by: Amy Lowell (1874-1925)

      ALE, with the blue of high zeniths, shimmered over with silver, brocaded
      In smooth-running patterns, a soft stuff, with dark, knotted fringes, it lies there,
      Warm from a woman's soft shoulders; and my fingers close on it, caressing.
      Where is she, the woman who wore it? The scent of her lingers and drugs me.
      A languor, fire-shotted, runs through me, and I crush the scarf down on my face,
      And gulp in the warmth and the blueness; and my eyes swim in cool-tinted heavens.
      Around me are columns of marble, and a diapered, sun-flickered pavement.
      Rose-leaves blow and patter against it. Below the stone steps a lute tinkles.
      A jar of green jade throws its shadow half over the floor. A big-bellied
      Frog hops through the sunlight, and plops in the gold-bubbled water of a basin
      Sunk in the black and white marble. The west wind has lifted a scarf
      On the seat close beside me; the blue of it is a violent outrage of color.
      She draws it more closely about her, and it ripples beneath her slight stirring.
      Her kisses are sharp buds of fire; and I burn back against her, a jewel
      Hard and white, a stalked, flaming flower; till I break to a handful of cinders,
      And open my eyes to the scarf, shining blue in the afternoon sunshine.
      How loud clocks can tick when a room is empty and one is alone!

"The Blue Scarf" was originally published in The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, Vol. 88. Amy Lowell. New York: The Century Co., August 1914.




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