Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
American Spring Song
By Sherwood Anderson
 
From “Mid-American Songs”

IN the spring, when winds blew and farmers were plowing fields,
It came into my mind to be glad because of my brutality.
 
Along a street I went and over a bridge.
I went through many streets in my city and over many bridges.
Men and women I struck with my fists and my hands began to bleed.        5
 
Under a bridge I crawled, and stood trembling with joy
At the river’s edge.
Because it was spring and soft sunlight came through the cracks
Of the bridge, I tried to understand myself.
 
Out of the mud at the river’s edge I moulded myself a god,        10
A grotesque little god with a twisted face,
A god for myself and my men.
 
You see now, brother, how it was.
 
I was a man with clothes made by a Jewish tailor;
Cunningly wrought clothes, made for a nameless one.        15
I wore a white collar and someone had given me a jeweled pin
To wear at my throat.
That amused and hurt me too.
No one knew that I knelt in the mud beneath the bridge
In the city of Chicago.        20
 
You see I am whispering my secret to you.
 
I want you to believe in my insanity and to understand that I love God—
That’s what I want.
 
And then, you see, it was spring and soft sunlight
Came through the cracks of the bridge.        25
I had been long alone in a strange place where no gods came.
 
Creep, men, and kiss the twisted face of my mud god.
I’ll not hit you with my bleeding fists.
I’m a twisted God myself.
 
It is spring and love has come to me.        30
Love has come to me
And to my men.
 
 
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