poetry

the archivist May 15, 2021

Sonnet XXV George Santayana As in the midst of battle there is room For thoughts of love, and in foul sin for mirth; As gossips whisper of a trinket’s worth Spied by the death-bed’s flickering candle-gloom; As in the crevices of Caesar’s tomb The sweet herbs flourish on a little earth: So in this great […]

the archivist April 23, 2021

The Far Field Theodore Roethke I. I dream of journeys repeatedly: Of flying like a bat deep into a narrowing tunnel, Of driving alone, without luggage, out a long peninsula, The road lined with snow-laden second growth, A fine dry snow ticking the windshield, Alternate snow and sleet, no on-coming traffic, And no lights behind, […]

the archivist October 2, 2020

The Emperor of Ice-Cream Wallace Stevens Call the roller of big cigars, The muscular one, and bid him whip In kitchen cups concupiscent curds. Let the wenches dawdle in such dress As they are used to wear, and let the boys Bring flowers in last month’s newspapers. Let be be finale of seem. The only […]

the archivist August 26, 2020

La Figlia che Piange T. S. Eliot            O quam te memorem virgo Stand on the highest pavement of the stair— Lean on a garden urn— Weave, weave the sunlight in your hair— Clasp your flowers to you with a pained surprise— Fling them to the ground and turn With a fugitive resentment in your […]

the archivist August 9, 2020

Allegro Tomas Tranströmer Translated by Robin Fulton I play Haydn after a black day and feel a simple warmth in my hands. The keys are willing. Soft hammers strike. The resonance green, lively and calm. The music says freedom exists and someone doesn’t pay the emperor tax. I push down my hands in my Haydnpockets […]

the archivist July 27, 2020

Native Trees W. S. Merwin Neither my father nor my mother knew the names of the trees where I was born what is that I asked and my father and mother did not hear they did not look where I pointed surfaces of furniture held the attention of their fingers and across the room they […]

the archivist July 19, 2020

We Have Not Long To Love Tennessee Williams We have not long to love. Light does not stay. The tender things are those we fold away. Coarse fabrics are the ones for common wear. In silence I have watched you comb your hair. Intimate the silence, dim and warm. I could but did not, reach […]

the archivist July 18, 2020

In Love with You Kenneth Koch                                                       I O what a physical effect it has on me To dive forever into the light blue sea Of your acquaintance! Ah, but dearest friends, Like forms, are finished, as life has ends! Still, It is beautiful, when October Is over, and February is over, To sit in the […]

the archivist July 12, 2020

Skunk Hour Robert Lowell Nautilus Island’s hermit heiress still lives through winter in her Spartan cottage; her sheep still graze above the sea. Her son’s a bishop. Her farmer is first selectman in our village; she’s in her dotage. Thirsting for the hierarchic privacy of Queen Victoria’s century, she buys up all the eyesores facing […]

the archivist July 11, 2020

One Girl Sappho Translated by Dante Gabriel Rossetti I Like the sweet apple which reddens upon the topmost bough, Atop on the topmost twig, — which the pluckers forgot, somehow, — Forget it not, nay; but got it not, for none could get it till now. II Like the wild hyacinth flower which on the […]

the archivist July 6, 2020

Poem Charles Simic Every morning I forget how it is. I watch the smoke mount In great strides above the city. I belong to no one. Then, I remember my shoes, How I have to put them on, How bending over to tie them up I will look into the earth.  

the archivist December 18, 2019

may my heart always be open e. e. cummings may my heart always be open to little birds who are the secrets of living whatever they sing is better than to know and if men should not hear them men are old may my mind stroll about hungry and fearless and thirsty and supple and […]

the archivist October 1, 2019

Songs out of Sorrow IV. Wisdom Sara Teasdale When I have ceased to break my wings Against the faultiness of things, And learned that compromises wait Behind each hardly opened gate, When I have looked Life in the eyes, Grown calm and very coldly wise, Life will have given me the Truth, And taken in […]

the archivist July 10, 2019

“All this time I was writing, writing no matter what else I was doing; no matter what I thought I was doing, in fact. I was living almost as instinctively as a little animal, but I realize now that all that time a part of me was getting ready to be an artist. That my […]

the archivist September 21, 2017

A Song from the Suds Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888) From Little Women QUEEN of my tub, I merrily sing, While the white foam rises high; And sturdily wash, and rinse, and wring, And fasten the clothes to dry; Then out in the free fresh air they swing, Under the sunny sky. I wish we could […]