poem index

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

About this Poem 

“Crude Lament” was published in The Tempers (Elkin Mathews, 1913). 

Crude Lament

       Mother of flames,
       The men that went ahunting
Are asleep in the snow drifts.
       You have kept the fire burning!
Crooked fingers that pull
Fuel from among the wet leaves,
       Mother of flames
       You have kept the fire burning!
The young wives have fallen asleep
With wet hair, weeping,
       Mother of flames!
The young men raised the heavy spears
And are gone prowling in the darkness.
       O mother of flames,
       You who have kept the fire burning!
       Lo, I am helpless!
Would God they had taken me with them!

This poem is in the public domain. 

This poem is in the public domain. 

William Carlos Williams

William Carlos Williams

Poet, novelist, essayist, and playwright William Carlos Williams is often said to have been one of the principal poets of the Imagist movement.

by this poet

poem

I tried to put a bird in a cage.
                O fool that I am!
         For the bird was Truth.
Sing merrily, Truth: I tried to put
                 Truth in a cage!

And when I had the bird in the cage,
                 O fool that I am!
          Why, it broke my pretty cage

poem

My wife’s new pink slippers
have gay pom-poms.
There is not a spot or a stain
on their satin toes or their sides.
All night they lie together
under her bed’s edge.
Shivering I catch sight of them
and smile, in the morning.
Later I watch them
descending the stair,

poem
I

By the road to the contagious hospital
under the surge of the blue
mottled clouds driven from the
northeast-a cold wind.  Beyond, the
waste of broad, muddy fields
brown with dried weeds, standing and fallen

patches of standing water
the scattering of tall trees

All along the road the reddish
purplish,