“The Apprentice: I. Chanson de Blackboulé” by Emanuel Carnevali

The Apprentice


Chanson de Blackboulé

Just as the passing wind
catches the word of the glittering leaves,
I'd make your curled lips tingle
with a swift kiss — should you let me.
you see me bent and doubled up
by silence
in silence
and my words are harsh,
sounds of a body that breaks.

You turn your wide eyes,
ever bewildered,
bewildered as the sun when it glances
its first glance on the lake, at dawn,
you see all things with newness,
you see all,
all but my love.
Well, that's how it goes, eh, Annie?
All but my clumsy, self-accursed love
under my bent and folded
body awe-full of raptures,
awe-full of the tree-tops and leaves skipping, snap-
under those clouds, —
clouds that the moon is kissing
over my silent head.
That's how things go and that's
precisely how things should go —
that's how the wind presses our cheeks a moment
and dips
behind us away, it's how
it stretches a ribbon over our eyelids
and pulls it from behind, it's my heels pounding the
it's how things go, the way
they happen,
the morning, the evening and night —
how they come and they go and are going
and linger,
it's love that comes and love
that does not come.

I'll say no hands
will know your hands as mine do,
your hands that are soft as the grass is.
But there's no answer coming
to me, so
don't worry, Annie.
Don't worry, wide round eyes.
Do turn around and
around, wide round eyes,
and soft slender hands do whisper
of easy happiness and of a young
and you, dear child, do say,
do say and repeat,
do repeat most vigorously
that you don't love me.
I have today again uncovered the sky and have found
ever so cool and ever so new, under.
I wait for no answer, and no thing
to ask, and no thing
to say, besides what you know and I know
and that which
to the end of days
will have one and an only
and no meaning
and all meanings and

Emanuel Carnevali's "Chanson de Blackboulé" was the first poem in the sequence "The Apprentice" published in the third Others anthology (1920). To read this poem in this publication context, follow the link below:


“A Rainy Day in April” by Francis Ledwidge

A Rainy Day in April

When the clouds shake their hyssops, and the rain
Like holy water falls upon the plain,
'Tis sweet to gaze upon the springing grain
      And see your harvest born.

And sweet the little breeze of melody
The blackbird puffs upon the budding tree,
While the wild poppy lights upon the lea
      And blazes 'mid the corn.

The skylark soars the freshening shower to hail,
And the meek daisy holds aloft her pail,
And Spring all radiant by the wayside pale
      Sets up her rock and reel.

See how she weaves her mantle fold on fold,
Hemming the woods and carpeting the wold.
Her warp is of the green, her woof the gold.
       The spinning world her wheel.

Francis Ledwidge's poem "A Rainy Day in April" was published in Georgian Poetry 1913-1915. To read the poem in this publication context, follow the links below:



Project Gutenberg (text version)

“Patterns” by Amy Lowell


I walk down the garden paths,
And all the daffodils
Are blowing, and the bright blue squills.
I walk down the patterned garden paths
In my stiff, brocaded gown.
With my powdered hair and jewelled fan,
I too am a rare
Pattern. As I wander down
The garden paths.

My dress is richly figured,
And the train
Makes a pink and silver stain
On the gravel, and the thrift
Of the borders.
Just a plate of current fashion,
Tripping by in high-heeled, ribboned shoes.
Not a softness anywhere about me,
Only whale-bone and brocade.

And I sink on a seat in the shade
Of a lime tree. For my passion
Wars against the stiff brocade.
The daffodils and squills
Flutter in the breeze
As they please.
And I weep ;
For the lime tree is in blossom
And one small flower has dropped upon my bosom.

And the plashing of waterdrops
In the marble fountain
Comes down the garden paths.
The dripping never stops.
Underneath my stiffened gown
Is the softness of a woman bathing in a marble basin,
A basin in the midst of hedges grown
So thick, she cannot see her lover hiding,
But she guesses he is near,
And the sliding of the water
Seems the stroking of a dear
Hand upon her.
What is Summer in a fine brocaded gown!
I should like to see it lying in a heap upon the ground.
All the pink and silver crumpled up on the ground.

I would be the pink and silver as I ran along the paths,
And he would stumble after
Bewildered by my laughter.
I should see the sun flashing from his sword hilt and
            the buckles on his shoes.
I would choose
To lead him in a maze along the patterned paths,
A bright and laughing maze for my heavy-booted lover,
Till he caught me in the shade,
And the buttons of his waistcoat bruised my body as
            he clasped me,
Aching, melting, unafraid.
With the shadows of the leaves and the sundrops,
And the plopping of the waterdrops,
All about us in the open afternoon —
I am very like to swoon
With the weight of this brocade,
For the sun sifts through the shade.

Underneath the fallen blossom
In my bosom,
Is a letter I have hid.
It was brought to me this morning by a rider from the
'Madam, we regret to inform you that Lord Hartwell
Died in action Thursday sen'night."
As I read it in the white, morning sunlight,
The letters squirmed like snakes.
"Any answer, Madam," said my footman.
"No," I told him.
"See that the messenger takes some refreshment.
No, no answer."
And I walked into the garden,
Up and down the patterned paths,
In my stiff, correct brocade.
The blue and yellow flowers stood up proudly in the sun,
Each one.
I stood upright too,
Held rigid to the pattern
By the stiffness of my gown.
Up and down I walked,
Up and down.

In a month he would have been my husband.
In a month, here, underneath this lime,
We would have broke the pattern.
He for me, and I for him,
He as Colonel, I as Lady,
On this shady seat.
He had a whim
That sunlight carried blessing

And I answered, "It shall be as you have said."
Now he is dead.
In Summer and in Winter I shall walk
Up and down
The patterned garden paths
In my stiff, brocaded gown.
The squills and daffodils
Will give place to pillared roses, and to asters, and to snow.
I shall go
Up and down,
In my gown.
Gorgeously arrayed,
Boned and stayed.
And the softness of my body will be guarded from em-
By each button, hook, and lace.
For the man who should loose me is dead,
Fighting with the Duke in Flanders,
In a pattern called a war.
Christ! What are patterns for?

Amy Lowell's poem "Patterns" was published in the anthology, Some Imagist Poets, 1916. To read the poem in this publication context, follow the links below:


The Modernist Journals Project

Project Gutenberg (text file)

“Wheels” by Nancy Cunard


I sometimes think that all our thoughts are wheels
Rolling forever through the painted world,
Moved by the cunning of a thousand clowns
Dressed paper-wise, with blatant rounded masks,
That take their multi-coloured caravans
From place to place, and act and leap and sing,
Catching the spinning hoops when cymbals clash.
And one is dressed as Fate, and one as Death,
The rest that represent Love, Joy and Sin,
Join hands in solemn stage-learnt ecstasy,
While Folly beats a drum with golden pegs,
And mocks that shrouded Jester called Despair.
The dwarves and other curious satellites,
Voluptuous-mouthed, with slyly-pointed steps,
Strut in the circus while the people stare.—


Nancy Cunard's poem "Wheels" was the first poem published in the 1916 Wheels poetry anthology. To read this poem in full in a digitized version of this publication, click the following links:


The Modernist Journals Project

“Vita Nuova” by Helen Hoyt

Vita Nuova

I have entered into my heritance;
I am also one of the kingdom.
Oh it is good to the heart,
The pride of it swelleth the heart,
The love of it reacheth forth the hands in greeting.
Lo, I have part in the clouds
And the stars are mind and the sunlight;


Helen Hoyt's poem "Vita Nuova" was published in the 1917 Others anthology. To read the poem in full in a digitized version of this publication, click the following links: