Verse > Anthologies > Alfred Kreymborg, ed. > Others for 1919
Alfred Kreymborg, ed.  Others for 1919.  1920.
Indian Summer
By Alfred Kreymborg
WHAT was the tune you heard on the way
that you must dawdle here,
cut a reed, like any truant,
cut crooked holes in the reed,
and dabble with burbling phrases        5
which can only tremble and halt
no matter how fearfully carefully you blow?
The tune you heard didn’t limp?
Time, you’re a dunce.
My word on it—        10
you could have
breathed echo when the air was near—
now it’s a wraith
beyond even tiny embodiment!
That amorphous haze,        15
arpeggic fall of those leaves,
glint of that bird—or was it a squirrel?—
(had it been a rat it would have bitten you!)
they ought to preach your heedlessness,
no man can essay a pavanne        20
with his phrases at variance—
it is a pavanne, don’t deny it!
And why propose a pavanne
when nobody dances pavannes,
and why ask a flute        25
to mimic the tone of a spinet?
Dear dunce—
your tune begins to sound feminine—
go away—
the phrases are exquisite daggers—        30
move along, move along:
we have all sought the same lady twice!

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