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Best Famous Pig Poems

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

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Written by Edward Lear | Create an image from this poem

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat went to sea
  In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money
  Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above, And sang to a small guitar, "O lovely Pussy, O Pussy, my love, What a beautiful Pussy you are, You are, You are! What a beautiful Pussy you are!" Pussy said to the Owl, "You elegant fowl! How charmingly sweet you sing! O let us be married! too long we have tarried: But what shall we do for a ring?" They sailed away, for a year and a day, To the land where the Bong-tree grows And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood With a ring at the end of his nose, His nose, His nose, With a ring at the end of his nose.
"Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling Your ring?" Said the Piggy, "I will.
" So they took it away, and were married next day By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince, Which they ate with a runcible spoon; And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand, They danced by the light of the moon, The moon, The moon, They danced by the light of the moon.


Written by William Butler Yeats | Create an image from this poem

Blood And The Moon

 I

Blessed be this place,
More blessed still this tower;
A bloody, arrogant power
Rose out of the race
Uttering, mastering it,
Rose like these walls from these
Storm-beaten cottages -
In mockery I have set
A powerful emblem up,
And sing it rhyme upon rhyme
In mockery of a time
Half dead at the top.
II Alexandria's was a beacon tower, and Babylon's An image of the moving heavens, a log-book of the sun's journey and the moon's; And Shelley had his towers, thought's crowned powers he called them once.
I declare this tower is my symbol; I declare This winding, gyring, spiring treadmill of a stair is my ancestral stair; That Goldsmith and the Dean, Berkeley and Burke have travelled there.
Swift beating on his breast in sibylline frenzy blind Because the heart in his blood-sodden breast had dragged him down into mankind, Goldsmith deliberately sipping at the honey-pot of his mind, And haughtier-headed Burke that proved the State a tree, That this unconquerable labyrinth of the birds, century after century, Cast but dead leaves to mathematical equality; And God-appointed Berkeley that proved all things a dream, That this pragmatical, preposterous pig of a world, its farrow that so solid seem, Must vanish on the instant if the mind but change its theme; Saeva Indignatio and the labourer's hire, The strength that gives our blood and state magnanimity of its own desire; Everything that is not God consumed with intellectual fire.
III The purity of the unclouded moon Has flung its atrowy shaft upon the floor.
Seven centuries have passed and it is pure, The blood of innocence has left no stain.
There, on blood-saturated ground, have stood Soldier, assassin, executioner.
Whether for daily pittance or in blind fear Or out of abstract hatred, and shed blood, But could not cast a single jet thereon.
Odour of blood on the ancestral stair! And we that have shed none must gather there And clamour in drunken frenzy for the moon.
IV Upon the dusty, glittering windows cling, And seem to cling upon the moonlit skies, Tortoiseshell butterflies, peacock butterflies, A couple of night-moths are on the wing.
Is every modern nation like the tower, Half dead at the top? No matter what I said, For wisdom is the property of the dead, A something incompatible with life; and power, Like everything that has the stain of blood, A property of the living; but no stain Can come upon the visage of the moon When it has looked in glory from a cloud.
Written by John Masefield | Create an image from this poem

A Ballad of John Silver

 We were schooner-rigged and rakish, 
with a long and lissome hull, 
And we flew the pretty colours of the crossbones and the skull; 
We'd a big black Jolly Roger flapping grimly at the fore, 
And we sailed the Spanish Water in the happy days of yore.
We'd a long brass gun amidships, like a well-conducted ship, We had each a brace of pistols and a cutlass at the hip; It's a point which tells against us, and a fact to be deplored, But we chased the goodly merchant-men and laid their ships aboard.
Then the dead men fouled the scuppers and the wounded filled the chains, And the paint-work all was spatter dashed with other peoples brains, She was boarded, she was looted, she was scuttled till she sank.
And the pale survivors left us by the medium of the plank.
O! then it was (while standing by the taffrail on the poop) We could hear the drowning folk lament the absent chicken coop; Then, having washed the blood away, we'd little else to do Than to dance a quiet hornpipe as the old salts taught us to.
O! the fiddle on the fo'c'sle, and the slapping naked soles, And the genial "Down the middle, Jake, and curtsey when she rolls!" With the silver seas around us and the pale moon overhead, And the look-out not a-looking and his pipe-bowl glowing red.
Ah! the pig-tailed, quidding pirates and the pretty pranks we played, All have since been put a stop to by the naughty Board of Trade; The schooners and the merry crews are laid away to rest, A little south the sunset in the islands of the Blest.
Written by Walt Whitman | Create an image from this poem

