Why do the lilies goggle their tongues at me
When I pluck them;
And writhe, and twist,
And strangle themselves against my fingers,
So that I can hardly weave the garland
For your hair?
Why do they shriek your name
And spit at me
When I would cluster them?
Must I kill them
To make them lie still,
And send you a wreath of lolling corpses
To turn putrid and soft
On your forehead
While you dance?
This poem is in the public domain.
About this Poem
“Grotesque” was first published in Pictures of the Floating World (The Macmillan Company, 1919).
Born in 1874, Amy Lowell was deeply interested in and influenced by the Imagist movement and she received the Pulitzer Prize for her collection What's O'Clock.
Date Published: 2017-05-13
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/grotesque