You are on page 1of 1

CABARET

As published in Poetry Magazine, 1924



Her dress was bistre, and her eyes, slim lines
Of grey jade gleaming through a blackened veil.
Sharp laughter, gayer than a madrigal,
Shattered, as wind against a spray of vines
The dark and mournful beauty of her small
Vermilion mouth, that ached from being gay.

And subtly, terribly, lay drenched in all
The odor of fruit over-ripe.
Decay.

Analysis Tasks:
1. Describe the speaker and subject of the poem.



2. What ideas does the speaker convey about the Cabaret?



3. The poem appears to be about a single woman. Why
might the poet have chosen the title Cabaret?



4. What details or word choices lead to shifts in tone?


CABARET
As published in Will-o-the-Wisp, 1925

Her dress was bistre, and her eyes, slim lines
Of grey jade gleaming through a blackened veil;
Glad laughter, gayer than a madrigal,
Shattered, as wind, against a spray of vines,
The dark and mournful beauty of her small
Vermilion mouth, that ached with being gay.

And subtly, dreadfully, there lay, in all
The odor of fruit over-ripe
Decay.

Analysis Tasks:
1. Identify the changes the poet made in punctuation and
word choice in the 1925 publication on the poem above.

2. Which revisions significantly change the meaning or tone
of the poem? Select one or two and discuss below.