“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:



“A Lonely Place” by Edward Shanks

A Lonely Place

The leafless trees, the untidy stack
Last rainy summer raised in haste,
Watch the sky turn from fair to black
And watch the river fill and waste;

But never a footstep comes to trouble
The sea-gulls in the new-sown corn,
Or pigeons rising from late stubble
And flashing lighter as they turn.

Or if a footstep comes, 'tis mine
Sharp on the road or soft on grass:
Silence divides along my line
And shuts behind me as I pass.


Edward Shanks' poem "A Lonely Place" was published in the Georgian Poetry 1920-1922. To read this poem in full in a digitized version of this publication, follow the link below:



“The Return” by Ezra Pound

The Return

See, they return; ah, see the tentative
Movements, and the slow feet,
The trouble in the pace and the uncertain

See, they return, one, and by one,
With fear, as half-awakened;
As if the snow should hesitate
And murmur in the wind
                               and half turn back;
These were the "Wing'd-with-Awe,"


Ezra Pound's poem "The Return" was published in Des Imagistes (1914), the first of the imagist anthologies. The anthology was first published as an issue of the little magazine The Glebe. To read this poem in digitized versions of Des Imagistes, follow the links below:


The Blue Mountain Project (The Glebe)

The Modernist Journals Project (The Glebe)

The Modernist Journals Project (Publisher: Albert and Charles Boni, NY)

The Modernist Journals Project (Publisher: The Poetry Bookshop, London)

“Hard of Hearing” by Alan Porter

Hard of Hearing

Once in April ways
I heard the cuckoo call.
Among more withering days
Haulms twitched and clicked with heat.
I heard the bumping fall
Of yellow plums. My feet
Drew bickerings from the grass
Like thunder-rain on roofs,
Or clattered arms of brass.
Horses' battering hoofs
Ring no louder now
Than once a distant stream.
The grasshopper's old-hussif row
Dies to remembered dream.


Alan Porter's poem "Hard of Hearing" was published in the 1920 Wheels anthology. To read this poem in full in a digitized version of this publication, click the following links:


The Modernist Journals Project

“The Whip of the Unborn” by Alfred Kreymborg

The Whip of the Unborn

It is not she who rends me so -
no, it is not she.
These eyes are not hers that hate me so -
no, they are not hers.
Nor this her breath that flaunts me,
nor these her arms that strangle -
no, these are not hers.


Alfred Kreymborg's poem "The Whip of the Unborn" was published in the 1916 Others anthology. To read this poem in full in a digitized version of this publication, follow the link below: 


“The Death-Bed” by Siegfried Sassoon

The Death-Bed

He drowsed and was aware of silence heaped
Round him, unshaken as the steadfast walls;
Aqueous like floating rays of amber light,
Soaring and quivering in the wings of sleep,
Silence and safety; and his mortal shore
Lipped by the inward, moonless waves of death.

Some one was holding water to his mouth.
He swallowed, unresisting; moaned and dropped
Through crimson gloom to darkness; and forgot
The opiate throb and ache that was his wound.
Water calm, sliding green above the weir;
Water a sky-lit alley for his boat,
Bird-voiced, and bordered with reflected flowers
And shaken hues of summer: drifting down,
He dipped contented oars, and sighed, and slept.

Night, with a gust of wind, was in the ward,
Blowing the curtain to a glimmering curve.
Night. He was blind; he could not see the stars
Glinting among the wraiths of wandering cloud;
Queer blots of colour, purple, scarlet, green,
Flickered and faded in his drowning eyes.


Siegfried Sassoon's poem "The Death-Bed" was published in Georgian Poetry 1916-1917. To read this poem in full in this publication context follow the link(s) below:


Project Gutenberg

“Eurydice” by H.D.


So you have swept me back —
I who could have walked with the live souls
above the earth,
I who could have slept among the live flowers
at last.

So for your arrogance
and your ruthlessness
I am swept back
where dead lichens drip
dead cinders upon moss of ash.

So for your arrogance
I am broken at last,
I who had lived unconscious,
who was almost forgot.

If you had let me wait
I had grown from listlessness
into peace —
if you had let me rest with the dead,
I had forgot you
and the past.


Here only flame upon flame
and black among the red sparks,
streaks of black and light
grown colourless.

Why did you turn back,
that hell should be reinhabited
of myself thus
swept into nothingness?

Why did you turn,
why did you glance back —
why did you hesitate for that moment,
why did you bend your face
caught with the flame of the upper earth
above my face?

What was it that crossed my face
with the light from yours
and your glance?

What was it you saw in my face —
the light of your own face,
the fire of your own presence?

What had my face to offer
but reflex of the earth —
hyacinth colour
caught from the raw fissure in the rock
where the light struck,
and the colour of azure crocuses
and the bright surface of gold crocuses
and of the wind-flower,
swift in its veins as lightning
and as white.


Saffron from the fringe of the earth,
wild saffron that has bent
over the sharp edge of earth,
all the flowers that cut through the earth,
all, all the flowers are lost.
Everything is lost,
everything is crossed with black,
black upon black
and worse than black —
this colourless light.


"Eurydice" by Hilda Doolittle (H.D.) was published in the 1917 Some Imagist Poets anthology. To read the poem in full in digitized versions of this publication, follow the links below:


The Modernist Journals Project

Project Gutenberg