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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

He perches in the slime, inert,
Bedaubed with iridescent dirt.
The oil upon the puddles dries
To colours like a peacock’s eyes,
And half-submerged tomato-cans
Shine scaly, as leviathans
Oozily crawling through the mud.
The ground is here and there bestud
With lumps of only

poem
          Life is a stream
          On which we strew
          Petal by petal the flower of our heart;
          The end lost in dream,
          They float past our view,
          We only watch their glad, early start.

          Freighted with hope,
          Crimsoned with joy,
          We scatter the
poem
          Near where I live there is a lake
          As blue as blue can be, winds make
          It dance as they go blowing by.
          I think it curtseys to the sky.

          It's just a lake of lovely flowers
          And my Mamma says they are ours;
          But they are not like those we grow