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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.