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About this Poem 

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

Portent

Red cradle of the night, 
     In you 
          The dusky child 
Sleeps fast till his might 
   Shall be piled 
Sinew on sinew. 

Red cradle of the night, 
   The dusky child 
Sleeping sits upright. 
   Lo how 
                    The winds blow now!
   He pillows back; 
The winds are again mild. 

When he stretches his arms out, 
Red cradle of the night, 
   The alarms shout 
From bare tree to tree, 
   Wild 
             In afright! 
Mighty shall he be, 
Red cradle of the night, 
   The dusky child!!

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

Vast and gray, the sky
is a simulacrum
to all but him whose days
are vast and gray, and—
In the tall, dried grasses
a goat stirs
with nozzle searching the ground.
—my head is in the air
but who am I…?
And amazed my heart leaps
at the thought of love
vast and

poem
The pure products of America
go crazy—
mountain folk from Kentucky

or the ribbed north end of 
Jersey
with its isolate lakes and

valleys, its deaf-mutes, thieves
old names
and promiscuity between

devil-may-care men who have taken
to railroading
out of sheer lust of adventure—

and young slatterns, bathed
in
2
poem

       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