parker eng222 poetry final

Elizabeth Bishop – The Fish
I caught a tremendous fish and held him beside the boathalf out of water, with my hookfast in a corner of his mouth.he didn’t fight.he hadn’t fought at all. he hung a grunting weight, battered and venerableand homely, here and therehis brown skin hung in stripslike ancient wallpaper, and its pattern of darker brownwas like wallpaper:shapes like full-blown rosesstained and lost through age.He was speckled with barnacles,fine rosettes of lime, and infestedwith tiny white sea-lice,and underneath two or threerags of green weed hung down.

while his fills were breathing inthe terrible oxygen-the frightening gills,fresh and crisp with blood,that can cut so badly-i thought of the coarse white fleshpacked in like feathers,the big bones and the little bones,the dramatic reds and blacksof his shiny entrails,and the pink swim bladder like a big peony.i looked into his eyeswhich were far larger than minebut shallower, and yellowed,the irises backed and packedwith tarnished tinfoil seen through the lensesof old scratched isinglass.they shifted a little, but notto return my stare.-it was more like the tippingof an object toward the light. i admired his sullen face, the mechanism of his jaw,and then i sawthat from his lower lip-if you could call it a lip-grim, wet, and weapon like,hung five old pieces of fish-line,or four and a wire leaderwith the swivel still attached,with all their five big hooksgrown firmly in his mouth.a green line, frayed at the endwhere he broke it, two heavier lines,and a fine black threadstill crimped from the stain and snapwhen it broke and he got away.

like medals with their ribbonsfrayed and wavering, a five-haired beard of wisdom trailing form his aching jaw.i stand and staedand victory filled up the little rented boat,from the pool of bilgewhere oil had spread a rainbowaround the rusted engineto the bailer rusted orange,the sun-cracked thwarts, the oarlock on their strings,the gunnels – until everythingwas rainbow, rainbow, rainbow!and i let the fish go.

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Elizabeth Bishop – Sestina
September rain falls on the house. in the failing light, the old grandmothersits in the kitchen with the childbeside the little marvel stove,reading the jokes from the almanac,laughing and talking to hide her tears.She thinks that her equinoctial tearsand the rain that beats on the roof of the housewere both foretold by the almanac, but only known to a grandmother.

the iron kettle sings on the stove.she cuts some bread and says to the child,its time for a tea now; but the childis watching the teakettle’s small hard tearsdance like the mad on the hot black stove,the way the rain must dance on the house.tidying up, the old grandmotherhangs up the clever almanacon its string. birdlike, the almanachovers half open above the child, hovers above the old grandmother and her teacup full of dead brown tears. she shivers and says she thinks the housefeels chilly, and puts more wood in the was to be, says the marvel stove.i know what i know, says the almanac.with crayons the child draws a rigid houseand a winding pathway.

then the childputs in a man with buttons like tearsand shows it proudly to the grandmother. but secretly, while the grandmother busies herself about the stove,the little moons fall down like tearsfrom between the pages of the almanacinto the flower bed the child has carefully plates in the front of the house. time to plant tears, says the almanac.the grandmother sings to the marvelous stoveand the child draws another inscrutable house.

Anne Sexton – Her Kind
i have gone out, a possessed witch, haunting the black air, braver at night;drawing evil, i have done my hitchover the plain houses, light by light:lonely ting, twelve-fingered, out of mind.

a woman like that is not a woman, quite.i have been her kind.I have found the warm caves in the woods,filled them with skillets, carvings, shelves,closets, silks, innumerable goods;fixed the suppers for the worms and the elves:whining, rearranging the disaligned. a woman like that is misunderstood.

i have been her kind.I have ridden in your cart, driver,waved my nude arms at villages going by,learning the last bright routes, survivorwhere your flames still bite my thighsand my ribs crack where your wheels wind.a woman like that is not ashamed to die.i have been her kind

T. S. Eliot – The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
Let us go then, you and I, When the evening is spread out against the sky Like a patient etherized upon a table; Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets, The muttering retreats Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells: Streets that follow like a tedious argument Of insidious intent To lead you to an overwhelming question ..

. Oh, do not ask, “What is it?” Let us go and make our visit. In the room the women come and go Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes, The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes, Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening, Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains, Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys, Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap, And seeing that it was a soft October night, Curled once about the house, and fell asleep. And indeed there will be time For the yellow smoke that slides along the street, Rubbing its back upon the window-panes; There will be time, there will be time To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet; There will be time to murder and create, And time for all the works and days of hands That lift and drop a question on your plate; Time for you and time for me, And time yet for a hundred indecisions, And for a hundred visions and revisions, Before the taking of a toast and tea. In the room the women come and go Talking of Michelangelo. And indeed there will be time To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?” Time to turn back and descend the stair, With a bald spot in the middle of my hair — (They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”) My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin, My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin — (They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”) Do I dare Disturb the universe? In a minute there is time For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse. For I have known them all already, known them all: Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons, I have measured out my life with coffee spoons; I know the voices dying with a dying fall Beneath the music from a farther room. So how should I presume? And I have known the eyes already, known them all— The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase, And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin, When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall, Then how should I begin To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways? And how should I presume? And I have known the arms already, known them all— Arms that are braceleted and white and bare (But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!) Is it perfume from a dress That makes me so digress? Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.

