Elinor Morton Wylie

Here you will find the Poem Atavism of poet Elinor Morton Wylie


I was always afraid of Somes's Pond: 
Not the little pond, by which the willow stands, 
Where laughing boys catch alewives in their hands 
In brown, bright shallows; but the one beyond. 
There, where the frost makes all the birches burn 
Yellow as cow-lilies, and the pale sky shines 
Like a polished shell between black spruce and pines, 
Some strange thing tracks us, turning where we turn.

You'll say I dreamed it, being the true daughter 
Of those who in old times endured this dread. 
Look! Where the lily-stems are showing red 
A silent paddle moves below the water, 
A sliding shape has stirred them like a breath; 
Tall plumes surmount a painted mask of death.