Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
In a Corridor of Statues
By Julia Cooley
(Chicago Art Institute)

  THEY crowd about me, close and white and still—
These statutes. On their lips is vocal silence.
They frighten me with the depth of their unspoken wisdom,
And the vast presences of spectral thoughts floating
In the white, un-pupiled spaces of their eyes.        5
They look down upon me with the penetration of Sphinxes.
In the deep, unsentient regions of their soulless clay
They hold all the secrets which my living soul knows not.
Yet for a moment, a sunlit while, I rise
Above their white everlastingness!        10
I am rosy with life, dancing in the current of motion.
Their stillness intensifies my strength, my power!
For a little the great world is mine completely!
The Faun, chained whitely in his marble statue,
Yearns to leap out into the world with me.        15
He would rush, singing for joy, with me down the street.
King Arthur strains to march out into the city
With his sword and his buckler, and his eyes filled with the Grail.
But they are fast in their cases of clay, and I am free!
I will walk forth with the borrowed strength of their mastery.        20
I will walk on and on, until my gladness, my motion, my life
Are sealed like theirs in the silent wisdom of clay.
I will walk forth with the life-giving power of their beauty.

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