«Green Light»: Ποίημα του Kenneth Fearing

Bought at the drug store, very cheap; and later pawned.
After a while, heard on the street; seen in the park.
Familiar, but not quite recognized.
Followed and taken home and slept with.
Traded or sold. Or lost.

Bought again at the corner drug store,
At the green light, at the patient’s demand, at nine o’clock.
Re-read and memorized and re-wound.
Found unsuitable.
Smashed, put together, and pawned.

Heard on the street, seen in a dream, heard in the park, seen
by the light of day;
Carefully observed one night by a secret agent of the Greek
Hydraulic Mining Commission, in plain clothes, off
duty.
The agent, in broken English, took copious notes. Which he
lost.
Strange, and yet not extraordinary.
Sad, but true.

True, or exaggerated, or true;
As it is true that the people laugh and the sparrows fly;
As it is exaggerated that the people change, and the sea stays;
As it is that the people go;
As the lights go on and it is night and it is serious, and just
the same;
As some one dies and it is serious, and the same;
As a girl knows and it is small, and true;
As the corner hardware clerk might know and it is true, and
pointless;
As an old man knows and it is grotesque, but true;
As the people laugh, as the people think, as the people
change,
It is serious and the same, exaggerated or true.

Bought at the drug store down the street
Where the wind blows and the motors go by and it is always
night, or day;
Bought to use as a last resort,
Bought to impress the statuary in the park.
Bought at a cut rate, at the green light, at nine o’clock.
Borrowed or bought. To look well. To ennoble. To prevent
disease. To entertain. To have.
Broken or sold. Or given away. Or used and forgotten. Or
lost.

Kenneth Fearing (1902-1965)

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«Aner Clute»: Ποίημα του Edgar Lee Masters

Aner Clute

Over and over they used to ask me

While buying the wine or the beer,

In Peoria first, and later in Chicago,

Denver, Frisco, New York, wherever I lived,

How I happened to lead the life,

And what was the start of it.

Well, I told them a silk dress,

And a promise of marriage from a rich man—

(It was Lucius Atherton).

But that was not really it at all.

Suppose a boy steals an apple

From the tray at the grocery store,

And they all begin to call him a thief,

The editor, minister, judge, and all the people—

“A thief,” “a thief,” “a thief,” wherever he goes.

And he can’t get work, and he can’t get bread

Without stealing it, why the boy will steal.

It’s the way the people regard the theft of the apple

That makes the boy what he is.

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Edgar Lee Masters (1868–1950)

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«Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening»: Ποίημα του Robert Frost

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Whose woods these are I think I know.   
His house is in the village though;   
He will not see me stopping here   
To watch his woods fill up with snow.   

My little horse must think it queer   
To stop without a farmhouse near   
Between the woods and frozen lake   
The darkest evening of the year.   

He gives his harness bells a shake   
To ask if there is some mistake.   
The only other sound’s the sweep   
Of easy wind and downy flake.   

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   
But I have promises to keep,   
And miles to go before I sleep,   
And miles to go before I sleep.

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Robert Lee Frost (March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)

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