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Weldon Kees - The Bell From Europe

The tower bell in the Tenth Street Church
Rang out nostalgia for the refugee
Who knew the source of bells by sound.
We liked it, but in ignorance.
One meets authorities on bells infrequently.

Europe alone made bells with such a tone,
Herr Mannheim said. The bell
Struck midnight, and it shook the room.
He had heard bells in Leipzig, Chartres, Berlin,
Paris, Vienna, Brussels, Rome.
He was a white-faced man with sad enormous eyes.

Reader, for me that bell marked nights
Of restless tossing in this narrow bed,
The quarrels, the slamming of a door,
The kind words, friends for drinks, the books we read,
Breakfasts with streets in rain.
It rang from europe all the time.
That was what Mannheim said.

It is good to know, now that the bell strikes noon.
In this day's sun, the hedges are Episcopalian
As noon is marked by the twelve iron beats.
The rector moves ruminantly among the gravestones,
And the sound of a dead Europe hangs in the streets.

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Added: Feb 20 2003 | Viewed: 2217 times | Comments and analysis of The Bell From Europe by Weldon Kees Comments (2)

The Bell From Europe - Comments and Information

Poet: Weldon Kees
Poem: The Bell From Europe
Poem of the Day: Mar 18 2013

Comment 2 of 2, added on September 16th, 2005 at 2:00 PM.

I really like the poem you wrote!

Patricia Escarcega from United States
Comment 1 of 2, added on August 12th, 2005 at 6:57 AM.

I love the concept...that all the good times and bad which go with midnight are Pavolvian remembered by the big midnight bell of the tenth street church. Overlaid by the knowledge that the bell, like the writer is a refugee from a war torn Europe. Love it. This poem could only have been written after midnight, in a cheap hotel, with a half finished bottle on the desk, and only two cigarettes left in the pack.

Bill Fedun from Canada

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