Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
The Number
By Baker Brownell
 
From “In Barracks”

THE SHEET of the morning Tribune bent
With thin crashing and clutters of sound.
Tight hands held it; its fabric
Rattled in fragile catastrophe.
 
Sudden figures in the morning Tribune        5
Three with sudden, significant being
Among slight marks by thousands
Strewing the page—raised themselves
In lustreless knobs, small, black, metallic,
Above the dim paper breadth.        10
 
A man, Woodby, saw three numerals
That rose in dull, significant lumps
From the creaking page of the Tribune.
His own number! carved
Of hard, stupid material they seemed.        15
 
Woodby, drafted man, left
His familiar papers, his thesis
On an unfinished and ancient past,
Forever, to learn the cold accuracy
Of near material, of steel, of half-ounce bullets.        20
 
 
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