Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SPRING DAY: NIGHT AND SLEEP, by AMY LOWELL

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

SPRING DAY: NIGHT AND SLEEP, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: The day takes her ease in slippered yellow. Electric signs gleam out
Last Line: . . . I smell them in the air.
Subject(s): Cities; Night; Sleep; Spring; Urban Life; Bedtime

The day takes her ease in slippered yellow. Electric signs gleam out along the
shop fronts, following each other. They grow, and grow, and blow into patterns
of fire-flowers as the sky fades. Trades scream in spots of light at the
unruffled night. Twinkle, jab, snap, that means a new play; and over the way:
plop, drop, quiver, is the sidelong sliver of a watchmaker's sign with its
length on another street. A gigantic mug of beer effervesces to the atmosphere
over a tall building, but the sky is high and has her own stars, why should she
heed ours?
I leave the city with speed. Wheels whirl to take me back to my trees and my
quietness. The breeze which blows with me is fresh-washed and clean, it has come
but recently from the high sky. There are no flowers in bloom yet, but the earth
of my garden smells of tulips and narcissus. My room is tranquil and friendly.
Out of the window I can see the distant city, a band of twinkling gems, little
flower-heads with no stems. I cannot see the beer-glass, nor the letters of the
restaurants and shops I passed, now the signs blur and all together make the
city, glowing on a night of fine weather, like a garden stirring and blowing for
the Spring. The night is fresh-washed and fair and there is a whiff of flowers
in the air. Wrap me close, sheets of lavender. Pour your blue and purple dreams
into my ears. The breeze whispers at the shutters and mutters queer tales of old
days, and cobbled streets, and youths leaping their horses down marble
stairways. Pale blue lavender, you are the colour of the sky when it is fresh-
washed and fair . . . I smell the stars . . . they are like tulips and narcissus
. . . I smell them in the air.

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