Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, DOWN THE MISSISSIPPI: 5. THE STEVEDORES, by JOHN GOULD FLETCHER



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DOWN THE MISSISSIPPI: 5. THE STEVEDORES, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Frieze of warm bronze that glides with catlike movements
Last Line: Far southward where a single chimney stands out aloof in the sky.
Subject(s): Mississippi River; Rivers


Frieze of warm bronze that glides with catlike movements
Over the gangplank poised and yet awaiting,
The sinewy thudding rhythm of forty shuffling feet
Falling like muffled drumbeats on the stillness.

O roll the cotton down,
Roll, roll the cotton down,
From the further side of Jordan,
O roll the cotton down!

And the river waits,
The river listens,
Chuckling little banjo-notes that break with a flop on the stillness;
And by the low dark shed that holds the heavy freights,
Two lonely cypress tress stand up and point with stiffened fingers
Far southward where a single chimney stands out aloof in the sky.





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