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Towns In Colour - Poem by Amy Lowell


Red Slippers

Red slippers in a shop-window, and outside in the street, flaws of grey,
windy sleet!

Behind the polished glass, the slippers hang in long threads of red,
festooning from the ceiling like stalactites of blood, flooding the eyes
of passers-by with dripping colour, jamming their crimson reflections
against the windows of cabs and tram-cars, screaming their claret and salmon
into the teeth of the sleet, plopping their little round maroon lights
upon the tops of umbrellas.

The row of white, sparkling shop fronts is gashed and bleeding,
it bleeds red slippers. They spout under the electric light,
fluid and fluctuating, a hot rain - and freeze again to red slippers,
myriadly multiplied in the mirror side of the window.

They balance upon arched insteps like springing bridges of crimson lacquer;
they swing up over curved heels like whirling tanagers sucked
in a wind-pocket; they flatten out, heelless, like July ponds,
flared and burnished by red rockets.

Snap, snap, they are cracker-sparks of scarlet in the white, monotonous
block of shops.

They plunge the clangour of billions of vermilion trumpets
into the crowd outside, and echo in faint rose over the pavement.

People hurry by, for these are only shoes, and in a window, farther down,
is a big lotus bud of cardboard whose petals open every few minutes
and reveal a wax doll, with staring bead eyes and flaxen hair,
lolling awkwardly in its flower chair.

One has often seen shoes, but whoever saw a cardboard lotus bud before?

The flaws of grey, windy sleet beat on the shop-window where there are only
red slippers.


Thompson's Lunch Room - Grand Central Station

Study in Whites

Wax-white -
Floor, ceiling, walls.
Ivory shadows
Over the pavement
Polished to cream surfaces
By constant sweeping.
The big room is coloured like the petals
Of a great magnolia,
And has a patina
Of flower bloom
Which makes it shine dimly
Under the electric lamps.
Chairs are ranged in rows
Like sepia seeds
Waiting fulfilment.
The chalk-white spot of a cook's cap
Moves unglossily against the vaguely bright wall -
Dull chalk-white striking the retina like a blow
Through the wavering uncertainty of steam.
Vitreous-white of glasses with green reflections,
Ice-green carboys, shifting - greener, bluer - with the jar of moving water.
Jagged green-white bowls of pressed glass
Rearing snow-peaks of chipped sugar
Above the lighthouse-shaped castors
Of grey pepper and grey-white salt.
Grey-white placards: 'Oyster Stew, Cornbeef Hash, Frankfurters':
Marble slabs veined with words in meandering lines.
Dropping on the white counter like horn notes
Through a web of violins,
The flat yellow lights of oranges,
The cube-red splashes of apples,
In high plated `epergnes'.
The electric clock jerks every half-minute:
'Coming! - Past!'
'Three beef-steaks and a chicken-pie,'
Bawled through a slide while the clock jerks heavily.
A man carries a china mug of coffee to a distant chair.
Two rice puddings and a salmon salad
Are pushed over the counter;
The unfulfilled chairs open to receive them.
A spoon falls upon the floor with the impact of metal striking stone,
And the sound throws across the room
Sharp, invisible zigzags
Of silver.


An Opera House

Within the gold square of the proscenium arch,
A curtain of orange velvet hangs in stiff folds,
Its tassels jarring slightly when someone crosses the stage behind.
Gold carving edges the balconies,
Rims the boxes,
Runs up and down fluted pillars.
Little knife-stabs of gold
Shine out whenever a box door is opened.
Gold clusters
Flash in soft explosions
On the blue darkness,
Suck back to a point,
And disappear.
Hoops of gold
Circle necks, wrists, fingers,
Pierce ears,
Poise on heads
And fly up above them in coloured sparkles.
The opera house is a treasure-box of gold.
Gold in a broad smear across the orchestra pit:
Gold of horns, trumpets, tubas;
Gold - spun-gold, twittering-gold, snapping-gold
Of harps.
The conductor raises his baton,
The brass blares out
Crass, crude,
Parvenu, fat, powerful,
Rich as the fat, clapping hands in the boxes.
Cymbals, gigantic, coin-shaped,
The orange curtain parts
And the prima-donna steps forward.
One note,
A drop: transparent, iridescent,
A gold bubble,
It floats . . . floats . . .
And bursts against the lips of a bank president
In the grand tier.


Afternoon Rain in State Street

Cross-hatchings of rain against grey walls,
Slant lines of black rain
In front of the up and down, wet stone sides of buildings.
Greasy, shiny, black, horizontal,
The street.
And over it, umbrellas,
Black polished dots
Struck to white
An instant,
Stream in two flat lines
Slipping past each other with the smoothness of oil.
Like a four-sided wedge
The Custom House Tower
Pokes at the low, flat sky,
Pushing it farther and farther up,
Lifting it away from the house-tops,
Lifting it in one piece as though it were a sheet of tin,
With the lever of its apex.
The cross-hatchings of rain cut the Tower obliquely,
Scratching lines of black wire across it,
Mutilating its perpendicular grey surface
With the sharp precision of tools.
The city is rigid with straight lines and angles,
A chequered table of blacks and greys.
Oblong blocks of flatness
Crawl by with low-geared engines,
And pass to short upright squares
Shrinking with distance.
A steamer in the basin blows its whistle,
And the sound shoots across the rain hatchings,
A narrow, level bar of steel.
Hard cubes of lemon
Superimpose themselves upon the fronts of buildings
As the windows light up.
But the lemon cubes are edged with angles
Upon which they cannot impinge.
Up, straight, down, straight - square.
Crumpled grey-white papers
Blow along the side-walks,
Contorted, horrible,
Without curves.
A horse steps in a puddle,
And white, glaring water spurts up
In stiff, outflaring lines,
Like the rattling stems of reeds.
The city is heraldic with angles,
A sombre escutcheon of argent and sable
And countercoloured bends of rain
Hung over a four-square civilization.
When a street lamp comes out,
I gaze at it for fully thirty seconds
To rest my brain with the suffusing, round brilliance of its globe.


