Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SILVER AND PEWTER, by JOY HOUSTON MICHAUX



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SILVER AND PEWTER, by            
First Line: In shemikinka market-place in old baku
Last Line: Of sleeplessness.
Subject(s): Antiques


In Shemikinka Market-place in old Baku
I found it.
No modern artistry
Fashioned its untwinned loveliness --
One candlestick
Amid the motley objects in display
Upon a Daghestan carpet
Spread on the ground.

The woman said,
"It is Jewish candlestick --
See how the silver and pewter blend
Into a dull but satin glow.
And it is very ancient."

Upon the base was historied its sum
Of more than fourscore gathered years.
Its slender lily cup had encased
Many a creamy candle,
Softly waxen,
Of wax with purity
Guaranteed by virgin bees;
Whose vigiled flame had guarded well
Three sacred mysteries -- Birth, Love, Death.

Each night beside my bed
It rears a cylinder of sperm,
Gleaming white,
So that I with match and Omar
Quite outwit the pricking imps
Of Sleeplessness.





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