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.
 
Concerning Blake
By A. Y. Winters
 
From “Monodies”

WHEN Blake’s mother died,
He got up out of bed
(He was an invalid)
And closed her eyes and smoothed her hair;
And took the pillow from beneath her head,        5
And drew the sheet across her thin clear face,
And left her there.
 
The little butler scudded through the gloom—
A frightened cockroach.
Blake cornered him        10
To give him orders. And he: “At what time did she die?”—
The last word jerked out
With a placating pained grimace.
Great difficulty. His head jerked about
Before Blake in the dusk, febrile, dim.        15
Blake’s small too-fragile body twitched.
His transparent feminine face
Quivered slightly, froze back into place.
His sister’s sobs, half checked by the gloom,
Staggered, drunken, down the hall.        20
This was all.
 
Then Blake went back into the twilit room
Where the candles struggled vaguely with the dusk.
He drew back the white sheet from the white face.
His bathrobe fell in cerise fold on fold        25
Above it, fever-blotches on the shadow.
He was tired and weak and cold.
He stared at the clear face as into a mirror,
His features—a curious mirror, Death!—
Frosted and uncertain at his sudden intruding breath.        30
 
 
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