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.
 
Flags
By H. L. Davis
 
From “Primapara”

IN the wind the flags, which here are called irises,
Snap and blow ragged all along the street.
They are of three colors, yellow and white and blue.
At this I am pleased as a man who sees strange ships,
For the reason that in the country I recall        5
We had not heard of any but white flags.
 
There the white flags grew in a damp level place
Where jonquils were, and daffodils and lilacs,
And small cool roses; and hands of locust blossoms,
And heavy-headed peonies, and a red flower        10
The women called red-hot poker, loud as a bull-rag.
These flowers growing together in tall strong grass.
 
Sometimes the swallows flying; sometimes rain
Came over the tall grass, and the small red rose
(Its flowers as yet watched for) shed off the dust.        15
Sometimes it was windy, and the flags blew out;
Or hot, and the jonquils under the lilac bush
Built out in beauty like a clear warm river.
 
My pleasant thoughts build in colors and graceful shadows
For this flower-garden: flags the color of far waters,        20
White locust flowers in the rain, young flowers in the grass.
Play up a tune, sing loud and handsome, O soul!
The garden abides, it is not like love, nor the song
Where some lost girl brings honey in the horn.
 
 
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