Not for That City

By Charlotte Mew 1869–1928 Charlotte Mew
Not for that city of the level sun,
     Its golden streets and glittering gates ablaze—
     The shadeless, sleepless city of white days,
White nights, or nights and days that are as one—
We weary, when all is said , all thought, all done.
     We strain our eyes beyond this dusk to see
     What, from the threshold of eternity
We shall step into. No, I think we shun
The splendour of that everlasting glare,
   The clamour of that never-ending song.
   And if for anything we greatly long,
It is for some remote and quiet stair
     Which winds to silence and a space for sleep
     Too sound for waking and for dreams too deep.

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Poet Charlotte Mew 1869–1928

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Living, Death, Time & Brevity, Religion, The Spiritual

Poetic Terms Metaphor, Rhymed Stanza

 Charlotte  Mew

Biography

The life of turn-of-the-twentieth-century British writer Charlotte Mew was full of tragedy from beginning to end. Mew was born in London in 1869 into a family of seven children; she was the eldest daughter. While she was still a child, three of her brothers died. Later, another brother and then a sister were committed to mental hospitals in their twenties where they would spend the rest of their lives. That left only Charlotte . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death, Time & Brevity, Religion, The Spiritual

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Poetic Terms Metaphor, Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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