Conrad Potter Aiken

(5 August 1889 – 17 August 1973 / Savannah, Georgia)

Multitudes Turn In Darkness - Poem by Conrad Potter Aiken

The half-shut doors through which we heard that music
Are softly closed. Horns mutter down to silence,
The stars wheel out, the night grows deep.
Darkness settles upon us; a Vague refrain
Drowsily teases at the drowsy brain.
In numberless rooms we stretch ourselves and sleep.

Where have we been ? What savage chaos of music
Whirls in our dreams? We suddenly rise in darkness,
Open our eyes, cry out, and sleep once more.
We dream we are numberless sea-waves, languidly foaming
A warm white moonlit shore;

Or clouds blown windily over a sky at midnight,
Or chords of music scattered in hurrying darkness,
Or a singing sound of rain
We open our eyes and stare at the coiling darkness,
And enter our dreams again.


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010



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