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AMERICAN POETRY

1922

A MISCELLANY


[Illustration]


NEW YORK

HARCOURT, BRACE AND COMPANY




COPYRIGHT, 1922, BY
HARCOURT, BRACE AND COMPANY, INC.


PRINTED IN THE U. S. A. BY
THE QUINN & BODEN COMPANY
RAHWAY, N. J.




A FOREWORD


When the first Miscellany of American Poetry appeared in 1920,
innumerable were the questions asked by both readers and reviewers of
publishers and contributors alike. The modest note on the jacket
appeared to satisfy no one. The volume purported to have no editor, yet
a collection without an editor was pronounced preposterous. It was
obviously not the organ of a school, yet it did not seem to have been
compiled to exploit any particular phase of American life; neither
Nature, Love, Patriotism, Propaganda, nor Philosophy could be acclaimed
as its reason for being, and it was certainly not intended, as has been
so frequent of late, to bring a cheerful absence of mind to the
world-weary during an unoccupied ten minutes. Again, it was exclusive
not inclusive, since its object was, evidently, not the meritorious if
impossible one of attempting to be a compendium of present-day American
verse.

But the publisher's note had stated one thing quite clearly, that the
Miscellany was to be a biennial. Two years have passed, and with the
second volume it has seemed best to state at once the reasons which
actuated its contributors to join in such a venture.

In the first place, the plan of the _Miscellany_ is frankly imitative.
For some years now there has been published in England an anthology
entitled Georgian Poetry. The Miscellany is intended to be an American
companion to that publication. The dissimilarities of temperament, range
and choice of subjects are manifest, but the outstanding difference is
this: _Georgian Poetry_ has an editor, and the poems it contains may be
taken as that editor's reaction to the poetry of the day. The
_Miscellany_, on the other hand, has no editor; it is no one person's
choice which forms it; it is not an attempt to throw into relief any
particular group or stress any particular tendency. It does disclose the
most recent work of certain representative figures in contemporary
American literature. The poets who appear here have come together by
mutual accord and, although they may invite others to join them in
subsequent volumes as circumstance dictates, each one stands (as all
newcomers also must stand) as the exponent of fresh and strikingly
diverse qualities in our native poetry. It is as if a dozen unacademic
painters, separated by temperament and distance, were to arrange to have
an exhibition every two years of their latest work. They would not
pretend that they were the only painters worthy of a public showing;
they would maintain that their work was, generally speaking, most
interesting to one another. Their gallery would necessarily be limited;
but it would be flexible enough to admit, with every fresh exhibit,
three or four new members who had achieved an importance and an idiom
of their own. This is just what the original contributors to the
_Miscellany_ have done.

The newcomers--H. D., Alfred Kreymborg, and Edna St. Vincent
Millay--have taken their places with the same absence of judge or jury
that marks any "society of independents." There is no hanging committee;
no organizer of "position." Two years ago the alphabet determined the
arrangement; this time seniority has been the sole arbiter of
precedence. Furthermore--and this can not be too often repeated--there
has been no editor. To be painstakingly precise, each contributor has
been his own editor. As such, he has chosen his own selections and
determined the order in which they are to be printed, but he has had no
authority over either the choice or grouping of his fellow exhibitors'
contributions. To one of the members has been delegated the merely
mechanical labors of assembling, proof-reading, and seeing the volume
through the press. The absence of E. A. Robinson from this year's
_Miscellany_ is a source of regret not only to all the contributors but
to the poet himself. Mr. Robinson has written nothing since his
Collected Poems with the exception of a long poem--a volume in
itself--but he hopes to appear in any subsequent collection.

It should be added that this is not a haphazard anthology of picked-over
poetry. The poems that follow are new. They are new not only in the
sense that (with two exceptions) they cannot be found in book form, but
most of them have never previously been published. Certain of the
selections have appeared in recent magazines and these are reprinted by
permission of _The Century_, _The Yale Review_, _Poetry: A Magazine of
Verse_, _The New Republic_, _Harper's_, _Scribner's_, _The Bookman_,
_The Freeman_, _Broom_, _The Dial_, _The Atlantic Monthly_, _Farm and
Fireside_, _The Measure_, and _The Literary Review_. Vachel Lindsay's "I
Know All This When Gipsy Fiddles Cry" is a revised version of the poem
of that name which was printed in _The Enchanted Years_.




CONTENTS


_A Foreword_ _III_

AMY LOWELL

Lilacs _3_

Twenty-four Hokku on a Modern Theme _8_

The Swans _13_

Prime _16_

Vespers _17_

In Excelsis _18_

La Ronde du Diable _20_

ROBERT FROST

Fire and Ice _25_

The Grindstone _26_

The Witch of Coös _29_

A Brook in the City _37_

Design _38_

CARL SANDBURG

And So To-day _41_

California City Landscape _49_

Upstream _51_

Windflower Leaf _52_

VACHEL LINDSAY

In Praise of Johnny Appleseed _55_

I Know All This When Gipsy Fiddles Cry _66_

JAMES OPPENHEIM

Hebrews _75_

ALFRED KREYMBORG

Adagio: A Duet _79_

Die Küche _80_

Rain _81_

Peasant _83_

Bubbles _85_

Dirge _87_

Colophon _88_

SARA TEASDALE

Wisdom _91_

Places _92_
_Twilight_ (Tucson)
_Full Moon_ (Santa Barbara)
_Winter Sun_ (Lenox)
_Evening_ (Nahant)

Words for an Old Air _97_

Those Who Love _98_

Two Songs for Solitude _99_
_The Crystal Gazer_
_The Solitary_

LOUIS UNTERMEYER

Monolog from a Mattress _103_

Waters of Babylon _110_

The Flaming Circle _112_

Portrait of a Machine _114_

Roast Leviathan _115_

JOHN GOULD FLETCHER

A Rebel _127_

The Rock _128_

Blue Water _129_

Prayers for Wind _130_

Impromptu _131_

Chinese Poet Among Barbarians _132_

Snowy Mountains _133_

The Future _134_

Upon the Hill _136_

The Enduring _137_

JEAN STARR UNTERMEYER

Old Man _141_

Tone Picture _142_

They Say-- _143_

Rescue _144_

Mater in Extremis _146_

Self-Rejected _147_

H. D.

Holy Satyr _151_

Lais _153_

Heliodora _156_

Toward the Pirćus _161_
_Slay with your eyes, Greek_
_You would have broken my wings_
_I loved you_
_What had you done_
_If I had been a boy_
_It was not chastity that made me cold_

CONRAD AIKEN

Seven Twilights _171_
_The ragged pilgrim on the road to nowhere_
_Now by the wall of the ancient town_
_When the tree bares, the music of it changes_
_"This is the hour," she says, "of transmutation"_
_Now the great wheel of darkness and low clouds_
_Heaven, you say, will be a field in April_
_In the long silence of the sea_

Tetélestai _184_

EDNA ST.



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