Infidelity

By Louis Untermeyer 1885–1977 Louis Untermeyer
You have not conquered me—it is the surge
   Of love itself that beats against my will;
It is the sting of conflict, the old urge
   That calls me still.

It is not you I love—it is the form
   And shadow of all lovers who have died
That gives you all the freshness of a warm
   And unfamiliar bride.

It is your name I breathe, your hands I seek;
   It will be you when you are gone.
And yet the dream, the name I never speak,
   Is that that lures me on.

It is the golden summons, the bright wave
   Of banners calling me anew;
It is all beauty, perilous and grave—
   It is not you.

Louis Untermeyer, “Infidelity” from The New Poetry: An Anthology of Twentieth Century Verse in English, ed. Harriet Monroe (New York: Macmillan, 1936). Permission is granted by arrangement with the Estate of Louis Untermeyer, Norma Anchin Untermeyer c/o Professional Publishing Services. The reprint is granted with the expressed permission by Laurence S. Untermeyer.

Source: The New Poetry: An Anthology of Twentieth Century Verse in English (1936)

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Poet Louis Untermeyer 1885–1977

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Subjects Love, Relationships, Desire, Infatuation & Crushes, Realistic & Complicated

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

 Louis  Untermeyer

Biography

Louis Untermeyer was the author, editor or compiler, and translator of more than one hundred books for readers of all ages. He will be best remembered as the prolific anthologist whose collections have introduced students to contemporary American poetry since 1919. The son of an established New York jeweler, Untermeyer's interest in poetry led to friendships with poets from three generations, including many of the century's . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Relationships, Desire, Infatuation & Crushes, Realistic & Complicated

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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