Respondez!

 RESPONDEZ! Respondez! 
(The war is completed—the price is paid—the title is settled beyond recall;) 
Let every one answer! let those who sleep be waked! let none evade! 
Must we still go on with our affectations and sneaking? 
Let me bring this to a close—I pronounce openly for a new distribution of roles;
Let that which stood in front go behind! and let that which was behind advance to the
 front and
 speak; 
Let murderers, bigots, fools, unclean persons, offer new propositions! 
Let the old propositions be postponed! 
Let faces and theories be turn’d inside out! let meanings be freely criminal, as well
 as
 results! 
Let there be no suggestion above the suggestion of drudgery!
Let none be pointed toward his destination! (Say! do you know your destination?) 
Let men and women be mock’d with bodies and mock’d with Souls! 
Let the love that waits in them, wait! let it die, or pass stillborn to other spheres! 
Let the sympathy that waits in every man, wait! or let it also pass, a dwarf, to other
 spheres!

Let contradictions prevail! let one thing contradict another! and let one line of my poems
 contradict another!
Let the people sprawl with yearning, aimless hands! let their tongues be broken! let their
 eyes
 be discouraged! let none descend into their hearts with the fresh lusciousness of love! 
(Stifled, O days! O lands! in every public and private corruption! 
Smother’d in thievery, impotence, shamelessness, mountain-high; 
Brazen effrontery, scheming, rolling like ocean’s waves around and upon you, O my
 days! my
 lands! 
For not even those thunderstorms, nor fiercest lightnings of the war, have purified the
 atmosphere;)
—Let the theory of America still be management, caste, comparison! (Say! what other
 theory
 would you?) 
Let them that distrust birth and death still lead the rest! (Say! why shall they not lead
 you?)

Let the crust of hell be neared and trod on! let the days be darker than the nights! let
 slumber bring less slumber than waking time brings! 
Let the world never appear to him or her for whom it was all made! 
Let the heart of the young man still exile itself from the heart of the old man! and let
 the
 heart of the old man be exiled from that of the young man!
Let the sun and moon go! let scenery take the applause of the audience! let there be
 apathy
 under the stars! 
Let freedom prove no man’s inalienable right! every one who can tyrannize, let him
 tyrannize to his satisfaction! 
Let none but infidels be countenanced! 
Let the eminence of meanness, treachery, sarcasm, hate, greed, indecency, impotence, lust,
 be
 taken for granted above all! let writers, judges, governments, households, religions,
 philosophies, take such for granted above all! 
Let the worst men beget children out of the worst women!
Let the priest still play at immortality! 
Let death be inaugurated! 
Let nothing remain but the ashes of teachers, artists, moralists, lawyers, and
 learn’d and
 polite persons! 
Let him who is without my poems be assassinated! 
Let the cow, the horse, the camel, the garden-bee—let the mudfish, the lobster, the
 mussel, eel, the sting-ray, and the grunting pig-fish—let these, and the like of
 these, be
 put on a perfect equality with man and woman!
Let churches accommodate serpents, vermin, and the corpses of those who have died of the
 most
 filthy of diseases! 
Let marriage slip down among fools, and be for none but fools! 
Let men among themselves talk and think forever obscenely of women! and let women among
 themselves talk and think obscenely of men! 
Let us all, without missing one, be exposed in public, naked, monthly, at the peril of our
 lives! let our bodies be freely handled and examined by whoever chooses! 
Let nothing but copies at second hand be permitted to exist upon the earth!
Let the earth desert God, nor let there ever henceforth be mention’d the name of God!

