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.
 
Our Chinese Acquaintance
By Eunice Tietjens
 
From “Profiles from China”

WE met him in the runway called a street, between the warrens known as houses.
He looked still the same, but his French-cut tweeds, his continental hat and small round glasses were alien here.
About him we felt a troubled uncertainty.
 
He greeted us gladly. “It is good,” he said in his soft French, “to see my foreign friends again….
You find our city dirty, I am sure—on every stone dirt grows in China.        5
How the people crowd! The street is choked. Nong koi chi! Go away, curious ones! The ladies cannot breathe….
No, my people are not clean. They do not understand, I think.
In Belgium, where I studied—
You did not know? Yes, I was studying in Bruges, studying Christianity, when the great war came.
We, you know, love peace. I could not see…….        10
 
“So I came home.
 
“But China is very dirty …. our priests are rascals, and the people ……. I do not know.
Is there, perhaps, a true religion somewhere?”
 
Behind his glasses his slant eyes were troubled.
“I do not know,” he said.        15
We met him in the runway called a street, between the warrens known as houses.
 
 
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