By Josephine Miles 1911–1985 Josephine Miles
So populous the region
That from the next region
The crowing of children, barking of cars could be heard,
So that a continuous linkage
Of sounds of living ran
In the limber air,
District to district, Woodlake to Montclair,
Freestone to Smithfield, and one child’s cry
Was not concealed from any trade route,
Or passer by,
Or upstairs island of thought withdrawn,
Or basement of submerged magnificence.
One crow
Welkened the evening sky,
Bark blasted the dark,
Like an assertion in a time of assent,
Or an increase to astonishment.

June 1958

Source: Poetry (June 2012).


This poem originally appeared in the June 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

June 2012
 Josephine  Miles


Lifelong California resident Josephine Miles distinguished herself as an educator, spending her entire academic career at the University of California, Berkeley, where she was the first woman to be tenured in the English department. She is remembered as the editor of anthologies and critical texts, as an author of books on poetic style and language, and as an award-winning poet who produced over a dozen books of poems. Her . . .

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SUBJECT Social Commentaries, Cities & Urban Life


Poetic Terms Free Verse

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