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poet (1873-1941)

You have been good to me....
You have not made yourself to dear
to juggle with.

LOLA RIDGE, "Comrades"

I shall know you, secrets
by the litter you have left
and by your bloody footprints.

LOLA RIDGE, "Secrets"

Dreams only change their houses.
They cannot be lined up against a wall
And quietly buried under ground,
And no more heard of ...
However deep the pit and heaped the clay--
Like seedlings of old time
Hooding a sacred rose under the ice cap of the world--
Dreams will to light.

LOLA RIDGE, "Dreams"

You are full of unshaped dreams
You are laden with beginnings

LOLA RIDGE, "Wind in the Alleys"

Oh, God did cunningly, there at Babel-
Not mere tongues dividing, but soul from soul,
So that never again should men be able
To fashion one infinite, towering whole.


Let me cradle myself back
Into the darkness
Of the half shapes ...
Of the cauled beginnings ...
Let me stir the attar of unused air,
Elusive ... ironically fragrant
As a dead queen's kerchief ...
Let me blow the dust from off you ...
Resurrect your breath
Lying limp as a fan
In a dead queen's hand.

LOLA RIDGE, dedication to her mother, Sun-up: And Other Poems

Out of the night you burn, Manhattan,
In a vesture of gold--
Spun of innumerable arcs,
Flaring and multiplying--
Gold at the uttermost circles fading
Into the tenderest hint of jade,
Or fusing in tremulous twilight blues,
Robing the far-flung offices,
Scintillant-storied, forking flame,
Or soaring to luminous amethyst
Over the steeples aureoled.

LOLA RIDGE, "Manhattan"

As for the common men apart,
Who sweat to keep their common breath,
And have no hour for books or art--
What dreams have these to hide from death!


Night calls to the sandhills
and gathers them under her.
She pushes away cities
because their sharp lights
hurt her soft breast.
Even candles make a sore place
when they stick in the night.


In ambuscades of light,
Drawing the charmed multitudes
With the slow suction of her breath--
Dangling her naked soul
Behind the blinding gold of eunuch lights
That wind about her like a bodyguard.

LOLA RIDGE, "Broadway"

Better--while life is quick
And every pain immense and joy supreme,
And all I have and am
Flames upward to the dream ...
Than like a taper forgotten in the dawn,
Burning out the quick.

LOLA RIDGE, "Dedication", The Ghetto and Other Poems

Life thunders on.

LOLA RIDGE, "Frank Little at Calvary"


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