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. I Am An Atheist Who Says His Prayers 1/8/2016
4. Conscription Camp 4/16/2010
5. Love For A Hand 4/16/2010
6. The Dome Of Sunday 4/16/2010
7. University 4/16/2010
8. The Piano Tuner’s Wife 4/16/2010
9. Troop Train 4/16/2010
10. Sunday: New Guinea 4/16/2010
11. The Fly 4/16/2010
12. The Alphabet 4/16/2010
13. The Conscientious Objector 4/16/2010
14. Buick 4/16/2010
15. Going To School 4/16/2010
16. The Olive Tree 1/13/2003
17. A Garden In Chicago 1/13/2003
18. California Winter 3/1/2004
19. Manhole Covers 1/13/2003

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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


As a sloop with a sweep of immaculate wing on her delicate spine
And a keel as steel as a root that holds in the sea as she leans,
Leaning and laughing, my warm-hearted beauty, you ride, you ride,
You tack on the curves with parabola speed and a kiss of goodbye,
Like a thoroughbred sloop, my new high-spirited spirit, my kiss.

As my foot suggests that you leap in the air with your hips of a girl,
My finger that praises your wheel and announces your voices of song,

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