Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, CITY COLLEGE, by KAREN SWENSON

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

CITY COLLEGE, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: 5:30 and the winter dark
Last Line: Gargoyles smirk into the dusk.
Subject(s): City College Of New York; Education

5:30 and the winter dark
is bleak between damp haloed lamps
along the Avenue that's housed
both Hamilton and nuns, but now
is flanked on either side by soot

seamed Gothic battlements transposed
and flat-faced modern factories
where the production line of classrooms
will manufacture the raw ore
of immigrants to engineers.

While wind-plucked flagpole lines play brass
to scurries of night-student feet,
I teach the ambiguities
of language's precision to
calculation's latest clique,

who queasy at the equivocal
set sail on their geodesy,
fixed point to point as though between
these lamps where I amongst the other
gargoyles smirk into the dusk.

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