A Crowded Trolley Car

Original Text: 
Nets to Catch the Wind (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1921): 19. Robarts Library PS 3545 Y45N4. Cf. Collected Poems of Elinor Wylie, foreward by William Rose Benét (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1945): 18. PS 3545 Y45 A17 Robarts Library.
1The rain's cold grains are silver-gray
2Sharp as golden sands,
3A bell is clanging, people sway
4Hanging by their hands.
5Supple hands, or gnarled and stiff,
6Snatch and catch and grope;
7That face is yellow-pale, as if
8The fellow swung from rope.
9Dull like pebbles, sharp like knives,
10Glances strike and glare,
12Dangle by the hair.
13Orchard of the strangest fruits
14Hanging from the skies;
15Brothers, yet insensate brutes
16Who fear each others' eyes.
17One man stands as free men stand
18As if his soul might be
19Brave, unbroken; see his hand
20Nailed to an oaken tree.

Notes

11] Bluebeard's wives: a faery tale about a French lord named Blue beard who secretly killed all his wives and hung them up in a locked room. When his new wife discovered what was in that room, she revealed her husband's atrocities to her sister and brothers, who killed Bluebeard. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2004