American Poetry 1922/Tone Picture

TONE PICTURE

(Malipiero: Impressioni Dal Vero)

Across the hot square, where the barbaric sun
Pours coarse laughter on the crowds,
Trumpets throw their loud nooses
From corner to corner.
Elephants, whose indifferent backs
Heave with red lambrequins,
Tigers with golden muzzles,
Negresses, greased and turbaned in green and yellow,
Weave and interweave in the merciless glare of noon.
The sun flicks here and there like a throned tyrant,
Snapping his whip.
From amber platters, the smells ascend
Of overripe peaches mingled with dust and heated oils.
Pages in purple run madly about,
Rolling their eyes and grinning with huge, frightened mouths.

And from a high window—a square of black velvet—
A haughty figure stands back in the shadow,
Aloof and silent.



This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1925.


The author died in 1977, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 30 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.