Amy Lowell, ‘The Letter’

‘The Letter’

Little cramped words scrawling all over
the paper
Like draggled fly’s legs,
What can you tell of the flaring moon
Through the oak leaves?
Or of my uncertain window and the
bare floor

Spattered with moonlight?
Your silly quirks and twists have nothing
in them
Of blossoming hawthorns,
And this paper is dull, crisp, smooth,
virgin of loveliness
Beneath my hand.

I am tired, Beloved, of chafing my heart
The want of you;
Of squeezing it into little inkdrops,
And posting it.
And I scald alone, here, under the fire
Of the great moon.

Amy Lowell (1874 – 1925) was an American Imagist poet and early pioneer of free verse.   She was said to be a lesbian, which I like to believe to be true, not least because this poem reminds me of my long-distance relationship.