The Market-Place

By Walter de La Mare 1873–1956 Walter de La Mare
My mind is like a clamorous market-place.
   All day in wind, rain, sun, its babel wells;
   Voice answering to voice in tumult swells.   
Chaffering and laughing, pushing for a place,
My thoughts haste on, gay, strange, poor, simple, base;
   This one buys dust, and that a bauble sells:
   But none to any scrutiny hints or tells
The haunting secrets hidden in each sad face.

The clamour quietens when the dark draws near;
   Strange looms the earth in twilight of the West,   
Lonely with one sweet star serene and clear,
   Dwelling, when all this place is hushed to rest,
   On vacant stall, gold, refuse, worst and best,   
Abandoned utterly in haste and fear.

Source: The Collected Poems of Walter de la Mare (1979)

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Poet Walter de La Mare 1873–1956

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Georgian

Subjects Living, The Mind

Poetic Terms Sonnet, Simile

 Walter  de La Mare

Biography

Walter de la Mare is considered one of modern literature's chief exemplars of the romantic imagination. His complete works form a sustained treatment of romantic themes: dreams, death, rare states of mind and emotion, fantasy worlds of childhood, and the pursuit of the transcendent.

De la Mare's life was outwardly uneventful. As a youth he attended St. Paul's Cathedral School, and his formal education did not extend beyond . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, The Mind

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Georgian

Poetic Terms Sonnet, Simile

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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