Sunday, 31 March 2013

Day 272: Happy Easter!

'Easter is the most sparkling of all the fetes since it brings back not only the sun but all the works of the sun including those works of spirit that are specifically what might be called Spring works: the renewed forces of the desire to live and be a part of life...' ~ Wallace Stevens

Happy Easter!

Easter - Katherine Tynan

Bring flowers to strew His way,
Yea, sing, make holiday;
Bid young lambs leap,
And earth laugh after sleep.

For now He cometh forth
Winter flies to the north,
Folds wings and cries
Amid the bergs and ice.

Yea, Death, great Death is dead,
And Life reigns in his stead;
Cometh the Athlete
New from dead Death's defeat.

Cometh the Wrestler,
But Death he makes no stir,
Utterly spent and done,
And all his kingdom gone.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Day 271: Eggs

Timing - Olivia McCannon

It's now my love for you is perfect as an egg
Soft-boiled - a quail's egg with a mottled shell
Whose markings are the landscape of our world.

I peel - the skin is soft between my teeth
I roll it on my tongue and taste its heat
Then I choose to bite and eat or keep it whole.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Day 270: Good Friday

 'The White Crucifixion' ~ Marc Chagall

I didn't think there were many poems written about Good Friday, well, ones that weren't overtly religious in tone. Then I came across this one, by Denise Levertov, talking about how Jesus is represented by painters through the ages, mainly not represented as human, as falteringly human - what she does here in this poem:

Salvator Mundi: Via Crucis - Denise Levertov

Maybe He looked indeed
much as Rembrandt envisioned Him
in those small heads that seem in fact
portraits of more than a model.
A dark, still young, very intelligent face,
a soul-mirror gaze of deep understanding, unjudging.
That face, in extremis, would have clenched its teeth
in a grimace not shown in even the great crucifixions.
The burden of humanness (I begin to see) exacted from Him
that He taste also the humiliation of dread,
cold sweat of wanting to let the whole thing go,
like any mortal hero out of his depth,
like anyone who has taken herself back.
The painters, even the greatest, don’t show how,
in the midnight Garden,
or staggering uphill under the weight of the Cross,
He went through with even the human longing
to simply cease, to not be.
Not torture of body,
not the hideous betrayals humans commit
nor the faithless weakness of friends, and surely
not the anticipation of death (not then, in agony’s grip)
was Incarnation’s heaviest weight,
but this sickened desire to renege,
to step back from what He, Who was God,
had promised Himself, and had entered
time and flesh to enact.
Sublime acceptance, to be absolute, had to have welled
up from those depths where purpose
drifted for mortal moments.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Day 269: The Planet on the Table

'His self and the sun were one'...

What is poetry if not proof that we were here? We not only existed, we lived.

The Planet on the Table - Wallace Stevens

Ariel was glad he had written his poems.
They were of a remembered time
Or of something seen that he liked.

Other makings of the sun
Were waste and welter
And the ripe shrub writhed.

His self and the sun were one
And his poems, although makings of his self,
Were no less makings of the sun.

It was not important that they survive.
What mattered was that they should bear
Some lineament or character,

Some affluence, if only half-perceived,
In the poverty of their words,
Of the planet of which they were part. 

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Day 268: The Poem Reads You

'...this is more than a poem...' 

Most poems are 'dull' Bukowksi states blatantly here, but not the real poems, the ones that grab you and slam you into the pressing urgency of reality with a whooshing of gravity, a thumping of heartbeats. The ones that wake you up, shake you up, glare truth in front of you like a blinding light. 

The ones that make you think, of something other than daily trivialities, beyond the 'illusion' and  into the realm of what really matters. What it's all about.

