life's an awkward journey we all have to go through, so we might as well entertain others as we do it!

Thursday, December 13, 2012


I'm nobody! Who are you? Are you nobody, too? Then there's a pair of us --- don't tell! They'd banish us, you know. 
How dreary to be somebody! How public, like a frog To tell your name the livelong day To an admiring bog!
--Emily Dickinson

To fight aloud is very brave,

But gallenter, I know, 
Who charge within the bosom, 
The cavalry of woe.
Who win, and nations do not see, 
Who fall, and none observe, 
Whose dying eyes no country
Regards with patriot love. 
We trust, in plumed procession, 
For such the angels go, 
Rank after rank, with even feet
And uniforms of snow. 
--Emily Dickinson

Pain has an element of blank; It cannot recollect When it began, or if there were A day when it was not. 
It has no future but itself, Its infinite realms contain Its past, enlightened to perceive New periods of pain. --Emily Dickinson

The soul selects her own society, Then shuts the door; On her divine majority Obtrude no more.
Unmoved, she notes the chariot's pausing At her low gate;Unmoved, an emperor is kneeling Upon her mat.
I've known her from an ample nation Choose one;Then close the valves of her attention Like stone.
--Emily Dickinson

The Pool Players.
Seven at the Golden Shovel.

We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We 
Strike straight. We 
Sing sin. We 
Thin gin. We 

Jazz June. We 
Die soon. 

--Gwendolyn Brooks

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me. 
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul's delivery. 
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die. 
--John Donne

When I was one-and-twenty
I heard a wise man say,
"Give crowns and pounds and guineas
But not your heart away;
Give pearls away and rubies
But keep your fancy free."
But I was one-and-twenty,
No use to talk to me. 

When I was one-and-twenty
I heard him say again, 
"The heart out of the bosom
Was never given in vain;
'Tis paid with sighs a plenty 
And sold for endless rue."
And I am two-and-twenty, 
And oh, 'tis true, 'tis true.

--A.E. Housman

She even thinks that up in heaven
Her class lies late and snores

While poor black cherubs rise at seven
To do celestial chores. 

--Countee Cullen

The whiskey on your breath
Could make a small boy dizzy;
But I hung on like death;
Such waltzing was not easy.

We romped until the pans 
Slid from the kitchen shelf;
My mother;s countenance
Could not unfrown itself. 

The hand that held my wrist
Was battered on one knuckle;
At every step you missed
My right ear scraped a buckle.

You beat time on my head
With a palm caked hard by dirt, 
Then waltzed me off to bed
Still clinging to your shirt. 

--Theodore Roethke

I like to see it lap the Miles --

And lick the Valleys up --
And stop to feed itself at Tanks --
And then -- prodigious step
Around a Pile of Mountains --
And supercilious peer
In Shanties -- by the sides of Roads --
And then a Quarry pare
To fit its Ribs
And crawl between
Complaining all the while 
In horrid -- hooting stanza --
Then chase itself down Hill --
And neigh like Boanerges --
Then -- punctual as a Star
Stop -- docile and omnipotent
At its own stable door --
--Emily Dickinson

Not a red rose or a satin heart.

I give you an onion.
It is a moon wrapped in brown paper. 
It promises light
like the careful undressing of love. 

It will blind you with tears
like a lover.
It will make your reflection 
a wobbling photo of grief. 

I am trying to be truthful. 

Not a cute card or a kissogram. 

I give you an onion. 
Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips,
possessive and faithful
as we are,
for as long as we are.

Take it. 
Its platinum loops shrink to a wedding-ring, 
if you like. 

Its scent will cling to your fingers, cling to your knife. 

--Carol Ann Duffy

The readers of the Boston Evening Transcript
Sway in the wind like a field of ripe corn. 

When evening quickens faintly in the street, 
Wakening the appetites of life in some
And to others bringing the Boston Evening Transcript
I mount the steps and ring the bell, turning
Wearily, as one would turn to nod good-bye to Rochefoucauld,
If the street were time and he at the end of the street,
And I say, "Cousin Harriet, here is the Boston Evening Transcript." 

--T.S. Eliot

As virtuous men pass mildly away,
And whisper to their souls to go,
Whilst some of their sad friends do say
The breath goes now, and some say, No:

So let us melt, and make no noise,
No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move;
Twere profanation of our joys
To tell the laity our love.

Moving of th' earth brings harms and fears,
Men reckon what it did, and meant;
But trepidation of the spheres, 
Though greater far, is innocent. 

Dull sublunary lovers' love
(Whose soul is sense) cannot admit
Absence, because it doth remove
Those things which elemented it. 

But we by a love so much refined,
That our selves know not what it is,
Inter-assured of the mind,
Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss.

Our two souls therefore, which are one,
Though I must go, endure not yet
A breach, but an expansion, 
Like gold to airy thinness beat. 

If they be two, they are two so
As stiff twin compasses are two;
Thy soul, the fixed foot, makes no show
To move, but doth, if the other do. 

And though it in the center sit,
Yet when the other far doth roam, 
It leans and hearkens after it,
And grows erect, as that comes home. 

Such wilt thou be to me, who must, 
Like th' other foot, obliquely run;
Thy firmness makes my circle just,
And makes me end where I begun. 

--John Donne

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
--William Wordsworth

I tend the mobile now
like an injured bird
We text, text, text
our significant words.
I re-read your first,
your second, your third,
look for your small xx,
feeling absurd.
The codes we send
arrive with a broken chord.
I try to picture your hands,
their image is blurred.
Nothing my thumbs press
will ever be heard.
--Carol Ann Duffy

I've known rivers:
I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the 
                            flow of human blood in human veins. 

My soul has grown deep like the rivers. 

I bathed in Euphrates when dawns were young.
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep. 
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it. 
I heard the signing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln
                            went down to New Orleands, and I've seen its
                            muddy bosom turn all golden in the sunset

I've known rivers:
Ancient, dusky rivers.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers. 

--Langston Hughes

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man's smudge and share's man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs --
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings. 

--Gerard Manley Hopkins 

Much Madness is divinest Sense -
To a discerning Eye -
Much Sense - the starkest Madness -
'Tis the Majority
In this, as all, prevail -
Assent - and you are sane - 
Demur - you're sraightway dangerous -
And handled with a Chain -
--Emily Dickinson

I'm going out to clean the pasture spring;
I'll only stop to rake the leaves away
(And wait to watch the water clear, I may):
I sha'n't be gone long. -You come too. 

I'm going out to fetch the little calf
That's standing by the mother. It's so young,
It totters when she licks it with her tongue. 
I sha'n't be gone long. -You come too. 

--Robert Frost

Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art--
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature's patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors --
No -- yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell, 
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever -- or else swoon to death. 
--John Keats

You can thank my English teacher for this post. We're doing a poetry unit in AP Literature, and I'm just loving it! Poetry really is so beautiful. I wish I could write it well. 



No comments:

Post a Comment