Maxwell Bodenheim

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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


Who can make a delicate adventure
Of walking on the ground?
Who can make grass-blades
Arcades for pertly careless straying?
You alone, who skim against these leaves,
Turning all desire into light whips
Moulded by your deep blue wing-tips,
You who shrill your unconcern


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


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.