Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Aftermath and The End


Okay, I confess. Ninety percent of the poems I choose are based on how I am feeling about things.



The End

Throughout the echoing chambers of my brain
I hear your words in mournful cadence toll
Like some slow passing-bell which warns the soul
Of sundering darkness. Unrelenting, fain
To batter down resistance, fall again
Stroke after stroke, insistent diastole,
The bitter blows of truth, until the whole
Is hammered into fact made strangely plain.
Where shall I look for comfort? Not to you.
Our worlds are drawn apart, our spirit's suns
Divided, and the light of mine burnt dim.
Now in the haunted twilight I must do
Your will. I grasp the cup which over-runs,
And with my trembling lips I touch the rim.
Amy Lowell

Buried Love






    I HAVE come to bury Love [I shall bury my weary Love]
    Beneath a tree,
    In the forest tall and black
    Where none can see.

    I shall put no flowers at his head,
    Nor stone at his feet,
    For the mouth I loved so much
    Was bittersweet.

    I shall go no more to his grave,
    For the woods are cold.
    I shall gather as much of joy
    As my hands can hold.

    I shall stay all day in the sun
    Where the wide winds blow, --
    But oh, I shall cry at night [But oh, I shall weep at night]
    When none will know.

    Sara Teasdale

Monday, March 30, 2009

Romance

    TO clasp you now and feel your head close-pressed,
    Scented and warm against my beating breast;

    To whisper soft and quivering your name,
    And drink the passion burning in your frame;

    To lie at full length, taut, with cheek to cheek,
    And tease your mouth with kisses till you speak

    Love words, mad words, dream words, sweet senseless words,
    Melodious like notes of mating birds;

    To hear you ask if I shall love always,
    And myself answer: Til the end of days;

    To feel your easeful sigh of happiness
    When on your trembling lips I murmur: Yes;

    It is so sweet. We know it is not true.
    What matters it? The night must shed her dew.

    We know it is not true, but it is sweet--
    The poem with this music is complete.

    Claude McKay

Saturday, March 28, 2009

She Walks in Beauty

The author of this poem, Lord Byron, was quite a character. A lover of women and boys alike, he epitomized and immortalized the "Byronic Hero" a sullen, brooding, defiant young man who fixates upon some unforgivable mistake in his past. It was written about Byron that he was "mad, bad, and dangerous to know" Byron is possibly best known for his tale of "Don Juan" a character who some argue is autobiographical in nature.
    SHE walks in beauty like the night
    Of cloudless climes and starry skies,
    And all that's best of dark and bright
    Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
    Thus mellowed to the tender light
    Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

    One ray the more, one shade the less
    Had half impaired the nameless grace
    Which waves in every raven tress
    Or softly lightens o'er her face,
    Where thoughts serenely sweet express
    How pure, how dear their dwelling place.

    And on that cheek and o'er that brow
    So soft, so calm yet eloquent,
    The smiles that win, the tints that glow
    But tell of days in goodness spent
    A mind at peace with all below,
    A heart whose love is innocent.
    Lord Byron

She is not beautiful

Sometimes you might love someone who frowns more than smiles...... For the youngsters out there, "fair" in this poem refers to beauty. "She is not fair to outward view" = she's not beautiful in appearance.

She is not fair to outward view

    SHE is not fair to outward view,
    As many maidens be,
    Her loveliness I never knew
    Until she smiled on me:
    O, then I saw her eye was bright, --
    A well of love, a spring of light.

    But now her looks are coy and cold;
    To mine they never reply;
    And yet I cease not to behold,
    The love-light in her eye:
    Her very frowns are better far
    Than smiles of other maidens are!

    Hartley Coleridge

Monday, March 23, 2009

Lament



    LISTEN, children,
    Your father is dead.
    From his old coats
    I'll make you little jackets;
    I'll make you little trousers
    From his old pants.
    There'll be in his pockets
    Things he used to put there:
    Keys and pennies
    Covered with tobacco.
    Dan shall have the pennies
    To save in his bank;
    Anne shall have the keys
    To make a pretty noise with.
    Life must go on
    And the dead be forgotten;
    Life must go on
    Though good men die.
    Anne, eat your breakfast;
    Dan, take your medicine.
    Life must go on;
    I forget just why.
    Edna St. Vincent Millay
    Image: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/00675/orphans1_675357c.jpg : REUTERS

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Waking up Midlife


A Daughter of Eve

    A FOOL I was to sleep at noon,
    And wake when night is chilly
    Beneath the comfortless cold moon;
    A fool to pluck my rose too soon,
    A fool to snap my lily.

    My garden-plot I have not kept;
    Faded and all-forsaken,
    I weep as I have never wept:
    Oh it was summer when I slept,
    It's winter now I waken.

