Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
A Japanese Vase Wrought in Metals
By Marjorie Allen Seiffert
From “Two Designs”

FIVE harsh black birds in shining bronze come crying
Into a silver sky.
Piercing and jubilant is the shape of their flying;
Their beaks are pointed with delight,
Curved sharply with desire.        5
The passionate direction of their flight,
Clear and high,
Stretches their bodies taut like humming wire.
The cold wind blows into angry patterns the jet-bright
Feathers of their wings;        10
Their claws curl loosely, safely, about nothingness—
They clasp no things.
Direction and desire they possess,
By which in sharp, unswerving flight they hold
Across an iron sea to the golden beach        15
Whereon lies carrion, their feast: a shore of gold
That birds wrought on a vase can never reach.

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