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                Amy Lowell (1874-1925)

                          A Grave Song

    I'VE a pocketful of emptiness for you, my Dear.
    I've a heart like a loaf was baked yesteryear,
    I've a mind like ashes spilt a week ago,
    I've a hand like a rusty, cracked corkscrew.

    Can you flourish on nothing and find it good?
    Can you make petrification do for food?
    Can you warm yourself at ashes on a stone?
    Can you give my hand the cunning which has gone?

    If you can, I will go and lay me down
    And kiss the edge of your purple gown.
    I will rise and walk with the sun on my head.
    Will you walk with me, will you follow the dead?


This poem first appeared in The New Republic and can be found in:
  • Braithwaite, William Stanley, ed. Anthology of Magazine Verse For 1921. Boston: Small, Maynard and Company, 1921.
  • Lowell, Amy. What's O'Clock. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1925.

    What's O'Clock was published in August of 1925, three months after Lowell's death. In 1926 she was posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for this collection.