Let there be no God! 
Let there be money, business, imports, exports, custom, authority, precedents, pallor,
 dyspepsia, smut, ignorance, unbelief! 
Let judges and criminals be transposed! let the prison-keepers be put in prison! let those
 that
 were prisoners take the keys! Say! why might they not just as well be transposed?) 
Let the slaves be masters! let the masters become slaves!
Let the reformers descend from the stands where they are forever bawling! let an idiot or
 insane person appear on each of the stands! 
Let the Asiatic, the African, the European, the American, and the Australian, go armed
 against
 the murderous stealthiness of each other! let them sleep armed! let none believe in good
 will! 
Let there be no unfashionable wisdom! let such be scorn’d and derided off from the
 earth! 
Let a floating cloud in the sky—let a wave of the sea—let growing mint, spinach,
 onions, tomatoes—let these be exhibited as shows, at a great price for admission! 
Let all the men of These States stand aside for a few smouchers! let the few seize on what
 they
 choose! let the rest gawk, giggle, starve, obey!
Let shadows be furnish’d with genitals! let substances be deprived of their genitals!

Let there be wealthy and immense cities—but still through any of them, not a single
 poet,
 savior, knower, lover! 
Let the infidels of These States laugh all faith away! 
If one man be found who has faith, let the rest set upon him! 
Let them affright faith! let them destroy the power of breeding faith!
Let the she-harlots and the he-harlots be prudent! let them dance on, while seeming lasts!
 (O
 seeming! seeming! seeming!) 
Let the preachers recite creeds! let them still teach only what they have been taught! 
Let insanity still have charge of sanity! 
Let books take the place of trees, animals, rivers, clouds! 
Let the daub’d portraits of heroes supersede heroes!
Let the manhood of man never take steps after itself! 
Let it take steps after eunuchs, and after consumptive and genteel persons! 
Let the white person again tread the black person under his heel! (Say! which is trodden
 under
 heel, after all?) 
Let the reflections of the things of the world be studied in mirrors! let the things
 themselves
 still continue unstudied! 
Let a man seek pleasure everywhere except in himself!
Let a woman seek happiness everywhere except in herself! 
(What real happiness have you had one single hour through your whole life?) 
Let the limited years of life do nothing for the limitless years of death! (What do you
 suppose
 death will do, then?)
Written by Christopher Smart | Create an image from this poem

The Pig

 In ev'ry age, and each profession, 
Men err the most by prepossession; 
But when the thing is clearly shown, 
And fairly stated, fully known, 
We soon applaud what we deride, 
And penitence succeeds to pride.
-- A certain Baron on a day Having a mind to show away, Invited all the wits and wags, Foot, Massey, Shuter, Yates, and Skeggs, And built a large commodious stage, For the Choice Spirits of the age; But above all, among the rest, There came a Genius who profess'd To have a curious trick in store, Which never was perform'd before.
Thro' all the town this soon got air, And the whole house was like a fair; But soon his entry as he made, Without a prompter, or parade, 'Twas all expectance, all suspense, And silence gagg'd the audience.
He hid his head behind his wig, With with such truth took off* a Pig, [imitated] All swore 'twas serious, and no joke, For doubtless underneath his cloak, He had conceal'd some grunting elf, Or was a real hog himself.
A search was made, no pig was found-- With thund'ring claps the seats resound, And pit and box and galleries roar, With--"O rare! bravo!" and "Encore!" Old Roger Grouse, a country clown, Who yet knew something of the town, Beheld the mimic and his whim, And on the morrow challeng'd him.
Declaring to each beau and bunter That he'd out-grunt th'egregious grunter.
The morrow came--the crowd was greater-- But prejudice and rank ill-nature Usurp'd the minds of men and wenches, Who came to hiss, and break the benches.
The mimic took his usual station, And squeak'd with general approbation.
"Again, encore! encore!" they cry-- 'Twas quite the thing--'twas very high; Old Grouse conceal'd, amidst the racket, A real Pig berneath his jacket-- Then forth he came--and with his nail He pinch'd the urchin by the tail.
The tortur'd Pig from out his throat, Produc'd the genuine nat'ral note.
All bellow'd out--"'Twas very sad! Sure never stuff was half so bad! That like a Pig!"--each cry'd in scoff, "Pshaw! Nonsense! Blockhead! Off! Off! Off!" The mimic was extoll'd, and Grouse Was hiss'd and catcall'd from the house.
-- "Soft ye, a word before I go," Quoth honest Hodge--and stooping low Produc'd the Pig, and thus aloud Bespoke the stupid, partial crowd: "Behold, and learn from this poor creature, How much you Critics know of Nature.
"
Written by Anne Sexton | Create an image from this poem

