Treasure Island

William Carlos Williams

(17 September 1883 – 4 March 1963 / New Jersey)

Overture to a Dance of Locomotives


Men with picked voices chant the names
of cities in a huge gallery: promises
that pull through descending stairways
to a deep rumbling.

The rubbing feet
of those coming to be carried quicken a
grey pavement into soft light that rocks
to and fro, under the domed ceiling,
across and across from pale
earthcolored walls of bare limestone.

Covertly the hands of a great clock
go round and round! Were they to
move quickly and at once the whole
secret would be out and the shuffling
of all ants be done forever.

A leaning pyramid of sunlight, narrowing
out at a high window, moves by the clock:
disaccordant hands straining out from
a center: inevitable postures infinitely
repeated--
two--twofour--twoeight!
Porters in red hats run on narrow platforms.
This way ma'am!
--important not to take
the wrong train!
Lights from the concrete
ceiling hang crooked but--
Poised horizontal
on glittering parallels the dingy cylinders
packed with a warm glow--inviting entry--
pull against the hour. But brakes can
hold a fixed posture till--
The whistle!

Not twoeight. Not twofour. Two!

Gliding windows. Colored cooks sweating
in a small kitchen. Taillights--

In time: twofour!
In time: twoeight!

--rivers are tunneled: trestles
cross oozy swampland: wheels repeating
the same gesture remain relatively
stationary: rails forever parallel
return on themselves infinitely.
The dance is sure.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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

What do you think this poem is about?



Read poems about / on: concrete, dance, red, time, light, river, running, city

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 (Overture to a Dance of Locomotives by William Carlos Williams )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. أولوية, مالك حداد
  2. Finding Self, Pradip Chattopadhyay
  3. سأهبك غزالة, مالك حداد
  4. To my one and only (April 3,2014), Didith Marcelo
  5. de compras, Von Kimball Barney
  6. المهمة التي أنجزت, مالك حداد
  7. سأهبك الشاطئ, مالك حداد
  8. المخاض العظيم, مالك حداد
  9. أيذكر الصيف؟, مالك حداد
  10. The Pearl of great price, John F. McCullagh

Poem of the Day

poet Paul Laurence Dunbar

The mist has left the greening plain,
The dew-drops shine like fairy rain,
The coquette rose awakes again
Her lovely self adorning.

The Wind is hiding in the trees,
...... Read complete »

   

Trending Poems

  1. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. If, Rudyard Kipling
  4. Twice Shy, Seamus Heaney
  5. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  6. First Lesson, Philip Booth
  7. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  8. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  9. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  10. No Man Is An Island, John Donne

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]