Harry Kemp

(15 December 1883 – 8 August 1960 / Youngstown, Ohio)

A Wheat-Field Fantasy


As I sat on a Kansas hilltop,
      While, far away from my,
Rippled the lights and shadows
      Dancing across acres of wheat,
 
The sound of the grain as it murmured
      Wrought a wonder with me__.
It turned from the voice of the Prairie
      Into the roar of the sea.
 
And I saw not the running wind-waves,
      But an ocean that washed below
In ridging and crumbling breakers
      And ceaseless motion and flow;
 
Then, as a valley is flooded
      With opaline mists at morn
Which momently flow asunder
      And leave green spaces of corn__
 
There burst.the strangest vision
      Up from that'ancient sea.__
'Twas not the pearl-white Venus
      Anadyomene,
 
Twas the bobbing ears of horses
      And a head with a great hat crowned
And a binder that burst upon me i
      Sudden, as from the ground
 
And the waves gave place to the wheatlands
      Myriad-touched 'with gold__
Then my soul felt century-weary
      And untold aeons old;
 
For a rock-ledge sloped beside me
      And the lime-traced shells it bore
Had plied that ancient ocean
      Each with a sentient oar.

Submitted: Thursday, April 15, 2010

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