Over the housetops,
Above the rotating chimney-pots,
I have seen a shiver of amethyst,
And blue and cinnamon have flickered
A moment,
At the far end of a dusty street.
Through sheeted rain
Has come a lustre of crimson,
And I have watched moonbeams
Hushed by a film of palest green.
It was her wings,
Goddess!
Who stepped over the clouds,
And laid her rainbow feathers
Aslant on the currents of the air.
I followed her for long,
With gazing eyes and stumbling feet.
I cared not where she led me,
My eyes were full of colours:
Saffrons, rubies, the yellows of beryls,
And the indigo-blue of quartz;
Flights of rose, layers of chrysoprase,
Points of orange, spirals of vermilion,
The spotted gold of tiger-lily petals,
The loud pink of bursting hydrangeas.
I followed,
And watched for the flashing of her wings.
In the city I found her,
The narrow-streeted city.
In the market-place I came upon her,
Bound and trembling.
Her fluted wings were fastened to her sides with cords,
She was naked and cold,
For that day the wind blew
Without sunshine.
Men chaffered for her,
They bargained in silver and gold,
In copper, in wheat,
And called their bids across the market-place.
The Goddess wept.
Hiding my face I fled,
And the grey wind hissed behind me,
Along the narrow streets.

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2 Comments

  1. Leia says:

    i Believe that Amy Lowell is trying to portray the female struggle of sbserviance in the 1800’s and earlt 1900’s. The era was littered with such instances. the feelings of this are portrayed through Amy’s feelingon entraptment due to her own short comings. As a child she was not allowed to attend collage, so i feel this is almost her own internal struggle against subservience.

  2. Alexandra says:

    Imagination is a place to go on order to escape reality. Often it is filled with colours and sunshine. It is priceless like gems and has an immeasurable sparkle. Reality is often harsh and gray, like the “narrow streeted city”. It is marked by hustle and bustle, bargaining, and cheating. This poem really describes the instance in which reality and imagination collide. When these to worlds intertwine Amy Lowell portrays a feeling of confusion, sadness, and fear.

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