Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
Worlds
By Edgar Lee Masters
 
I HAVE known or seen all the worlds of this world,
And some of the worlds of the world to come;
And I say to you that every world lives to itself,
And is known to itself alone,
Though it moves among the other worlds of this world.        5
 
I was in a hospital and given up to die—
That is one of the worlds.
I had turned blue,
And they moved me to the charity ward of the dying—
And that is one of the worlds.        10
They had screens around us,
So that we could not see each other die;
But they had no way to shut out from each of us
The cries, and prayers of the others.
Next me was a little woman they called butter-ball—        15
She was yellow from cancer
And had been cut to death by the surgeons.
She cried all night, she died at dawn,
Just as I began to mend.
 
There is the world of the internes making love to the nurses.        20
And the world of the surgeons hurrying to dinners
And the applause of learned societies.
And the world of their children at school, or in play,
Ignorant of what it means to be learned and notable,
And to be the children of such men.        25
There is the world of the policeman who walks by
The hospital at night.
And the world of the taxi-drivers,
Who never see the hospital as they rush past.
There is the world of the man and the woman in the taxi,        30
Kissing each other in anticipation of the place of assignation.
There is the world of the train crew
Who make up the limited back of the hospital;
And the world of travelers, happy or anxious,
Going or coming.        35
And this day there was for myself
This world of getting well,
With its meaning and its happiness
Unguessed by the world of the well.
And my eyes were opened to the worlds        40
By suffering, and coming from that world
Of the charity ward of the dying.
And I saw that there is the world of a merchant;
And the world of a judge;
And the world of a legislator, or a president;        45
And the world of a rich man,
And the world of a poor man;
And the world of a defeated man,
And the world of a victorious man;
And the world of a ruling nation,        50
And the world of a people who are ruled;
And the world of a servant, a laborer;
And the world of a master, and a user;
And the world of passion;
And the world of love;        55
And the world of envy;
And the world of hate;
And the world of strife;
And the world of convicts,
And those condemned to death.        60
And the world of war and warriors;
And the world of the young,
And the world of the old;
And the world of desire unceasing,
And the world of desire that is dead;        65
And the world of those who see God,
And the world of those who see Him not;
And the world of the faithful, the hopeful;
And the world of doubters, and the hopeless.
And the world of those who have loneliness forever;        70
And the world of those who ease loneliness
With futile activity;
And the world of those who seek truth, and find it not;
And the world of those who never give up
In the search for beauty.        75
And the world of those to whom the world is harmonious sound.
And the world of those to whom the world is atoms or stars.
And the world of those to whom the world is a machine;
And the world of those to whom the world is life.
And the world of those to whom the world is an infinite mass        80
To be carved as the will wills;
And the world of those to whom the world is chaos;
And the world of those to whom the world is memory;
And the world of those to whom the world is regret;
And the world of those entangled in subtle horrors,        85
And eaten minute by minute by thoughts that die not;
And the world of those who front and touch
The mystery of closing and suffocating horizons
And the beleaguering Infinite
With brows of sentinel and armed thought,        90
Standing at the heights and the Thermopolae of life,
Even to the hour of surprise from the plains
By Death, the Persian.
And I saw that every soul is a world to itself,
Making its own murmurous music night and day,        95
And having its realest world in itself,
And knowing none of the other worlds.
 
And what worlds beyond our world
Know our world of worlds?
All worlds of this world, and all worlds,        100
May be but the world of the mind of God,
Of which He is not conscious Himself,
Unless He chooses to think of them.
 
 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors