Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
Supernal Dialogue
By Harriet Monroe
  Two beings
  Stood on the edge of things
  Their breath was space,
  And their eyes were suns.
I  IT was this way he passed—        5
  I know the sound.
II  More worlds—
  He can not forbear—
I  Look down this lane—
  It was dark till he passed.        10
  Do you see—anything?
II  Seeds of light—glowing, whirling—
  A handful.
I  Separating now.
II  Fierce fire-balls—        15
  So many—so many. Will he get what he wants—
  The perfect flower?
I  Flower of delight—to bloom beside his throne?
  Sometime he will.
      [A pause]
I  Look—that little one—        20
  Burning, aching—
  Trailing its tiny orbs—
II  Which one?
I  See—scarlet—oh, alive!
  Deep in that right-hand cluster near the dark.        25
II  With tiny trailers—will it be one of them?
  That clouded one, maybe?
I  Look—it foams down.
  The clouds lift—
  There are seas—        30
II  Lands—a creeping green—
  Sounds of air moving.
I  Hush—oh, whisper!—do you see
  Dark specks that crawl?
  And wings that flash in the air?        35
II  Spawn—immeasurably minute.
  What does he mean, the fecund one, creating without reason or mercy?
I  He must—life is his song.
  He dreams—he wills.
II  Watch now—they change, those atoms.        40
  They stand on end—they lay stone on stone—
  They go clad—they utter words.
I  Proud—they take their spoil.
  Kings—and slaves.
II  Oh queer—ingenious! They gather in towns,        45
  They filch our fires to carry them over land and sea.
I  They measure the stars—they love—they dream.
II  But war—pain—obliterative war and pain.
I  So brief—each one a tiny puff—and out.
II  Grotesque!        50
I  A few look up—salute us before they fall.
  A few dare face him.
II  Is it enough?
      [A pause]
I  It cools down—their whirling world.
  It is silent—cold.        55
II  Has he lost again? Can he fail?
I  Who are we to question? Though he fail again and again—
II  Yes, who are we?
I  He must go on—he must get the flower.
  Two beings        60
  Stood on the edge of things
  Their breath was space,
  And their eyes were suns.

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