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Ridge, Lola

· Submerged by Lola Ridge · The Destroyer by Lola Ridge · The Star by Lola Ridge · The Song Of Iron by Lola Ridge · To The Others by Lola Ridge · The Fog by Lola Ridge · Time-Stone by Lola Ridge · The Song by Lola Ridge · Lola Ridge: The Legion of Iron · Lola Ridge: Mother · Lola Ridge: Jaguar · Lola Ridge: Emma Goldman

»» there is more...

Submerged by Lola Ridge

Submerged

I have known only my own shallows –
Safe, plumbed places,
Where I was wont to preen myself.

But for the abyss
I wanted a plank beneath
And horizons…

I was afraid of the silence
And the slipping toe-hold…

Oh, could I now dive
Into the unexplored deeps of me –
Delve and bring up and give
All that is submerged, encased, unfolded,
That is yet the best.

Lola Ridge
(1873-1941)
Submerged

• fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive Q-R, Archive Q-R, Ridge, Lola


The Destroyer by Lola Ridge

 

The Destroyer

I am of the wind…
A wisp of the battering wind…

I trail my fingers along the Alps
And an avalanche falls in my wake…
I feel in my quivering length
When it buries the hamlet beneath…

I hurriedly sweep aside
The cities that clutter our path…
As we whirl about the circle of the globe…
As we tear at the pillars of the world…
Open to the wind,
The Destroyer!
The wind that is battering at your gates.

Lola Ridge
(1873-1941)
The Destroyer

• fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive Q-R, Archive Q-R, Ridge, Lola


The Star by Lola Ridge

 

 

The Star

Last night
I watched a star fall like a great pearl into the sea,
Till my ego expanding encompassed sea and star,
Containing both as in a trembling cup.

Lola Ridge
(1873-1941)
The Star

• fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive Q-R, Archive Q-R, Ridge, Lola


The Song Of Iron by Lola Ridge

 

 

The Song Of Iron

I

Not yet hast Thou sounded
Thy clangorous music,
Whose strings are under the mountains…
Not yet hast Thou spoken
The blooded, implacable Word…

But I hear in the Iron singing –
In the triumphant roaring of the steam and pistons pounding –
Thy barbaric exhortation…
And the blood leaps in my arteries, unreproved,
Answering Thy call…
All my spirit is inundated with the tumultuous passion of Thy Voice,
And sings exultant with the Iron,
For now I know I too am of Thy Chosen…

Oh fashioned in fire –
Needing flame for Thy ultimate word –
Behold me, a cupola
Poured to Thy use!

Heed not my tremulous body
That faints in the grip of Thy gauntlet.
Break it… and cast it aside…
But make of my spirit
That dares and endures
Thy crucible…
Pour through my soul
Thy molten, world-whelming song.

… Here at Thy uttermost gate
Like a new Mary, I wait…

II

Charge the blast furnace, workman…
Open the valves –
Drive the fires high…
(Night is above the gates).

How golden-hot the ore is
From the cupola spurting,
Tossing the flaming petals
Over the silt and furnace ash –
Blown leaves, devastating,
Falling about the world…

Out of the furnace mouth –
Out of the giant mouth –
The raging, turgid, mouth –
Fall fiery blossoms
Gold with the gold of buttercups
In a field at sunset,
Or huskier gold of dandelions,
Warmed in sun-leavings,
Or changing to the paler hue
At the creamy hearts of primroses.

Charge the converter, workman –
Tired from the long night?
But the earth shall suck up darkness –
The earth that holds so much…
And out of these molten flowers,
Shall shape the heavy fruit…

Then open the valves –
Drive the fires high,
Your blossoms nurturing.
(Day is at the gates
And a young wind…)

Put by your rod, comrade,
And look with me, shading your eyes…
Do you not see –
Through the lucent haze
Out of the converter rising –
In the spirals of fire
Smiting and blinding,
A shadowy shape
White as a flame of sacrifice,
Like a lily swaying?