Splash - Charles Bukowski

the illusion is that you are simply
reading this poem.
the reality is that this is
more than a
this is a beggar's knife.
this is a tulip.
this is a soldier marching
through Madrid.
this is you on your
death bed.
this is Li Po laughing
this is not a god-damned
this is a horse asleep.
a butterfly in
your brain.
this is the devil's
you are not reading this
on a page.
the page is reading
feel it?
it's like a cobra. it's a hungry eagle circling the room.

this is not a poem. poems are dull,
they make you sleep.

these words force you
to a new

you have been blessed, you have been pushed into a
blinding area of

the elephant dreams
with you
the curve of space
bends and

you can die now.
you can die now as
people were meant to
hearing the music,
being the music,

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Day 267: Swan and Shadow

A picture paints a thousand words they say, but words, in the right structure, can make a pretty good picture too, literally. Behold this wonder of a poem:

Swan and Shadow - John Hollander

Monday, 25 March 2013

Day 266: Monday Magic

Happy Monday! Let's start the week in good spirits with Mary Oliver:

Just Around the House, in Early Morning - Mary Oliver

Though I have been scorned for it
let me never be afraid to use the world beautiful.
For within is the shining leaf
and the blossoms of the geranium at the window.
And the eyes of the happy puppy as he wakes.
The colors of the old and beloved afghan lying
by itself, on the couch, in the morning sun.
The hummingbirds' nest perched now in a
corner of the bookshelf, in front of so many
books of so many colors.
the two poached eggs.  The buttered toast.
The ream of brand-new paper just opened,
white as a block of snow.
The typewriter humming, ready to go.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Day 265: Embrace Me

Embrace - Billy Collins

You know the parlor trick.
Wrap your arms around your own body
and from the back it looks like
someone is embracing you,
her hands grasping your shirt,
her fingernails teasing your neck.

From the front it is another story,
You never looked so alone,
your crossed elbows and screwy grin.
You could be waiting for a tailor
to fit you for a straightjacket,
one that would hold you really tight.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Day 264: Unfinished Love?


She - Saul Williams

She stuck a bookmark
in my heart
and walked away.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Day 263: Searching for Moons

No matter about logic and  knowledge and fact, 'the heart is susceptible' to other things. It sure is. Maybe that's how love gets through.

Searching for Moons - Carol Ann Duffy

There is something to be said but I, for one,
forget. That star went out more years ago
than we can count. Its ghosts see dinosaurs.

The brain says No to the Universe, Prove it,
but the heart is susceptible, pining for a look,
a kind word. Some are brought to their knees,

pleading in dead language at a deaf ear. Spaceships
float in nothing in the dark, searching for moons
to worship with their fish eyes. It must be love.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Day 272: Amazement which is Hope

It's the Equinox, the official beginning of Spring here in the Northern Hemisphere. From now, as the earth turns, the days will get brighter and hopefully warmer! 

But more than that. While the earth 'shakes sleep out of her brightening mind: now everywhere space tastes of the amazement which is hope.' EE Cummings captures exactly the buoyant hope and promise of Spring in this poem. Reading it is an exercise in brimming with joy, '(all that was doubtful's certain,timid's bold;old's youthful and reluctant's eager now)' and to receive an injection of its transformative energy.

Happy Spring!

(Read more ee cummings poems on Spring here: O Sweet Spontaneous Earth)

now winging selves sing sweetly - ee cummings

now winging selves sing sweetly,while ghosts(there
and here)of snow cringe;dazed an earth shakes sleep
out of her brightening mind:now everywhere
space tastes of the amazement which is hope

gone are those hugest hours of dark and cold
when blood and flesh to inexistence bow
(all that was doubtful's certain,timid's bold;
old's youthful and reluctant's eager now)

anywhere upward somethings yearn and stir
piercing a tangled wrack of wishless known;
nothing is like this keen(who breathes us)air
immortal with the fragrance of begin

winter is over - now(for me and you,
darling!)life's star prances the blinding blue

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Day 271: Days Go By

Did I mention how much I love Billy Collins? 

Here he describes exactly that sense of deja-vu you get when one seemingly identical day follows another. Or so it seems. 

Is today just another Wednesday, or, something more? 

Days - Billy Collins

Each one is a gift, no doubt,
mysteriously placed in your waking hand
or set upon your forehead
moments before you open your eyes.

Today begins cold and bright,
the ground heavy with snow
and the thick masonry of ice,
the sun glinting off the turrets of clouds.

