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.