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About this Poem 

“Grotesque” was first published in Pictures of the Floating World (The Macmillan Company, 1919). 

Grotesque

Why do the lilies goggle their tongues at me
When I pluck them;
And writhe, and twist,
And strangle themselves against my fingers,
So that I can hardly weave the garland
For your hair?
Why do they shriek your name
And spit at me
When I would cluster them?
Must I kill them
To make them lie still,
And send you a wreath of lolling corpses
To turn putrid and soft
On your forehead
While you dance?

This poem is in the public domain. 

This poem is in the public domain. 

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 O'Clock.

by this poet

poem
          Goaded and harassed in the factory
           That tears our life up into bits of days
           Ticked off upon a clock which never stays,
          Shredding our portion of Eternity,
          We break away at last, and steal the key
           Which hides a world empty of hours; ways
           Of
poem
          What instinct forces man to journey on,
           Urged by a longing blind but dominant!
           Nothing he sees can hold him, nothing daunt
          His never failing eagerness. The sun
          Setting in splendour every night has won
           His vassalage; those towers flamboyant
poem
          Look, Dear, how bright the moonlight is to-night!
          See where it casts the shadow of that tree
          Far out upon the grass. And every gust
          Of light night wind comes laden with the scent
          Of opening flowers which never bloom by day:
          Night-scented stocks, and