III

The ore leaping in the crucibles,
The ore communicant,
Sending faint thrills along the leads…
Fire is running along the roots of the mountains…
I feel the long recoil of earth
As under a mighty quickening…
(Dawn is aglow in the light of the Iron…)
All palpitant, I wait…

IV

Here ye, Dictators – late Lords of the Iron,
Shut in your council rooms, palsied, depowered –
The blooded, implacable Word?
Not whispered in cloture, one to the other,
(Brother in fear of the fear of his brother…)
But chanted and thundered
On the brazen, articulate tongues of the Iron
Babbling in flame…

Sung to the rhythm of prisons dismantled,
Manacles riven and ramparts defaced…
(Hearts death-anointed yet hearing life calling…)
Ankle chains bursting and gallows unbraced…

Sung to the rhythm of arsenals burning…
Clangor of iron smashing on iron,
Turmoil of metal and dissonant baying
Of mail-sided monsters shattered asunder…

Hulks of black turbines all mangled and roaring,
Battering egress through ramparted walls…
Mouthing of engines, made rabid with power,
Into the holocaust snorting and plunging…

Mighty converters torn from their axis,
Flung to the furnaces, vomiting fire,
Jumbled in white-heaten masses disshapen…
Writhing in flame-tortured levers of iron…

Gnashing of steel serpents twisting and dying…
Screeching of steam-glutted cauldrons rending…
Shock of leviathans prone on each other…
Scaled flanks touching, ore entering ore…
Steel haunches closing and grappling and swaying
In the waltz of the mating locked mammoths of iron,
Tasting the turbulent fury of living,
Mad with a moment’s exuberant living!
Crash of devastating hammers despoiling..
Hands inexorable, marring
What hands had so cunningly moulded…

Structures of steel welded, subtily tempered,
Marvelous wrought of the wizards of ore,
Torn into octaves discordantly clashing,
Chords never final but onward progressing
In monstrous fusion of sound ever smiting on sound
in mad vortices whirling…

Till the ear, tortured, shrieks for cessation
Of the raving inharmonies hatefully mingling…
The fierce obligato the steel pipes are screaming…
The blare of the rude molten music of Iron…

Lola Ridge
(1873-1941)
The Song Of Iron

• fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive Q-R, Archive Q-R, Ridge, Lola


To The Others by Lola Ridge

 

 

To The Others

I see you, refulgent ones,
Burning so steadily
Like big white arc lights…
There are so many of you.
I like to watch you weaving –
Altogether and with precision
Each his ray –
Your tracery of light,
Making a shining way about America.

I note your infinite reactions –
In glassware
And sequin
And puddles
And bits of jet –
And here and there a diamond…

But you do not yet see me,
Who am a torch blown along the wind,
Flickering to a spark
But never out.

Lola Ridge
(1873-1941)
To The Others

• fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive Q-R, Archive Q-R, Ridge, Lola


The Fog by Lola Ridge

 

The Fog

Out of the lamp-bestarred and clouded dusk –
Snaring, illuding, concealing,
Magically conjuring –
Turning to fairy-coaches
Beetle-backed limousines
Scampering under the great Arch –
Making a decoy of blue overalls
And mystery of a scarlet shawl –
Indolently –
Knowing no impediment of its sure advance –
Descends the fog.

Lola Ridge
(1873-1941)
The Fog
• fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive Q-R, Archive Q-R, Ridge, Lola


Time-Stone by Lola Ridge

 

Time-Stone

Hallo, Metropolitan –
Ubiquitous windows staring all ways,
Red eye notching the darkness.
No use to ogle that slip of a moon.
This midnight the moon,
Playing virgin after all her encounters,
Will break another date with you.
You fuss an awful lot,
You flight of ledger books,
Overrun with multiple ant-black figures
Dancing on spindle legs
An interminable can-can.
But I’d rather… like the cats in the alley… count time
By the silver whistle of a moonbeam
Falling between my stoop-shouldered walls,
Than all your tally of the sunsets,
Metropolitan, ticking among stars.

