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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amy Lowell
Amy Lowell
Born in 1874, Amy Lowell was deeply interested in and influenced by the Imagist movement and she received the Pulitzer Prize for her collection What's A Clock...
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FURTHER READING
Poems about Libraries
Books
by Gerald Stern
Chance
by Molly Peacock
In the Library
by Charles Simic
My First Memory (of Librarians)
by Nikki Giovanni
The Libraries Didn't Burn
by Elaine Equi
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The Congressional Library [excerpt]

 
by Amy Lowell

Where else in all America are we so symbolized
As in this hall?
White columns polished like glass,
A dome and a dome,
A balcony and a balcony,
Stairs and the balustrades to them,
Yellow marble and red slabs of it,
All mounting, spearing, flying into color.
Color round the dome and up to it,
Color curving, kite-flying, to the second dome,
Light, dropping, pitching down upon the color,
Arrow-falling upon the glass-bright pillars,
Mingled colors spinning into a shape of white pillars,
Fusing, cooling, into balanced shafts of shrill and interthronging light.
This is America,
This vast, confused beauty,
This staring, restless speed of loveliness,
Mighty, overwhelming, crude, of all forms,
Making grandeur out of profusion,
Afraid of no incongruities,
Sublime in its audacity,
Bizarre breaker of moulds,
Laughing with strength,
Charging down on the past,
Glorious and conquering,
Destroyer, builder,
Invincible pith and marrow of the world,
An old world remaking,
Whirling into the no-world of all-colored light.






An excerpt from "The Congressional Library" from What's O'Clock. Copyright © 1955 by Houghton Mifflin Company, Brinton P. Roberts and G. D'Andelot Belin, Esquire. Reprinted with the permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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