“Theodore Dreiser,” from Precipitations, by Evelyn Scott (1920)


Theodore Dreiser

The man body jumbled out of the earth, half, formed,
Clay on the feet.
Heavy with the lingering might of chaos.
The man face so high above the feet
As if lonesome for them like a child.
The veins that beat heavily with the music they but half understood
Coil languidly around the heart
And lave it in the death stream
Of a grand impersonal benignance.

from Precipitations, by Evelyn Scott
New York: Nicholas L. Brown, 1920

I could hardly imagine a less likely subject for a poem than Theodore Dreiser, but this sketch by Evelyn Scott is close to perfection, both in its imagery and in the clay-footedness of that last line, which might have come straight off the pages of one of Dreiser’s novels.

Available on the Internet Archive: Link

This is one in a series of neglected poems taken from the Internet Archive.

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