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 […]
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.
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 […]
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 exchange—my youth.
“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 […]
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 […]
In our Global Archive series, we get to know the world a little better, one country (or territory) at a time. Today’s installment: Russia! So let’s start at the very beginning. Modern Russia has origins in about the 8th century CE. Vikings (called Varangians by the Greeks) came to rule over the people known as […]
You Want a Social Life, with Friends Kenneth Koch You want a social life, with friends. A passionate love life and as well To work hard every day. What’s true Is of these three you may have two And two can pay you dividends But never may have three. There isn’t time enough, my friends– […]
from Anima Hominis (Chap.5) William Butler Yeats We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, but of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry. Unlike the rhetoricians, who get a confident voice from remembering the crowd they have won or may win, we sing amid our uncertainty; and, smitten even in the presence of the most […]
The End Mark Strand Not every man knows what he shall sing at the end, Watching the pier as the ship sails away, or what it will seem like When he’s held by the sea’s roar, motionless, there at the end, Or what he shall hope for once it is clear that he’ll never […]