An Argument

By Stanley Moss b. 1925 Stanley Moss
When you said that you wanted to be useful
as the days of the week, I said, “God bless you.”   
Then you said you would not trade our Mondays,   
useful for two thousand years,
for the Seven Wonders of the ancient world.   
I said, “Endless are the wonders
to which I can only say ‘ah,’ that our ‘Ah’   
who art in heaven can easily become the   
‘ah, ah’ that comforts a baby.” Then you said,   
“Go make a living on metaphors for ‘ah,’”   
that I, a lunatic, secretly want to be
the Lighthouse of Alexandria,
a fifty-story-high collaboration
of art and science, a mirror of light
that might be seen five or ten days out to sea,   
Poseidon standing on my shoulders,
the Library of Alexandria at my back,   
all the wonders of Greek Africa.
I said, “Today is Monday. I want little more   
than to be a hand-mirror my wife carries   
in her purse with a hankie
to stop my hemorrhaging humility.”

Stanley Moss, “An Argument” from A History of Color: New and Collected Poems. Reprinted with the permission of Seven Stories Press,

Source: A History of Color: New and Collected Poems (Seven Stories Press, 2003)

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Poet Stanley Moss b. 1925

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

 Stanley  Moss


Stanley Moss was educated at Trinity College (Connecticut) and Yale University and makes his living as a private art dealer, specializing in Spanish and Italian Old Masters. As a child he visited Europe with his family, and after serving in World War II he taught English in Barcelona and Rome, where he became familiar with the religious and mythical figures that appear in his work.

He is the critically acclaimed author of The . . .

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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