammonia fumes

That pigeon roosting on the clothesline
stole my nightgown
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City by Frederick Seidel
Frederick Seidel
Right now, a dog tied up in the street is barking
With the grief of being left,
A dog bereft.
Right now, a car is parking.

The dog emits
Petals of a barking flower and barking flakes of snow
That float upward from the street below
To where another victim sits:
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The Blessed City by Kahlil Gibran
Kahlil Gibran
In my youth I was told that in a certain city every one lived
according to the Scriptures.

And I said, “I will seek that city and the blessedness thereof.”
And it was far. And I made great provision for my journey. And
after forty days I beheld the city and on the forty-first day I
entered into it.

And lo! the whole company of the inhabitants had each but a single
eye and but one hand. And I was astonished and said to myself,
“Shall they of this so holy city have but one eye and one hand?”

Then I saw that they too were astonished, for they were marveling
greatly at my two hands and my two eyes. And as they were speaking
together I inquired of them saying, “Is this indeed the Blessed
City, where each man lives according to the Scriptures?” And they
said, “Yes, this is that city.”

“And what,” said I, “hath befallen you, and where are your right
eyes and your right hands?”

And all the people were moved. And they said, “Come thou and see.”

And they took me to the temple in the midst of the city. And in
the temple I saw a heap of hands and eyes. All withered. Then said
I, “Alas! what conqueror hath committed this cruelty upon you?”

And there went a murmur amongst them. And one of their elders
stood forth and said, “This doing is of ourselves. God hath made
us conquerors over the evil that was in us.”

And he led me to a high altar, and all the people followed. And
he showed me above the altar an inscription graven, and I read:


“If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee;
for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish,
and not that the whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy
right hand offend thee, cut it off and cast it from thee; for it
is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and
not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.”


Then I understood. And I turned about to all the people and cried,
“Hath no man or woman among you two eyes or two hands?”

And they answered me saying, “No, not one. There is none whole save
such as are yet too young to read the Scripture and to understand
its commandment.”

And when we had come out of the temple, I straightway left that
Blessed City; for I was not too young, and I could read the scripture.
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The Two Learned Men by Kahlil Gibran
Kahlil Gibran
Once there lived in the ancient city of Afkar two learned men whohated and belittled each other’s learning. For one of them deniedthe existence of the gods and the other was a believer.

One day the two met in the marketplace, and amidst their followersthey began to dispute and to argue about the existence or thenon-existence of the gods. And after hours of contention theyparted.

That evening the unbeliever went to the temple and prostrated himselfbefore the altar and prayed the gods to forgive his wayward past.

And the same hour the other learned man, he who had upheld thegods, burned his sacred books. For he had become an unbeliever.
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The Wise King by Kahlil Gibran
Kahlil Gibran
Once there ruled in the distant city of Wirani a king who was both
mighty and wise. And he was feared for his might and loved for
his wisdom.

Now, in the heart of that city was a well, whose water was cool and
crystalline, from which all the inhabitants drank, even the king
and his courtiers; for there was no other well.

One night when all were asleep, a witch entered the city, and poured
seven drops of strange liquid into the well, and said, “From this
hour he who drinks this water shall become mad.”

Next morning all the inhabitants, save the king and his lord
chamberlain, drank from the well and became mad, even as the witch
had foretold.

And during that day the people in the narrow streets and in the
market places did naught but whisper to one another, “The king is
mad. Our king and his lord chamberlain have lost their reason.
Surely we cannot be ruled by a mad king. We must dethrone him.”

That evening the king ordered a golden goblet to be filled from the
well. And when it was brought to him he drank deeply, and gave it
to his lord chamberlain to drink.

And there was great rejoicing in that distant city of Wirani,
because its king and its lord chamberlain had regained their reason.
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Ypres by Laurence Binyon
Laurence Binyon
She was a city of patience; of proud name,
Dimmed by neglecting Time; of beauty and loss;
Of acquiescence in the creeping moss.
But on a sudden fierce destruction came
Tigerishly pouncing: thunderbolt and flame
Showered on her streets, to shatter them and toss
Her ancient towers to ashes. Riven across,
She rose, dead, into never-dying fame.
White against heavens of storm, a ghost, she is known
To the world's ends. The myriads of the brave
Sleep round her. Desolately glorified,
She, moon-like, draws her own far-moving tide
Of sorrow and memory; toward her, each alone,
Glide the dark dreams that seek an English grave.

