Harriet Monroe (23 December 1860 – 26 September 1936 / Chicago, Illinois)
Sometimes I laugh—what else can a man do
Who does not know ? This little ego here
Braving the void, this fleck upon the blue,
This filmy wing sounding the starry sphere—
What bold abysmal incongruity,
What joke of the gods to make a mock of me !
I hear you sing, and wonder how you dare.
Too fine for song they are—the tint of the rose,
The touch of a child, love's beauty and despair,
All the sad furtive exquisiteness that blows,
Like scent of gardens I may never see,
Across my sense to make a mock of me.
That I, this atom infinitesimal,
This chance-blown seed of flesh and fire, that I
Should front the dread immensity, the all,
Shocking the silence with my futile cry—
What dark inscrutable absurdity,
What joke of the gods to make a mock of me!
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