A London Thoroughfare. 2 A.M.

By Amy Lowell 1874–1925 Amy Lowell
They have watered the street,
It shines in the glare of lamps,
Cold, white lamps,
And lies
Like a slow-moving river,
Barred with silver and black.
Cabs go down it,
One,
And then another.
Between them I hear the shuffling of feet.
Tramps doze on the window-ledges,
Night-walkers pass along the sidewalks.
The city is squalid and sinister,
With the silver-barred street in the midst,
Slow-moving,
A river leading nowhere.

Opposite my window,
The moon cuts,
Clear and round,
Through the plum-coloured night.
She cannot light the city;
It is too bright.
It has white lamps,
And glitters coldly.

I stand in the window and watch the moon.
She is thin and lustreless,
But I love her.
I know the moon,
And this is an alien city.

Source: Sword Blades and Poppy Seed (1914)

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Poet Amy Lowell 1874–1925

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Imagist

Subjects Nature, Stars, Planets, Heavens, Social Commentaries, Cities & Urban Life

Poetic Terms Free Verse, Imagist

 Amy  Lowell

Biography

An oft-quoted remark attributed to poet Amy Lowell applies to both her determined personality and her sense of humor: "God made me a business woman," Lowell is reported to have quipped, "and I made myself a poet." During a career that spanned just over a dozen years, she wrote and published over 650 poems, yet scholars cite Lowell's tireless efforts to awaken American readers to contemporary trends in poetry as her more . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Stars, Planets, Heavens, Social Commentaries, Cities & Urban Life

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Imagist

Poetic Terms Free Verse, Imagist

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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