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The Furies Analysis

Author: poem of Weldon Kees Type: poem Views: 7

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Not a third that walks beside me,

But five or six or more.

Whether at dusk or daybreak

Or at blinding noon, a retinue

Of shadows that no door

Excludes.--One like a kind of scrawl,

Hands scrawled trembling and blue,

A harelipped and hunchbacked dwarf

With a smile like a grapefruit rind,

Who jabbers the way I do

When the brain is empty and tired

And the guests no longer care:

A clown, who shudders and suddenly

Is a man with a mouth of cotton

Trapped in a dentist's chair.

Not a third that walks beside me,

But five or six or more:

One with his face gone rotten,

Most hideous of all,

Whose crutches shriek on the sidewalk

As a fingernail on a slate

Tears open some splintered door

Of childhood. Down the hall

We enter a thousand rooms

That pour the hours back,

That silhouette the walls

With shadows ripped from war,

Accusing and rigid, black

As the streets we are discolored by.

The crutches fall to the floor.

Not a third that walks beside me,

But five or six, or more

Than fingers or brain can bear--

A monster strung with guts,

A coward covered with hair,

Matted and down to his knees,

Murderers, liars, thieves,

Moving in darkened rows

Through daylight and evening air

Until the eyelids close,

Snapped like the blades of a knife,

And your dream of their death begins.

Possessors and possessed,

They keep the bedside wake

As a doctor or a wife

Might wait the darkness through

Until the pale daybreak--

Protectors of your life.


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