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 2131° 
Mary Mathews Adams
TWO loves had I. Now both are dead,
And both are marked by tombstones white.
The one stands in the churchyard near,
The other hid from mortal sight.

The name on one all men may read,        
And learn who lies beneath the stone;
The other name is written where
No eyes can read it but my own.

On one I plant a living flower,
And cherish it with loving hands;      
I shun the single withered leaf
That tells me where the other stands.

To that white tombstone on the hill
In summer days I often go;
From this white stone that nearer lies
I turn me with unuttered woe.

O God, I pray, if love must die,
And make no more of life a part,
Let witness be where all can see,
And not within a living heart.
 332° 
Chin-ok
They told me it was metal,
but I didn't believe a word.
But now I find it's iron
of the strongest, finest kind.
Ah! Here is my little bellows,
I think I'll melt it down.
 101° 
Alfred de Musset
Adieu, Suzon, ma rose blonde,
Qui m'as aimé pendant huit jours ;
Les plus courts plaisirs de ce monde
Souvent font les meilleurs amours.
Sais-je, au moment où je te quitte,
Où m'entraîne mon astre errant ?
Je m'en vais pourtant, ma petite,
Bien loin, bien vite,
Toujours courant.

Je pars, et sur ma lèvre ardente
Brûle encor ton dernier baiser.
Entre mes bras, chère imprudente,
Ton beau front vient de reposer.
Sens-tu mon coeur, comme il palpite ?
Le tien, comme il battait gaiement !
Je m'en vais pourtant, ma petite,
Bien loin, bien vite,
Toujours t'aimant.

Paf ! c'est mon cheval qu'on apprête.
Enfant, que ne puis-je en chemin
Emporter ta mauvaise tête,
Qui m'a tout embaumé la main !
Tu souris, petite hypocrite,
Comme la nymphe, en t'enfuyant.
Je m'en vais pourtant, ma petite,
Bien loin, bien vite,
Tout en riant.

Que de tristesse, et que de charmes,
Tendre enfant, dans tes doux adieux !
Tout m'enivre, jusqu'à tes larmes,
Lorsque ton coeur est dans tes yeux.
A vivre ton regard m'invite ;
Il me consolerait mourant.
Je m'en vais pourtant, ma petite,
Bien loin, bien vite,
Tout en pleurant.

Que notre amour, si tu m'oublies,
Suzon, dure encore un moment ;
Comme un bouquet de fleurs pâlies,
Cache-le dans ton sein charmant !
Adieu ; le bonheur reste au gîte,
Le souvenir part avec moi :
Je l'emporterai, ma petite,
Bien loin, bien vite,
Toujours à toi.
 77° 
Taigu Ryokan
In the morning, bowing to all;
In the evening, bowing to all.
Respecting others is my only duty--
Hail to the Never-despising Bodhisattva.

In heaven and earth he stands alone.

A real monk
Needs
Only one thing--
a heart like
Never-despising Buddha.
 75° 
Robert Bly
Tell me why it is we don’t lift our voices these days
And cry over what is happening. Have you noticed
The plans are made for Iraq and the ice cap is melting?

I say to myself: “Go on, cry. What’s the sense
Of being an adult and having no voice? Cry out!
See who will answer! This is Call and Answer!”

We will have to call especially loud to reach
Our angels, who are hard of hearing; they are hiding
In the jugs of silence filled during our wars.

Have we agreed to so many wars that we can’t
Escape from silence? If we don’t lift our voices, we allow
Others (who are ourselves) to rob the house.

How come we’ve listened to the great criers—Neruda,
Akhmatova, Thoreau, Frederick Douglass—and now
We’re silent as sparrows in the little bushes?

Some masters say our life lasts only seven days.
Where are we in the week? Is it Thursday yet?
Hurry, cry now! Soon Sunday night will come.
 70° 
Arthur Rimbaud
I

L'eau claire ; comme le sel des larmes d'enfance,
L'assaut au soleil des blancheurs des corps de femmes ;
la soie, en foule et de lys pur, des oriflammes
sous les murs dont quelque pucelle eut la défense ;

L'ébat des anges ; - Non... le courant d'or en marche,
meut ses bras, noirs, et lourds, et frais surtout, d'herbe. Elle
sombre, ayant le Ciel bleu pour ciel-de-lit, appelle
pour rideaux l'ombre de la colline et de l'arche.

II

Eh ! l'humide carreau tend ses bouillons limpides !
L'eau meuble d'or pâle et sans fond les couches prêtes.
Les robes vertes et déteintes des fillettes
font les saules, d'où sautent les oiseaux sans brides.

Plus pure qu'un louis, jaune et chaude paupière
le souci d'eau - ta foi conjugale, ô l'Épouse ! -
au midi prompt, de son terne miroir, jalouse
au ciel gris de chaleur la Sphère rose et chère.

III

Madame se tient trop debout dans la prairie
prochaine où neigent les fils du travail ; l'ombrelle
aux doigts ; foulant l'ombelle ; trop fière pour elle ;
des enfants lisant dans la verdure fleurie

leur livre de maroquin rouge ! Hélas, Lui, comme
mille anges blancs qui se séparent sur la route,
s'éloigne par delà la montagne ! Elle, toute
froide, et noire, court ! après le départ de l'homme !

IV

Regret des bras épais et jeunes d'herbe pure !
Or des lunes d'avril au coeur du saint lit ! Joie
des chantiers riverains à l'abandon, en proie
aux soirs d'août qui faisaient germer ces pourritures !

Qu'elle pleure à présent sous les remparts ! l'haleine
des peupliers d'en haut est pour la seule brise.
Puis, c'est la nappe, sans reflets, sans source, grise :
un vieux, dragueur, dans sa barque immobile, peine.

