Two Views from Waverly Place
Herman Slotkin

When Edward Hopper looked out of Number 3
he saw golden light on sculptured structures
emptied of all things living,
a place rich in tone and shape,
elaborating the eloquence of an empty room.

He saw people too, walking and talking,
drinking and thinking, looking past one another,
seeking their own sure, shielding, sheltering self,
avoiding that awesome moment
when they will see their secret face
and their certain solo closing act.

When Edna Millay looked out of Number 139
she saw a tapestry woven of words and music,
words spoken and sung in the front parlor over wine;
words of lovers chanted on a stage,
poems spun with harp-like sounds
interweaving body, mind, and turning world,
renewing visions of love and loveliness-
language limning life’s beauties.

Later, torn with loss at the sad realization
that even gods decline and die, she said,
“I do not approve.  And I am not resigned.”