Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, DOWN THE MISSISSIPPI: 6. NIGHT LANDING, by JOHN GOULD FLETCHER



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DOWN THE MISSISSIPPI: 6. NIGHT LANDING, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: After the whistle's roar has bellowed and shuddered
Last Line: A blue-black negro with gleaming teeth waits for his chance to leap.
Subject(s): Mississippi River; Rivers


After the whistle's roar has bellowed and shuddered,
Shaking the sleeping town and the somnolent river,
The deep toned floating of the pilot's bell
Suddenly warns the engines.

They stop like heart-beats that abruptly stop,
The shore glides to us, in a wide low curve.

And then -- supreme revelation of the river --
The tackle is loosed -- the long gangplank swings outwards --
And poised at the end of it, half-naked beneath the searchlight,
A blue-black negro with gleaming teeth waits for his chance to leap.





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