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.
 
Fuchsias and Geraniums
By Charles Erskine Scott Wood
 
WHAT is Life?
 
To me, life is to sit on these stone steps
Under the peach-tree, eating green almonds,
Watching the indolent shadow arabesques
Shift on the terrace;        5
While you couch on the coping of the steps
On cushions of velvet from old Venice,
Reading Endymion.
Up from the city far below
Comes the noon-scream of whistles.        10
I watch the shadows of the slim peach-leaves,
Gently finger your brown, soft-coiled hair,
And know the sun is in love.
 
Suddenly a lustrous humming-bird
Poises under the bell of a fuchsia flower,        15
His green back shimmering opal fire.
He hangs there a moment, a jewel, suspended from nothing—
How can his wings move so fast?
He is gone.
Sun-god, are you a mechanic, a painter, designer?        20
A yellow butterfly wanders aimlessly,
So it seems to me, among the red geraniums.
It is gone.
 
The fuchsias are gouts of blood;
The geraniums are leaping flames.        25
You couch on the coping of the steps
On cushions of velvet of old Venice:
And I am suspended before you a moment.
This to me is life.
 
It is gone.        30
 
 
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