Tone Picture

Poem By Jean Starr Untermeyer

(Malipiero: _Impressioni Dal Vero_)

Across the hot square, where the barbaric sun
Pours coarse laughter on the crowds,
Trumpets throw their loud nooses
From corner to corner.
Elephants, whose indifferent backs
Heave with red lambrequins,
Tigers with golden muzzles,
Negresses, greased and turbaned in green and yellow,
Weave and interweave in the merciless glare of noon.
The sun flicks here and there like a throned tyrant,
Snapping his whip.
From amber platters, the smells ascend
Of overripe peaches mingled with dust and heated oils.
Pages in purple run madly about,
Rolling their eyes and grinning with huge, frightened mouths.

And from a high window- a square of black velvet-
A haughty figure stands back in the shadow,
Aloof and silent.

Comments about Tone Picture

There is no comment submitted by members.

Rating Card

5 out of 5
0 total ratings

Other poems of UNTERMEYER

The Passionate Sword

Temper my spirit, oh Lord,
Burn out its alloy,
And make it a pliant steel for thy wielding,
Not a clumsy toy,

Autumn: To My Mother

How memory cuts away the years,
And how clean the picture comes
Of autumn days, brisk and busy;


Plow not nor plant this arid mound.
Here is no sap for seed,
No ferment for your need-
Ungrateful ground!

They Say-

They say I have a constant heart, who know
Not anything of how it turns and yields
First here, first there; nor how in separate fields


Wind and wave and the swinging rope
Were calling me last night;
None to save and little hope,
No inner light.

Mater In Extremis

I stand between them and the outer winds,
But I am a crumbling wall.
They told me they could bear the blast alone,
They told me: that was all.

Robert Frost

Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening