Elinor Morton Wylie

(7 September 1885 – 16 December 1928 / Somerville, New Jersey)

August - Poem by Elinor Morton Wylie

Why should this Negro insolently stride
Down the red noonday on such noiseless feet?
Piled in his barrow, tawnier than wheat,
Lie heaps of smouldering daisies, sombre-eyed,
Their copper petals shriveled up with pride,
Hot with a superfluity of heat,
Like a great brazier borne along the street
By captive leopards, black and burning pied.

Are there no water-lilies, smooth as cream,
With long stems dripping crystal? Are there none
Like those white lilies, luminous and cool,
Plucked from some hemlock-darkened northern stream
By fair-haired swimmers, diving where the sun
Scarce warms the surface of the deepest pool?

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Read poems about / on: pride, red, water, august, sun

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

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