About this Poem 

“Thoughts While Walking” was published in Volume 3, Number 4 of Others in December 1916. 

Thoughts While Walking

A steel hush freezes the trees.
It is my mind stretched to stiff lace,
And draped on high wide thoughts.

My soul is a large sallow park
And people walk on it, as they do on the park before me.
They numb my levelness with dumb feet,
Yet I cannot even hate them.
 

This poem is in the public domain. 

This poem is in the public domain. 

Maxwell Bodenheim

Maxwell Bodenheim

Maxwell Bodenheim was born in 1892 in Hermanville, Mississippi. He published numerous books of poetry including, Introducing Irony and Returning to Emotion, and was a literary figure in both Chicago and New York during his lifetime. Bodenheim died in New York in 1954.

by this poet

poem
August sauntered down the mountain-side,
Dropping mottled, turbid wraiths of decay.
The air was like an old priest
Disrobing without embarrassment
Before the dark and candid gaze of night.
But these things brought no pause
To the saucily determined squirrel.
His eyes were hungrily upturned
To where the stars hung
poem
Grey, drooping-shouldered bushes scrape the edges
Of bending swirls of yellow-white flowers.
So do my thoughts meet the wind-scattered color of you.
 
A green-shadowed trance of water
Is splintered to little, white tasseled awakenings
By the beat of long
poem

Raise the right foot—bound in sheer
Reasons of white and gold—
One inch from the black stage-floor.
Then perform these torpid words:
“Money is dangerous to men:
It shames the clearness of their thoughts.”
After thus accounting
For the loquacious smallness
Of those rare gifts