Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, NAKED, by WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS



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First Line: What fool would feel
Last Line: You up there -- waiting.


What fool would feel
His cheeks burn
Because of the snow?
Would he call it
By a name, give it
Breasts, features,
Bare limbs?
Would he call it
A woman?
(Surely then he would be
A fool.)

And see her,
Warmed with the cold,
Go upon the heads
Of creatures
Whose faces lean
To the ground?

Would he watch
The compassion of
Her eyes,
That look, now up
Now down,
To the turn of
The wind and
The turn of
The shivering minds
She touches --
Motionless -- troubled?

I ask you --
I ask you, my townspeople,
What fool is this?

Would he forget
The sight of
His mother and
His wife
Because of her? --
Have his heart
Turned to ice
That will not soften?

What!
Would he see a thing
Lovelier than
A high-school girl,
With the skill
Of Venus
to stand naked --
Naked on the air?

Falling snow and
you up there -- waiting.





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