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About this Poem 

“A Memory” was published in The Ghetto and Other Poems (B. W. Huebsch, 1918).

A Memory

I remember
The crackle of the palm trees
Over the mooned white roofs of the town…
The shining town…
And the tender fumbling of the surf
On the sulphur-yellow beaches
As we sat…a little apart…in the close-pressing night.

The moon hung above us like a golden mango,
And the moist air clung to our faces,
Warm and fragrant as the open mouth of a child
And we watched the out-flung sea
Rolling to the purple edge of the world,
Yet ever back upon itself…
As we…

Inadequate night…
And mooned white memory
Of a tropic sea…
How softly it comes up
Like an ungathered lily.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on August 15, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on August 15, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

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

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

poem

Do you remember
Honey-melon moon
Dripping thick sweet light
Where Canal Street saunters off by herself among quiet trees?
And the faint decayed patchouli—
Fragrance of New Orleans
Like a dead tube rose
Upheld in the warm air…
Miraculously whole.

poem

Your love was like moonlight
turning harsh things to beauty,
so that little wry souls
reflecting each other obliquely
as in cracked mirrors . . .
beheld in your luminous spirit
their own reflection,
transfigured as in a shining stream,
and loved you for what they are not.