poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

About this Poem 

“Altitude” was published in Ridge’s book Sun-up and other poems (B. W. Huebsch, 1920).

Altitude

I wonder
how it would be here with you,
where the wind
that has shaken off its dust in low valleys
touches one cleanly,
as with a new-washed hand,
and pain
is as the remote hunger of droning things,
and anger
but a little silence
sinking into the great silence.

This poem is in the public domain.

This poem is in the public domain.

Lola Ridge

Lola Ridge

Born in Dublin on December 12, 1873, Lola Ridge grew up in mining towns in New Zealand and Australia. When she was thirty-four years old, she immigrated to the United States, eventually settling in New York City.

by this poet

poem
Long vast shapes... cooled and flushed through with darkness...
Lidless windows
Glazed with a flashy luster
From some little pert café chirping up like a sparrow.
And down among iron guts
Piled silver
Throwing gray spatter of light... pale without heat...
Like the pallor of dead bodies.
poem
(Shadows over a cradle...
fire-light craning...,
A hand
throws something in the fire
and a smaller hand
runs into the flame and out again,
singed and empty...,
Shadows
settling over a cradle...
two hands
and a fire.)
poem

Drab discoloration
Of faces, façades, pawn-shops,
Second-hand clothing,
Smoky and fly-blown glass of lunch-rooms,
Odors of rancid life. . .

Deadly uniformity
Of eyes and windows
Alike devoid of light. . .
Holes wherein life scratches—
Mangy life
Nosing to the