V

Jouet de cet oeil d'eau morne, je n'y puis prendre,
ô canot immobile ! oh ! bras trop courts ! ni l'une
ni l'autre fleur : ni la jaune qui m'importune,
là ; ni la bleue, amie à l'eau couleur de cendre.

Ah ! la poudre des saules qu'une aile secoue !
Les roses des roseaux dès longtemps dévorées !
Mon canot, toujours fixe ; et sa chaîne tirée
Au fond de cet oeil d'eau sans bords, - à quelle boue ?
En torno de una mesa de cantina,
una noche de invierno,
regocijadamente departían
seis alegres bohemios.Los ecos de sus risas escapaban
y de aquel barrio quieto
iban a interrumpir el imponente
y profundo silencio.El humo de olorosos cigarrillos
en espirales se elevaba al cielo,
simbolizando al resolverse en nada,
la vida de los sueños.Pero en todos los labios había risas,
inspiración en todos los cerebros,
y, repartidas en la mesa, copas
pletóricas de ron, whisky o ajenjo.Era curioso ver aquel conjunto,
aquel grupo bohemio,
del que brotaba la palabra chusca,
la que vierte veneno,
lo mismo que, melosa y delicada,
la música de un verso.A cada nueva libación, las penas
hallábanse más lejos del grupo,
y nueva inspiración llegaba
a todos los cerebros,
con el idilio roto que venía
en alas del recuerdo.Olvidaba decir que aquella noche,
aquel grupo bohemio
celebraba entre risas, libaciones,
chascarrillos y versos,
la agonía de un año que amarguras
dejó en todos los pechos,
y la llegada, consecuencia lógica,
del "Feliz Año Nuevo"...Una voz varonil dijo de pronto:
-Las doce, compañeros;
Digamos el "requiéscat" por el año
que ha pasado a formar entre los muertos.
¡Brindemos por el año que comienza!
Porque nos traiga ensueños;
porque no sea su equipaje un cúmulo
de amargos desconsuelos...-Brindo, dijo otra voz, por la esperanza
que a la vida nos lanza,
de vencer los rigores del destino,
por la esperanza, nuestra dulce amiga,
que las penas mitiga
y convierte en vergel nuestro camino.Brindo porque ya hubiese a mi existencia
puesto fin con violencia
esgrimiendo en mi frente mi venganza;
si en mi cielo de tul limpio y divino
no alumbrara mi sino
una pálida estrella: Mi esperanza.-¡Bravo! Dijeron todos, inspirado
esta noche has estado
y hablaste bueno, breve y sustancioso.
El turno es de Raúl; alce su copa
Y brinde por... Europa,
Ya que su extranjerismo es delicioso...-Bebo y brindo, clamó el interpelado;
brindo por mi pasado,
que fue de luz, de amor y de alegría,
y en el que hubo mujeres seductoras
y frentes soñadoras
que se juntaron con la frente mía...Brindo por el ayer que en la amargura
que hoy cubre de negrura
mi corazón, esparce sus consuelos
trayendo hasta mi mente las dulzuras
de goces, de ternuras,
de dichas, de deliquios, de desvelos.-Yo brindo, dijo Juan, porque en mi mente
brote un torrente
de inspiración divina y seductora,
porque vibre en las cuerdas de mi lira
el verso que suspira,
que sonríe, que canta y que enamora.Brindo porque mis versos cual saetas
Lleguen hasta las grietas
Formadas de metal y de granito
Del corazón de la mujer ingrata
Que a desdenes me mata...
¡pero que tiene un cuerpo muy bonito!Porque a su corazón llegue mi canto,
porque enjuguen mi llanto
sus manos que me causan embelesos;
porque con creces mi pasión me pague...
¡vamos!, porque me embriague
con el divino néctar de sus besos.Siguió la tempestad de frases vanas,
de aquellas tan humanas
que hallan en todas partes acomodo,
y en cada frase de entusiasmo ardiente,
hubo ovación creciente,
y libaciones y reír y todo.Se brindó por la Patria, por las flores,
por los castos amores
que hacen un valladar de una ventana,
y por esas pasiones voluptuosas
que el fango del placer llena de rosas
y hacen de la mujer la cortesana.Sólo faltaba un brindis, el de Arturo.
El del bohemio puro,
De noble corazón y gran cabeza;
Aquél que sin ambages declaraba
Que solo ambicionaba
Robarle inspiración a la tristeza.Por todos estrechado, alzó la copa
Frente a la alegre tropa
Desbordante de risas y de contento;
Los inundó en la luz de una mirada,
Sacudió su melena alborotada
Y dijo así, con inspirado acento:-Brindo por la mujer, mas no por ésa
en la que halláis consuelo en la tristeza,
rescoldo del placer ¡desventurados!;
no por esa que os brinda sus hechizos
cuando besáis sus rizos
artificiosamente perfumados.Yo no brindo por ella, compañeros,
siento por esta vez no complaceros.
Brindo por la mujer, pero por una,
por la que me brindó sus embelesos
y me envolvió en sus besos:
por la mujer que me arrulló en la cuna.Por la mujer que me enseño de niño
lo que vale el cariño
exquisito, profundo y verdadero;
por la mujer que me arrulló en sus brazos
y que me dio en pedazos,
uno por uno, el corazón entero.¡Por mi Madre! Bohemios, por la anciana
que piensa en el mañana
como en algo muy dulce y muy deseado,
porque sueña tal vez, que mi destino
me señala el camino
por el que volveré pronto a su lado.Por la anciana adorada y bendecida,
por la que con su sangre me dio vida,
y ternura y cariño;
por la que fue la luz del alma mía,
y lloró de alegría,
sintiendo mi cabeza en su corpiño.Por esa brindo yo, dejad que llore,
que en lágrimas desflore
esta pena letal que me asesina;
dejad que brinde por mi madre ausente,
por la que llora y siente
que mi ausencia es un fuego que calcina.Por la anciana infeliz que sufre y llora
y que del cielo implora
que vuelva yo muy pronto a estar con ella;
por mi Madre, bohemios, que es dulzura
vertida en mi amargura
y en esta noche de mi vida, estrella...El bohemio calló; ningún acento
profanó el sentimiento
nacido del dolor y la ternura,
y pareció que sobre aquel ambiente
flotaba inmensamente
un poema de amor y de amargura.
 57° 
Arthur Rimbaud
Sonnet.

