Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Poem for the Wheat Penny (1909-1958)

O beautiful
The amber the clamor the waves of grain
          The need for animal feed
     And liquor yes the need for heaven

I heard a voice in the midst of beasts say
A measure of wheat for a penny

O spacious
Voice that loafs and voids a day
          A voice numismerized
     Is it love my one

Nation leaning her cheek upon the grain

O love
The penny cried which wheat which voice
          Which night the penny moon
     Shall subsidize the need for heaven

I heard a voice need yes a prop abundance
The measured fat of the wheat the penny-wise

Oh say
Say the penny candy prayer
          The dawn a gleaming pile
     Of trampled swords and friends

The coined and counted nice the penny life

Credit


From The Promised Folly by Judith Hall. Copyright © 2003 by Judith Hall. Reprinted by permission of TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press. All rights reserved.

Author


Judith Hall

Date Published: 2003-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/poem-wheat-penny-1909-1958