Poets United Midweek Motif ~ City

“But a city is more than a place in space, it is a drama in time.”— Patrick Geddes

“The fact that over 50 percent of the residents of Toronto are not from Canada, that is always a good thing, creatively, and for food specially. That is easily a city’s biggest strength, and it is Toronto’s unique strength.” — Anthony Bourdain

Midweek Motif ~ City

In the eyes of a poet what would a busy city look like? A dream or a nightmare?

Is it easier to integrate and interact with others or is it a place for the aliens?

Will the poet ignore the bodily glamour and glitter and all those lucrative amenities and rather strike up a conversation with the soul of the city? Or will not?

Or what is your kind of city?

Have a city air in your poems today:

City Trees
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

The trees along this city street,
Save for the traffic and the trains,
Would make a sound as thin and sweet
As trees in country lanes.

And people standing in their shade
Out of a shower, undoubtedly
Would hear such music as is made
Upon a country tree.

Oh, little leaves that are so dumb
Against the shrieking city air,
I watch you when the wind has come,—
I know what sound is there.

The City Dead-House

by Walt Whitman

BY the City Dead-House, by the gate,
As idly sauntering, wending my way from the clangor,
I curious pause–for lo! an outcast form, a poor dead prostitute
Her corpse they deposit unclaim’d–it lies on the damp brick
The divine woman, her body–I see the Body–I look on it alone,
That house once full of passion and beauty–all else I notice not;
Nor stillness so cold, nor running water from faucet, nor odors
morbific impress me;
But the house alone–that wondrous house–that delicate fair house–
that ruin!
That immortal house, more than all the rows of dwellings ever built!
Or white-domed Capitol itself, with majestic figure surmounted–or
all the old high-spired cathedrals;
That little house alone, more than them all–poor, desperate house!
Fair, fearful wreck! tenement of a Soul! itself a Soul!
Unclaim’d, avoided house! take one breath from my tremulous lips;
Take one tear, dropt aside as I go, for thought of you,
Dead house of love! house of madness and sin, crumbled! crush’d!
House of life–erewhile talking and laughing–but ah, poor house!
dead, even then;
Months, years, an echoing, garnish’d house–but dead, dead, dead.

Nightfall In The City Of Hyderabad
by Sarojini Naidu

SEE how the speckled sky burns like a pigeon’s throat,
Jewelled with embers of opal and peridote.

See the white river that flashes and scintillates,
Curved like a tusk from the mouth of the city-gates.

Hark, from the minaret, how the muezzin’s call
Floats like a battle-flag over the city wall.

From trellised balconies, languid and luminous
Faces gleam, veiled in a splendour voluminous.

Leisurely elephants wind through the winding lanes,
Swinging their silver bells hung from their silver chains.

Round the high Char Minar sounds of gay cavalcades
Blend with the music of cymbals and serenades.

Over the city bridge Night comes majestical,
Borne like a queen to a sumptuous festival.