A noir, E blanc, I rouge, U vert, O bleu : voyelles,
Je dirai quelque jour vos naissances latentes :
A, noir corset velu des mouches éclatantes
Qui bombinent autour des puanteurs cruelles,

Golfes d'ombre ; E, candeurs des vapeurs et des tentes,
Lances des glaciers fiers, rois blancs, frissons d'ombelles ;
I, pourpres, sang craché, rire des lèvres belles
Dans la colère ou les ivresses pénitentes ;

U, cycles, vibrements divins des mers virides,
Paix des pâtis semés d'animaux, paix des rides
Que l'alchimie imprime aux grands fronts studieux ;

O, suprême Clairon plein des strideurs étranges,
Silences traversés des Mondes et des Anges ;
- O l'Oméga, rayon violet de Ses Yeux !
 53° 
Alfonsina Storni
Tú me quieres alba,
Me quieres de espumas,
Me quieres de nácar.
Que sea azucena
Sobre todas, casta.
De perfume tenue.
Corola cerrada.

Ni un rayo de luna
Filtrado me haya.
Ni una margarita
Se diga mi hermana.
Tú me quieres nívea,
Tú me quieres blanca,
Tú me quieres alba.

Tú que hubiste todas
Las copas a mano,
De frutos y mieles
Los labios morados.
Tú que en el banquete
Cubierto de pámpanos
Dejaste las carnes
Festejando a Baco.

Tú que en los jardines
Negros del Engaño
Vestido de rojo
Corriste al Estrago.

Tú que el esqueleto
Conservas intacto
No sé todavía
Por cuáles milagros,
Me pretendes blanca
(Dios te lo perdone),
Me pretendes casta
(Dios te lo perdone),
Me pretendes alba.

Huye hacia los bosques;
Vete a la montaña;
Límpiate la boca;
Vive en las cabañas;
Toca con las manos
La tierra mojada;
Alimenta el cuerpo
Con raíz amarga;
Bebe de las rocas;
Duerme sobre escarcha;
Renueva tejidos
Con salitre y agua;
Habla con los pájaros
Y lévate al alba.
Y cuando las carnes
Te sean tornadas,
Y cuando hayas puesto
En ellas el alma
Que por las alcobas
Se quedó enredada,
Entonces, buen hombre,
Preténdeme blanca,
Preténdeme nívea,
Preténdeme casta.
 52° 
Rudyard Kipling
If you wake at midnight, and hear a horse’s feet,
Don’t go drawing back the blind, or looking in the street.
Them that ask no questions isn’t told a lie.
Watch the wall, my darling, while the Gentlemen go by!
  Five and twenty ponies,
  Trotting through the dark—
  Brandy for the Parson,
  ‘Baccy for the Clerk;
  Laces for a lady, letters for a spy,
And watch the wall, my darling, while the Gentlemen go by!

Running round the woodlump if you chance to find
Little barrels, roped and tarred, all full of brandy-wine,
Don’t you shout to come and look, nor use ’em for your play.
Put the brishwood back again—and they’ll be gone next day!

If you see the stable-door setting open wide;
If you see a tired horse lying down inside;
If your mother mends a coat cut about and tore;
If the lining’s wet and warm—don’t you ask no more!

If you meet King George’s men, dressed in blue and red,
You be carefull what you say, and mindful what is said.
If they call you “pretty maid,” and chuck you ’neath the chin,
Don’t you tell where no one is, nor yet where no one’s been!

Knocks and footsteps round the house—whistles after dark—
You’ve no call for running out till the house-dogs bark.
Trusty’s here, and Pincher’s here, and see how dumb they lie—
They don’t fret to follow when the Gentlemen go by!

If you do as you’ve been told, ‘likely there’s a chance,
You’ll be given a dainty doll, all the way from France,
With a cap of Valenciennes, and a velvet hood—
A present from the Gentlemen, along o’ being good!
  Five and twenty ponies,
  Trotting through the dark—
  Brandy for the Parson,
  ‘Baccy for the Clerk;
Them that asks no questions isn’t told a lie—
Watch the wall, my darling, while the Gentlemen bo by!
 48° 
Robert Frost
There is a singer eveyone has heard,
Loud, a mid-summer and a mid-wood bird,
Who makes the solid tree trunks sound again.
He says that leaves are old and that for flowers
Mid-summer is to spring as one to ten.
He says the early petal-fall is past,
When pear and cherry bloom went down in showers
On sunny days a moment overcast;
And comes that other fall we name the fall.
He says the highway dust is over all.
The bird would cease and be as other birds
But that he knows in singing not to sing.
The question that he frames in all but words
Is what to make of a diminished thing.
 46° 
R. D. Blackmore
In the hour of death, after this life’s whim,
When the heart beats low, and the eyes grow dim,
And pain has exhausted every limb—
  The lover of the Lord shall trust in Him.

When the will has forgotten the lifelong aim,
And the mind can only disgrace its fame,
And a man is uncertain of his own name—
  The power of the Lord shall fill this frame.

When the last sigh is heaved, and the last tear shed,
And the coffin is waiting beside the bed,
And the widow and child forsake the dead—
  The angel of the Lord shall lift this head.

