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


The Black Virginity

Baby Priests	
On green sward	
Yew-closed	
Silk beaver	
Rhythm of redemption	        
Fluttering of Breviaries	
 
Fluted black silk cloaks	
Hung square from shoulders	
Troncated juvenility	
Uniform segration	        
Union in severity	
Modulation	
Intimidation	
Pride of misapprehended preparation	
Ebony statues training for immobility	        
Anæmic jawed	
Wise saw to one another	
 
Prettily the little ones	
Gesticulate benignly upon one another in the sun buzz—	
Finger and thumb circles postulate pulpits	        
Profiles forsworn to Donatello	
Munching tall talk vestral shop	
Evangelical snobs	
Uneasy dreaming	
In hermetically-sealed dormitories	        
Not of me or you Sister Saraminta	
Of no more or less	
Than the fit of Pope's mitres	
 
It is an old religion that put us in our places	
Here am I in lilac print	        
Preposterously no less than the world flesh and devil	
Having no more idea what those are	
What I am	
Than Baby Priests of what "He" is	
or they are—	        
Messianic mites tripping measured latin ring-a-roses	
Subjugated adolescence	
Retraces loose steps to furling of Breviaries	
In broiling shadows	
The last with apostolic lurch	        
Tries for a high hung fruit	
And misses	
Any way it is inedible	
It is always thus	
In the Public Garden.	        
 
Parallel lines	
An old man	
Eyeing a white muslin girl's school	
And all this	
As pleasant as bewildering	        
Would not eventually meet	
I am for ever bewildered	
Old men are often grown greedy—	
What nonsense	
It is noon	        
And salvation's seedlings	
Are headed off for the refectory.

Credit


This poem is in the public domain.

Author


Mina Loy

Born in London in 1882, Mina Loy has been labelled as a Futurist, Dadaist, Surrealist, feminist, conceptualist, modernist, and post-modernist. Known for both her poetry and visual art, she died in Colorado in 1966.

Date Published: 1915-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/black-virginity