Treasure Island

Karl Shapiro

(10 November 1913 – 14 May 2000 / Baltimore, Maryland)

Quotations

  • ''Its quick silver bell beating, beating
    And down the dark one ruby flare
    Pulsing out red light like an artery,''
    Karl Shapiro (b. 1913), U.S. poet, critic. Auto Wreck (l. 1-3). . . New & Selected Poems, 1940-1986 [Karl Shapiro]. (1987) University of Chicago Press.
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  • ''But this invites the occult mind,
    Cancels our physics with a sneer,
    And spatters all we knew of denouement
    Across the expedient and wicked stones.''
    Karl Shapiro (b. 1913), U.S. poet, critic. Auto Wreck (l. 35-38). . . New & Selected Poems, 1940-1986 [Karl Shapiro]. (1987) University of Chicago Press.
  • ''Already old, the question Who shall die?
    Becomes unspoken Who is innocent?''
    Karl Shapiro (b. 1913), U.S. poet, critic. Auto Wreck (l. 31-32). . . New & Selected Poems, 1940-1986 [Karl Shapiro]. (1987) University of Chicago Press.
  • ''We are deranged, walking among the cops
    Who sweep glass and are large and composed.''
    Karl Shapiro (b. 1913), U.S. poet, critic. Auto Wreck (l. 15-16). . . New & Selected Poems, 1940-1986 [Karl Shapiro]. (1987) University of Chicago Press.
  • ''Flouncing your skirts, you blueness of joy, you flirt of
    politeness,
    You leap, you intelligence, essence of wheelness with silvery nose,
    And your platinum clocks of excitement stir like the hairs of a
    fern.''
    Karl Shapiro (b. 1913), U.S. poet, critic. Buick (l. 8-10). . . New & Selected Poems, 1940-1986 [Karl Shapiro]. (1987) University of Chicago Press.
  • ''But with exquisite breathing you smile, with satisfaction of love,
    And I touch you again as you tick in the silence and settle in
    sleep.''
    Karl Shapiro (b. 1913), U.S. poet, critic. Buick (l. 19-20). . . New & Selected Poems, 1940-1986 [Karl Shapiro]. (1987) University of Chicago Press.
  • ''We ask for no statistics of the killed,
    For nothing political impinges on
    This single casualty, or all those gone,
    Missing or healing, sinking or dispersed,
    Hundreds of thousands counted, millions lost.''
    Karl Shapiro (b. 1913), U.S. poet, critic. Elegy for a Dead Soldier (l. 49-53). . . Oxford Book of American Verse, The. F. O. Matthiessen, ed. (1950) Oxford University Press.
  • ''We too are ashes as we watch and hear
    The psalm, the sorrow, and the simple praise
    Of one whose promised thoughts of other days
    Were such as ours, but now wholly destroyed,
    The service record of his youth wiped out,
    His dream dispersed by shot, must disappear.''
    Karl Shapiro (b. 1913), U.S. poet, critic. Elegy for a Dead Soldier (l. 13-18). . . Oxford Book of American Verse, The. F. O. Matthiessen, ed. (1950) Oxford University Press.
  • ''However others calculate the cost,
    To us the final aggregate is one,
    One with a name, one transferred to the blest;
    And though another stoops and takes the gun,
    We cannot add the second to the first.''
    Karl Shapiro (b. 1913), U.S. poet, critic. Elegy for a Dead Soldier (l. 56-60). . . Oxford Book of American Verse, The. F. O. Matthiessen, ed. (1950) Oxford University Press.
  • ''Laughter and grief join hands. Always the heart
    Clumps in the breast with heavy stride;
    The face grows lined and wrinkled like a chart,
    The eyes bloodshot with tears and tide.
    Let the wind blow, for many a man shall die.''
    Karl Shapiro (b. 1913), U.S. poet, critic. Nostalgia (l. 21-25). . . New & Selected Poems, 1940-1986 [Karl Shapiro]. (1987) University of Chicago Press.

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Buick

As a sloop with a sweep of immaculate wing on her delicate spine
And a keel as steel as a root that holds in the sea as she leans,
Leaning and laughing, my warm-hearted beauty, you ride, you ride,
You tack on the curves with parabola speed and a kiss of goodbye,
Like a thoroughbred sloop, my new high-spirited spirit, my kiss.


As my foot suggests that you leap in the air with your hips of a girl,
My finger that praises your wheel and announces your voices of song,

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