For even the purest delight may pall,
And power must fail, and the pride must fall,
And the love of the dearest friends grow small—
  But the glory of the Lord is all in all.
Another year!—another deadly blow!
Another mighty Empire overthrown!
And We are left, or shall be left, alone;
The last that dare to struggle with the Foe.
’Tis well! from this day forward we shall know
That in ourselves our safety must be sought;
That by our own right hands it must be wrought;
That we must stand unpropped, or be laid low.
O dastard whom such foretaste doth not cheer!
We shall exult, if they who rule the land
Be men who hold its many blessings dear,
Wise, upright, valiant; not a servile band,
Who are to judge of danger which they fear,
And honour which they do not understand.
 41° 
Arthur Rimbaud
Par les soirs bleus d'été, j'irai dans les sentiers,
Picoté par les blés, fouler l'herbe menue :
Rêveur, j'en sentirai la fraîcheur à mes pieds.
Je laisserai le vent baigner ma tête nue.

Je ne parlerai pas, je ne penserai rien :
Mais l'amour infini me montera dans l'âme,
Et j'irai loin, bien loin, comme un bohémien,
Par la Nature, - heureux comme avec une femme.
Vi arriva il poeta
e poi torna alla luce con i suoi canti
a li disperde.

Di questa poesia
mi resta
quel nulla
d'inesauribile segreto.
 38° 
Victor Hugo
Dans cette ville où rien ne rit et ne palpite,
Comme dans une femme aujourd'hui décrépite,
On sent que quelque chose, hélas ! a disparu !
Les maisons ont un air fâché, rogue et bourru ;
Les fenêtres, luisant d'un luisant de limace,
Semblent cligner des yeux et faire la grimace,
Et de chaque escalier et de chaque pignon,
Il sort je ne sais quoi de triste et de grognon.
Des portes à claveaux du temps de Louis treize,
Des bonshommes de pierre avec pourpoint et fraise,
Des cours avec arceaux en anses de panier,
Force carreaux cassés, maint immonde grenier,
Des tours, de grands toits bleus sur des façades rouges,
Ce serait des palais si ce n'était des bouges.
Voilà ce qu'on rencontre à chaque pas, et puis
D'affreux enfants tout nus jouant au bord des puits.
Quelques arbres malsains, tout couverts de verrues,
Percent le long des murs le pavé dans les rues.
Les écriteaux sont pleins d'un gothique alphabet ;
Les poteaux à lanterne ont un air de gibet ;
Les vastes murs, les toits aigus, les girouettes,
Font sur le ciel brumeux de mornes silhouettes.
C'est surtout effrayant et lugubre le soir.
Le jour, les habitants sont rares. On croit voir
Partout le même vieux avec la même vieille.
Dans ces réduits vitrés en verres de bouteille,
Dans ces trous où jamais le, soleil n'arriva,
On entend bougonner le siècle qui s'en va.
Elige ¡oh, Juan! un amigo
Franco, sincero y honrado,
Que cuando estés a su lado
No extrañes no estar conmigo.
Un joven que imite a un viejo
En lo juicioso y prudente,
Que te conforte y aliente
Siempre que te dé un consejo.
Que se interese en tu bien,
Que censure tus errores,
Y en tus dichas y dolores
Se alegre y sufra también.
Que nunca te incline al mal,
Que no te engañe ni adule,
Y te aplauda o te estimule
Con desinterés igual.
No un farsante, un caballero
Por hechos, no por blasones;
Que sea en todas tus acciones,
No un cómplice, un compañero.
Que puedas darle tu mano
Sin temor de que la manche;
Un ser que el alma te ensanche
Cuando le llames hermano.
No le canse tu exigencia,
Ni tu carácter le hostigue,
Piensa bien cuánto consigue
La mutua condescendencia.
Que no ostente falsas galas,
Que no oculte la verdad,
Y sepa que la amistad
Es sólo el amor sin alas.
¡Oh mi Juan!, yo te lo digo,
Por este mundo al cruzar
Es muy difícil hallar
Este tesoro, un amigo.
Y es tan grave su elección,
Que te lo puedo decir,
Compromete al porvenir,
Compromete al corazón.
Y tanto influye en la suerte
Del necio que se descuida,
Que un buen amigo es la vida
Y un mal amigo, la muerte.
Como tu dicha es mi afán,
No busques falsos testigos,
Tus libros y tus amigos,
Preséntamelos, mi Juan.
 36° 
Ezra Pound
Wal, Thanksgivin’ do be comin’ round.
With the price of turkeys on the bound,
And coal, by gum! Thet were just found,
Is surely gettin’ cheaper.

The winds will soon begin to howl,
And winter, in its yearly growl,
Across the medders begin to prowl,
And Jack Frost gettin’ deeper.

By shucks! It seems to me,
That you I orter be
Thankful, that our Ted could see
A way to operate it.

I sez to Mandy, sure, sez I,
I’ll bet thet air patch o’ rye
Thet he’ll squash ’em by-and-by,
And he did, by cricket!

No use talkin’, he’s the man—
One of the best thet ever ran,
Fer didn’t I turn Republican
One o’ the fust?

I ‘lowed as how he’d beat the rest,
But old Si Perkins, he hemmed and guessed,
And sed as how it wuzn’t best
To meddle with the trust.
 35° 
Patrick Kavanagh
No, no, no, I know I was not important as I moved

Through the colourful country, I was but a single

Item in the picture, the name, not the beloved.

O tedious man with whom no gods commingle.

Beauty, who has described beauty?  Once upon a time

I had a myth that was a lie but it served:

Trees walking across the crest of hills and my rhyme

Cavorting on mile-high stilts and the unnerved

Crowds looking up with terror in their rational faces.

