Sword Blades and Poppy Seed

Author: Amy Lowell


The inkstand is full of ink, and the paper lies white and unspotted,
in the round of light thrown by a candle. Puffs of darkness sweep into the corners, and keep rolling through the room behind his chair. The air is silver and pearl, for the night is liquid with moonlight.

See how the roof glitters, like ice!

Over there, a slice of yellow cuts into the silver-blue, and beside it stand two geraniums, purple because the light is silver-blue, to-night.

See! She is coming, the young woman with the bright hair.
She swings a basket as she walks, which she places on the sill,
between the geranium stalks. He laughs, and crumples his paper as he leans forward to look. "The Basket Filled with Moonlight",
what a title for a book!

The bellying clouds swing over the housetops.

He has forgotten the woman in the room with the geraniums. He is beating his brain, and in his eardrums hammers his heavy pulse. She sits on the window-sill, with the basket in her lap. And tap! She cracks a nut.
And tap! Another. Tap! Tap! Tap! The shells ricochet upon the roof,
and get into the gutters, and bounce over the edge and disappear.

"It is very queer," thinks Peter, "the basket was empty, I’m sure.
How could nuts appear from the atmosphere?"

The silver-blue moonlight makes the geraniums purple, and the roof glitters like ice.


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Chicago: Amy Lowell, "I," Sword Blades and Poppy Seed, ed. Callaway, Morgan, Jr., 1962- in Sword Blades and Poppy Seed (New York: George E. Wood, 1850), Original Sources, accessed December 2, 2023, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4MHBHQKET29I9IM.

MLA: Lowell, Amy. "I." Sword Blades and Poppy Seed, edited by Callaway, Morgan, Jr., 1962-, in Sword Blades and Poppy Seed, New York, George E. Wood, 1850, Original Sources. 2 Dec. 2023. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4MHBHQKET29I9IM.

Harvard: Lowell, A, 'I' in Sword Blades and Poppy Seed, ed. . cited in 1850, Sword Blades and Poppy Seed, George E. Wood, New York. Original Sources, retrieved 2 December 2023, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4MHBHQKET29I9IM.