Those years are foliage of trees
their trunks hidden by bushes;
behind them a gray haze topped with silver
hides the swinging steps of my first love
On its face
grave steel palaces with smoking torches,
parading monasteries moved slowly to the Black Sea
till the bared branches scratched the north wind.
On its bed
a great Leviathan waited
for the ceremonies on the arrival of Messiah
and bobbing small fishes snapped sun splinters
for the pleasure of the monster.
Along its shores
red capped little hours danced
with rainbow colored kites,
messengers to heaven.
My memory is a sigh
of swallows swinging
through a slow dormant summer
to a timid line on the horizon.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on May 31, 2020, by the Academy of American Poets.
About this Poem
“Childhood Memories” originally appeared in Others for 1919; An Anthology of the New Verse (Nicholas L. Brown, 1920).
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.
Date Published: 1920-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/childhood-memories