O dance with Kitty Stobling I outrageously

Cried out-of-sense to them, while their timorous paces

Stumbled behind Jove's page boy paging me.

I had a very pleasant journey, thank you sincerely

For giving me my madness back, or nearly.

-Patrick Kavanagh

Copyright © Estate of Katherine Kavanagh
 34° 
John Webster
All the flowers of the spring
Meet to perfume our burying;
These have but their growing prime,
And man does flourish but his time:
Survey our progress from our birth—
We are set, we grow, we turn to earth.
Courts adieu, and all delights,
All bewitching appetites!
Sweetest breath and clearest eye
Like perfumes go out and die;
And consequently this is done
As shadows wait upon the sun.
Vain the ambition of kings
Who seek by trophies and dead things
To leave a living name behind,
And weave but nets to catch the wind.
 33° 
William Blake
Little Lamb, who made thee
   Does thou know who made thee
Gave thee life & bid thee feed.
By the stream & o’er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing woolly bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice.
Making all the vales rejoice:
   Little Lamb who made thee
   Does thou know who made thee

   Little Lamb I’ll tell thee,
   Little Lamb I’ll tell thee;
He is called by thy name,
For he calls himself a Lamb:
He is meek & he is mild,
He became a little childh
I a child & thou a lamb,
We are called by His name,
   Little Lamb God bless thee,
   Little Lamb God bless thee.
 32° 
Edward Lear
There was an old man of Dee-side,
Whose hat was exceedingly wide,
But he said, 'Do not fail,
If it happens to hail
To come under my hat at Dee-side!'
 31° 
W. S. Merwin
So gradual in those summers was the going
     of the age it seemed that the long days setting out
when the stars faded over the mountains were not
     leaving us even as the birds woke in full song and the dew
glittered in the webs it appeared then that the clear morning
     opening into the sky was something of ours
to have and keep and that the brightness we could not touch
     and the air we could not hold had come to be there all the time
for us and would never be gone and that the axle
     we did not hear was not turning when the ancient car
coughed in the roofer's barn and rolled out echoing
     first thing into the lane and the only tractor
in the village rumbled and went into its rusty
     mutterings before heading out of its lean-to
into the cow pats and the shadow of the lime tree
     we did not see that the swallows flashing and the sparks
of their cries were fast in the spokes of the hollow
     wheel that was turning and turning us taking us
all away as one with the tires of the baker's van
     where the wheels of bread were stacked like days in calendars
coming and going all at once we did not hear
     the rim of the hour in whatever we were saying
or touching all day we thought it was there and would stay
     it was only as the afternoon lengthened on its
dial and the shadows reached out farther and farther
     from everything that we began to listen for what
might be escaping us and we heard high voices ringing
     the village at sundown calling their animals home
and then the bats after dark and the silence on its road
 31° 
Ernest Hemingway
So now,
Losing the three last night,
Takeing them back today,
Dripping and dark the woods . . .
 29° 
Anna Swir
You will not tame this sea
either by humility or rapture.
But you can laugh
in its face.

Laughter
was invented by those
who live briefly
as a burst of laughter.

The eternal sea
will never learn to laugh.
 28° 
Juan Gelman
cuando a joaquín se le cayeron
los ojos al suelo vio:
a la reputa de la muerte
pasando suave sus navajas
adelantando como siempre
en la tarea de apagar
vio el golfo de Samborombón como un copón lleno de
vino y vio mujeres calentadas por la muerte a modo de
sol mujeres de nalgas que hervían y encendían fuegos
en la siesta para quemar a sus verdugos oh grandes
brujas al revés

vio a las dulces desamparadas
agarrar la desolación
recortarle las orejitas
mascarle las cepas amargas
sacarle punta en el crepúsculo
golpearla con el corazón
y darle forma de navaja
o de suave madre grandísima
que se ponía con la noche
del otro lado del mundo

vio que lloraban mucho por
los sospechosos de 8 años
los chicos de 14 que
se suicidaban en Versalles
por el niño ladrón de Jersey
por los que roban en Santa Fe
oh ángeles como empleados
de Dios atento a su estrategia
abajados como testigos
a esta terraza de dolor

vio que le sacan la amargura
al abrazo para el hijito
que se iba para la guerra
que se volvía de la guerra
y vio que hablaban con Ted Molloy
del niñito de Montreal
que mató a su madre dormida
con un palo del que salieron
madreselvas en flor con flor
a posteriori de los hechos

vio más situaciones extrañas:
querubes envenenadores
bastantemente envenenados
o chicos que se ahorcan en los
garajes de fin de semana
mientras temblaban de placer
los juntadores de estadísticas
para demostrar la maldad
de la sociedad de consumo

en Oakland, 51,
uno de 15 hachó a la mama
como si fuera un árbol verde
y después le echó querosén
le prendió fuego calculando
que de ese modo no la vieran
y ella sacó fuegos internos
antiguamente conservados
para acabarse or irse como
su entrañita se lo pedía

eso veía joaquín cuando
los ojos se le fueron a
tierra como huevos entonces
los empolló por otra vez
y de uno le salió una madre
revoloteando de testigo
mientras del otro se asomaba
con suaves navajas la muerte