Through the calm eye of the window
everything is in its place
but so precariously
this day might be resting somehow

on the one before it,
all the days of the past stacked high
like the impossible tower of dishes
entertainers used to build on stage.

No wonder you find yourself
perched on the top of a tall ladder
hoping to add one more.
Just another Wednesday

you whisper,
then holding your breath,
place this cup on yesterday's saucer
without the slightest clink.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Day 270: Ice Breaking

Ha, true enough!

Reflections on Ice Breaking - Ogden Nash

Is dandy
But liquor
Is quicker

Monday, 18 March 2013

Day 269: Colour Charts

I always knew great poems could be wriiten from colour charts! Just look at all the intriguing names given to the colours, it's inspiration-in-a-booklet!

Poem from a Colour Chart of House Paints - Wendy Cope

Limeglow of leaves -
elf, sapling
in Elysian green,
she's jitterbugging
in the forest.
She is froth, the tang
of julep, capering
among the ferns.
Passion, the firedance
of her fantasy,
fireglow of poppy
and corona, ember.
Casanova, peerless
demon, jester!
She burns, a firefly,
Apollo's geisha.
Her sandgold hair,
spun silk kimono,
melon and lemon sorbet
on the balcony,
white wine, gardenias.
That honeysuckle year -
if he could ransom
one sunlit day!
Indigo seascape -
Melissa in cool,
blue moonshade.
Harebell, naiad,
exotic ballerina,
she commands the bay,
the midnight swell,
the surf, pale gossamer.
Autumnal in brogues,
beige twinset, russet
tweeds, she takes
coffee at eleven,
sherry at noon -
dreams of Tarragona,
castanets, a man
who called her Sheba.
Her mood
is violet, nocturnal.
Aubrietia, phlox,
wisteria delight her
more than roses.
Solitude, a purple
robe, a last
long hazy evening.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Day 268: Dreams, My Means

An Irish poet for an Irish day, dreamer extraordinaire, WB Yeats -

He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven - WB Yeats

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. 

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Day 267: March


Notorious March, like a lion, with roaring cold winds. Could this really be the start of Spring? But all new growth starts with pain, does it not?

March - William Carlos Williams 

Winter is long in this climate
and spring - a matter of a few days
only, - a flower or two picked
from mud or from among wet leaves
or at best against treacherous
bitterness of wind, and sky shining
teasingly, then closing in black
and sudden, with fierce jaws.

you remind me of
the pyramids, our pyramids -
stript of the polished stone
that used to guard them!
you are like Fra Angelico
at Fiesole, painting on plaster!
you are like a band of
young poets that have not learned
the blessedness of warmth
(or have forgotten it).
At any rate -
I am moved to write poetry
for the warmth there is in it
and for the loneliness--
a poem that shall have you
in it March.

the archer king, on horse-back,
in blue and yellow enamel!
with drawn bow - facing lions
standing on their hind legs,
fangs bared! his shafts
bristling in their necks!
Sacred bulls - dragons
in embossed brickwork
marching -in four tiers -
along the sacred way to
Nebuchadnezzar's throne hall!
They shine in the sun,
they that have been marching -
marching under the dust of
ten thousand dirt years.
they are coming into bloom again!
See them!
marching still, bared by
the storms from my calendar
-winds that blow back the sand!
winds that enfilade dirt!
winds that by strange craft
have whipt up a black army
that by pick and shovel
bare a procession to
the god, Marduk!
Natives cursing and digging
for pay unearth dragons with
upright tails and sacred bulls
in four tiers-
lining the way to an old altar!
Natives digging at old walls-
digging me warmth - digging me
sweet loneliness -
high enamelled walls.

My second spring -
passed in a monastery
with plaster walls - in Fiesole
on the hill above Florence.
My second spring - painted
a virgin - in a blue aureole
sitting on a three-legged stool,
arms crossed -
she is intently serious,
and still
watching an angel
with coloured wings
half kneeling before her -
and smiling - the angel's eyes
holding the eyes of Mary
as a snake's holds a bird's.
On the ground there are flowers,
trees are in leaf.

