By Richard Aldington
Women’s tears are but water;
The tears of men are blood.
He sits alone in the firelight
And on either side drifts by
Sleep, like a torrent whirling,
Profound, wrinkled and dumb.
Dawn occupies the city;
As if the seasons knew of his grief
Spring has suddenly changed into snow
Disaster and sorrow
Have made him their pet;
He cannot escape their accursed embraces.
For all his dodgings
Memory will lacerate him.
What good does it do to wander
Nights hours through city streets?
Only that in poor places
He can be with common men
And receive their unspoken
What has life done for him?
He stands alone in the darkness
Like a sentry never relieved,
Looking over a barren space,
Awaiting the tardy finish.
from Coterie, 1920
Richard Aldington was one of the founding poets of the Imagist Movement along with his friend Ezra Pound and wife H.D. His poetry is heavily influenced by Japanese art and contains many references to Greek tragedies and myths.
More Poems about Social Commentaries
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You got that clean waistcoat,
the bright white of a well-tailored
shirt, you got those loose-as-sacks
slacks and some spit-polished shoes,
and you know, whether you are looking
like money, or about to take a stroll,
to tilt that hat like you own
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Back Up Quick They’re Hippies
That was the year we drove
into the commune in Cornwall.
“Jesus Jim,” mam said,
“back up quick they’re hippies.”
Through the car window,
tents, row after row, flaps open,
long-haired men and women
curled around each other like babies
and the babies themselves
wandered naked across the grass.