Venus Transiens

By Amy Lowell 1874–1925 Amy Lowell
Tell me,
Was Venus more beautiful
Than you are,
When she topped
The crinkled waves,
Drifting shoreward
On her plaited shell?
Was Botticelli’s vision
Fairer than mine;
And were the painted rosebuds   
He tossed his lady
Of better worth
Than the words I blow about you
To cover your too great loveliness   
As with a gauze
Of misted silver?

For me,
You stand poised
In the blue and buoyant air,
Cinctured by bright winds,
Treading the sunlight.
And the waves which precede you   
Ripple and stir
The sands at my feet.

Amy Lowell, “Venus Transiens” from The Complete Poetical Works of Amy Lowell. Copyright © 1955 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Copyright © renewed 1983 by Houghton Mifflin Company, Brinton P. Roberts, and G. D'Andelot, Esquire. Reprinted with the permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Source: Poetry (April 1915).

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This poem originally appeared in the April 1915 issue of Poetry magazine

April 1915
 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 Relationships, Painting & Sculpture, Arts & Sciences, Love, Romantic Love

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Imagist

Poetic Terms Imagery, Free Verse, Allusion, Imagist

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