Flee On Your Donkey

 Because there was no other place
to flee to,
I came back to the scene of the disordered senses,
came back last night at midnight,
arriving in the thick June night
without luggage or defenses,
giving up my car keys and my cash,
keeping only a pack of Salem cigarettes
the way a child holds on to a toy.
I signed myself in where a stranger puts the inked-in X's— for this is a mental hospital, not a child's game.
Today an intern knocks my knees, testing for reflexes.
Once I would have winked and begged for dope.
Today I am terribly patient.
Today crows play black-jack on the stethoscope.
Everyone has left me except my muse, that good nurse.
She stays in my hand, a mild white mouse.
The curtains, lazy and delicate, billow and flutter and drop like the Victorian skirts of my two maiden aunts who kept an antique shop.
Hornets have been sent.
They cluster like floral arrangements on the screen.
Hornets, dragging their thin stingers, hover outside, all knowing, hissing: the hornet knows.
I heard it as a child but what was it that he meant? The hornet knows! What happened to Jack and Doc and Reggy? Who remembers what lurks in the heart of man? What did The Green Hornet mean, he knows? Or have I got it wrong? Is it The Shadow who had seen me from my bedside radio? Now it's Dinn, Dinn, Dinn! while the ladies in the next room argue and pick their teeth.
Upstairs a girl curls like a snail; in another room someone tries to eat a shoe; meanwhile an adolescent pads up and down the hall in his white tennis socks.
A new doctor makes rounds advertising tranquilizers, insulin, or shock to the uninitiated.
Six years of such small preoccupations! Six years of shuttling in and out of this place! O my hunger! My hunger! I could have gone around the world twice or had new children - all boys.
It was a long trip with little days in it and no new places.
In here, it's the same old crowd, the same ruined scene.
The alcoholic arrives with his gold culbs.
The suicide arrives with extra pills sewn into the lining of her dress.
The permanent guests have done nothing new.
Their faces are still small like babies with jaundice.
Meanwhile, they carried out my mother, wrapped like somebody's doll, in sheets, bandaged her jaw and stuffed up her holes.
My father, too.
He went out on the rotten blood he used up on other women in the Middle West.
He went out, a cured old alcoholic on crooked feet and useless hands.
He went out calling for his father who died all by himself long ago - that fat banker who got locked up, his genes suspened like dollars, wrapped up in his secret, tied up securely in a straitjacket.
But you, my doctor, my enthusiast, were better than Christ; you promised me another world to tell me who I was.
I spent most of my time, a stranger, damned and in trance—that little hut, that naked blue-veined place, my eyes shut on the confusing office, eyes circling into my childhood, eyes newly cut.
Years of hints strung out—a serialized case history— thirty-three years of the same dull incest that sustained us both.
You, my bachelor analyst, who sat on Marlborough Street, sharing your office with your mother and giving up cigarettes each New Year, were the new God, the manager of the Gideon Bible.
I was your third-grader with a blue star on my forehead.
In trance I could be any age, voice, gesture—all turned backward like a drugstore clock.
Awake, I memorized dreams.