    Talk what you please of future spring
    And sun-warm'd sweet to-morrow:
    Stripp'd bare of hope and everything,
    No more to laugh, no more to sing,
    I sit alone with sorrow.

    Christina Rossetti

Monday, March 16, 2009

Ladybug

When I was a child

Ladybugs would fly to me.

They would land on my arm

And whisper little secrets in my ear

Of things I would become:


A kind man
And gentle of mind,
A man of spirit
That could close great divides.

But I don't feel that big.
In fact, as I sit in the grass
And talk to you.
I feel like a tiny ladybug
On someone else's arm
And your ear is most important to me

© Time Inc.For personal non-commercial use only photo by Margaret Bourke-White 1952
Dahlia photos: I took these pictures of my dahlias back around 1999-2000. jkb

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Widow's Lament in Springtime

by David "Darkarts" THIERREE.

photo by SamLindsey

    Sorrow is my own yard
    where the new grass
    flames as it has flamed
    often before but not
    with the cold fire
    that closes round me this year.

    Thirty-five years
    I lived with my husband.
    The plumtree is white today
    with masses of flowers.

    Masses of flowers
    load the cherry branches
    and color some bushes
    yellow and some red
    but the grief in my heart
    is stronger than they
    for though they were my joy
    formerly, today I notice them
    and turn away forgetting.

    Today my son told me
    that in the meadows,
    at the edge of the heavy woods
    in the distance, he saw
    trees of white flowers.

    I feel that I would like
    to go there
    and fall into those flowers
    and sink into the marsh near them.

    William Carlos Williams

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I THOUGHT you loved me.


In the Orchard




photo: http://www.stuartallen.info

    I THOUGHT you loved me.
    No, it was only fun.
    When we stood there, closer than all?
    Well, the harvest moon
    Was shining and queer in your hair, and it turned my head.
    That made you?
    Yes.
    Just the moon and the light it made
    Under the tree?
    Well, your mouth too.
    Yes, my mouth?
    And the quiet there that sang like the drum in the booth.
    You shouldn't have danced like that.
    Like what?
    So close,
    With your head turned up, and the flower in your hair, a rose
    That smelt all warm.
    I loved you. I thought you knew
    I wouldn't have danced like that with any but you.
    I didn't know. I thought you knew it was fun.
    I thought it was love you meant.
    Well, it's done.
    Yes, it's done.
    I've seen boys stone a blackbird, and watched them drown
    A kitten -- it clawed at the reeds, and they pushed it down
    Into the pool while it screamed. Is that fun, too?
    Well, boys are like that -- Your brothers --
    Yes, I know.
    But you, so lovely and strong! Not you! Not You!
    Muriel Stuart

A March Day in London


THE east wind blows in the street today;
The sky is blue, yet the town looks grey.
'Tis the wind of ice, the wind of fire,
Of cold despair and of hot desire,
Which chills the flesh to aches and pains,
And sends a fever through all the veins.

From end to end, with aimless feet,
All day long have I paced the street.
My limbs are weary, but in my breast,
Stirs the goad of a mad unrest.
I would give anything to stay
The little wheel that turns in my brain;
The little wheel that turns all day,
That turns all night with might and main.

What is the thing I fear, and why?
Nay, but the world is all awry--
The wind's in the east, the sun's in the sky.
The gas-lamps gleam in a golden line;
The ruby lights of the hansoms shine,
Glance, and flicker like fire-flies bright;
The wind has fallen with the night,
And once again the town seems fair
Thwart the mist that hangs i' the air.

And o'er, at last, my spirit steals
A weary peace; peace that conceals
within its inner depths the grain
Of hopes that yet shall flower again.

Amy Levy

March Evening

March Evening

Blue through the window burns the twilight;
Heavy, through trees, blows the warm south wind.
Glistening, against the chill, gray sky light,
Wet, black branches are barred and entwined.

Sodden and spongy, the scarce-green grass plot
Dents into pools where a foot has been.
Puddles lie spilt in the road a mass, not
Of water, but steel, with its cold, hard sheen.

Faint fades the fire on the hearth, its embers
Scattering wide at a stronger gust.
Above, the old weathercock groans, but remembers
Creaking, to turn, in its centuried rust.

Dying, forlorn, in dreary sorrow,
Wrapping the mists round her withering form,
Day sinks down; and in darkness to-morrow
Travails to birth in the womb of the storm.

Amy Lowell

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The way your little finger moved

AH, God, the way your little finger moved
As you thrust a bare arm backward
And made play with your hair
And a comb a silly gilt comb
Ah, God--that I should suffer
Because of the way a little finger moved.

Stephen Crane

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

About Me and my Choice of Poems

Just to let you know, the poems I choose are not all about my ex-husband. He is doing a good job of killing any feeling that I have for him. Generally, I love romantic poems, poems of love, loss, life, etc. So now u kno!

