[PW] Help Finding Poem

Graf, Jeffrey C jcgraf at indiana.edu
Tue Apr 18 07:38:59 PDT 2017


>From the New Republic:

Lucid Interval

What were you saying while we sat
Closed in the crowded motorbus?
Forgive me. I was looking at
A silver infant octopus.
My brain chose oddly to supply,
Along this winter-smothered street,
A certain morning in July
When, through a rent in opal heat,
I watched a fisherman with spear
Probing the bright Ligurian sea.
He paused and plunged, then hoisted sheer
And waved a wriggling star at me.
Upon the weapon, dangling bare,
It danced an ectasy of pain
And whipped into the torrid air
A ring of splintered ruby-rain.
And down the fellow's thighs, all wet,
The morning glued a golden vine . . .
But you were saying? I forget.
The fault was wholly mine.
                            GEORGE O'NEIL


Jeff Graf

-----Original Message-----
From: Project-wombat [mailto:project-wombat-bounces at lists.project-wombat.org] On Behalf Of S M Colowick
Sent: Tuesday, April 18, 2017 10:26 AM
To: list at project-wombat.org; Ellie Volpi <EVOLPI at sjschools.org>
Subject: Re: [PW] Help Finding Poem

On Mon, Apr 17, 2017 at 3:41 PM, Ellie Volpi <EVOLPI at sjschools.org> wrote:
> Good evening,
> I'm trying to find a poem I read years ago.  I believe it was titled "A Lucid Interval," but I'm not sure.  In the poem, the narrator is on a crowded bus and recalls a morning in July when he had witnessed a man spearing an infant octopus.

This seems to be it:


It was published in the New Republic on 6/3/25. The author is George O'Neil:


I haven't found it freely available anywhere, but Google says it's in some anthologies, including these:

The third book of modern verse (1927)
Anthology of magazine verse (1925)
Project Wombat - Project-wombat
list at project-wombat.org

More information about the Project-Wombat-Open mailing list