And should I then presume? And how should I begin? Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows? … I should have been a pair of ragged claws Scuttling across the floors of silent seas. And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully! Smoothed by long fingers, Asleep …

tired … or it malingers, Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me. Should I, after tea and cakes and ices, Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis? But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed, Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter, I am no prophet — and here’s no great matter; I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker, And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker, And in short, I was afraid. And would it have been worth it, after all, After the cups, the marmalade, the tea, Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me, Would it have been worth while, To have bitten off the matter with a smile, To have squeezed the universe into a ball To roll it towards some overwhelming question, To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead, Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”— If one, settling a pillow by her head Should say: “That is not what I meant at all; That is not it, at all.” And would it have been worth it, after all, Would it have been worth while, After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets, After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor— And this, and so much more?— It is impossible to say just what I mean! But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen: Would it have been worth while If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl, And turning toward the window, should say: “That is not it at all, That is not what I meant, at all.

” No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be; Am an attendant lord, one that will do To swell a progress, start a scene or two, Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool, Deferential, glad to be of use, Politic, cautious, and meticulous; Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse; At times, indeed, almost ridiculous— Almost, at times, the Fool. I grow old … I grow old … I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach? I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each. I do not think that they will sing to me. I have seen them riding seaward on the waves Combing the white hair of the waves blown back When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

Matthew Arnold – Dover Beach
The sea is calm tonight. the tide is full, the moon lies fairUpon the straits; on the French coast the lightGleams and is gone; the cliffs of england stand,glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.

come to the window, sweet is the night-air!only, form the long line of spraywhere the sea meets the moon-blanched land,Listen! you hear the grating roarof pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,at their return, up the high strand,begin, and cease, and then again begin,with tremulous cadence slow, and bringthe eternal note of sadness in.Sophocles long agoheard it on the aegean, and it broughtinto his mind the turbid ebb and flowof human misery; wefind also in the sound a thought,hearing it by this distant northern sea.the sea of faithwas once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shorelay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.but now i only hearits melancholy, long withdrawing roar,retreating, to the breathof the night=wind, down the vast edges drearand asked shingles of the world.ah, love, her us be trueto one another! for the world, which seemsto lie before us like a land of dreams,so various, so beautiful, so new,hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;and we are here as on a darkling plainswept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,where ignorant armies clash by night.

Seamus Heaney – Mid-Term Break
i sat all morning in the college sick baycounting bells knelling classes to a two o’clock our neighbors drove me the porch i met my father crying-he had always taken funerals in his stride-and big jim evans saying it was a hard blow.

The baby cooed and laughed and rocked the pramwhen i came in, and i was embarrassedby old men standing up to shake my handand tell me they were ‘sorry for my trouble’.whispers informed strangers i was the eldest,away at school, as my mother held my handin hers and coughed out angry tearless then o’clock the ambulance arrivedwith the corpse, stanched and bandaged by the nurses.

Next morning i went up into the room. snowdropsand candles soothed the beside; i saw him for the first time in six weeks. paler now,wearing a poppy bruise on his left temple,he lay in the four-foot box as in his gaudy scars, the bumper knocked him clear.a four-foot box, a foot for every year.

Gerard Manley Hopkins – Spring and Fall
Margaret, are you grievingover golden-grove unleaving? leaves, like the things of man, youwith your fresh thoughts care for, can you?ah! as the heart grows olderit will come to such sights colderby and by, nor spare a sighthough worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;and yet you will weep and know no matter, child, the name:sorrow’s sings are the same.Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressedwhat heart heard of, ghost guessed:it is the blight man was born for,it is margaret you mourn for.

