Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt (1836-1919)
Out of Tune
1Someone has told you that the moon is old?
2(Do you not see to-night that it is new?)
3It just pretends that it is made of gold;
4It's made of – matter? (Matter means what's true.)
5A rainbow is not sure enough at all?
6The sky is nothing, only it looks blue?
7Some night, you guess, the stars will have to fall
8Down in the grass when everything breaks through?
9Some things are pretty, but they will not stay?
10Out on the cliff you saw the reddest rose,
11The wind or something blew it right away –
12That black rock lasts forever where it grows?
13The butterflies are only worms with wings?
14Without them they would not know how to fly?
15And we are sinners? Girls should not wear rings
16And gloves and sashes – for they have to die?
17The sun shines sometimes, but it always rains
18Forever, so you can't play in the sand?
19Walnuts and berries spoil your hands with stains?
20And – no one knows the way to fairy land?
Online text copyright © 2004, Ian Lancashire for the Department
of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services,
University of Toronto Libraries.
Original text: Palace–Burner: The Selected Poetry of Sarah Piatt (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2001): 110.
First publication date:
Publication date note: Wide-Awake (June 1881).
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: 2004
Recent editing: 1:2004/4/15
Other poems by Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt