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The Poem of the Week



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Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:34 pm
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alliyah says...



"Instruments"from The Weather of the Heart
by Madeleine L'Engle

Hold me against the dark: I am afraid.
Circle me with your arms. I am made
So tiny and my atoms so unstable
That at any moment I may explode. I am unable
To contain myself in unity. My outlines shiver
With the shock of living, I endeavour
To hold the I as one only for the cloud
Of which I am a fragment, yet to which I'm vowed
To be responsible. Its light against my face
Reveals the witness of the stars, each in its place
Singing, each compassed by the rest,
The many joined to one, the mightiest to the least.
It is so great a thing to be an infinitesimal part
Of this immeasurable orchestra the music bursts the heart,
Joy orders the disunity until the song is one.
maybe i make up colors for poetic cadence, but i don't think i can ever love someone who doesn't understand that teal is a different color than dark cyan
  





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Sat Apr 28, 2018 7:16 pm
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alliyah says...



"A Dream"
by Edgar Allan Poe


In visions of the dark night
I have dreamed of joy departed—
But a waking dream of life and light
Hath left me broken-hearted.

Ah! what is not a dream by day
To him whose eyes are cast
On things around him with a ray
Turned back upon the past?

That holy dream—that holy dream,
While all the world were chiding,
Hath cheered me as a lovely beam
A lonely spirit guiding.

What though that light, thro' storm and night,
So trembled from afar—
What could there be more purely bright
In Truth's day-star?
maybe i make up colors for poetic cadence, but i don't think i can ever love someone who doesn't understand that teal is a different color than dark cyan
  





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Sun May 06, 2018 7:56 pm
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alliyah says...



"I Was Always Leaving"
by Jean Nordhaus


I was always leaving, I was
about to get up and go, I was
on my way, not sure where.
Somewhere else. Not here.
Nothing here was good enough.

It would be better there, where I
was going. Not sure how or why.
The dome I cowered under
would be raised, and I would be released
into my true life. I would meet there

the ones I was destined to meet.
They would make an opening for me
among the flutes and boulders,
and I would be taken up. That this
might be a form of death

did not occur to me. I only know
that something held me back,
a doubt, a debt, a face I could not
leave behind. When the door
fell open, I did not go through.
maybe i make up colors for poetic cadence, but i don't think i can ever love someone who doesn't understand that teal is a different color than dark cyan
  





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Wed May 16, 2018 6:13 pm
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alliyah says...



"Swimming, One Day in August"
by Mary Oliver

@BlueAfrica suggested this poem to me - Mary Oliver is a fabulous poet too, many succinct but incredibly deep and reflective poems to meditate on.

It is time now, I said,
for the deepening and quieting of the spirit
among the flux of happenings.

Something had pestered me so much
I thought my heart would break.
I mean, the mechanical part.

I went down in the afternoon
to the sea
which held me, until I grew easy.

About tomorrow, who knows anything.
Except that it will be time, again,
for the deepening and quieting of the spirit.
maybe i make up colors for poetic cadence, but i don't think i can ever love someone who doesn't understand that teal is a different color than dark cyan
  





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Wed May 23, 2018 12:36 am
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alliyah says...



I Hear America Singing
by Walt Whitman


I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,
Those of mechanics, each one signing his as it should be blithe and strong,
The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his as he makes ready for work or leaves off work,
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck,
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as he stands,
The wood-cutter's song, the ploughboy's on his way in the morning, or at noon intermission or at sundown,
The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work, or of the girl sewing or washing,
Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,
The day what belongs to day - at night the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.
maybe i make up colors for poetic cadence, but i don't think i can ever love someone who doesn't understand that teal is a different color than dark cyan
  





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Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:12 am
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alliyah says...



Trees
by Joyce Kilmer


I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
maybe i make up colors for poetic cadence, but i don't think i can ever love someone who doesn't understand that teal is a different color than dark cyan
  





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Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:10 am
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alliyah says...



The Painter
by John Ashbery


Sitting between the sea and the buildings
He enjoyed painting the sea’s portrait.
But just as children imagine a prayer
Is merely silence, he expected his subject
To rush up the sand, and, seizing a brush,
Plaster its own portrait on the canvas.

So there was never any paint on his canvas
Until the people who lived in the buildings
Put him to work: “Try using the brush
As a means to an end. Select, for a portrait,
Something less angry and large, and more subject
To a painter’s moods, or, perhaps, to a prayer.”

How could he explain to them his prayer
That nature, not art, might usurp the canvas?
He chose his wife for a new subject,
Making her vast, like ruined buildings,
As if, forgetting itself, the portrait
Had expressed itself without a brush.

Slightly encouraged, he dipped his brush
In the sea, murmuring a heartfelt prayer:
“My soul, when I paint this next portrait
Let it be you who wrecks the canvas.”
The news spread like wildfire through the buildings:
He had gone back to the sea for his subject.

