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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
My townspeople, beyond in the great world,
are many with whom it were far more
profitable for me to live than here with you.
These whirr about me calling, calling!
and for my own part I answer them, loud as I can,
but they, being free, pass!
I remain! Therefore, listen!
For you will not soon have another singer
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
It was an icy day.
We buried the cat,
then took her box
and set fire to it

in the back yard.
Those fleas that escaped
earth and fire
died by the cold.