Summer 1959 • Vol. XXI No. 3 PoetryJuly 1, 1959 |

Christmas at Ulm

A year ago a German winter took me in. Now in the green room the plates and pictures Darken, the lamp suffers some other cold To summon in its place an image for that wind. I raised my hand that night to cut the wind. Instead the shop-window burgermeister blinked When the street-light started, the strict modernity Of the new city sang hosannas proudly. The bells from the Munster crowded the little streets, Turned back the wind and cloistered the rooftops In a furious wreath of sound. All windows, Shuttered against darkness, greeted the child of light. Where I stood I dreamt I saw a beggar With rimless eyes come sternly from the forest To soil the stones of the enchanted city And mock the serious business of God's birth. A rush of winter battered the windows in the square. The beggar vanished when the burgermeister Frowned. I thought I saw the Italian fabrics Shiver, when a darkening sky turned back the stars. I came to the old city. Through history Redeemed, a mus

Already have an account? Login

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece

Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.

Read More


Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.


With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.