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This Place Rumord to Have Been Sodom by Robert Duncan
Robert Duncan

might have been.
Certainly these ashes might have been pleasures.
Pilgrims on their way to the Holy Places remark
this place. Isn’t it plain to all
that these mounds were palaces? This was once
a city among men, a gathering together of spirit.
It was measured by the Lord and found wanting.
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from “Poems for Moscow” by Marina Tsvetaeva
Marina Tsvetaeva
From my hands—take this city not made by hands,
my strange, my beautiful brother.

Take it, church by church—all forty times forty churches,
and flying up the roofs, the small pigeons;

And Spassky Gates—and gates, and gates—
where the Orthodox take off their hats;

And the Chapel of Stars—refuge chapel—
where the floor is—polished by tears;
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To the One Who is Reading Me by Jorge Luis Borges
Jorge Luis Borges
You are invulnerable. Didn’t they deliver
(those forces that control your destiny)
the certainty of dust? Couldn’t it be
your irreversible time is that river
in whose bright mirror Heraclitus read
his brevity? A marble slab is saved
for you, one you won’t read, already graved
with city, epitaph, dates of the dead.
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Not for That City by Charlotte Mew
Charlotte Mew
Not for that city of the level sun,
Its golden streets and glittering gates ablaze—
The shadeless, sleepless city of white days,
White nights, or nights and days that are as one—
We weary, when all is said , all thought, all done.
We strain our eyes beyond this dusk to see
What, from the threshold of eternity
We shall step into. No, I think we shun
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The Night City by W. S. Graham
W. S. Graham
Unmet at Euston in a dream
Of London under Turner’s steam
Misting the iron gantries, I
Found myself running away
From Scotland into the golden city.

I ran down Gray’s Inn Road and ran
Till I was under a black bridge.
This was me at nineteen
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An Exercise in Love by Diane di Prima
Diane di Prima
for Jackson Allen My friend wears my scarf at his waist
I give him moonstones
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What It Does by David Ferry
David Ferry
The sea bit,
As they said it would,
And the hill slid,
As they said it would,
And the poor dead
Nodded agog
The poor head.

O topmost lofty
Tower of Troy,
The poem apparently
Speaks with joy
Of terrible things.
Where is the pleasure
The poetry brings?
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john by Lucille Clifton
Lucille Clifton
somebody coming in blackness
like a star
and the world be a great bush
on his head
and his eyes be fire
in the city
and his mouth be true as time

he be calling the people brother
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Waterlily Fire by Muriel Rukeyser
Muriel Rukeyser
for Richard Griffith 1 THE BURNING

Girl grown woman fire mother of fire
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Kora in Hell: Improvisations XI by William Carlos Williams
William Carlos Williams

XI
1
Why pretend to remember the weather two years back? Why not? Listen close then repeat after others what they have just said and win a reputation for vivacity. Oh feed upon petals of edelweiss! one dew drop, if it be from the right flower, is five years’ drink!

_______________
Having once taken the plunge the situation that preceded it becomes obsolete which a moment before was alive with malignant rigidities.

2
When beldams dig clams their fat hams (it’s always beldams) balanced near Tellus’s hide, this rhinoceros pelt, these lumped stone—buffoonery of midges on a bull’s thigh—invoke,—what you will: birth’s glut, awe at God’s craft, youth’s poverty, evolution of a child’s caper, man’s poor inconsequence. Eclipse of all things; sun’s self turned hen’s rump.

Cross a knife and fork and listen to the church bells! It is the harvest moon’s made wine of our blood. Up over the dark factory into the blue glare start the young poplars. They whisper: It is Sunday! It is Sunday! But the laws of the country have been stripped bare of leaves. Out over the marshes flickers our laughter. A lewd anecdote’s the chase. On through the vapory heather! And there at banter’s edge the city looks at us sidelong with great eyes—lifts to its lips heavenly milk! Lucina, O Lucina! beneficent cow, how have we offended thee?