But! now for the battle!
Now for murder - now for the real thing!
My third springtime is approaching!
lean, serious as a virgin,
seeking, seeking the flowers of March.
flowers nowhere to be found,
they twine among the bare branches
in insatiable eagerness -
they whirl up the snow
seeking under it -
they - the winds - snakelike
roar among yellow reeds
seeking flowers - flowers.
I spring among them
seeking one flower
in which to warm myself!
I deride with all the ridicule
of misery -
my own starved misery.
Counter-cutting winds
strike against me
refreshing their fury!
Come, good, cold fellows!
Have we no flowers?
Defy then with even more
desperation than ever - being
lean and frozen!
But though you are lean and frozen -
think of the blue bulls of Babylon.
Fling yourselves upon
their empty roses -
cut savagely!
But -
think of the painted monastery
at Fiesole.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Day 266: Animals

Ah to be young and free! And in love. And all the world for the taking. 

*(This poem reminds me so much of this song, it's uncanny! - listen here)

Animals - Frank O'Hara 
Have you forgotten what we were like then
when we were still first rate
and the day came fat with an apple in its mouth

it's no use worrying about Time
but we did have a few tricks up our sleeves
and turned some sharp corners

the whole pasture looked like our meal
we didn't need speedometers
we could manage cocktails out of ice and water

I wouldn't want to be faster
or greener than now if you were with me O you
were the best of all my days

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Day 265: In Time of Daffodils


What do daffodils say to you? Something like this...'forgetting if, remember yes'
Yes. Some ee cummings revelatory wisdom:

in time of daffodils - ee cummings

in time of daffodils(who know
the goal of living is to grow)
forgetting why,remember how

in time of lilacs who proclaim
the aim of waking is to dream,
remember so(forgetting seem)

in time of roses(who amaze
our now and here with paradise)
forgetting if,remember yes

in time of all sweet things beyond
whatever mind may comprehend,
remember seek(forgetting find)

and in a mystery to be
(when time from time shall set us free)
forgetting me,remember me

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Day 264: More and More

I love Margaret Atwood's use of simple language to express complex emotions and themes. 

More and More - Margaret Atwood

More and more frequently the edges
of me dissolve and I become
a wish to assimilate the world, including
you, if possible through the skin
like a cool plant's tricks with oxygen
and live by a harmless green burning.

I would not consume
you or ever
finish, you would still be there
surrounding me, complete
as the air.

Unfortunately I don't have leaves.
Instead I have eyes
and teeth and other non-green
things which rule out osmosis.

So be careful, I mean it,
I give you fair warning:

This kind of hunger draws
everything into its own
space; nor can we
talk it all over, have a calm
rational discussion.

There is no reason for this, only
a starved dog's logic about bones. 

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Day 263: Shock of Spring

Yeah, Spring just kind of sneaks up on you like this, and when it does 'The colours blaze. Everything turns around.' The earth is alive again and so are we.

Face to Face - Tomas Transtromer

In February life stood still.
The birds refused to fly and the soul
grated against the landscape as a boat
chafes against the jetty where it’s moored.

The trees were turned away. The snow’s depth
measured by the stubble poking through.
The footprints grew old out on the ice-crust.
Under a tarpaulin, language was being broken down.

Suddenly, something approaches the window.
I stop working and look up.
The colours blaze. Everything turns around.
The earth and I spring at each other.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Day 262: Cake

Sometimes the simplest poems say it best -

Cake - Roger McGough

i wanted one life
you wanted another
we couldn't have our cake
so we ate eachother.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Day 261: Same Gesture

Love is a secret room where we become what we always were, or 'most nakedly are.'

The Same Gesture - John Montague

There is a secret room
of golden light where
everything - love, violence,
hatred is possible;
and, again, love.

