Poets | Bookstore | Poem of the Day | Top 40 | Search | Comments | Privacy
July 11th, 2014 - we have 234 poets, 8,025 poems and 111,284 comments.
Amy Lowell - The Coal Picker

He perches in the slime, inert,
Bedaubed with iridescent dirt.
The oil upon the puddles dries
To colours like a peacock's eyes,
And half-submerged tomato-cans
Shine scaly, as leviathans
Oozily crawling through the mud.
The ground is here and there bestud
With lumps of only part-burned coal.
His duty is to glean the whole,
To pick them from the filth, each one,
To hoard them for the hidden sun
Which glows within each fiery core
And waits to be made free once more.
Their sharp and glistening edges cut
His stiffened fingers.  Through the smut
Gleam red the wounds which will not shut.
Wet through and shivering he kneels
And digs the slippery coals; like eels
They slide about.  His force all spent,
He counts his small accomplishment.
A half-a-dozen clinker-coals
Which still have fire in their souls.
Fire!  And in his thought there burns
The topaz fire of votive urns.
He sees it fling from hill to hill,
And still consumed, is burning still.
Higher and higher leaps the flame,
The smoke an ever-shifting frame.
He sees a Spanish Castle old,
With silver steps and paths of gold.
From myrtle bowers comes the plash
Of fountains, and the emerald flash
Of parrots in the orange trees,
Whose blossoms pasture humming bees.
He knows he feeds the urns whose smoke
Bears visions, that his master-stroke
Is out of dirt and misery
To light the fire of poesy.
He sees the glory, yet he knows
That others cannot see his shows.
To them his smoke is sightless, black,
His votive vessels but a pack
Of old discarded shards, his fire
A peddler's; still to him the pyre
Is incensed, an enduring goal!
He sighs and grubs another coal.

Share |

Added: Feb 1 2004 | Viewed: 4070 times | Comments and analysis of The Coal Picker by Amy Lowell Comments (8)

The Coal Picker - Comments and Information

Poet: Amy Lowell
Poem: 7. The Coal Picker
Volume: Sword Blades & Poppy Seed
- Sword Blades
Poem of the Day: Sep 23 2009

Comment 8 of 8, added on October 16th, 2013 at 3:02 AM.
HirskSufxwOhWlChWov

57FICN Thank you for your article post.Much thanks again.

best link build from Israel
Comment 7 of 8, added on October 15th, 2013 at 8:02 AM.
oFSFVQBQwmkuqOhw

PATTDb I think this is a real great blog article.Really looking forward to read more. Really Cool.

check out these guys! from Mongolia
Comment 6 of 8, added on May 27th, 2013 at 10:58 PM.
RLOcTrpIFLtFw

4rT7IS Say, you got a nice article post.Much thanks again. Really Cool.

seo service from Rwandese Republic (Rwanda)

Are you looking for more information on this poem? Perhaps you are trying to analyze it? The poem, The Coal Picker, has received 8 comments. Click here to read them, and perhaps post a comment of your own.

Poem Info

Lowell Info
Copyright © 2000-2012 Gunnar Bengtsson. All Rights Reserved. Links | Bookstore