Lola Ridge
(1873-1941)
Time-Stone
• fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive Q-R, Archive Q-R, Ridge, Lola


The Song by Lola Ridge

 

The Song

That day, in the slipping of torsos and straining flanks on the bloodied ooze of fields plowed by the iron,
And the smoke bluish near earth and bronze in the sunshine floating like cotton-down,
And the harsh and terrible screaming,
And that strange vibration at the roots of us…
Desire, fierce, like a song…
And we heard
(Do you remember?)
All the Red Cross bands on Fifth avenue
And bugles in little home towns
And children’s harmonicas bleating

America!

And after…
(Do you remember?)
The drollery of the wind on our faces,
And horizons reeling,
And the terror of the plain
Heaving like a gaunt pelvis to the sun…
Under us – threshing and twanging
Torn-up roots of the Song…

Lola Ridge
(1873-1941)
The Song
• fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive Q-R, Archive Q-R, Ridge, Lola


Lola Ridge: The Legion of Iron

Lola Ridge

(1871-1941)

 

The Legion of Iron

They pass through the great iron gates–

Men with eyes gravely discerning,

Skilled to appraise the tunnage of cranes

Or split an inch into thousandths–

Men tempered by fire as the ore is

And planned to resistance

Like steel that has cooled in the trough;

Silent of purpose, inflexible, set to fulfilment–

To conquer, withstand, overthrow …

Men mannered to large undertakings,

Knowing force as a brother

And power as something to play with,

Seeing blood as a slip of the iron,

To be wiped from the tools

Lest they rust.

 

But what if they stood aside,

Who hold the earth so careless in the crook of their arms?

 

What of the flamboyant cities

And the lights guttering out like candles in a wind …

And the armies halted …

And the train mid-way on the mountain

And idle men chaffing across the trenches …

And the cursing and lamentation

And the clamor for grain shut in the mills of the world?

What if they stayed apart,

Inscrutably smiling,

Leaving the ground encumbered with dead wire

And the sea to row-boats

And the lands marooned–

Till Time should like a paralytic sit,

A mildewed hulk above the nations squatting?

 

Lola Ridge poetry

kempis.nl poetry magazine

More in: Archive Q-R, Ridge, Lola


Lola Ridge: Mother

Lola Ridge

(1871-1941)

 

Mother

Your love was like moonlight

turning harsh things to beauty,

so that little wry souls

reflecting each other obliquely

as in cracked mirrors …

beheld in your luminous spirit

their own reflection,

transfigured as in a shining stream,

and loved you for what they are not.

 

You are less an image in my mind

than a luster

I see you in gleams

pale as star-light on a gray wall …

evanescent as the reflection of a white swan

shimmering in broken water.

 

Lola Ridge poetry

kempis.nl poetry magazine

More in: Archive Q-R, Ridge, Lola


Lola Ridge: Jaguar

Lola Ridge

(1871-1941)

 

Jaguar

Nasal intonations of light

and clicking tongues …

publicity of windows

stoning me with pent-up cries …

smells of abattoirs …

smells of long-dead meat.

 

Some day-end–

while the sand is yet cozy as a blanket

off the warm body of a squaw,

and the jaguars are out to kill …

with a blue-black night coming on

and a painted cloud

stalking the first star–

I shall go alone into the Silence …

the coiled Silence …

where a cry can run only a little way

and waver and dwindle

and be lost.

 

And there …

where tiny antlers clinch and strain

as life grapples in a million avid points,

and threshing things,

strike and die,

letting their hate live on

in the spreading purple of a wound …

I too

will make covert of a crevice in the night,

and turn and watch …

nose at the cleft’s edge.

 

Lola Ridge poetry

kempis.nl poetry magazine

More in: Archive Q-R, Ridge, Lola


Lola Ridge: Emma Goldman

Lola Ridge

(1871-1941)

 

Emma Goldman

How should they appraise you,

who walk up close to you

as to a mountain,

each proclaiming his own eyeful

against the other’s eyeful.

 

Only time

standing well off

shall measure your circumference and height.

 

Lola Ridge poetry

kempis.nl poetry magazine

More in: Archive Q-R, Ridge, Lola


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