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Hilariously happy because of some obscure wine of the fancy which they have drunk four rollicking companions take delight in the thought that they have thus evaded the stringent laws of the county. Seeing the distant city bathed in moonlight and staring seriously at them they liken the moon to a cow and its light to milk.
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How do you by Kabir
Kabir
How do you,
Asks the chief of police,
Patrol a city
Where the butcher shops
Are guarded by vultures;
Where bulls get pregnant,
Cows are barren,
And calves give milk
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Poet by Keith Waldrop
Keith Waldrop
The wind dying, I find a city deserted, except for crowds of
people moving and standing.


Those standing resemble stories, like stones, coal from the
death of plants, bricks in the shape of teeth.


I begin now to write down all the places I have not been—
starting with the most distant.


I build houses that I will not inhabit.
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Le Maudit by Richard Aldington
Richard Aldington
Women’s tears are but water;
The tears of men are blood.

He sits alone in the firelight
And on either side drifts by
Sleep, like a torrent whirling,
Profound, wrinkled and dumb.

Circuitously, stealthily,
Dawn occupies the city;
As if the seasons knew of his grief
Spring has suddenly changed into snow

Disaster and sorrow
Have made him their pet;
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A London Thoroughfare. 2 A.M. by Amy Lowell
Amy Lowell
They have watered the street,
It shines in the glare of lamps,
Cold, white lamps,
And lies
Like a slow-moving river,
Barred with silver and black.
Cabs go down it,
One,
And then another.
Between them I hear the shuffling of feet.
Tramps doze on the window-ledges,
Night-walkers pass along the sidewalks.
The city is squalid and sinister,
With the silver-barred street in the midst,
Slow-moving,
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The City of Sleep by Rudyard Kipling
Rudyard Kipling
Over the edge of the purple down,
Where the single lamplight gleams,
Know ye the road to the Merciful Town
That is hard by the Sea of Dreams –
Where the poor may lay their wrongs away,
And the sick may forget to weep?
But we – pity us! Oh, pity us!
We wakeful; ah, pity us! –
We must go back with Policeman Day –
Back from the City of Sleep!

Weary they turn from the scroll and crown,
Fetter and prayer and plough –
They that go up to the Merciful Town,
For her gates are closing now.
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In Memory of Bryan Lathrop by Edgar Lee Masters
Edgar Lee Masters
Who bequeathed to Chicago a School of Music. So in Pieria, from the wedded bliss
Of Time and Memory, the Muses came
To be the means of rich oblivion,
And rest from cares. And when the Thunderer
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A Reason by Barbara Guest
Barbara Guest
That is why I am here
not among the ibises. Why
the permanent city parasol
covers even me.

It was the rains
in the occult season. It was the snows
on the lower slopes. It was water
and cold in my mouth.

A lack of shoes
on what appeared to be cobbles
which were still antique

Well wild wild whatever
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Poem by Thomas McGrath
Thomas McGrath
I don’t belong in this century—who does?
In my time, summer came someplace in June—
The cutbanks blazing with roses, the birds brazen, and the astonished
Pastures frisking with young calves . . .
That was in the country—
I don’t mean another country, I mean in the country:
And the country is lost. I don’t mean just lost to me,
Nor in the way of metaphorical loss—it’s lost that way too—
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Freely Espousing by James Schuyler
James Schuyler
a commingling sky

a semi-tropic night
that cast the blackest shadow
of the easily torn, untrembling banana leaf

or Quebec! what a horrible city
so Steubenville is better?
the sinking sensation
when someone drowns thinking, “This can’t be happening to me!”
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Monuments by Myra Sklarew
Myra Sklarew

Today the moon sees fit to come between a parched earth
and sun, hurrying the premature darkness. A rooster in the yard
cuts off its crowing, fooled into momentary sleep.
And soon the Perseid showers, broken bits
of the ancient universe, will pass through the skin of our
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The Key to the City by Anne Winters
Anne Winters
All middle age invisible to us, all age
passed close enough behind to seize our napehairs
and whisper in a voice all thatch and smoke
some village-elder warning, some rasped-out
Remember me . . . Mute and grey in her city
uniform (stitch-lettered JUVENILE), the matron
just pointed us to our lockers, and went out.
‘What an old bag!’ ‘Got a butt on you, honey?’ ‘Listen,
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Acquainted with the Night by Robert Frost
Robert Frost
I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain—and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
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The Windy City sections 1 and 6 by Carl Sandburg
Carl Sandburg
1

The lean hands of wagon men
put out pointing fingers here,
picked this crossway, put it on a map,
set up their sawbucks, fixed their shotguns,
found a hitching place for the pony express,
made a hitching place for the iron horse,
the one-eyed horse with the fire-spit head,
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The Great Figure by William Carlos Williams
William Carlos Williams
Among the rain
and lights
I saw the figure 5
in gold
on a red
firetruck
moving
tense
unheeded
to gong clangs
siren howls
and wheels rumbling
through the dark city.

