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.
 
Noon
By Emanuel Carnevali
 
From “The Day of Summer”

YOU say yes,
And you feed it in your temples—that entity you are so divinely, mysteriously, sure of; and you call it LIFE.
You say no—
In the saloon, the wooden yellow temple,
You grunt no, and you poison that which you call LIFE.        5
It’s noon, the whistles rattle and shriek—city Parcae, I come too.
It’s noon, I am coming with you in your temples.
You say yes
And you grunt NO,
But your faces are faces of rancor:        10
Rancor against
Those who won’t let you
Hurl loose your soul—(you think, you bad philosophers!)—
Which you must steadily
Throttle within you.        15
Imbecility is an immense maw, and at noon
It is hungry with a thousand crawling hungers.
So that happy bewildered imbecile of a sun
Looks bewildered at me,
Wondering that I am so utterly disgusted.        20
 
Not so….
Not so disgusted after all.
O altars of a little comfort, altars of a dyspeptic god gone crazy in America for lack of personality (hamburger steak, Irish stew, goulash, spaghetti, chop suey and curry!) O lunch-room counters!
O tripods of a little secure religion, tripods of a little secure beauty! O kitchen fires!
O bedraggled romances, O alcoholic ladies in crimson and green mists, O women so cheap and ingratiating, O sacrifices for you, ladies, of all the flesh and all the brains! O saloons!        25
 
My malediction on the cowards who are afraid of the word (the word is a kind sweet child, a kind sweet child!)—Malediction on the sacrifices of the dumb and deaf!
 
            Hesitating everywhere, hesitating fearfully,
            The few poets, they who weigh with delicate hands,
            Walk in the unfrequented roads,
            Maundering,        30
            Crying and laughing
            Against the rest.
 
 
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