The Ghetto and Other Poems eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 38 pages of information about The Ghetto and Other Poems.


     Undulant rustlings,
     Of oncoming silk,
     Rhythmic, incessant,
     Like the motion of leaves... 
     Fragments of color
     In glowing surprises... 
     Pink inuendoes
     Hooded in gray
     Like buds in a cobweb
     Pearled at dawn... 
     Glimpses of green
     And blurs of gold
     And delicate mauves
     That snatch at youth... 
     And bodies all rosily
     Fleshed for the airing,
     In warm velvety surges
     Passing imperious, slow...

Women drift into the limousines
That shut like silken caskets
On gems half weary of their glittering... 
Lamps open like pale moon flowers... 
Arcs are radiant opals
Strewn along the dusk... 
No common lights invade. 
And spires rise like litanies—­
Magnificats of stone
Over the white silence of the arcs,
Burning in perpetual adoration.


Out of the lamp-bestarred and clouded dusk—­
Snaring, illuding, concealing,
Magically conjuring—­
Turning to fairy-coaches
Beetle-backed limousines
Scampering under the great Arch—­
Making a decoy of blue overalls
And mystery of a scarlet shawl—­
Knowing no impediment of its sure advance—­
Descends the fog.


A late snow beats
With cold white fists upon the tenements—­
Hurriedly drawing blinds and shutters,
Like tall old slatterns
Pulling aprons about their heads.

Lights slanting out of Mott Street
Gibber out,
Or dribble through bar-room slits,
Anonymous shapes
Conniving behind shuttered panes
Caper and disappear... 
Where the Bowery
Is throbbing like a fistula
Back of her ice-scabbed fronts.

Livid faces
Glimmer in furtive doorways,
Or spill out of the black pockets of alleys,
Smears of faces like muddied beads,
Making a ghastly rosary
The night mumbles over
And the snow with its devilish and silken whisper... 
Patrolling arcs
Blowing shrill blasts over the Bread Line
Stalk them as they pass,
Silent as though accouched of the darkness,
And the wind noses among them,
     Like a skunk
That roots about the heart...

And the Elevated slams upon the silence
Like a ponderous door. 
Then all is still again,
Save for the wind fumbling over
The emptily swaying faces—­
The wind rummaging
Like an old Jew...

Faces in glimmering rows... 
(No sign of the abject life—­
Not even a blasphemy...)
But the spindle legs keep time
To a limping rhythm,
And the shadows twitch upon the snow
As though death played
With some ungainly dolls.


Project Gutenberg
The Ghetto and Other Poems from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook