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. Sunday: New Guinea 4/16/2010
10. The Fly 4/16/2010
11. The Alphabet 4/16/2010
12. The Conscientious Objector 4/16/2010
13. Troop Train 4/16/2010
14. Buick 4/16/2010
15. Going To School 4/16/2010
16. A Garden In Chicago 1/13/2003
17. The Olive Tree 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


Mail-day, and over the world in a thousand drag-nets
The bundles of letters are dumped on the docks and beaches,
And all that is dear to the personal conscious reaches
Around us again like filings around iron magnets,
And war stands aside for an hour and looks at our faces
Of total absorption that seem to have lost their places.

O demobilized for a moment, a world is made human,

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