Dreams came into the ring like third string fighters, each one a bad bet who might win because there was no other.
I stared at them, concentrating on the abyss the way one looks down into a rock quarry, uncountable miles down, my hands swinging down like hooks to pull dreams up out of their cage.
O my hunger! My hunger! Once, outside your office, I collapsed in the old-fashioned swoon between the illegally parked cars.
I threw myself down, pretending dead for eight hours.
I thought I had died into a snowstorm.
Above my head chains cracked along like teeth digging their way through the snowy street.
I lay there like an overcoat that someone had thrown away.
You carried me back in, awkwardly, tenderly, with help of the red-haired secretary who was built like a lifeguard.
My shoes, I remember, were lost in the snowbank as if I planned never to walk again.
That was the winter that my mother died, half mad on morphine, blown up, at last, like a pregnant pig.
I was her dreamy evil eye.
In fact, I carried a knife in my pocketbook— my husband's good L.
L.
Bean hunting knife.
I wasn't sure if I should slash a tire or scrape the guts out of some dream.
You taught me to believe in dreams; thus I was the dredger.
I held them like an old woman with arthritic fingers, carefully straining the water out— sweet dark playthings, and above all, mysterious until they grew mournful and weak.
O my hunger! My hunger! I was the one who opened the warm eyelid like a surgeon and brought forth young girls to grunt like fish.
I told you, I said— but I was lying— that the kife was for my mother .
.
.
and then I delivered her.
The curtains flutter out and slump against the bars.
They are my two thin ladies named Blanche and Rose.
The grounds outside are pruned like an estate at Newport.
Far off, in the field, something yellow grows.
Was it last month or last year that the ambulance ran like a hearse with its siren blowing on suicide— Dinn, dinn, dinn!— a noon whistle that kept insisting on life all the way through the traffic lights? I have come back but disorder is not what it was.
I have lost the trick of it! The innocence of it! That fellow-patient in his stovepipe hat with his fiery joke, his manic smile— even he seems blurred, small and pale.
I have come back, recommitted, fastened to the wall like a bathroom plunger, held like a prisoner who was so poor he fell in love with jail.
I stand at this old window complaining of the soup, examining the grounds, allowing myself the wasted life.
Soon I will raise my face for a white flag, and when God enters the fort, I won't spit or gag on his finger.
I will eat it like a white flower.
Is this the old trick, the wasting away, the skull that waits for its dose of electric power? This is madness but a kind of hunger.
What good are my questions in this hierarchy of death where the earth and the stones go Dinn! Dinn! Dinn! It is hardly a feast.
It is my stomach that makes me suffer.
Turn, my hungers! For once make a deliberate decision.
There are brains that rot here like black bananas.
Hearts have grown as flat as dinner plates.
Anne, Anne, flee on your donkey, flee this sad hotel, ride out on some hairy beast, gallop backward pressing your buttocks to his withers, sit to his clumsy gait somehow.
Ride out any old way you please! In this place everyone talks to his own mouth.
That's what it means to be crazy.
Those I loved best died of it— the fool's disease.
Written by Vladimir Mayakovsky | Create an image from this poem

