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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
The half-stripped trees
struck by a wind together,
bending all,
the leaves flutter drily
and refuse to let go
or driven like hail
stream bitterly out to one side
and fall
where the salvias, hard carmine,—
like no leaf that ever was—
edge the bare garden.
poem
I

By the road to the contagious hospital
under the surge of the blue
mottled clouds driven from the
northeast-a cold wind.  Beyond, the
waste of broad, muddy fields
brown with dried weeds, standing and fallen

patches of standing water
the scattering of tall trees

All along the road the reddish
purplish,
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