One of the lost poets of Lowell is Harry de Metropolis, born Sept. 22, 1913, in Lowell. He graduated from Lowell High School (1931) and West Point (1939), and served in the European and Pacific theaters in World War II. In 1952, the William-Frederick Press of N.Y. published a collection of his poems: Love and War, a title that can hardly be more timeless and universal. Of his poem “Convoy,” Admiral Chester Nimitz wrote that the composition “rings with conviction.” Tsune-chi Yu, Consul General of the Republic of China, praised the poem “East Is East, and West Is West” as “truly inspirational.” These endorsements appear on the dust jacket of Love and War.
Here’s a poem about his passion for literature:
I Have Loved England
I have loved England, dearly and deeply,
Since that first day, wide-eyed in high school,
The poems of Byron I read excitedly
Out of my textbook, breathlessly wonderful.
And since that day, my love for her has grown
So great with Wordsworth, Shakespeare, Shelley, Keats, and Pope,
Who have my heart and soul so richly sown
With Immortality, Love, Liberty, Beauty, and Hope,
That were I born without a native home,
Proud would I be to England claim my own!
And here’s an excerpt from Convoy:
Even the bravest man
Shakes like a frightened sheep
When Terror strikes at night
In the frightful, awful Deep.
And the loudest atheist
Re-believes in God
At night, in convoy, at the mercy
Of a sub’s death-dealing rod.
A eulogy for Harry was posted on the website of West Point a few years ago. Read it here to learn more about his life. I will try to find a photo of Harry to post here. Maybe Charles Nikitopoulos will find one among the Greek-American community.