esa reputa de la muerte
adelantando como siempre
en la tarea de apagar
se tomó el vino del gran golfo
y miraba fijo a joaquín
que ardía bajo la siesta ya
se la abrazaba como madre
 25° 
Cesare Pavese
Verrà la morte e avrà i tuoi occhi,
questa morte che ci accompagna
dal mattino alla sera, insonne,
sorda, come un vecchio rimorso
o un vizio assurdo. I tuoi occhi
saranno una vana parola,
un grido taciuto, un silenzio.
Così li vedi ogni mattina
quando su te sola ti pieghi
nello specchio. O cara speranza,
quel giorno sapremo anche noi
che sei la vita e sei il nulla.
Per tutti la morte ha uno sguardo.
Verrà la morte e avrà i tuoi occhi.
Sarà come smettere un vizio,
come vedere nello specchio
riemergere un viso morto,
come ascoltare un labbro chiuso.
Scenderemo nel gorgo muti.
"May be true what I had heard,
Earth's a howling wilderness
Truculent with fraud and force,"
Said I, strolling through the pastures,
And along the riverside.
Caught among the blackberry vines,
Feeding on the Ethiops sweet,
Pleasant fancies overtook me:
I said, "What influence me preferred
Elect to dreams thus beautiful?"
The vines replied, "And didst thou deem
No wisdom to our berries went?"
Among our hills and valleys, I have known
Wise and grave men, who, while their diligent hands
Tended or gathered in the fruits of earth,
Were reverent learners in the solemn school
Of nature. Not in vain to them were sent
Seed-time and harvest, or the vernal shower
That darkened the brown tilth, or snow that beat
On the white winter hills. Each brought, in turn,
Some truth, some lesson on the life of man,
Or recognition of the Eternal mind
Who veils his glory with the elements.

  One such I knew long since, a white-haired man,
Pithy of speech, and merry when he would;
A genial optimist, who daily drew
From what he saw his quaint moralities.
Kindly he held communion, though so old,
With me a dreaming boy, and taught me much
That books tell not, and I shall ne'er forget.

  The sun of May was bright in middle heaven,
And steeped the sprouting forests, the green hills
And emerald wheat-fields, in his yellow light.
Upon the apple-tree, where rosy buds
Stood clustered, ready to burst forth in bloom,
The robin warbled forth his full clear note
For hours, and wearied not. Within the woods,
Whose young and half transparent leaves scarce cast
A shade, gay circles of anemones
Danced on their stalks; the shadbush, white with flowers,
Brightened the glens; the new-leaved butternut
And quivering poplar to the roving breeze
Gave a balsamic fragrance. In the fields
I saw the pulses of the gentle wind
On the young grass. My heart was touched with joy
At so much beauty, flushing every hour
Into a fuller beauty; but my friend,
The thoughtful ancient, standing at my side,
Gazed on it mildly sad. I asked him why.

  "Well mayst thou join in gladness," he replied,
"With the glad earth, her springing plants and flowers,
And this soft wind, the herald of the green
Luxuriant summer. Thou art young like them,
And well mayst thou rejoice. But while the flight
Of seasons fills and knits thy spreading frame,
It withers mine, and thins my hair, and dims
These eyes, whose fading light shall soon be quenched
In utter darkness. Hearest thou that bird?"

  I listened, and from midst the depth of woods
Heard the love-signal of the grouse, that wears
A sable ruff around his mottled neck;
Partridge they call him by our northern streams,
And pheasant by the Delaware. He beat
'Gainst his barred sides his speckled wings, and made
A sound like distant thunder; slow the strokes
At first, then fast and faster, till at length
They passed into a murmur and were still.

  "There hast thou," said my friend, "a fitting type
Of human life. 'Tis an old truth, I know,
But images like these revive the power
Of long familiar truths. Slow pass our days
In childhood, and the hours of light are long
Betwixt the morn and eve; with swifter lapse
They glide in manhood, and in age they fly;
Till days and seasons flit before the mind
As flit the snow-flakes in a winter storm,
Seen rather than distinguished. Ah! I seem
As if I sat within a helpless bark
By swiftly running waters hurried on
To shoot some mighty cliff. Along the banks
Grove after grove, rock after frowning rock,
Bare sands and pleasant homes, and flowery nooks,
And isles and whirlpools in the stream, appear
Each after each, but the devoted skiff
Darts by so swiftly that their images
Dwell not upon the mind, or only dwell
In dim confusion; faster yet I sweep
By other banks, and the great gulf is near.

  "Wisely, my son, while yet thy days are long,
And this fair change of seasons passes slow,
Gather and treasure up the good they yield--
All that they teach of virtue, of pure thoughts
And kind affections, reverence for thy God
And for thy brethren; so when thou shalt come
Into these barren years, thou mayst not bring
A mind unfurnished and a withered heart."

  Long since that white-haired ancient slept--but still,
When the red flower-buds crowd the orchard bough,
And the ruffed grouse is drumming far within
The woods, his venerable form again
Is at my side, his voice is in my ear.
Harshness vanished. A sudden softness
has replaced the meadows' wintry grey.
Little rivulets of water changed
their singing accents. Tendernesses,

hesitantly, reach toward the earth
from space, and country lanes are showing
these unexpected subtle risings
that find expression in the empty trees
 22° 
C. S. Lewis
Angelic minds, they say, by simple intelligence
Behold the Forms of nature. They discern
Unerringly the Archtypes, all the verities
Which mortals lack or indirectly learn.
Transparent in primordial truth, unvarying,
Pure Earthness and right Stonehood from their clear,
High eminence are seen; unveiled, the seminal
Huge Principles appear.

The Tree-ness of the tree they know-the meaning of
Arboreal life, how from earth's salty lap
The solar beam uplifts it; all the holiness
Enacted by leaves' fall and rising sap;

But never an angel knows the knife-edged severance
Of sun from shadow where the trees begin,
The blessed cool at every pore caressing us
-An angel has no skin.

They see the Form of Air; but mortals breathing it
Drink the whole summer down into the breast.
The lavish pinks, the field new-mown, the ravishing
Sea-smells, the wood-fire smoke that whispers Rest.
The tremor on the rippled pool of memory
That from each smell in widening circles goes,
The pleasure and the pang --can angels measure it?
An angel has no nose.

