Karl Shapiro

(10 November 1913 – 14 May 2000 / Baltimore, Maryland)

Karl Shapiro Poems

1. The Intellectual 4/16/2010
2. Aside 4/16/2010
3. Conscription Camp 4/16/2010
4. Love For A Hand 4/16/2010
5. The Fly 4/16/2010
6. The Dome Of Sunday 4/16/2010
7. The Alphabet 4/16/2010
8. University 4/16/2010
9. The Piano Tuner’s Wife 4/16/2010
10. Troop Train 4/16/2010
11. Going To School 4/16/2010
12. Sunday: New Guinea 4/16/2010
13. Buick 4/16/2010
14. The Conscientious Objector 4/16/2010
15. A Garden In Chicago 1/13/2003
16. California Winter 3/1/2004
17. The Olive Tree 1/13/2003
18. Manhole Covers 1/13/2003
Best Poem of Karl Shapiro

Manhole Covers

The beauty of manhole covers--what of that?
Like medals struck by a great savage khan,
Like Mayan calendar stones, unliftable, indecipherable,
Not like the old electrum, chased and scored,
Mottoed and sculptured to a turn,
But notched and whelked and pocked and smashed
With the great company names
(Gentle Bethlehem, smiling United States).
This rustproof artifact of my street,
Long after roads are melted away will lie
Sidewise in the grave of the iron-old world,
Bitten at the edges,
Strong with its cryptic American,
Its dated beauty.

Read the full of Manhole Covers

Conscription Camp

Your landscape sickens with a dry disease
Even in May, Virginia, and your sweet pines
Like Frenchmen runted in a hundred wars
Are of a child’s height in these battlefields.

For Wilson sowed his teeth where generals prayed
—High-sounding Lafayette and sick-eyed Lee—
The loud Elizabethan crashed your swamps
Like elephants and the subtle Indian fell.

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