20th century

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 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 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 August 3, 2015

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– […]

the archivist May 9, 2015

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 […]

the archivist March 12, 2015

GOING, GOING by Philip Larkin January 1972, from High Windows I thought it would last my time – The sense that, beyond the town, There would always be fields and farms, Where the village louts could climb Such trees as were not cut down; I knew there’d be false alarms In the papers about old […]

the archivist September 12, 2014

Андрей Вознесенский Первый лед Мерзнет девочка в автомате, Прячет в зябкое пальтецо Все в слезах и губной помаде Перемазанное лицо. Дышит в худенькие ладошки. Пальцы—льдышки. В ушах—сережки. Ей обратно одной, одной Вдоль по улочке ледяной, Первый лед. Это в первый раз. Первый лед телефонных фраз. Мерзлый след на щеках блестит — Первый лед от людских […]

the archivist September 10, 2014

Offering and Rebuff Carl Sandburg I could love you as dry roots love rain. I could hold you as branches in the wind brandish petals. Forgive me for speaking so soon. Let your heart look on white sea spray and be lonely. Love is a fool star. You and a ring of stars may mention […]