The nourishing of life, and how it flourishes
On death, and why, they utterly know; but not
The hill-born, earthy spring, the dark cold bilberries.
The ripe peach from the southern wall still hot
Full-bellied tankards foamy-topped, the delicate
Half-lyric lamb, a new loaf's billowy curves,
Nor porridge, nor the tingling taste of oranges.
—An angel has no nerves.

Far richer they! I know the senses' witchery
Guards us like air, from heavens too big to see;
Imminent death to man that barb'd sublimity
And dazzling edge of beauty unsheathed would be.
Yet here, within this tiny, charmed interior,
This parlour of the brain, their Maker shares
With living men some secrets in a privacy
Forever ours, not theirs.
Each hour until we meet is as a bird
That wings from far his gradual way along
The rustling covert of my soul,—his song
Still loudlier trilled through leaves more deeply stirr’d:
But at the hour of meeting, a clear word
Is every note he sings, in Love’s own tongue;
Yet, Love, thou know’st the sweet strain wrong,
Through our contending kisses oft unheard.

What of that hour at last, when for her sake
No wing may fly to me nor song may flow;
When, wandering round my life unleaved, I
The bloodied feathers scattered in the brake,
And think how she, far from me, with like eyes
Sees through the untuneful bough the wingless skies?
Come, my Lucasia, since we see
That miracles Men's Faith do move,
By wonder and by prodigy
To the dull angry World let's prove
There's a Religion in our Love.

For Though we were design'd t'agree,
That Fate no liberty destroys,
But our Election is as free
As Angels, who with greedy choice
Are yet determin'd to their joys.

Our hearts are doubled by the loss,
Here Mixture is Addition grown;
We both diffuse, and both ingross:
And we whose minds are so much one,
Never, yet ever are alone.

We court our own Captivity
Than Thrones more great and innocent:
'Twere banishment to be set free,
Since we wear fetters whose intent
Not Bondage is but Ornament

Divided joys are tedious found,
And griefs united easier grow:
We are our selves but by rebound,
And all our Titles shuffled so,
Both Princes, and both Subjects too.

Our Hearts are mutual Victims laid,
While they (such power in Friendship lies)
Are Altars, Priests, and Off'rings made:
And each Heart which thus kindly dies,
Grows deathless by the Sacrifice.
Some days I am Ana's teacher, some days she is mine.
This morning, we look through her kitchen window,
the one she can't get clean, cobwebs massed
between sash and pane. The sky is blue-gold, almost
the color of home.
Ana, I say, each winter
I get more lonely. Both of us would like the sun
to linger as that round fruit in June, but Ana says
it's better to forget what you used to know...
 20° 
Giordano Bruno
L'ale scura all'aria porgo
né temo intoppo di cristallo o vetro,
ma fendo i cieli e all'infinito mi ergo
e mentre dal mio globo agli astri sorgo
e per l'eterno campo oltre penètro,
quel che altri lungi vede, lascio a tergo.
 19° 
Ben Okri
After the wind lifts the beggar
From his bed of trash
And blows to the empty pubs
At the road's end
There exists only the silence
Of the world before dawn
And the solitude of trees.

Handel on the set mysteriously
Recalls to me the long
Hot nights of childhood spent
In malarial slums
In the midst of potent shrines
At the edge of great seas.

Dreams of the past sing
With voices of the future.
And now the world is assaulted
With a sweetness it doesn't deserve
Flowers sing with the voices of absent bees
The air swells with the vibrant
Solitude of trees who nightly
Whisper of re-invading the world.

But the night bends the trees
Into my dreams
And the stars fall with their fruits
Into my lonely world-burnt hands.
_

Source:
http://www.universeofpoetry.org/nigeria.shtml
 18° 
Judith Wright
The small blue Arab stallion dances on the hill
like a glancing breaker, like a storm rearing in the sky,
In his prick-ears,the wind, that wanderer and spy,
sings of the dunes of Arabia, lion-coloured still.

The small blue stallion poses like a centaur-god,
netting the sun in his sea-spray mane, forgetting
his stalwart mares for a phantom galloping unshod;
changing for a heat-mirage his tall and velvet hill.
WIFE and servant are the same,
But only differ in the name :
For when that fatal knot is ty'd,
Which nothing, nothing can divide :
When she the word obey has said,
And man by law supreme has made,
Then all that's kind is laid aside,
And nothing left but state and pride :
Fierce as an eastern prince he grows,
And all his innate rigour shows :
Then but to look, to laugh, or speak,
Will the nuptial contract break.
Like mutes, she signs alone must make,
And never any freedom take :
But still be govern'd by a nod,
And fear her husband as a God :
Him still must serve, him still obey,
And nothing act, and nothing say,
But what her haughty lord thinks fit,
Who with the power, has all the wit.
Then shun, oh ! shun that wretched state,
And all the fawning flatt'rers hate :
Value yourselves, and men despise :
You must be proud, if you'll be wise.
 17° 
C. S. Lewis
There is a wildness still in England that will not feed
In cages; it shrinks away from the touch of the trainer's hand,
Easy to kill, not easy to tame. It will never breed
In a zoo for the public pleasure. It will not be planned.

Do not blame us too much if we that are hedgerow folk
Cannot swell the rejoicings at this new world you make -
We, hedge-hogged as Johnson or Borrow, strange to the yoke
As Landor, surly as Cobbett (that badger), birdlike as Blake.