Such intimacy of hand
and mind is achieved
under its healing light
that the shifting of
hands is a rite

like court music.
We barely know our
selves there though
it is what we always were
- most nakedly are -

and must remember
when we leave, re-
suming our habits
with our clothes:
work, 'phone, drive

through late traffic
changing gears with
the same gesture as
eased your snowbound
heart and flesh.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Day 260: Dark of the Moon

Ah, the moon, the 'ever-constant' moon. We poets just can't get enough of it :)

Avenue A - Frank O'Hara

We hardly ever see the moon any more
                                                          so no wonder
   it’s so beautiful when we look up suddenly
and there it is gliding broken-faced over the bridges
brilliantly coursing, soft, and a cool wind fans
       your hair over your forehead and your memories
              of Red Grooms’ locomotive landscape
I want some bourbon/you want some oranges/I love the leather
                jacket Norman gave me
                                                and the corduroy coat David
     gave you, it is more mysterious than spring, the El Greco
heavens breaking open and then reassembling like lions
                                                 in a vast tragic veldt
     that is far from our small selves and our temporally united
passions in the cathedral of Januaries

     everything is too comprehensible
these are my delicate and caressing poems
I suppose there will be more of those others to come, as in the past
                                                  so many!
but for now the moon is revealing itself like a pearl
                                                  to my equally naked heart

Friday, 8 March 2013

Day 259: Phenomenal Women

It's International Women's Day today. Let's celebrate with a bit of sass and style from Maya Angelou - 'I'm a woman/Phenomenally./Phenomenal woman,/That's me.'

Phenomenal Women - Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.   

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Day 258: The Red Wheelbarrow

Now here'a a famous poem, a real classic - (if you Google 'red wheelbarrow', your first result will be this poem).
Why so famous? Well, first off, because of its experimental nature, it caused quite a stir after it was first published in 1923 and long thereafter.
It broke a lot of rules and introduced a new coup for Modernist poetry: Imagist and almost Idea-ist. Williams' defining maxim was 'No ideas, but in things' and this poem represents this perfectly - so much depends upon not the ideas buried in the poem, in its meaning,  but the subject matter itself (which is usually merely the means to an end - ie meaning - in a poem) taken at face-value, on its own standing, like a painting would be.
The poem's endearing simplicitiy and its speculative content have ensured its popular appeal. Why does so much depend upon the red wheelbarrow exactly?  Does the scene represent something else? Is it making an existential comment? Is its simplicity a cue for imaginative discourse? Or is it, simply, meant to be taken, just as it is? So much depends upon the simple scenes in life, the things that make up these scenes, the impromptu props of living, standing as objects of beauty and awe and thought...?
Or maybe it forces us to see that we impose meaning on everything? Maybe it is meaningless?
Well, that's the beauty of poetry. It can mean whatever you want it to mean. Meaning is subjective, maybe even secondary. Because poetry offers a lot more than that, of which this poem is proof proper.

The Red Wheelbarrow - William Carlos Williams

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white


Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Day 257: Loveliness

'Look how it makes all the loveliness it can.' Now, there's a thought.

Passing the Unworked Field - Mary Oliver

Queen's Anne's lace

     is hardly

           prized but

all the same it isn't

            idle look

                           how it

             stands straight on its

thin stems how it

             scrubs its white faces

                 with the

rags of the sun how it

               makes all the


                               it can.


Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Day 256: Yes!

Yes will get you everywhere, No, nowhere. 'Your biggest surprise/Comes after Yes', yes!

Yes - Muriel Rukeyser

It's like a tap-dance
Or a new pink dress,
A shit-naive feeling
Saying Yes.

Some say Good morning
Some say God bless -
Soem say Possibly
Some say Yes.

Some say Never
Some say Unless
It's so stupid and lovely
To rush into Yes.

What can it mean?
It's just like life,
One thing to you
One to your wife.

Some go local
Some go express
Some can't wait
To answer Yes.

Some complain
Of strain and stress
The answer may be
No for Yes.

Some like failure
Some like success
Some like Yes Yes
Yes Yes Yes.

Open your eyes,
Dream but don't guess.
Your biggest surprise
Comes after Yes.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Day 255: In Spring Comes

Look, everywhere Spring is springing into being: blue skies, green shoots, a renewing, a remaking. EE  Cummings rightly personifies Spring here 'a mender of things' with  'eager fingers' and 'patient eyes.'
Spring was Cumming's ultimate Muse. He wrote so many poems about it, each of them an enthusiastic celebration of the season and greening and bursting with energy.  (I will post some intermittently throughout the next few weeks.)

