Eclogue Of The Liberal And The Poet - Poem by Allen Tate
In that place, shepherd, all the men are dead.
Yes, look at the water grim and black
Where immense Europa rears her head,
Her face pinched and her breasts slack.
I said, shepherd, all the men are dead.
Shall I turn to the road that goes America?
Is that a place for men to be dead
Or living? If you don't mind being asked.
Try it and see. It's a pretty good way
To skim three thousand miles in a day
And none of them America.
But what about her face and the tasked
Wonders of her air and soil, her big belly
That Putnam writes about under the sun?
I don't know Put, I don't know his Nelly-
To name her that if she'd name it fun
But you know she hasn't any name,
Nowhere you touch her she's the same,
What, shepherd, are we talking about?
You started it, shepherd.
Shepherd, I didn't.
You did; you saw the poetical face of Europe.
You said it was no place for men to be.
I meant seawater; you thought I meant hope.
Hell, I reckon you think I am a dope.
I didn't say that; I said there was no place.
If not in a place, where are the People weeping?
They creep weeping in the lace, not place.
Is it something with which we may cope-
The weeping, the creeping, the peepee-ing, the
Hanging is something which I will do with this
Alas, for us who peep, weeping.
Alas, for us you see but little hope.
Alas, I didn't say that; you rhymed hope with rope.
I meant I was going to hang us both for creeping.
Afterwards they could process us into soap;
Afterwards they would rhyme soap with hope.
What a cheerful rhyme! Clean not mean!
Been not seenl Not tired expired!
We must now decide about place.
We decide that place is the big weeping face
And the other abstract lace of the race.
Shepherd, what are we talking about?
Oh, why, shepherd, are we stalking about?
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