A Sunset of the City

By Gwendolyn Brooks 1917–2000 Gwendolyn Brooks

Kathleen Eileen

Already I am no longer looked at with lechery or love.
My daughters and sons have put me away with marbles and dolls,
Are gone from the house.
My husband and lovers are pleasant or somewhat polite   
And night is night.

It is a real chill out,
The genuine thing.
I am not deceived, I do not think it is still summer   
Because sun stays and birds continue to sing.

It is summer-gone that I see, it is summer-gone.   
The sweet flowers indrying and dying down,
The grasses forgetting their blaze and consenting to brown.

It is a real chill out. The fall crisp comes.   
I am aware there is winter to heed.   
There is no warm house
That is fitted with my need.
I am cold in this cold house this house
Whose washed echoes are tremulous down lost halls.
I am a woman, and dusty, standing among new affairs.   
I am a woman who hurries through her prayers.

Tin intimations of a quiet core to be my   
Desert and my dear relief
Come: there shall be such islanding from grief,   
And small communion with the master shore.   
Twang they. And I incline this ear to tin,   
Consult a dual dilemma. Whether to dry   
In humming pallor or to leap and die.

Somebody muffed it? Somebody wanted to joke.

Gwendolyn Brooks, “A Sunset in the City” from Selected Poems. Copyright © 1963 by Gwendolyn Brooks. Reprinted with the permission of the Estate of Gwendolyn Brooks.

Source: Selected Poems (1963)

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Poet Gwendolyn Brooks 1917–2000

Subjects Family & Ancestors, Summer, Time & Brevity, Growing Old, Home Life, Fall, Parenthood, Living, Relationships, Nature

Poetic Terms Dramatic Monologue

 Gwendolyn  Brooks

Biography

Gwendolyn Brooks was a highly regarded, much-honored poet, with the distinction of being the first black author to win the Pulitzer Prize. She also was poetry consultant to the Library of Congress—the first black woman to hold that position—and poet laureate of the State of Illinois. Many of Brooks's works display a political consciousness, especially those from the 1960s and later, with several of her poems reflecting the civil . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Family & Ancestors, Summer, Time & Brevity, Growing Old, Home Life, Fall, Parenthood, Living, Relationships, Nature

Poetic Terms Dramatic Monologue

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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