Sidewalk Poetry #40: Concord


Ten thousand Fords are idle here in search
Of a tradition. Over these dry sticks --
The Minute Man, the Irish Catholics,
The ruined bridge and Walden's fished-out perch--
The belfry of the Unitarian Church
Rings out the hanging Jesus. Crucifix,
How can your whited spindling arms transfix
Mammon's unbridged industry, the lurch
For forms to harness Heraclitus' stream!
This Church is Concord--Concord where Thoreau
Named all the birds without a gun to probe
Through darkness to the painted man and bow:
The death-dance of King Philip and his scream
Whose echo girdled this imperfect globe.

[Robert Lowell, 1947.]

[Main Street, Newton.]

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