Louis Untermeyer helped bring attention to friend Robert Frost
Also known for his modern American and modern British poetry anthologies
Photo by siraanamwong/Getty Images Plus
- Portrait of the Machine
- What nudity as beautiful as this
- Obedient monster purring at its toil;
- These naked iron muscles dripping oil
- And the sure-fingered rods that never miss.
- This long and shining flank of metal is
- Magic that greasy labor cannot spoil;
- While this vast engine that could rend the soil
- Conceals its fury with a gentle hiss.
- It does not vent its loathing, it does not turn
- Upon its makers with destroying hate.
- It bears a deeper malice; lives to earn
- Its masters bread and laughs to see this great
- Lord of the earth, who rules but cannot learn,
- Become the slave of what his slaves create.
- End of the Comedy
- Eleven o’clock, and the curtain falls.
- The cold wind tears the strands of illusion;
- The delicate music is lost
- In the blare of home-going crowds
- And a midnight paper.
- The night has grown martial;
- It meets us with blows and disaster.
- Even the stars have turned shrapnel,
- Fixed in silent explosions.
- And here at our door
- The moonlight is laid
- Like a drawn sword.
- Ivory and Rose
- Here in this moonlit room, I watch you slip
- One shoulder from your dress and turn to me;
- A polished statue, flushing to the tip
- Of marble fingers gradually.
- And, like a ripe moon out of flimsy clouds,
- Blossoms the shining fullness of your breast.
- These curves conceal, this dear perfection shrouds
- A soft, miraculous nest.
- Your ivory body pulses as the white
- Flesh catches flame and rosy tremblings move
- Over this sanctuary of delight,
- The last asylum of our love.
Louis Untermeyer (1885-1977) was an American poet and 14th Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress (U.S. Poet Laureate), an office he served from 1961 to 1962. Untermeyer was perhaps better known for the slew of 40 or so anthologies that he compiled and/or edited during his lifetime than for his poetry. His anthologies of modern American and modern British poetry served as a popular entrée into verse for college students. But Untermeyer also produced a modest but mature body of verse. He is also known for having helped bring the words of Robert Frost to greater public attention; Frost and Untermeyer enjoyed a lifelong friendship and correspondence.