May 8

Out of emptiness comes this:
Purposes as incomprehensible and wonderful as these purposes
Either you had no purpose or the purpose is beyond the end

Because the watch not only serves a purpose, it is adapted to that
      purpose
Except it was a secret purpose
The world is a mental activity, a dream of souls, without foundation,
      purpose, weight or shape

People in collective idleness are even more repellent than when
      purpose motivates them
God, glass, my townspeople! For what purpose?
His purpose and mine is to catch photons and store them in our
      bones

Lately I have thought about our war and its purpose
To have a season for every purpose, Ecclesiastes was wrong about
      that
Languages of mammals, purposes of insects, placement of rocks

They purpose nothing but their ease and die urgently beating east to
      sunrise and the sea
Having died, as such, I find I do not mind quiet living with the
      purpose of a cell
Stately purposes, valor in battle, glorious annals of army and fleet,
      death for the right cause

My friend who is counselor to kings and presidents doesn't worry
      about purpose
To what purpose, April, do you return again?
Not to say there is no purpose necessarily, just I don't immediately
      get it

The purpose of sitting is not to be satisfied or satiated
Use of violence by the local militia for a limited purpose, protect the
      young from the janjaweed, the crop from the weed
The knight, the penitent misses last assessment of life's purpose,
      babbling for God to appear

I mean your entire purpose should be living. You must take living
      seriously.
Sleep with a purpose
Lose all purpose beyond murder, child sex and food hording

Proof that there's a purpose set before the secret working mind
Having purposefully expunged from it every trace of emotion
What is relevant for our present purpose is counting is associated
      with primitive forms of writing

Unable to assess the purpose of the battle
Desperate for new fetuses to teach purposeful workmanlike killing
He will live with the question What was our purpose?

Organize the unemployed, the welfare mothers and alcoholics into a
      flying chevron of purposeful explorers
If we are not at home in the world, contributing purpose, we lose our
      desire to stay here--and we die
Their corners sharp, their lines exact, as if their purpose was to show
      the plane geometry of snow

That's when everything becomes clear. Purpose v. purposelessness
      matters less.
My strong heart I abandoned to its own purpose
Lonely physics, national purpose

This then is the purpose of purposelessness (and of eating less)!
A shape less recognizable each week, a purpose more obscure
That is the purpose of poetry. Gargoyle twice.

For the distant purposes of Henry Ford
The purpose of school is to introduce us to the world's innumerable
      wonders
The men who left the machine have started their own business. A
      new endeavor by which they will keep warm and purposeful.

The purpose of poetry is to remind us how difficult it is to remain just
      one person
Let Greece then know my purpose I retain, nor vex with new treaties
      my peace in vain,
And shake the purpose of my soul no more

www.ronnowpoetry.com

--Eliot, T.S., "Little Gidding", Four Quartets, 1942
--Deutsch, David, The Beginning of Infinity, Viking Press, 2011
--Chasar, Mike, "Conches on Christmas", Poetry, The Poetry Foundation, September, 2005.
--Borges, Jorge Luis, "Break of Day", Spanish, trans. Stephen Kessler, Selected Poems, ed. Alexander Coleman, Viking Penguin, 1999.
--Petri, Gyorgy, "Gratitude", Hungarian, trans. Clive Wilmer & George Gomori, Eternal Monday: New and Selected Poems, Bloodaxe Books, 2000.
--Williams, William Carlos, "Tract", The Collected Poems of William Carlos Williams, New Directions Publishing, 1938.
--Amichai, Yehuda, "A Man in His Life", Hebrew, trans. Chana Bloch, The Selected Poetry of Yehuda Amichai, Newly Revised and Expanded Edition, University of California Press, 1996.
--Lowell, Robert, "Mr. Edwards and the Spider", Collected Poems, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2007.
--Tennyson, Alfred, Lord , "Vastness".
--Millay, Edna St. Vincent, "Spring", Collected Poems Edna St. Vincent Millay, Harper & Row, 1956.
--Hikmet, Nazim, "On Living", Turkish, trans. Deniz Perin, The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry, Ecco Books, 2010.
--Matthews, William, "Homer's Seeing-Eye Dog", Selected Poems and Translations: 1969-1991, Mariner Books, 1992.
--Yeats, William Butler, "Under Ben Bulben", The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats, The Macmillan Company, 1956.
--Borges, Jorge Luis, "Everything and Nothing", Spanish, trans. Kenneth Krabbenhoft, Selected Poems, ed. Alexander Coleman, Viking Penguin, 1999.
--Harris, Roy, The Origin of Writing, Open Court Publishing Co., 1986.
--Zukav, Gary, The Seat of the Soul, Free Press, 1990.
--Francis, Robert, "Old Roofs", Robert Francis: Collected Poems, 1936-1976, University of Massachusetts Press, 1985.
--Olds, Sharon, "The Race", Strike Sparks, Alfred A. Knopf, 2004.
--Larkin, Philip, "Church Going", Collected Poems, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2004.
--Levine, Philip, "You Can Have It", New Selected Poems, Alfred A. Knopf, 1994.
--Milosz, Czeslaw, "Ars Poetica?", Polish, trans. Czeslaw Milosz & Lillian Vallee, New and Collected Poems, The Ecco Press, 2003.
--Homer, The Iliad, IX & XIV, Greek, trans. Alexander Pope, Penguin Books, 1996.
Robert Ronnow
Written by
Robert Ronnow
331
 
Please log in to view and add comments on poems