They have watered the street, It shines in the glare of lamps, Cold, white lamps, And lies Like a slow-moving river, Barred with silver and black. Cabs go down it, One, And then another, Between them I hear the shuffling of feet. Tramps doze on the window-ledges, Night-walkers pass along the sidewalks. The city is squalid and sinister, With the silver-barred street in the midst, Slow-moving, A river leading nowhere. Opposite my window, The moon cuts, Clear and round, Through the plum-coloured night. She cannot light the city: It is too bright. It has white lamps, And glitters coldly. I stand in the window and watch the moon. She is thin and lustreless, But I love her. I know the moon, And this is an alien city.
This poem is in the public domain.
A vivacious and outspoken businesswoman, Amy Lowell tended to excite controversy. She was deeply interested in and influenced by the Imagist movement, led by Ezra Pound, who believed in the importance of concentrated language. Lowell campaigned for the success of Imagist poetry in America and embraced its principles in her own work.