Monody to the Sound of Zithers by Kay Boyle | Poets.org

  • Mon Mar 10th, 2014 4:08am
  • Life

Monody to the Sound of Zithers

by Kay Boyle

I have wanted other things more than lovers …

I have desired peace, intimately to know

The secret curves of deep-bosomed contentment,

To learn by heart things beautiful and slow.

Cities at night, and cloudful skies, I’ve wanted;

And open cottage doors, old colors and smells a part;

All dim things, layers of river-mist on river–

To capture Beauty’s hands and lay them on my heart.

I have wanted clean rain to kiss my eyelids,

Sea-spray and silver foam to kiss my mouth.

I have wanted strong winds to flay me with passion;

And, to soothe me, tired winds from the south.

These things have I wanted more than lovers…

Jewels in my hands, and dew on morning grass–

Familiar things, while lovers have been strangers.

Friended thus, I have let nothing pass.

About This Poem

Kay Boyle’s first published poem, “Monody to the Sound of Zithers,” originally appeared in Poetry: A Magazine of Verse in 1922.