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Lola Ridge

Comrades

Life
You have been good to me….
You have not made yourself too dear
to juggle with.

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Brooklyn Bridge

Pythoness body—arching
Over the night like an ecstasy—
I feel your coils tightening…
And the world’s lessening breath.

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The Star

Last night
I watched a star fall like a great pearl into the sea,
Till my ego expanding encompassed sea and star,
Containing both as in a trembling cup.

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Babel

Oh, God did cunningly, there at Babel -
Not mere tongues dividing, but soul from soul,
So that never again should men be able
To fashion one infinite, towering whole.

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Electricity

Out of fiery contacts…
Rushing auras of steel
Touching and whirled apart…
Out of the charged phallases
Of iron leaping
Female and male,
Complete, indivisible, one,
Fused into light.

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Palestine

Old plant of Asia -
Mutilated vine
Holding earth's leaping sap
In every stem and shoot
That lopped off, sprouts again -
Why should you seek a plateau walled about,
Whose garden is the world?

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Spires

Spires of Grace Church,
For you the workers of the world
Travailed with the mountains…
Aborting their own dreams
Till the dream of you arose -
Beautiful, swaddled in stone -
Scorning their hands.

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An Old Workman

Warped… gland-dry…
With spine askew
And body shrunken into half its space…
Well-used as some cracked paving-stone…
Bearing on his grimed and pitted front
A stamp… as of innumerable feet.

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Debris

I love those spirits
That men stand off and point at,
Or shudder and hood up their souls -
Those ruined ones,
Where Liberty has lodged an hour
And passed like flame,
Bursting asunder the too small house.

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Emma Goldman

How should they appraise you, who walk up close to you as to a mountain, each proclaiming his own eyeful against the other's eyeful.

Only time standing well off shall measure your circumference and height.

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