*(I know the seasons are all spelt with lower case, but I've always liked to give Spring a capital 'S' as it's my favourite season and all - seems like Cummings had the same idea!)

in Spring comes - ee cummings


Spring comes(no-
asks his name)

a mender
of things

with eager


ing remaking what
-wise we should

thrown a-

way(and whose

-bright flower-
soft bird
-quick voice loves

and sunlight and

mountains)in april(but
if he should

nobody'll know

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Day 254: Daffodils

I  don't often post 'classic' poems, but in this case I'll make an exception seeing as it is daffodil season and there's no poem that describes daffodils quite as good as this one from Wordsworth!
Apart from the lofty language, he does make some good points. Daffodils are so pleasant a sight, their friendly faces trumpeting Spring, that your heart does leap when it sees them and 'what wealth' they bring to you. Yes, what wealth!

The Daffodils - William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed - and gazed - but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.      

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Day 253: Green Fire

Now here is where poetry comes closest to painting - is the pencilled note I have scribbled beside this poem in my Norton Anthology of Poetry from my college years. 

Our poetry professor at the time, who was extremely enthusiastic about poetry (at a time when I was not I might add), had picked this poem not only for its imagery, but its energy, its verve, its fervour; how the language carries its theme of youthful exuberance perfectly and how the whole poem seems to flare from the page in its own 'fire as green as grass', the green energy of living.

Fern Hill - Dylan Thomas

Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green,
       The night above the dingle starry,
               Time let me hail and climb
       Golden in the heydays of his eyes,
And honoured among wagons I was prince of the apple towns
And once below a time I lordly had the trees and leaves
               Trail with daisies and barley
       Down the rivers of the windfall light.

And as I was green and carefree, famous among the barns
About the happy yard and singing as the farm was home,
       In the sun that is young once only,
               Time let me play and be   
       Golden in the mercy of his means,
And green and golden I was huntsman and herdsman, the calves
Sang to my horn, the foxes on the hills barked clear and cold,
               And the sabbath rang slowly
       In the pebbles of the holy streams.

All the sun long it was running, it was lovely, the hay
Fields high as the house, the tunes from the chimneys, it was air
       And playing, lovely and watery
               And fire green as grass.
       And nightly under the simple stars
As I rode to sleep the owls were bearing the farm away,
All the moon long I heard, blessed among stables, the nightjars
       Flying with the ricks, and the horses
               Flashing into the dark.

And then to awake, and the farm, like a wanderer white
With the dew, come back, the cock on his shoulder: it was all
       Shining, it was Adam and maiden,
               The sky gathered again
       And the sun grew round that very day.
So it must have been after the birth of the simple light
In the first, spinning place, the spellbound horses walking warm
       Out of the whinnying green stable
               On to the fields of praise.

And honoured among foxes and pheasants by the gay house
Under the new made clouds and happy as the heart was long,
       In the sun born over and over,
               I ran my heedless ways,
       My wishes raced through the house high hay
And nothing I cared, at my sky blue trades, that time allows
In all his tuneful turning so few and such morning songs
       Before the children green and golden
               Follow him out of grace,

Nothing I cared, in the lamb white days, that time would take me
Up to the swallow thronged loft by the shadow of my hand,
       In the moon that is always rising,
               Nor that riding to sleep
       I should hear him fly with the high fields
And wake to the farm forever fled from the childless land.
Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
               Time held me green and dying
       Though I sang in my chains like the sea.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Day 252: The Uses of Poetry

The Uses of Poetry - William Carlos Williams

I've fond anticipation of a day
O'erfilled with pure diversion presently,
For I must read a lady poesy
The while we glide by many a leafy bay,

Hid deep in rushes, where at random play
The glossy black winged May-flies, or whence flee
Hush-throated nestlings in alarm,
Whom we have idly frighted with our boat's long sway.

For, lest o'ersaddened by such woes as spring
To rural peace from our meek onward trend,
What else more fit? We'll draw the latch-string

And close the door of sense; then satiate wend,
On poesy's transforming giant wing,
To worlds afar whose fruits all anguish mend.