Imagine a painter crucified by his subject!
Too exhausted even to lift his brush,
He provoked some artists leaning from the buildings
To malicious mirth: “We haven’t a prayer
Now, of putting ourselves on canvas,
Or getting the sea to sit for a portrait!”

Others declared it a self-portrait.
Finally all indications of a subject
Began to fade, leaving the canvas
Perfectly white. He put down the brush.
At once a howl, that was also a prayer,
Arose from the overcrowded buildings.

They tossed him, the portrait, from the tallest of the buildings;
And the sea devoured the canvas and the brush
As though his subject had decided to remain a prayer.
maybe i make up colors for poetic cadence, but i don't think i can ever love someone who doesn't understand that teal is a different color than dark cyan
  





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Sun Jun 24, 2018 11:15 pm
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alliyah says...



Lost in the Forest -
by Pablo Neruda


Lost in the forest, I broke off a dark twig
and lifted its whisper to my thirsty lips:
maybe it was the voice of the rain crying,
a cracked bell, or a torn heart.

Something from far off it seemed
deep and secret to me, hidden by the earth,
a shout muffled by huge autumns,
by the moist half-open darkness of the leaves.

Wakening from the dreaming forest there, the hazel-sprig
sang under my tongue, its drifting fragrance
climbed up through my conscious mind

as if suddenly the roots I had left behind
cried out to me, the land I had lost with my childhood---
and I stopped, wounded by the wandering scent.
maybe i make up colors for poetic cadence, but i don't think i can ever love someone who doesn't understand that teal is a different color than dark cyan
  





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Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:56 pm
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Aley says...



One Last Poem For Richard
by Sandra Cisneros


December 24th and we’re through again.

This time for good I know because I didn’t
throw you out — and anyway we waved.

No shoes.
No angry doors.

We folded clothes and went
our separate ways.

You left behind that flannel shirt
of yours I liked but remembered to take
your toothbrush.
Where are you tonight?

Richard, it’s Christmas Eve again
and old ghosts come back home.

I’m sitting by the Christmas tree
wondering where did we go wrong.


Okay, we didn’t work, and all
memories to tell you the truth aren’t good.

But sometimes there were good times.

Love was good.
I loved your crooked sleep
beside me and never dreamed afraid.


There should be stars for great wars
like ours.
There ought to be awards
and plenty of champagne for the survivors.


After all the years of degradations,
the several holidays of failure,
there should be something
to commemorate the pain.


Someday we’ll forget that great Brazil disaster.

Till then, Richard, I wish you well.

I wish you love affairs and plenty of hot water,
and women kinder than I treated you.

I forget the reason, but I loved you once,
remember?

Maybe in this season, drunk
and sentimental, I’m willing to admit
a part of me, crazed and kamikaze,
ripe for anarchy, loves still.
  





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Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:07 pm
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alliyah says...



Time for another poem of the week! :) The lovely poetry enchantress @dwyn suggested this one.

Come into the Garden, Maud
by Alfred Tennyson


COME into the garden, Maud,
For the black bat, night, has flown,
Come into the garden, Maud,
I am here at the gate alone;
And the woodbine spices are wafted abroad,
And the musk of the rose is blown.

For a breeze of morning moves,
And the planet of Love is on high,
Beginning to faint in the light that she loves
On a bed of daffodil sky,
To faint in the light of the sun she loves,
To faint in his light, and to die.

All night have the roses heard
The flute, violin, bassoon;
All night has the casement jessamine stirr’d
To the dancers dancing in tune;
Till silence fell with the waking bird,
And a hush with the setting moon.

I said to the lily, “There is but one
With whom she has heart to be gay.
When will the dancers leave her alone?
She is weary of dance and play.”
Now half to the setting moon are gone,
And half to the rising day;
Low on the sand and loud on the stone
The last wheel echoes away.

I said to the rose, “The brief night goes
In babble and revel and wine.
O young lord-lover, what sighs are those,
For one that will never be thine?
But mine, but mine,” I sware to the rose,
“For ever and ever, mine.”

And the soul of the rose went into my blood,
As the music clash’d in the hall:
And long by the garden lake I stood,
For I heard your rivulet fall
From the lake to the meadow and on to the wood,
Our wood, that is dearer than all;

From the meadow your walks have left so sweet
That whenever a March-wind sighs
He sets the jewel-print of your feet
In violets blue as your eyes,
To the woody hollows in which we meet
And the valleys of Paradise.

The slender acacia would not shake
One long milk-bloom on the tree;
The white lake-blossom fell into the lake
As the pimpernel doz’d on the lea;
But the rose was awake all night for your sake,
Knowing your promise to me;
The lilies and roses were all awake,
They sigh’d for the dawn and thee.

