Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, HOMETOWN, by CHARLES BADGER CLARK JR.



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HOMETOWN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Our town has history enough
Last Line: Could show me finer sights than home.
Alternate Author Name(s): Clark, Badger
Subject(s): Home; South Dakota


Our town has history enough.
Across the railroad, on the bluff,
Prof. scans the records of our age
And reads it, page by stony page.
Desert, he says, and swamp and sea
And glacier in turn were we.
The three-toed horse, he says, was here;
Rhinoceros and six-horned deer
And other strange and varied meats
Snorted and stamped about our streets,
Back when the first town site survey
Was yet a million years away.
And then the red man's pedigree,
With pigeon-toed solemnity,
Stalked through our annals in a string
And held their feasts beside our spring
Till old Jed Tower built his hut
With one hand on a pistol butt.
Can Pontiac,
Kish or Karnak
Push their backgrounds further back?

Our town has sights as fine to see
As any in geography.
Why, when the early sunlight spills
In summer down our eastern hills
They look like Heaven's parapet.
From Eighth Street, when the sun has set,
The high school on the hill in line
Looms like a castle on the Rhine,
And twisted pines along the crest,
Backed by the lemon colored west,
Would make Jap artists praise their gods
And plant their easels here by squads.
Some summer nights I have to lie
In the front yard and watch the sky,
And let my fancy climb and play
Through lacework of the Milky Way
To deeper heights all silver fired
Until both eyes and brain are tired.
Oh, never Nome,
Hongkong or Rome
Could show me finer sights than home.





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