Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, BABEL, by NATHALIA CRANE



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

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BABEL, by            
First Line: We loved your lime-strained lecturns
Last Line: And watch the halos rise.
Subject(s): Commencement; Graduation


We loved your lime-stained lecturns --
The trestles leaping high,
The slogan of your derricks
To underpin the sky.

A planet held the plumb-line
And fooled us from afar,
But we went marching upward --
The perpendicular.

We still resent the moment
We heard a buttress gape,
The scaling ladders calling
To hasten our escape.

Your towers turned to torrents,
Your walls waved like a fan.
We threw away the sheepskins
And for the slide poles ran.

The moon is meditative,
Morose the Milky Way
To see the trestles crumpled,
The derricks in decay.

And yet the horizontal
Bequeatheth naught of shame,
For other campaniles
We chant the builders' fame.

With grace we give to Gizeh
Another thousand tiers;
Who tilts the Wall of China
May make up our arrears.

But we, the chastened, seek not
To overcrowd the skies;
We kneel beside the fires
And watch the halos rise.





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