Back Home

 Thoughts, go your way home.
Embrace, depths of the soul and the sea.
In my view, it is stupid to be always serene.
My cabin is the worst of all cabins - All night above me Thuds a smithy of feet.
All night, stirring the ceiling’s calm, dancers stampede to a moaning motif: “Marquita, Marquita, Marquita my darling, why won’t you, Marquita, why won’t you love me …” But why Should marquita love me?! I have no francs to spare.
And Marquita (at the slightest wink!) for a hundred francs she’d be brought to your room.
The sum’s not large - just live for show - No, you highbrow, ruffling your matted hair, you would thrust upon her a sewing machine, in stitches scribbling the silk of verse.
Proletarians arrive at communism from below - by the low way of mines, sickles, and pitchforks - But I, from poetry’s skies, plunge into communism, because without it I feel no love.
Whether I’m self-exiled or sent to mamma - the steel of words corrodes, the brass of the brass tarnishes.
Why, beneath foreign rains, must I soak, rot, and rust? Here I recline, having gone oversea, in my idleness barely moving my machine parts.
I myself feel like a Soviet factory, manufacturing happiness.
I object to being torn up, like a flower of the fields, after a long day’s work.
I want the Gosplan to sweat in debate, assignning me goals a year ahead.
I want a commissar with a decree to lean over the thought of the age.
I want the heart to earn its love wage at a specialist’s rate.
I want the factory committee to lock My lips when the work is done.
I want the pen to be on a par with the bayonet; and Stalin to deliver his Politbureau reports about verse in the making as he would about pig iron and the smelting of steel.
“That’s how it is, the way it goes … We’ve attained the topmost level, climbing from the workers’ bunks: in the Union of Republics the understanding of verse now tops the prewar norm …” Transcribed: by Mitch Abidor.


Written by Edward Lear | Create an image from this poem

The Jumblies

They went to sea in a Sieve, they did,
  In a Sieve they went to sea:
In spite of all their friends could say,
On a winter's morn, on a stormy day,
  In a Sieve they went to sea!
And when the Sieve turned round and round,
And every one cried, `You'll all be drowned!'
They called aloud, `Our Sieve ain't big,
But we don't care a button! we don't care a fig!
  In a Sieve we'll go to sea!'
    Far and few, far and few,
      Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
    Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
      And they went to sea in a Sieve.
They sailed away in a Sieve, they did, In a Sieve they sailed so fast, With only a beautiful pea-green veil Tied with a riband by way of a sail, To a small tobacco-pipe mast; And every one said, who saw them go, `O won't they be soon upset, you know! For the sky is dark, and the voyage is long, And happen what may, it's extremely wrong In a Sieve to sail so fast!' Far and few, far and few, Are the lands where the Jumblies live; Their heads are green, and their hands are blue, And they went to sea in a Sieve.
The water it soon came in, it did, The water it soon came in; So to keep them dry, they wrapped their feet In a pinky paper all folded neat, And they fastened it down with a pin.
And they passed the night in a crockery-jar, And each of them said, `How wise we are! Though the sky be dark, and the voyage be long, Yet we never can think we were rash or wrong, While round in our Sieve we spin!' Far and few, far and few, Are the lands where the Jumblies live; Their heads are green, and their hands are blue, And they went to sea in a Sieve.
And all night long they sailed away; And when the sun went down, They whistled and warbled a moony song To the echoing sound of a coppery gong, In the shade of the mountains brown.
`O Timballo! How happy we are, When we live in a Sieve and a crockery-jar, And all night long in the moonlight pale, We sail away with a pea-green sail, In the shade of the mountains brown!' Far and few, far and few, Are the lands where the Jumblies live; Their heads are green, and their hands are blue, And they went to sea in a Sieve.
They sailed to the Western Sea, they did, To a land all covered with trees, And they bought an Owl, and a useful Cart, And a pound of Rice, and a Cranberry Tart, And a hive of silvery Bees.
And they bought a Pig, and some green Jack-daws, And a lovely Monkey with lollipop paws, And forty bottles of Ring-Bo-Ree, And no end of Stilton Cheese.
Far and few, far and few, Are the lands where the Jumblies live; Their heads are green, and their hands are blue, And they went to sea in a Sieve.
And in twenty years they all came back, In twenty years or more, And every one said, `How tall they've grown! For they've been to the Lakes, and the Torrible Zone, And the hills of the Chankly Bore!' And they drank their health, and gave them a feast Of dumplings made of beautiful yeast; And every one said, `If we only live, We too will go to sea in a Sieve,--- To the hills of the Chankly Bore!' Far and few, far and few, Are the lands where the Jumblies live; Their heads are green, and their hands are blue, And they went to sea in a Sieve.
Written by Carl Sandburg | Create an image from this poem

