Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AUTUMN DIALOGUE, by LOUIS UNTERMEYER



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AUTUMN DIALOGUE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: No, no', she cries, 'I will not warm my fingers'
Last Line: And earth continues to fondle its acre of dust.
Alternate Author Name(s): Lewis, Michael
Subject(s): Autumn; Seasons; Fall


"No, no," she cries, "I will not warm my fingers
On these charred sticks you long to huddle over.
Wait, if you like, to see if a spark still lingers;
I know the sort of ash you will discover."

"But look," he urges, "you who love strange timbres,
Here are new harmonies of dying color.
Have you no joy in such pale gold and amber?
Does gray mean nothing more to you now than dolor?"

"No, no," she answers, "it is you who relish
This dwindling death; you like to feel the smoulder
Creep into words which, as you scrape and polish,
Make the thin air about us even colder."

Then he, "And what are yours but words that crumple
Their borrowed colors like those clouds at sunset
Which seemed more fixed than any earthly temple
Yet turned to smoke before the first dark onset."

A stone grinds under her heel; he does not hold her;
The twig she snaps falls with a flaking of rust.
The moon shows an edge like the curve of a dead girl's shoulder.
And earth continues to fondle its acre of dust.





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