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.
 
Among the Rodins
By John Cournos
 
  IF I were a man of Herculaneum—
A twentieth-century city
Of the brooding North—
And I were praying or cursing in the dark,
And the lava came upon me as I prayed or cursed,        5
It would shape me like you, Prodigal Son,
And my pleading and despair would stay forever
In that stark gesture of two rigid, upright arms
Pointing like two trees, charred and leafless,
Towards the sky.        10
 
  Or if a great wind came,
Winging sorrow,
And blew and blew,
And laid me, battling with it, prostrate;
And then if the sun came in the wind’s wake,        15
And kissed my cold lips,
And made my back quiver gently with revived hope,
Then, Fallen Angel, I should be one with you.
 
  Let the tranquil, tolerant Buddha,
Towering in the background        20
Like the Fuji-yama above the pilgrims crossing a wind-swept bridge—
Smile upon us all together,
And breathe his eastern peace upon us.
 
 
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