Queen rose of the rosebud garden of girls,
Come hither, the dances are done,
In gloss of satin and glimmer of pearls,
Queen lily and rose in one;
Shine out, little head, sunning over with curls,
To the flowers, and be their sun.

There has fallen a splendid tear
From the passion-flower at the gate.
She is coming, my dove, my dear;
She is coming, my life, my fate;
The red rose cries, “She is near, she is near;”
And the white rose weeps, “She is late;”
The larkspur listens, “I hear, I hear;”
And the lily whispers, “I wait.”

She is coming, my own, my sweet;
Were it ever so airy a tread,
My heart would hear her and beat,
Were it earth in an earthy bed;
My dust would hear her and beat,
Had I lain for a century dead;
Would start and tremble under her feet,
And blossom in purple and red.
maybe i make up colors for poetic cadence, but i don't think i can ever love someone who doesn't understand that teal is a different color than dark cyan
  





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Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:19 pm
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alliyah says...



Had a long poem last time, so here's a short one (but a good one!).

We Real Cool
by Gwendolyn Brooks


THE POOL PLAYERS.
SEVEN AT THE GOLDEN SHOVEL.


We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.
maybe i make up colors for poetic cadence, but i don't think i can ever love someone who doesn't understand that teal is a different color than dark cyan
  





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Fri Aug 03, 2018 4:41 am
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Iggy says...



Sonnet XVII, Pablo Neruda

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way than this:

where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
“I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then."
- Lewis Carroll
  





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Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:45 pm
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alliyah says...



Before Dawn
by David St. John


You ask me again this evening
at what price

Does wisdom finally come
in any life

Or at any age & now I think
I know

The answer swear to me that
when I tell you

It is only everything you believe

You will travel as far from this city
as you can before

The streets grow smeared & lost
to the smug

& promiscuous coming of the day
maybe i make up colors for poetic cadence, but i don't think i can ever love someone who doesn't understand that teal is a different color than dark cyan
  





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Points: 120227
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Thu Aug 30, 2018 4:22 pm
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alliyah says...



Here's a short Whitman poem for everyone headed back to school or remembering their days of schooling.

An Old Man's Thought of School
by Walt Whitman


AN old man's thought of School;
An old man, gathering youthful memories and blooms, that youth itself
cannot.

Now only do I know you!
O fair auroral skies! O morning dew upon the grass!

And these I see--these sparkling eyes,
These stores of mystic meaning--these young lives,
Building, equipping, like a fleet of ships--immortal ships!
Soon to sail out over the measureless seas,
On the Soul's voyage.

Only a lot of boys and girls?
Only the tiresome spelling, writing, ciphering classes?
Only a Public School?

Ah more--infinitely more;
(As George Fox rais'd his warning cry, "Is it this pile of brick and
mortar--these dead floors, windows, rails--you call the church?
Why this is not the church at all--the Church is living, ever living
Souls.")

And you, America,
Cast you the real reckoning for your present?
The lights and shadows of your future--good or evil?
To girlhood, boyhood look--the Teacher and the School.


Spoiler! :

here's a little graphic I made to go with this one...
Image
maybe i make up colors for poetic cadence, but i don't think i can ever love someone who doesn't understand that teal is a different color than dark cyan
  





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Sat Sep 08, 2018 5:00 pm
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alliyah says...



Reading some of Philip Levine's poetry lately - it's good stuff! He writes about landscapes, and violence, and workers, and families, and ordinary people.

Our Valley
by Philip Levine


We don't see the ocean, not ever, but in July and August
when the worst heat seems to rise from the hard clay
of this valley, you could be walking through a fig orchard
when suddenly the wind cools and for a moment
you get a whiff of salt, and in that moment you can almost
believe something is waiting beyond the Pacheco Pass,
something massive, irrational, and so powerful even
the mountains that rise east of here have no word for it.

You probably think I'm nuts saying the mountains
have no word for ocean, but if you live here
you begin to believe they know everything.
They maintain that huge silence we think of as divine,
a silence that grows in autumn when snow falls
slowly between the pines and the wind dies
to less than a whisper and you can barely catch
your breath because you're thrilled and terrified.

You have to remember this isn't your land.
It belongs to no one, like the sea you once lived beside
and thought was yours. Remember the small boats
that bobbed out as the waves rode in, and the men
who carved a living from it only to find themselves
carved down to nothing. Now you say this is home,
so go ahead, worship the mountains as they dissolve in dust,
wait on the wind, catch a scent of salt, call it our life.
maybe i make up colors for poetic cadence, but i don't think i can ever love someone who doesn't understand that teal is a different color than dark cyan
  








If I find myself afraid or scared, that means I'm doing the wrong thing.
— Jack Hanna