Smoke and Steel

 SMOKE of the fields in spring is one,
Smoke of the leaves in autumn another.
Smoke of a steel-mill roof or a battleship funnel, They all go up in a line with a smokestack, Or they twist … in the slow twist … of the wind.
If the north wind comes they run to the south.
If the west wind comes they run to the east.
By this sign all smokes know each other.
Smoke of the fields in spring and leaves in autumn, Smoke of the finished steel, chilled and blue, By the oath of work they swear: “I know you.
” Hunted and hissed from the center Deep down long ago when God made us over, Deep down are the cinders we came from— You and I and our heads of smoke.
Some of the smokes God dropped on the job Cross on the sky and count our years And sing in the secrets of our numbers; Sing their dawns and sing their evenings, Sing an old log-fire song: You may put the damper up, You may put the damper down, The smoke goes up the chimney just the same.
Smoke of a city sunset skyline, Smoke of a country dusk horizon— They cross on the sky and count our years.
Smoke of a brick-red dust Winds on a spiral Out of the stacks For a hidden and glimpsing moon.
This, said the bar-iron shed to the blooming mill, This is the slang of coal and steel.
The day-gang hands it to the night-gang, The night-gang hands it back.
Stammer at the slang of this— Let us understand half of it.
In the rolling mills and sheet mills, In the harr and boom of the blast fires, The smoke changes its shadow And men change their shadow; A ******, a wop, a bohunk changes.
A bar of steel—it is only Smoke at the heart of it, smoke and the blood of a man.
A runner of fire ran in it, ran out, ran somewhere else, And left—smoke and the blood of a man And the finished steel, chilled and blue.
So fire runs in, runs out, runs somewhere else again, And the bar of steel is a gun, a wheel, a nail, a shovel, A rudder under the sea, a steering-gear in the sky; And always dark in the heart and through it, Smoke and the blood of a man.
Pittsburg, Youngstown, Gary—they make their steel with men.
In the blood of men and the ink of chimneys The smoke nights write their oaths: Smoke into steel and blood into steel; Homestead, Braddock, Birmingham, they make their steel with men.
Smoke and blood is the mix of steel.
The birdmen drone in the blue; it is steel a motor sings and zooms.
Steel barb-wire around The Works.
Steel guns in the holsters of the guards at the gates of The Works.
Steel ore-boats bring the loads clawed from the earth by steel, lifted and lugged by arms of steel, sung on its way by the clanking clam-shells.
The runners now, the handlers now, are steel; they dig and clutch and haul; they hoist their automatic knuckles from job to job; they are steel making steel.
Fire and dust and air fight in the furnaces; the pour is timed, the billets wriggle; the clinkers are dumped: Liners on the sea, skyscrapers on the land; diving steel in the sea, climbing steel in the sky.
Finders in the dark, you Steve with a dinner bucket, you Steve clumping in the dusk on the sidewalks with an evening paper for the woman and kids, you Steve with your head wondering where we all end up— Finders in the dark, Steve: I hook my arm in cinder sleeves; we go down the street together; it is all the same to us; you Steve and the rest of us end on the same stars; we all wear a hat in hell together, in hell or heaven.
Smoke nights now, Steve.
Smoke, smoke, lost in the sieves of yesterday; Dumped again to the scoops and hooks today.
Smoke like the clocks and whistles, always.
Smoke nights now.
To-morrow something else.
Luck moons come and go: Five men swim in a pot of red steel.
Their bones are kneaded into the bread of steel: Their bones are knocked into coils and anvils And the sucking plungers of sea-fighting turbines.
Look for them in the woven frame of a wireless station.
So ghosts hide in steel like heavy-armed men in mirrors.
Peepers, skulkers—they shadow-dance in laughing tombs.
They are always there and they never answer.
One of them said: “I like my job, the company is good to me, America is a wonderful country.
” One: “Jesus, my bones ache; the company is a liar; this is a free country, like hell.
” One: “I got a girl, a peach; we save up and go on a farm and raise pigs and be the boss ourselves.
