american

the archivist February 22, 2024

Desiderata Max Ehrmann Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. […]

the archivist November 24, 2023

Wild Geese Mary Oliver You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile […]

the archivist November 1, 2023

Let America Be America Again Langston Hughes (1901–1967) Let America be America again. Let it be the dream it used to be. Let it be the pioneer on the plain Seeking a home where he himself is free. (America never was America to me.) Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed— Let it be […]

the archivist October 30, 2023

October Robert Frost O hushed October morning mild, Thy leaves have ripened to the fall; To-morrow’s wind, if it be wild, Should waste them all. The crows above the forest call; To-morrow they may form and go. O hushed October morning mild, Begin the hours of this day slow, Make the day seem to us […]

the archivist August 14, 2022

The Poems of Our Climate Wallace Stevens I Clear water in a brilliant bowl, Pink and white carnations. The light In the room more like a snowy air, Reflecting snow. A newly-fallen snow At the end of winter when afternoons return. Pink and white carnations – one desires So much more than that. The day […]

the archivist June 23, 2022

A Prayer in Spring Robert Frost Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day; And give us not to think so far away As the uncertain harvest; keep us here All simply in the springing of the year. Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white, Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night; […]

the archivist June 20, 2022

Two of our favorite poets around here are Edna St. Vincent Millay and E.E. Cummings, who, despite overlapping in lifespans, hail from two different generations of American poetry. In Savage Beauty, an excellent Millay biography by Nancy Milford, the author reconstructs Millay’s contributions to the 1933 Guggenheim Fellowship award process, in which she recommended up-and-coming […]

the archivist March 27, 2022

The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls Henry Wadsworth Longfellow The tide rises, the tide falls, The twilight darkens, the curlew calls; Along the sea-sands damp and brown The traveller hastens toward the town, And the tide rises, the tide falls. Darkness settles on roofs and walls, But the sea, the sea in the darkness calls; […]

the archivist November 14, 2021

I Shall Not Care Sara Teasdale When I am dead, and over me bright April Shakes out her rain drenched hair, Tho’ you should lean above me broken-hearted, I shall not care. For I shall have peace. As leafy trees are peaceful When rain bends down the bough. And I shall be more silent and […]

the archivist July 15, 2021

The Dictionary Charles Simic Maybe there is a word in it somewhere to describe the world this morning, a word for the way the early light takes delight in chasing the darkness out of store windows and doorways. Another word for the way it lingers over a pair of wire-rimmed glasses someone let drop on […]

the archivist July 1, 2021

As I Grew Older Langston Hughes It was a long time ago. I have almost forgotten my dream. But it was there then, In front of me, Bright like a sun– My dream. And then the wall rose, Rose slowly, Slowly, Between me and my dream. Rose until it touched the sky– The wall. Shadow. […]

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 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 […]