African American Poetry (1870-1928): A Digital Anthology

Anne Spencer, "Substitution" (1927)


Is LIFE itself but many ways of thought,
Does thinking furl the poets' pleiades,
Is in His slightest convolution wrought
These mantled worlds and their men-freighted seas?
He thinks—and being comes to ardent things:
The splendor of the day-spent sun, love's birth,
Or dreams a little, while creation swings
The circle of His mind and Time's full girth ...
As here within this noisy peopled room
My thought leans forward ... quick! you're lifted clear
Of brick and frame to moonlit garden bloom,–
Absurdly easy, now, our walking, dear,
Talking, my leaning close to touch your face ...
His All-Mind bids us keep this sacred place!

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