” And the others were roughneck singers a long ways from home.
Look for them back of a steel vault door.
They laugh at the cost.
They lift the birdmen into the blue.
It is steel a motor sings and zooms.
In the subway plugs and drums, In the slow hydraulic drills, in gumbo or gravel, Under dynamo shafts in the webs of armature spiders, They shadow-dance and laugh at the cost.
The ovens light a red dome.
Spools of fire wind and wind.
Quadrangles of crimson sputter.
The lashes of dying maroon let down.
Fire and wind wash out the slag.
Forever the slag gets washed in fire and wind.
The anthem learned by the steel is: Do this or go hungry.
Look for our rust on a plow.
Listen to us in a threshing-engine razz.
Look at our job in the running wagon wheat.
Fire and wind wash at the slag.
Box-cars, clocks, steam-shovels, churns, pistons, boilers, scissors— Oh, the sleeping slag from the mountains, the slag-heavy pig-iron will go down many roads.
Men will stab and shoot with it, and make butter and tunnel rivers, and mow hay in swaths, and slit hogs and skin beeves, and steer airplanes across North America, Europe, Asia, round the world.
Hacked from a hard rock country, broken and baked in mills and smelters, the rusty dust waits Till the clean hard weave of its atoms cripples and blunts the drills chewing a hole in it.
The steel of its plinths and flanges is reckoned, O God, in one-millionth of an inch.
Once when I saw the curves of fire, the rough scarf women dancing, Dancing out of the flues and smoke-stacks—flying hair of fire, flying feet upside down; Buckets and baskets of fire exploding and chortling, fire running wild out of the steady and fastened ovens; Sparks cracking a harr-harr-huff from a solar-plexus of rock-ribs of the earth taking a laugh for themselves; Ears and noses of fire, gibbering gorilla arms of fire, gold mud-pies, gold bird-wings, red jackets riding purple mules, scarlet autocrats tumbling from the humps of camels, assassinated czars straddling vermillion balloons; I saw then the fires flash one by one: good-by: then smoke, smoke; And in the screens the great sisters of night and cool stars, sitting women arranging their hair, Waiting in the sky, waiting with slow easy eyes, waiting and half-murmuring: “Since you know all and I know nothing, tell me what I dreamed last night.
” Pearl cobwebs in the windy rain, in only a flicker of wind, are caught and lost and never known again.
A pool of moonshine comes and waits, but never waits long: the wind picks up loose gold like this and is gone.
A bar of steel sleeps and looks slant-eyed on the pearl cobwebs, the pools of moonshine; sleeps slant-eyed a million years, sleeps with a coat of rust, a vest of moths, a shirt of gathering sod and loam.
The wind never bothers … a bar of steel.
The wind picks only .
.
pearl cobwebs .
.
pools of moonshine.
Written by Thomas Lux | Create an image from this poem

Refrigerator 1957

 More like a vault -- you pull the handle out
and on the shelves: not a lot,
and what there is (a boiled potato
in a bag, a chicken carcass
under foil) looking dispirited,
drained, mugged.
This is not a place to go in hope or hunger.
But, just to the right of the middle of the middle door shelf, on fire, a lit-from-within red, heart red, sexual red, wet neon red, shining red in their liquid, exotic, aloof, slumming in such company: a jar of maraschino cherries.
Three-quarters full, fiery globes, like strippers at a church social.
Maraschino cherries, maraschino, the only foreign word I knew.
Not once did I see these cherries employed: not in a drink, nor on top of a glob of ice cream, or just pop one in your mouth.
Not once.
The same jar there through an entire childhood of dull dinners -- bald meat, pocked peas and, see above, boiled potatoes.
Maybe they came over from the old country, family heirlooms, or were status symbols bought with a piece of the first paycheck from a sweatshop, which beat the pig farm in Bohemia, handed down from my grandparents to my parents to be someday mine, then my child's? They were beautiful and, if I never ate one, it was because I knew it might be missed or because I knew it would not be replaced and because you do not eat that which rips your heart with joy.
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