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.
 
The Bean-stalk
By Edna St. Vincent Millay
 
HO, Giant! This is I!
I have built me a bean-stalk into your sky!
La—but it’s lovely, up so high!
 
This is how I came—I put
There my knee, here my foot,        5
Up and up, from shoot to shoot;
And the blessed bean-stalk thinning
Like the mischief all the time,
Till it took me rocking, spinning,
In a dizzy, sunny circle,        10
Making angles with the root,
Far and out above the cackle
Of the city I was born in;
Till the little dirty city,
In the light so sheer and sunny,        15
Shone as dazzling bright and pretty
As the money that you find
In a dream of finding money—
What a wind! what a morning!—
Till the tiny, shiny city,        20
When I shot a glance below
Shaken with a giddy laughter
Sick and blissfully afraid,
Was a dew-drop on a blade,
And a pair of moments after        25
Was the whirling guess I made;
And the wind was like a whip
Cracking past my icy ears,
And my hair stood out behind,
And my eyes were full of tears,        30
Wide-open and cold,
More tears than they could hold;
The wind was blowing so,
And my teeth were in a row,
Dry and grinning,        35
And I felt my foot slip,
And I scratched the wind and whined,
And I clutched the stalk and jabbered
With my eyes shut blind—
What a wind: what a wind!        40
 
Your broad sky, Giant,
Is the shelf of a cupboard.
I make bean-stalks—I’m
A builder like yourself;
But bean-stalks is my trade—        45
I couldn’t make a shelf,
Don’t know how they’re made.
Now, a bean-stalk is more pliant—
La, what a climb!
 
 
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