An Aquarium

Streaks of green and yellow iridescence,
Silver shiftings,
Rings veering out of rings,
Silver - gold -
Grey-green opaqueness sliding down,
With sharp white bubbles
Shooting and dancing,
Flinging quickly outward.
Nosing the bubbles,
Swallowing them,
Blue shadows against silver-saffron water,
The light rippling over them
In steel-bright tremors.
Outspread translucent fins
Flute, fold, and relapse;
The threaded light prints through them on the pebbles
In scarcely tarnished twinklings.
Curving of spotted spines,
Slow up-shifts,
Lazy convolutions:
Then a sudden swift straightening
And darting below:
Oblique grey shadows
Athwart a pale casement.
Roped and curled,
Green man-eating eels
Slumber in undulate rhythms,
With crests laid horizontal on their backs.
Barred fish,
Striped fish,
Uneven disks of fish,
Slip, slide, whirl, turn,
And never touch.
Metallic blue fish,
With fins wide and yellow and swaying
Like Oriental fans,
Hold the sun in their bellies
And glow with light:
Blue brilliance cut by black bars.
An oblong pane of straw-coloured shimmer,
Across it, in a tangent,
A smear of rose, black, silver.
Short twists and upstartings,
Rose-black, in a setting of bubbles:
Sunshine playing between red and black flowers
On a blue and gold lawn.
Shadows and polished surfaces,
Facets of mauve and purple,
A constant modulation of values.
With green bead eyes;
Swift spots of chrysolite and coral;
In the midst of green, pearl, amethyst irradiations.

A willow-tree flickers
With little white jerks,
And long blue waves
Rise steadily beyond the outer islands.

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Poems About Green

  1. 101. Towns In Colour , Amy Lowell
  2. 102. Green: The Color... [green Things] , Bri Edwards
  3. 103. The Nut-Brown Maid , Anonymous Olde English
  4. 104. The Plea Of The Midsummer Fairies , Thomas Hood
  5. 105. Green Eyes , Ray Hansell
  6. 106. The Hall And The Wood , William Morris
  7. 107. Sestina: A Bird In The Bamboo , Diane Hine
  8. 108. The Three Drinkers , Robert Graves
  9. 109. The Troubadour. Canto 4 , Letitia Elizabeth Landon
  10. 110. Oh! Green, Stay Green! , Valsa George
  11. 111. 300 Masked Cried Vagrants Farmer , starseven0 starseven0
  12. 112. The Rush-Bearing At Ambleside , Letitia Elizabeth Landon
  13. 113. The Four Queens (Maoriland) , Arthur Henry Adams
  14. 114. When Green Leaves Come Again , Dinah Maria Mulock Craik
  15. 115. The Green Above The Red , Thomas Davis
  16. 116. Temora - Book Viii , James Macpherson
  17. 117. On A Landscape Bt Rubens , William Lisle Bowles
  18. 118. Green Is My Theme , Happy Place
  19. 119. Green Fat , Mr. Bean
  20. 120. The Dream Of The World Without Death , William Cosmo Monkhouse
  21. 121. Hot Afternoons Have Been In Montana , Eli Siegel
  22. 122. Color Me! , Sophia White
  23. 123. Broccoli - Not Blueberries , Herbert Nehrlich
  24. 124. One For Sorrow; Two For Joy , Hugh Mitchell
  25. 125. Ode To Hayes , Mike Hunt
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  27. 127. Kyrielle Sonnet: From Winter To Spring , Dr. A.Celestine Raj Manohar ..
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  29. 129. Green Man , David Harris
  30. 130. Sestina: Harvard In A Fictive Light , William F Dougherty
  31. 131. A Natural Green , Premila Patel
  32. 132. Science Science , Charles Hice
  33. 133. The Churchyard , William Cosmo Monkhouse
  34. 134. Glenside , Stevi Lee Alver
  35. 135. Orange And Green Will Carry The Day , Thomas Davis
  36. 136. Much More Than Love , Marieta Maglas
  37. 137. 'Green Bananas' , Linda Winchell
  38. 138. Green , Bianca N/A
  39. 139. The Green Alligator , Sidi J. Mahtrow
  40. 140. How Many Shades Of Green , Shalom Freedman
  41. 141. Across The Green Fields , Marilyn Lott
  42. 142. Sea Surface Full Of Clouds , Wallace Stevens
  43. 143. Caseworker,1962 , Donal Mahoney
  44. 144. Yadwigha, On A Red Couch, Among Lillies , Sylvia Plath
  45. 145. Here Comes Spring , MOHAMMAD SKATI
  46. 146. Final Door....... , karen sinclair
  47. 147. Wild Fire In Your Eyes , ENRIQUE ALBERTO HURTADO MINO ..
  48. 148. Make Grass Green On Your Side , shruti modi
  49. 149. St. Patrick’s Day , Tirupathi Chandrupatla
  50. 150. The Green Flash , Morgan Michaels
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