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“So many gods!”

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So many gods!   
They’re like books—you can’t read everything, you never know anything.   
Happy the man who knows but one god, and keeps him a secret.   
Every day I have different beliefs—
Sometimes in the same day I have different beliefs—
And I wish I were the child now crossing   
The view from my window of the street below.   
He’s eating a cheap pastry (he’s poor) without efficient or final cause,   
An animal uselessly raised above the other vertebrates,   
And through his teeth he sings a ribald show tune . . .   
Yes, there are many gods,   
But I’d give anything to the one who’d take that child out of my sight.   




March 9, 1930



Source: Poetry (April 2009)

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This poem originally appeared in the April 2009 issue of Poetry magazine

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“So many gods!”

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