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April 03, 1940 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1940-04-03

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PERSPECTIVES

PageSeven

lDDRESS TO THE REFUGEES
by John Brinnin

WE HAVE the statue for it-Liberty,
Whose classic vulgar hands invite you Home;
Whatever future stormed your reverie
Upon the lank Atlantic wastes, come,
Dissolve the terror and suspend the night;
Bid every dragon for a little while be dumb.
We, too, have tasted insolence, the weight
Of wilful ignorance; drilled on our eyes,
Have felt, somehow, the Gothic headlines cut
The brands of outraged innocence across
Yourunmoved mouth. Without a foreign gift,
Bereft of anything-but prophecies
To place intrepidly upon our soft, _
Unbludgeoned palms, come into this, our day,
Where promises, at least, are someway left,
Where Love. perhaps, may find its ultimate way
Since we are young, and all our documents
Have not subfitted and will not betray.
HERE, Where the haloes of neon ascend,
We have- erected this cloud-cancelling
And always empty-windowed testament,
Stones on imported stone . . wing upon wing
Arrive -the unpossessable slow gulls,
(Like voices from the slums starved out of song)
Nlght:brooding ,on the sadness of the hells,
(The mazda-cheered departings on the quays)
As murkily anonymous as calls
That climb the lime-lit arms of seldom trees;
Such are the dominant; coldly abroad )
As independent as a reptile's eyes.
Come, then, to all of this, where even God
Competes with chewing gum in shifts of song;
Take these our presents, or permit the rod
City Night
N THE recurrent warmth of a season dead
Bringing melancholy to a fall
Militantly rich, flaunting a brawl
Of crackling leaves, laughing at the whirl,
The men of the city sit within;
Crouch to the window, listen, alone
In the dark to the night's moan
As of a sea's coming again.
Listen, tense, nourishing uncried want;
Eyes shut, then stare with despair
Desire the street life's all embracing air.
Deluded that decay has sprung within,
That favored souls cry out their joy
And dance in other streets with triumph light;
(A father's sin has struck this blight)
Sit, and shudder at the human touch.
Twelve gray hours endured the city's stupor,
Depression following the wind's mania,
Grim if it-were not indifferent.
The day was, darkness belonged to the night and
There was not time, nor care
To hide the symptoms standing bare:
The monotoned wood of four Walls
That are four and.wood and are gray again and again
In blocked infinity.
In tone, the grayaf the living forms within stand fixed
And do not ask for sympathy.
After these twelve gray hours
Came the rain
Dissolving even memory of the past."
The rain select.and gives the city form.
Black glamour drapes the inharmonious
And even dirt in- lquidlight,
Where the sleek city's gleam isromantie,
The mistis sweet andsoft in the night
It lulls the .mind relaxed"
By the dul drip repetitive.
Agnes H. 'Stein.

Its senseless retribution on your wrong;
And when you are become insentient with
Our swing andsorrow, articulate a thing
Learned darkly in the old province of death;
Show us one milestone arrowed Liberty,
Who rush toward dispossession lacking faith.
III
W E KNOW the shape of noble sympathy:
A sparrow's sudden fall is high concern
Among the traffic's mortal arteries,
Within the wilderness of No Return;
o you will learn it long before the Spring'
Has taught you how to cross a street or mourn.
Accept these lolling citizens who swing
As barbarous as the flowering underseas;
They are your fears come to a reckoning
Upon the alien squares; they are the lies,
Like skeletons of promises you made
Before the crippled cross leaned on the skies.
'Ilness claims us. all, who learn to hate
Not killers and the causes of alagn,
But symbols of disguise that separate
Victim' from vengeance in the gathering storm;
Point out an eye of malice in its mask,
A wolfishjaw, a death-delighted arm;
In guilt of ignorance, freely may we ask
That insight learned in violence to keep
Our native headsman from his headsman's task.
IV
BEFORE the last plane west, there is hope,
Conjoin the tissues of your outlawed blood
With ours. 0; daughters of the banished, keep
Your tragic dignity, but come, regard
Our landscape with an abruised eye,
Of life and builders be the fountainhead.
That when the lordly name for refugee
The beautiful rebellious, all who stand
As stubborn as their poverty, the day
Will echo with our young consanguine hands;
Impoverished with grief, no ship will sail
Into the luckier harbors of strange lands,
But everywhere will ancient peace prevail;
Who sing, as impermissible as flame,
Within the bareness of some hunted hall,
Must learn defiance like a given name.
There is no five-day boat to cooling Mars;
There is no saviour prematurely come;
Whatever acre in the rush of stars
Will bear our footprints like a race of men
Awaits the tenant on his native shores.
Year Before Next
UMMER dragging geese feet in yellow wine,
The houses melting on the chocolate soil,
Pursuit of golf balls in the flippant day,
Blue with the frill of what white cloud
Fastened at the oceans wrist.
Broad leafed and staggering, the foliage
Climbs -the parlor wall; patchoul slices
Through the piano strings while Chopin
Drags vines across the ocean floors'
Of living rooms barb-wired for sound,
The cole slaw fingers of the summer corpse
Lie rotting; maggot-peppered on the pantry shel,
Cool the seashore glasses of pale lemonade,
While ladles, drinking and outbidding each,
Are safe beneath some garden wall.
Howrd Mts

I

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