poetry

polyarchivist October 1, 2019

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.

polyarchivist September 21, 2017

A Song from the Suds By 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 […]

polyarchivist September 20, 2017

I love advice columns in general, even when the columnist is terrible at his/her job. It’s fascinating, the problems that resonate so strongly inside a person that they ask a stranger for help. Anyway. Captain Awkward is one of the good ones, but one of my favorite series on the site is generated from letter […]

polyarchivist 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– […]

polyarchivist June 9, 2015

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 […]

polyarchivist 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 […]

polyarchivist March 9, 2015

I wish our clever young poets would remember my homely definitions of prose and poetry; that is, prose,—words in their best order; poetry,—the best words in their best order. –Samuel Taylor Coleridge So many people, many of whom enjoy other forms of the arts, are quick to declare, “I hate poetry.” I suspect that what […]

polyarchivist November 13, 2014

The White Birds William Butler Yeats View image | gettyimages.com I would that we were, my beloved, white birds on the foam of the sea! We tire of the flame of the meteor, before it can fade and flee; And the flame of the blue star of twilight, hung low on the rim of the […]

polyarchivist November 13, 2014

Morning in the Burned House Margaret Atwood View image | gettyimages.com In the burned house I am eating breakfast. You understand: there is no house, there is no breakfast, yet here I am. The spoon which was melted scrapes against the bowl which was melted also. No one else is around. Where have they gone […]

polyarchivist November 4, 2014

To Sir Richard Fanshaw, Upon His Translation Of ‘Pastor Fido’ Sir John Denham (1615-1669) Such is our pride, our folly, or our fate, That few but such as cannot write, translate. But what in them is want of art or voice, In thee is either modesty or choice. While this great piece, restored by thee, […]