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Knucks by Carl Sandburg
Carl Sandburg
In Abraham Lincoln’s city,
Where they remember his lawyer’s shingle,
The place where they brought him
Wrapped in battle flags,
Wrapped in the smoke of memories
From Tallahassee to the Yukon,
The place now where the shaft of his tomb
Points white against the blue prairie dome,
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Awaking in New York by Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou
Curtains forcing their will
against the wind,
children sleep,
exchanging dreams with
seraphim. The city
drags itself awake on
subway straps; and
I, an alarm, awake as a
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Brief reflection on accuracy by Miroslav Holub
Miroslav Holub
Fish
always accurately know where to move and when,
and likewise
birds have an accurate built-in time sense
and orientation.

Humanity, however,
lacking such instincts resorts to scientific
research. Its nature is illustrated by the following
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Cities by H.D.
H.D.
Can we believe—by an effort
comfort our hearts:
it is not waste all this,
not placed here in disgust,
street after street,
each patterned alike,
no grace to lighten
a single house of the hundred
crowded into one garden-space.

Crowded—can we believe,
not in utter disgust,
in ironical play—
but the maker of cities grew faint
with the beauty of temple
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The City (1925) by Carl Rakosi
Carl Rakosi
1

Under this Luxemburg of heaven,
upright capstan,
small eagles. . . .
is the port of N.Y. . . . .

gilders, stampers, pen makers, goldbeaters,

apprehensions of thunder
speed
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The City by C. P. Cavafy
C. P. Cavafy
You said: “I’ll go to another country, go to another shore,
find another city better than this one.
Whatever I try to do is fated to turn out wrong
and my heart lies buried like something dead.
How long can I let my mind moulder in this place?
Wherever I turn, wherever I look,
I see the black ruins of my life, here,
where I’ve spent so many years, wasted them, destroyed them totally.”
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Edwardian Christmas by John Fuller
John Fuller
Father’s opinion of savages
And dogs, a gay Bloomsbury epigram:
‘The brutes may possibly have souls,’ he says,
‘But reason, no. Nevertheless, I am
Prepared not to extend this to my spouse
And children.’ This demands a careful pity:
Poor Father! Whooping and romping in their house,
A holiday from ruin in the City.
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Empire of Dreams by Charles Simic
Charles Simic
On the first page of my dreambook
It’s always evening
In an occupied country.
Hour before the curfew.
A small provincial city.
The houses all dark.
The storefronts gutted.

I am on a street corner
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High Tension Lines across a Landscape by John Ciardi
John Ciardi
There are diagrams on stilts all wired together
Over the hill and the wind and out of sight.
There is a scar in the trees where they walk away
Beyond me. There are signs of something
Nearly God (or at least most curious)
About them. I think those diagrams are not
At rest.
I think they are a way of ciphering God:
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The Instruction Manual by John Ashbery
John Ashbery
As I sit looking out of a window of the building
I wish I did not have to write the instruction manual on the uses of a new metal.
I look down into the street and see people, each walking with an inner peace,
And envy them—they are so far away from me!
Not one of them has to worry about getting out this manual on schedule.
And, as my way is, I begin to dream, resting my elbows on the desk and leaning out of the window a little,
Of dim Guadalajara! City of rose-colored flowers!
City I wanted most to see, and most did not see, in Mexico!
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Jottings of New York: A Descriptive Poem by Knight of the White Elephant of Burmah William McGonagall
Knight of the White Elephant of Burmah William McGonagall
Oh mighty City of New York! you are wonderful to behold,
Your buildings are magnificent, the truth be it told,
They were the only thing that seemed to arrest my eye,
Because many of them are thirteen storeys high.

And as for Central Park, it is lovely to be seen,
Especially in the summer season when its shrubberies and trees are green;
And the Burns’ statue is there to be seen,
Surrounded by trees, on the beautiful sward so green;
Also Shakespeare and Sir Walter Scott,
Which by Englishmen and Scotchmen will ne’er be forgot.

