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.
 
A Childish Tale
By Edward Sapir
 
From “Backwater”

LISTEN to my childish tale:
  My heart was sad today;
My heart was so sad I could not find
  Anything to say.
 
I walked out to the city’s edge        5
  Where the streets all disappear,
And I thought the fields were sad with me—
  Songless fields and drear.
 
I sat down under a maple tree
  That rose up lone and bare;        10
Its dying-colored leaves were strewn
  About me everywhere.
 
I sat and pondered aimlessly
  Under the silent tree,
I pondered sadly under the boughs        15
  That I thought were sad with me.
 
Then in a flash I felt a cool
  And steely serenity
Descending from those silent boughs—
  They were not sad with me.        20
 
And I felt the steely calm of their strength
  Slip in my heart like a breath,
And I was like a wakened man
  That had drowsed away in death.
 
I saw that steel was the maple-tree,        25
  It had never been sad with me;
I saw that the blue of the sky was steel
  In its cool serenity.
 
We were all steel out there in the field,
  We three beyond the town—        30
We three that were strong over the leaves
  Dying in red and brown.
 
Now you have heard my childish tale:
  My heart was sad today
And it lost its sadness under a tree.        35
  That is all I wanted to say.
 
 
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