|The center of
attention--an infantile face.
That center of attention, swathed in a sort of white dress,
Is precious to the woman who, pretty and young,
Leans with a look of surprised blessedness
At the mysterious miracle forth-sprung.
In the background somewhat, the masculine figure
Looms, face agleam with achievement and pride.
From the poem, Old Photograph of the Future,
included in the book New & Selected Poems: 1923-1985, Random House, (1985),
copyright 1985 by Robert Penn Warren. Reprinted by permission of William Morris Agency,
Inc., New York, on behalf of the Author.
Note- Because of problems of spacing the line breaks in the
poetry hereon are not always shown as they were written by the author. Text is
predictable--lunch, the baby asleep, children gone
But not far, and Father and Mother
gone, hand in hand,
Heads together as though in one long conversation
That even now I can't think has had an end
But picnics have ends, and just as the sun set,
My mother cried out, "Could a place so beautiful be!"
And my father said, "My ship will come in yet,
And you'll see all the beautiful world there is to see."
"What more could I want, "she now cried,---
"when I love everything I now see?"
So she swung the baby against the rose-tinted sky
And a bird note burst from her throat, and she gaily sang
As we clop-clopped homeward while the shadows, sly,
Leashed the Future up, like a hound with a slavering fang.
But sleepy, I didn't know what a Future was, as she sang.
And she sang.
From the poem October Picnic Long Ago included in the book
Being Here: Poetry 1977-1980, Random House, (1980), copyright 1978,1979,1980 by
Robert Penn Warren. Reprinted by permission of William Morris Agency, Inc., New
York, on behalf of the Author.