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.
 
Lake
By Emanuel Carnevali
 
From “Neuriade”

SITTING on a bench facing God’s beautiful lake,
A poem to God beautiful.
 
Lake Michigan,
The love a poor sick body held
(Sifted by the sift of a hundred nights of pain),        5
A poor sick body gave it all to you.
 
Your absinthe
Has intoxicated me.
 
Having risen out of your waters,
In front of my great eyes now        10
There is a mad blur of sunlight,
And the City spread out before me calling from a great curve:
“Come, enter, conquistador!”
 
The line of your horizon, pure and long, hitched to the infinite both ways,
Where the mist lies like Peace.        15
 
Swimming, I flirted with Death;
Saw death running over the shadow-laced ripples;
And turned around, as you threw water in my eyes,
And laughed at Death, as Death’s brother, the devil, would.
You slammed open the doors of the sky,        20
And there stood the tremendous sun.
 
Lake, gilded in the morning,
I have come out of you,
A fresh-water Neptune;
And the water rang little bells        25
Trickling down
Along my flesh.
Lake, garden of the colors,
Sweet-breathing mouth of Chicago,
Words die in the fingers of a sick man,        30
As children dying on a poor father.
Take my promise, lake.
 
 
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