I Do Not Love You


I DO not love You! No! I do not love You!
And yet when you are absent I am sad;
And envy even the bright blue sky above You,
Whose quiet stars may see You and be glad.
I do not love You! yet, I know not why,
Whatever You do seems still well done, to me --
And often in my solitude I sigh --
That those I do love are not more like You!
I do not love You! yet when You are gone
I hate the sound (though those who speak be dear)
Which breaks the lingering echo of the tone
Your voice of music leaves upon my ear.
I do not love You! yet your speaking eyes,
With their deep, bright and most expressive blue --
Between me and the midnight heaven arise,
Oftener than any eyes I ever knew.
I know I do not love You! yet, alas!
Others will scarcely trust my candid heart;
And often I catch them smiling as they pass,
Because they see me gazing where you are.


Caroline Norton

Note: In the interest of making this poem more palatable to a younger generation, I have changed the thou's and thy's to you and your. Normally, I would indicate this by using brackets [ ] but I didn't want to interrupt the flow of the poem either. Now, thou knowest! ;D

Friday, March 6, 2009

But Not to me

THE April night is still and sweet
With flowers on every tree;
Peace comes to them on quiet feet,
But not to me.

My peace is hidden in his breast
Where I shall never be,
Love comes to-night to all the rest,
But not to me.


Sara Teasdale

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Once More Into My Arid Days


(Arid means dry; without rain)

ONCE more into my arid days like dew,
Like wind from an oasis, or the sound
Of cold sweet water bubbling underground,
A treacherous messenger--the thought of you
Comes to destroy me; once more I renew
Firm faith in your abundance, whom I found
Long since to be but just one other mound
Of sand, whereon no green thing ever grew.
And once again, and wiser is no wise,
I chase your colored phantom on the air,
And sob and curse and fall and weep and rise
And stumble pitifully on to where,
Miserable and lost, with stinging eyes,
Once more [I reach for you]--and there is nothing there.

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Summer Morn In New Hampshire

ALL yesterday it poured, and all night long
I could not sleep; the rain unceasing beat
Upon the shingled roof like a weird song,
Upon the grass like running children's feet.
And down the mountains by the dark cloud kissed,
Like a strange shape in filmy veiling dressed,
Slid slowly, silently, the wraith-like mist,
And nestled soft against the earth's wet breast.

But lo, there was a miracle at dawn!
The still air stirred at touch of the faint breeze,
The sun a sheet of gold bequeathed the lawn,
The songsters twittered in the rustling trees.
And all things were transfigured in the day,
But me whom radiant beauty could not move;
For you, more wonderful, were far away,
And I was blind with hunger for your love.

Claude McKay

Monday, March 2, 2009

Solitude

I always love it when I find the source of a common saying. I have heard the first lines of this poem repeatedly throughout my life--live long enough and you will too! Here it is folks, first coined by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, in her poem as follows:


LAUGH, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone.

For the sad old earth must borrow it's mirth,
But has trouble enough of it's own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air.
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.

Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go.
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all.
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life's gall.

Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a long and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Ashes of Life

Love has gone and left me and the days are all alike;
Eat I must, and sleep I will, -- and would that

night were here!
But ah! -- to lie awake and hear the slow hours strike!
Would that it were day again! -- with twilight

near!

Love has gone and left me and I don't know what to do;
This or that or what you will is all the same to me;

But all the things that I begin I leave
before I'm through, --
There's little use in anything as far as I can see.

Love has gone and left me, -- and the neighbors knock
and borrow,
And life goes on forever like the gnawing of a mouse, --

And to-morrow and to-morrow and to-morrow
and to-morrow
There's this little street and this little house.


Edna St. Vincent Millay

Sorrow

SORROW like a ceaseless rain
Beats upon my heart.
People twist and scream in pain, --
Dawn will find them still again;
This has neither wax nor wane,
Neither stop nor start.
People dress and go to town;
I sit in my chair.
All my thoughts are slow and brown:
Standing up or sitting down
Little matters, or what gown
Or what shoes I wear.


Edna St. Vincent Millay

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Union Square

Union Square

    WITH the man I love who loves me not,
    I walked in the street-lamps' flare;
    We watched the world go home that night
    In a flood through Union Square.

    I leaned to catch the words he said
    That were light as a snowflake falling;
    Ah well that he never leaned to hear
    The words my heart was calling.

    And on we walked and on we walked
    Past the fiery lights of the picture shows --
    Where the girls with thirsty eyes go by
    On the errand each man knows.

    And on we walked and on we walked,
    At the door at last we said good-bye;
    I knew by his smile he had not heard
    My heart's unuttered cry.

    With the man I love who loves me not
    I walked in the street-lamps' flare --
    But oh, the girls who can ask for love
    In the lights of Union Square.
By Sara Teasdale, of course. :)