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William Saphier

William Saphier was a Romanian-born poet and painter who served as associate editor for Others, a monthly modernist magazine he coedited with Alfred Kreymborg. Other members of the editorial staff included Maxwell Bodenheim, Helen Hoyt, Lola Ridge, and William Carlos Williams. The magazine, under Saphier and Kreymborg, published the early poetry of T. S. Eliot, Marianne Moore, Ezra Pound, Wallace Stevens, and Williams, among others.

By This Poet


Flamingo Dreams

A green and copper-backed frog
keeps me from seeing
brick-colored eucalyptus flowers
dancing on an apple-green sky;
large rose-hued cotton fists
with gold knuckles
chase a blushing sun
into a purple, lead sea:
I am hungry and he is cautious.


This evening more than ever
my ancient, despised Hebrew priest,
warped by the hot Arabian sun,
inflicted his heart-scorching sermon;
burnishing with impatient feet
a whisper of duty in my heart,
commanding, beseeching,
that I offer on his altar.
And a strong white-hot wind blew
my brothers’ woes into my viens.


It is a huge curtain,
stretched at a distance around me.
Aimless gypsies crawl up and over the curtain.
They are my days.
They neither sing nor laugh
but hop over the top of my sadness.
Here and there one wears a gay shirt.
He is faster than the rest.
Even in my sleep with closed eyes
I cannot pierce this drapery.
Some day I will wind a child's smile around my face
and thus disguised
Slip through the curtain and jump...
Ah, yes, where?

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