Name:  ____________________________________

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Underline the prepositional phrases in the poem below and the poem on the other side of the sheet. 


A Fire-Truck


Right down the shocked street with a siren-blast

That sends all else skittering to the curb,

Redness, brass, ladders and hats hurl past,

Blurring to sheer verb,


Shift at the corner into uproarious gear

And make it around the turn in a squall

of traction, The headlong bell maintaining sure and clear,

Thought is degraded action!


Beautiful, heavy, unweary, loud, obvious thing!

I stand here purged of nuance, my mind a blank.

All I was brooding upon has taken wing,

And I have you to thank.


As you howl beyond hearing I carry you into my mind,

Ladders and brass and all, there to admire

Your phoenix-red simplicity, enshrined

In that not extinguished fire.


Richard Wilbur

Water Picture


In the pond in the park

all things are doubled:

Long buildings hang and

wriggle gently. Chimneys

are bent legs bouncing

on clouds below. A flag

wags like a fishhook

down there in the sky.


The arched stone bridge

is an eye, with underlid

in the water. In its lens

dip crinkled heads with hats

that don't fall off. Dogs go by,

barking on their backs.

A baby, taken to feed the

ducks, dangles upside-down,

a pink balloon for a boy.


Treetops deploy a haze of

cherry bloom for roots,

where birds coast belly-up

in the glass bowl of a hill;

from its bottom a bunch

of peanut-munching children

is suspended by their

sneakers, waveringly.


A swan, with twin necks

forming the figure 3,

steers between two dimpled

towers doubled. Fondly

hissing, she kisses herself,

and all the scene is troubled:

water-windows splinter,

tree-limbs tangle, the bridge

folds like a fan.


May Swenson