There the people on the Sabbath-day in thousands resort,
All loud, in conversation and searching for sport,
Some of them viewing the menagerie of wild beasts there,
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The Little Mariner by Odysseus Elytis
Odysseus Elytis
Spotlight a

SCENE ONE: Open-air court in the ancient city of Athens. The accused arrive
and proceed among curses and cries of Death! Death!

SCENE TWO: A jail in the same city, beneath the Acropolis, walls half-eaten by
dampness. On the ground, a miserly straw mat and in the corner,
an earthenware jar of water. On the outside wall, a shadow: the
guard.

SCENE THREE: Constantinople. In the harem of the Holy Place, in candlelight,
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The Shore of Life by Robert Fitzgerald
Robert Fitzgerald
I. I came then to the city of my brethren.
Not Carthage, not Alexandria, not London.

The wide blue river cutting through the stone
Arrowy and cool lay down beside her,
And the hazy and shining sea lay in the offing.

Ferries, pouring the foam before them, sliding
Into her groaning timbers, rang and rang;
And the chains tumbled taut in the winches.
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The Snowbound City by John Haines
John Haines
I believe in this stalled magnificence,
this churning chaos of traffic,
a beast with broken spine,
its hoarse voice hooded in feathers
and mist; the baffled eyes
wink amber and slowly darken.

Of men and women suddenly walking,
stumbling with little sleighs
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The Soft City by Tennessee Williams
Tennessee Williams
I

Eastward the city with scarcely even a murmur
turns in the soft dusk,
the lights of it blur,
the delicate spires are unequal
as though the emollient dusk had begun to dissolve them...

And the soft air-breathers,
their soft bosoms rising and falling as ferns under water
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A Sum of Destructions by Theodore Weiss
Theodore Weiss
The amities of morning
and the buxom habits of birds
that swing a bell-bright city
in their intelligent wings;

last night’s squall has
drawn off like anger’s tide,
the remote and muffled waters
beating solitudinous rocks
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The Swamp Angel by Herman Melville
Herman Melville
There is a coal-black Angel
With a thick Afric lip,
And he dwells (like the hunted and harried)
In a swamp where the green frogs dip.
But his face is against a City
Which is over a bay of the sea,
And he breathes with a breath that is blastment,
And dooms by a far decree.
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Well Said, Davy by John Fuller
John Fuller
He went to the city and goosed all the girls
With a stall on his finger for whittling the wills
To a clause in his favour and Come to me Sally,
One head in my chambers and one up your alley
And I am as old as my master.

I followed him further and lost all my friends,
The grease still thick on his fistful of pens.
I laced up his mutton and paddled his lake
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Kalamazoo by Vachel Lindsay
Vachel Lindsay
Once, in the city of Kalamazoo,
The gods went walking, two and two,
With the friendly phoenix, the stars of Orion,
The speaking pony and singing lion.
For in Kalamazoo in a cottage apart
Lived the girl with the innocent heart.

Thenceforth the city of Kalamazoo
Was the envied, intimate chum of the sun.
He rose from a cave by the principal street.
The lions sang, the dawn-horns blew,
And the ponies danced on silver feet.
He hurled his clouds of love around;
Deathless colors of his old heart
Draped the houses and dyed the ground.
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The Barrel-Organ by Alfred Noyes
Alfred Noyes
There’s a barrel-organ carolling across a golden street
In the City as the sun sinks low;
And the music's not immortal; but the world has made it sweet
And fulfilled it with the sunset glow;
And it pulses through the pleasures of the City and the pain
That surround the singing organ like a large eternal light;
And they’ve given it a glory and a part to play again
In the Symphony that rules the day and night.
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Benjamin Banneker Helps to Build a City by Jay Wright
Jay Wright
In a morning coat,
hands locked behind your back,
you walk gravely along the lines in your head.
These others stand with you,
squinting the city into place,
yet cannot see what you see,
what you would see
—a vision of these paths,
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Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802 by William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth
Earth has not any thing to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
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Fog by Carl Sandburg
Carl Sandburg
The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
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Homecoming by Jay Wright
Jay Wright
Guadalajara—New York, 1965 The trees are crystal chandeliers,
and deep in the hollow
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How to Enter a Big City by Thomas Merton
Thomas Merton
I

Swing by starwhite bones and
Lights tick in the middle.
Blue and white steel
Black and white
People hurrying along the wall.
”Here you are, bury my dead bones.“

Curve behind the sun again
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I Dreamed That in a City Dark as Paris by Louis Simpson
Louis Simpson
I dreamed that in a city dark as Paris
I stood alone in a deserted square.
The night was trembling with a violet
Expectancy. At the far edge it moved
And rumbled; on that flickering horizon
The guns were pumping color in the sky.