A new scent troubles the air -- to you, friendly perhaps
But we with animal wisdom have understood that smell.
To all our kind its message is Guns, Ferrets, and Traps,
And a Ministry gassing the little holes in which we dwell.
 17° 
Thomas Carew
Can we not force from widow’d poetry,
Now thou art dead (great Donne) one elegy
To crown thy hearse? Why yet dare we not trust,
Though with unkneaded dough-bak’d prose, thy dust,
Such as th’ unscissor’d churchman from the flower
Of fading rhetoric, short-liv’d as his hour,
Dry as the sand that measures it, should lay
Upon thy ashes, on the funeral day?
Have we no voice, no tune? Didst thou dispense
Through all our language, both the words and sense?
’Tis a sad truth. The pulpit may her plain
And sober Christian precepts still retain,
Doctrines it may, and wholesome uses, frame,
Grave homilies and lectures, but the flame
Of thy brave soul (that shot such heat and light
As burnt our earth and made our darkness bright,
Committed holy rapes upon our will,
Did through the eye the melting heart distil,
And the deep knowledge of dark truths so teach
As sense might judge what fancy could not reach)
Must be desir’d forever. So the fire
That fills with spirit and heat the Delphic quire,
Which, kindled first by thy Promethean breath,
Glow’d here a while, lies quench’d now in thy death.
The Muses’ garden, with pedantic weeds
O’erspread, was purg’d by thee; the lazy seeds
Of servile imitation thrown away,
And fresh invention planted; thou didst pay
The debts of our penurious bankrupt age;
Licentious thefts, that make poetic rage
A mimic fury, when our souls must be
Possess’d, or with Anacreon’s ecstasy,
Or Pindar’s, not their own; the subtle cheat
Of sly exchanges, and the juggling feat
Of two-edg’d words, or whatsoever wrong
By ours was done the Greek or Latin tongue,
Thou hast redeem’d, and open’d us a mine
Of rich and pregnant fancy; drawn a line
Of masculine expression, which had good
Old Orpheus seen, or all the ancient brood
Our superstitious fools admire, and hold
Their lead more precious than thy burnish’d gold,
Thou hadst been their exchequer, and no more
They each in other’s dust had rak’d for ore.
Thou shalt yield no precedence, but of time,
And the blind fate of language, whose tun’d chime
More charms the outward sense; yet thou mayst claim
From so great disadvantage greater fame,
Since to the awe of thy imperious wit
Our stubborn language bends, made only fit
With her tough thick-ribb’d hoops to gird about
Thy giant fancy, which had prov’d too stout
For their soft melting phrases. As in time
They had the start, so did they cull the prime
Buds of invention many a hundred year,
And left the rifled fields, besides the fear
To touch their harvest; yet from those bare lands
Of what is purely thine, thy only hands,
(And that thy smallest work) have gleaned more
  Than all those times and tongues could reap before.

      But thou art gone, and thy strict laws will be
Too hard for libertines in poetry;
They will repeal the goodly exil’d train
Of gods and goddesses, which in thy just reign
Were banish’d nobler poems; now with these,
The silenc’d tales o’ th’ Metamorphoses
Shall stuff their lines, and swell the windy page,
Till verse, refin’d by thee, in this last age
Turn ballad rhyme, or those old idols be
Ador’d again, with new apostasy.

      Oh, pardon me, that break with untun’d verse
The reverend silence that attends thy hearse,
Whose awful solemn murmurs were to thee,
More than these faint lines, a loud elegy,
That did proclaim in a dumb eloquence
The death of all the arts; whose influence,
Grown feeble, in these panting numbers lies,
Gasping short-winded accents, and so dies.
So doth the swiftly turning wheel not stand
In th’ instant we withdraw the moving hand,
But some small time maintain a faint weak course,
By virtue of the first impulsive force;
And so, whilst I cast on thy funeral pile
Thy crown of bays, oh, let it crack awhile,
And spit disdain, till the devouring flashes
Suck all the moisture up, then turn to ashes.

      I will not draw the envy to engross
All thy perfections, or weep all our loss;
Those are too numerous for an elegy,
And this too great to be express’d by me.
Though every pen should share a distinct part,
Yet art thou theme enough to tire all art;
Let others carve the rest, it shall suffice
I on thy tomb this epitaph incise:

      Here lies a king, that rul’d as he thought fit
      The universal monarchy of wit;
      Here lie two flamens, and both those, the best,
      Apollo’s first, at last, the true God’s priest.
 16° 
Edmund Spenser
Fresh Spring, the herald of loves mighty king,
In whose cote-armour richly are displayd
All sorts of flowers, the which on earth do spring,
In goodly colours gloriously arrayd—
Goe to my love, where she is carelesse layd,
Yet in her winters bowre not well awake;
Tell her the joyous time wil not be staid,
Unlesse she doe him by the forelock take;
Bid her therefore her selfe soone ready make,
To wayt on Love amongst his lovely crew;
Where every one, that misseth then her make,
Shall be by him amearst with penance dew.
    Make hast, therefore, sweet love, whilest it is prime;
    For none can call againe the passèd time.
Pure spirit! O where art thou now!
O whisper to my soul!
O let some soothing thought of thee,
The bitter grief control!

'Tis not for thee the tears I shed,
Thy sufferings now are o'er;
The sea is calm, the tempest past,
On that eternal shore.

No more the storms that wrecked thy peace
Shall tear that gentle breast;
Nor Summer's rage, nor Winter's cold,
Thy poor, poor frame molest.

Thy peace is sealed, thy rest is sure,
My sorrows are to come;
Awhile I weep and linger here,
Then follow to the tomb.

And is the awful veil withdrawn,
That shrouds from mortal eyes,
In deep impenetrable gloom,
The secrets of the skies?

O, in some dream of visioned bliss,
Some trance of rapture, show
Where, on the bosom of thy God,
Thou rest'st from human woe!

Thence may thy pure devotion's flame
On me, on me descend;
To me thy strong aspiring hopes,
They faith, thy fervours lend.

Let these my lonely path illume,
And teach my weakened mind
To welcome all that's left of good,
To all that's lost resigned.

Farewell! With honour, peace, and love,
Be thy dear memory blest!
Thou hast no tears for me to shed,
When I too am at rest.
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