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The Magpie Sings the Great Depression:
Selections from DeWitt Clinton High School's Literary Magazine, 1929-1942

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Mass Production

By Norman Brustein, '37

The Magpie, June 1937, v. 21, n. 2., p. 11.

The long black smokestacks
Lift their sober arms
On a dim and dreary morning
To greet the rising sun
Like soot robed oracles
Eagerly waiting to clutch their
For the dark and bloody sacrifice

The whistle shrieks its summons
Proudly shouting from its height
The bold command that drags
From their dark and dirty holes
The meek and muddy workers
Who daily wage a battle
With the brilliant, humming

To the beat of a tolling drum
The whirling wheels and belts
Turn rhythmically clanking
As if to play a march

For the rapidly rolling produce
That shoots from the moving lines.
And the grey faced men
Like intelligent machines
With little gears in their bones
And electric motors in their brains
Move to the marching tune
With the precision of a clock.

The whistle shrieks dismissal
Proudly commanding from its
The worn and weary workers
To leave the house of toil;
To feed and water and rest
Like cows let out to pasture
That with the short night passed
And the morning gray in the
They may again follow faster
The song of the clanking wheels.

The Magpie Sings the Great Depression

Archive:  Year   |   Author/Artist  |   Subject
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