There was the Front. But I was lonely here,
Left behind, abandoned by the army.
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In Order To by Kenneth Patchen
Kenneth Patchen
Apply for the position (I've forgotten now for what) I had
to marry the Second Mayor's daughter by twelve noon. The
order arrived three minutes of.

I already had a wife; the Second Mayor was childless: but I
did it.

Next they told me to shave off my father's beard. All right.
No matter that he'd been a eunuch, and had succumbed in
early childhood: I did it, I shaved him.
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Kissing Stieglitz Good-Bye by Gerald Stern
Gerald Stern
Every city in America is approached
through a work of art, usually a bridge
but sometimes a road that curves underneath
or drops down from the sky. Pittsburgh has a tunnel—

you don’t know it—that takes you through the rivers
and under the burning hills. I went there to cry
in the woods or carry my heavy bicycle
through fire and flood. Some have little parks—
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Love among the Ruins by Robert Browning
Robert Browning
Where the quiet-coloured end of evening smiles,
Miles and miles
On the solitary pastures where our sheep
Half-asleep
Tinkle homeward thro' the twilight, stray or stop
As they crop—
Was the site once of a city great and gay,
(So they say)
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Nocturne Militaire by Thomas McGrath
Thomas McGrath
Miami Beach: wartime Imagine or remember how the road at last led us
Over bridges like prepositions, linking a drawl of islands.
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On the Extinction of the Venetian Republic by William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth

Once did She hold the gorgeous east in fee;
And was the safeguard of the west: the worth
Of Venice did not fall below her birth,
Venice, the eldest Child of Liberty.
She was a maiden City, bright and free;
No guile seduced, no force could violate;
And, when she took unto herself a Mate,
She must espouse the everlasting Sea.
And what if she had seen those glories fade,
Those titles vanish, and that strength decay;
Yet shall some tribute of regret be paid
When her long life hath reached its final day:
Men are we, and must grieve when even the Shade
Of that which once was great is passed away.
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Photographs by Barbara Guest
Barbara Guest
In the past we listened to photographs. They heard our voice speak.
Alive, active. What had been distance was memory. Dusk came,
Pushed us forward,emptying the laboratoryeach night undisturbed by
Erasure.

In the city of X, they lived together. Always morose, her lips
soothed him. The piano was arranged in the old manner, light entered the
window, street lamps at the single tree.

Emotion evoked by a single light on a subject is not transferable to
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Shakespeare by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
A vision as of crowded city streets,
With human life in endless overflow;
Thunder of thoroughfares; trumpets that blow
To battle; clamor, in obscure retreats,
Of sailors landed from their anchored fleets;
Tolling of bells in turrets, and below
Voices of children, and bright flowers that throw
O'er garden-walls their intermingled sweets!
This vision comes to me when I unfold
The volume of the Poet paramount,
Whom all the Muses loved, not one alone; —
Into his hands they put the lyre of gold,
And, crowned with sacred laurel at their fount,
Placed him as Musagetes on their throne.

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The Taxi by Amy Lowell
Amy Lowell
When I go away from you
The world beats dead
Like a slackened drum.
I call out for you against the jutted stars
And shout into the ridges of the wind.
Streets coming fast,
One after the other,
Wedge you away from me,
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They Will Say by Carl Sandburg
Carl Sandburg
OF my city the worst that men will ever say is this:
You took little children away from the sun and the dew,
And the glimmers that played in the grass under the great sky,
And the reckless rain; you put them between walls
To work, broken and smothered, for bread and wages,
To eat dust in their throats and die empty-hearted
For a little handful of pay on a few Saturday nights.

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Chicago by Carl Sandburg
Carl Sandburg
Hog Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the Big Shoulders:

They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I have seen your painted women under the gas lamps luring the farm boys.
And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it is true I have seen the gunman kill and go free to kill again.
And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is: On the faces of women and children I have seen the marks of wanton hunger.
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