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

Helene Johnson, "Metamorphism" (1926)

Is this the sea?
This calm emotionless bosom,
Serene as the heart of a converted Magdalene--
Or this?
This lisping, lulling murmur of soft waters
Kissing a white beached shore with tremulous lips
Blue rivulets of sky gurgling deliciously
O'er pale smooth stones--
This too?
This sudden birth of unrestrained splendor,
Tugging with turbulent force at Neptunes leash;
This passionate abandon,
This strange tempestuous soliloquy of Nature.
All these--the Sea? 

Published in Opportunity, March 1926

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