Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, STEEL MILL, by LOUIS UNTERMEYER



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STEEL MILL, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The core of him is hate
Last Line: War! War!
Alternate Author Name(s): Lewis, Michael
Subject(s): Hate; Mills & Millers; Steel


THE core of him is hate
Down in his stones he waits and growls for war.
His iron bones strain to destroy; his bowels
Are grinding steel that crush the maggots he contains.
His fires are rushing anger.
Every churning wheel,
Fed and well-greased with blood,
Turns with a redder purpose --
Released through passion to create
Fresh agonies of hate.

Thrusting his back against the night,
He cracks the full moon into splintered glass
And crusts of winter-bitten ponds.
Timidly clustered houses sleep
Deep in their bonds of silence.
He howls to see small hours pass
And roars dark blasphemies into their ears.
He calls to his coarse brood,
Spitting lewd sparks upon the bleeding dawn
That lifts its head, unheeding,
Christ-like, compassionate.

Hating the light of peace, now that the stars are dead,
His chimneys throw their bars against the east.
Daylight plows through them.
Roused by the clamor,
Naked, new,
The sun,
Answering hate with heat,
Beats his great hammer on the smoking back.
Morning. Fresh fires. Attack.
Up go black arms tearing apart the sky!
Down swarms a heaven of flaring motes
Exploding into laughter!
Up go the shafts of fear and hatred!

Down fly the spears of love!
The battle never clears.
The rhythm never varies.
The rhythm has no ending.
Conflict. Consent.
Death at life's core.
Rising. Rending.
War! War!




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