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JAMES OPPENHEIM
American poet
(1882 - 1932)

To be a god
  First I must be a god-maker:
    We are what we create.
      - Jottings--To Be a God--In War and Laughter
        [Gods]

Man's the bad child of the universe.
      - Laughter [Man]

Hadn't he been blowing kisses to Earth millions of years before I was born?
      - Morning and I [Morning]

We age inevitably:
  The old joys fade and are gone:
    And at last comes equanimity and the flame burning clear.
      - New Year's Eve [Age]

Up in the heights of the evening skies I see my City of Cities float
  In sunset's golden and crimson dyes: I look and a great joy clutches my throat!
    Plateau of roofs by canyons crossed: windows by thousands fire-furled--
      O gazing, how the heart is lost in the Deepest City in the World.
      - New York from a Skyscraper [New York]

Quick as a humming bird is my love,
  Dipping into the hearts of flowers--
    She darts so eagerly, swiftly, sweetly
      Dipping into the flowers of my heart.
      - Quick as a Humming Bird [Hummingbirds]

They can only set free men free . . .
  And there is no need of that:
    Free men set themselves free.
      - The Slave [Freedom]

The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance;
  The wise grows it under his feet.
      - The Wise [Happiness]

Would you end war?
  Create great Peace.
      - War and Laughter, 1914, And After (IV)
        [Peace]


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