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Best Famous Karl Shapiro Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Karl Shapiro poems. This is a select list of the best famous Karl Shapiro poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Karl Shapiro poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Karl Shapiro poems.

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by Karl Shapiro | |

Manhole Covers

 The beauty of manhole covers--what of that?
Like medals struck by a great savage khan,
Like Mayan calendar stones, unliftable, indecipherable,
Not like the old electrum, chased and scored,
Mottoed and sculptured to a turn,
But notched and whelked and pocked and smashed
With the great company names
(Gentle Bethlehem, smiling United States).
This rustproof artifact of my street, Long after roads are melted away will lie Sidewise in the grave of the iron-old world, Bitten at the edges, Strong with its cryptic American, Its dated beauty.


by Karl Shapiro | |

The Olive Tree

 Save for a lusterless honing-stone of moon
The sky stretches its flawless canopy
Blue as the blue silk of the Jewish flag
Over the valley and out to sea.
It is bluest just above the olive tree.
You cannot find in twisted Italy So straight a one; it stands not on a crag, Is not humpbacked with bearing in scored stone, But perfectly erect in my front yard, Oblivious of its fame.
The fruit is hard, Multitudinous, acid, tight on the stem; The leaves ride boat-like in the brimming sun, Going nowhere and scooping up the light.
It is the silver tree, the holy tree, Tree of all attributes.
Now on the lawn The olives fall by thousands, and I delight To shed my tennis shoes and walk on them, Pressing them coldly into the deep grass, In love and reverence for the total loss.