Karl Shapiro

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

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.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003
Edited: Friday, July 29, 2011

Form:


Do you like this poem?
3 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: beauty, world, smile

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Manhole Covers by Karl Shapiro )

Enter the verification code :

  • Rookie - 281 Points Daniel Y. (4/9/2014 8:04:00 PM)

    A beautiful poem, full of wit and style.
    It's similar to some that I've done. Check out my poems
    Tissues
    and
    The Couch (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 130 Points Sidi Mahtrow (4/5/2012 7:54:00 AM)

    It lies there
    Surrounded by metal, as its own
    Encased in concrete
    Long hardened and dark with age.

    But below,
    A hidden kingdom
    Where elves play
    Emitting foul aromas
    That keep mankind away.

    And in these dark recesses
    Lurks a time capsule of the past
    When man walked upright
    And shouldered his burdens
    But, alas, no more.

    The manhole cover, Covers.

    s (Report) Reply

Read all 4 comments »

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  5. As I Grew Older, Langston Hughes
  6. Mother to Son, Langston Hughes
  7. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
  8. If, Rudyard Kipling
  9. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep, Mary Elizabeth Frye
  10. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe

Poem of the Day

poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Your hands lie open in the long fresh grass, --
The finger-points look through like rosy blooms:
Your eyes smile peace. The pasture gleams and glooms
...... Read complete »

   

New Poems

  1. Poetry Heaven, Kim Barney
  2. Thank You My Love, Margaret Alice Second
  3. My Dream, Michael P. McParland
  4. joshua trees hopping in the trunk of the.., Mandolyn ...
  5. my lovely lovely wife, Rasheed Alqahas
  6. Four Leaf Clover, Eve White
  7. Eric Gone Postal, Eve White
  8. Half-Breed or Racist, Eve White
  9. (Rock ballad) Hold on and letting go, Putri Misnia Shary Bahri (Sh ..
  10. Road Kill, Liilia Talts Morrison
[Hata Bildir]