Archive for March 16th, 2018

Friday, 16 March 2018

Skyscrapers by John Gould Fletcher

What are these, angels or demons,
Or steel and stone?
Soaring, alert,
Striped with diversified windows,
These sweep aloft
And the multitude crane their necks to them: —
Are they angels, or demons,
Or stone?

If the grey sapless people,
Moving along the street, thought them angels,
They too would be beautiful,.
Erect and laughing to the sky for joy.
If as demons they feared them,
They would smite with fierce hatred
These brown haughty foreheads:
They would not suffer them to hold the sun in trust.

What,are they, then, angels, or demons,
Or stone?
Deaf sightless towers
Unendowed yet with life;
Soaring vast effort
Spent in the sky till it breaks there.
You men of my country
Who shaped these proud visions,
You have yet to find godhead
Not here, but in the human heart.

May 25, 1920.

From: Fletcher, John Gould, Breakers and Granite, 1921, The Macmillan Company: New York, pp. 15-16.

Date: 1920

By: John Gould Fletcher (1886-1950)