which I had tried to quintessentialize, as (I believe) one scarce can do

in rhyme." The desire to "quintessentialize", to head-up an emotion

until it burns white-hot, seems to be an integral part of the modern

temper, and certainly "unrhymed cadence" is unique in its power of

expressing this.

Three of these poems are written in a form which, so far as I know, has

never before been attempted in English. M. Paul Fort is its inventor,

and the results it has yielded to him are most beautiful and

satisfactory. Perhaps it is more suited to the French language than to

English. But I found it the only medium in which these particular poems

could be written. It is a fluid and changing form, now prose, now

verse, and permitting a great variety of treatment.

But the reader will see that I have not entirely abandoned the more

classic English metres. I cannot see why, because certain manners suit

certain emotions and subjects, it should be considered imperative for an

author to employ no others. Schools are for those who can confine

themselves within them. Perhaps it is a weakness in me that I cannot.

In conclusion, I would say that these remarks are in answer to many

questions asked me by people who have happened to read some of these

poems in periodicals. They are not for the purpose of forestalling

criticism, nor of courting it; and they deal, as I said in the

beginning, solely with the question of technique. For the more

important part of the book, the poems must speak for themselves.

Amy Lowell.

May 19, 1914.

Contents

Sword Blades and Poppy Seed

Sword Blades

The Captured Goddess

The Precinct. Rochester

The Cyclists

Sunshine through a Cobwebbed Window

A London Thoroughfare. 2 A.M.

Astigmatism

The Coal Picker

Storm-Racked

Convalescence

Patience

Apology

A Petition

A Blockhead

Stupidity

Irony

Happiness

The Last Quarter of the Moon

A Tale of Starvation

The Foreigner

Absence

A Gift

The Bungler

Fool's Money Bags

Miscast I

Miscast II

Anticipation

Vintage

The Tree of Scarlet Berries

Obligation

The Taxi

The Giver of Stars

The Temple

Epitaph of a Young Poet Who Died Before Having Achieved Success

In Answer to a Request

Poppy Seed

The Great Adventure of Max Breuck

Sancta Maria, Succurre Miseris

After Hearing a Waltz by Bartok

Clear, with Light, Variable Winds

The Basket

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