Emily Dickinson – 591 (465) (I Heard a Fly Buzz – when i died)
I head a fly buzz- when i died-the stillness in the roomwas like the stillness in the air- between the heaves of storm-the eyes around- had wrung them dry-and breaths were gathering firm for that last onset = when the kingbe witnessed – in the room-I willed my keepsakes – signed awaywhat portion of me beassignable – and then it wasthere interposed a fly- with blue- uncertain – stumbling buzz -between the light – and me-and then the windows failed – and then i could not see to see-

Rita Dove – Wingfoot Lake
On her 36th birthday, thomas had shown herher first swimming pool. it had been his favorite color, exactly-justso much of it, the swimmer’s white arms juttinginto the chevrons of high society.

she had rolled up her windowand told him to drive on, fast.Now this act of mercy: four daughtersdragging her to their husbands’ picking, white families on one side and themon the other, unpacking the same squeeze bottles of heinz, the samewaxy beef patties and salem potato chip he was dead for the first timeon fourth of july – ten years agohad been harder, waiting for something to happen,and ten years before that, the girlslike young horses eyeing the track. last august she stood alone for hoursin front of the TV setas a crow’s wing moved slowly throughthe white streets of government.

that brave swimmingscared her, like joanna sayingMother, we’re afro-americans now!what did she know about africa?were there lakes like this onewith a rowboat pushed under the pier? or thomas’ great mississippi with its sullen silks? (there wasthe Nile but the Nile belongedto God.) where she came from was the past, 12 miles into townwhere nobody had locked their back door,and goodyear hadn’t begun to dream of a parkunder the company symbol, a white footsprouting two small wings.

Paul Laurence Dunbar – We wear the mask
we wear the mask that grins and lies, it hides our cheeks and shades our eyes- this debt we pay to human guile;with torn and bleeding hearts we smile,and mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be over-wise,in counting all our tears and sighs?nay, let them only see us, while we wear the mask. We smile, but, o great christ, our criesto thee from tortured souls arise. we sing, but oh the clay is vilebeneath our feet, and long the mile;but let the world dream otherwise, we wear the mask!

Robert Frost – Mending Wall
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall, that sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,and spills the upper boulders in the sun;and makes gaps even two can pass abreast.the work of hunters is another thing:i have come after them and made repairwhere they have left not one stone on a stone,but they would have the rabbit out of hiding,to please the yelping dogs. the gaps i mean,no one has seen them made or head them made,but at spring mending-time we find them there.i let my neighbor know beyond the hill;and on a day we meet to walk the lineand set the way between us once again.

we keep the wall between us as we each the boulders that have fallen to each.and some are loaves and some so nearly ballswe have to use a spell to make them balance:”stay where you are until our backs are turned!”we wear our gingers rough with handling them.

of, just another kind of outsold game,one on a side. it comes to a little more:there where it is we do not need the wall:he is all pine and i am apple apple trees will never get acrossand eat the cones under his pines, i tell him. he only says, “good fences make good neighbors.”spirng is the mischief in me, and i wonderif i could put a notion in his head:”why do they make good neighbors? isn’t itwhere there are cows? but here there are no cows.

before i built a wall i’d ask to knowwhat i was walling in or walling out,and to whom i was like to give offense.something there is that doesn’t love a wall,that wants it down.” i could say “elves” to him, but it’s not elves exactly, and i’d ratherhe said it for himself. I see him threbringing a stone grasped firmly by the topin each hand, lie an old-stone savage armed.

he moves in darkness as it seems to me,not of woods only and the sahde of trees.he will not go behind his father’s saying,and he likes having thought of it so wellhe says again, “good fences make good neighbors.”

Wallace Stevens – Anecdote of the Jar
I placed a jar in Tennessee,and round it was, upon a made the slovenly wildernesssurround that hill.the wilderness rose up to ir,and sprawled around, no longer wild. the jar was round upon the groundand tall and of a port in took dominion everywhere.

the jar was gray and did not give of bird or bush, like nothing else in Tennessee.

Robert Frost – Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Whose woods these are i think i know his house is in the village though;he will not see me stopping hereto watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queerto stop without a farmhouse nearbetween the woods and frozen lakethe darkest evening of the year.he gives his harness bells a shaketo ask if there is some mistake. the only other sound’s the sweepof easy wind and downy flake.the woods are lovely, dark and deep,but i have promises to keep,and miles to go before i sleep, and miles to go before i sleep.

Lord Alfred Tennyson – Ulysses
It little profits that an idle king, By this still hearth, among these barren crags, Match’d with an aged wife, I mete and dole Unequal laws unto a savage race, That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me. I cannot rest from travel: I will drink Life to the lees: All times I have enjoy’d Greatly, have suffer’d greatly, both with those That loved me, and alone, on shore, and when Thro’ scudding drifts the rainy Hyades Vext the dim sea: I am become a name; For always roaming with a hungry heart Much have I seen and known; cities of men And manners, climates, councils, governments, Myself not least, but honour’d of them all; And drunk delight of battle with my peers, Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy. I am a part of all that I have met; Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’ Gleams that untravell’d world whose margin fades For ever and forever when I move.

How dull it is to pause, to make an end, To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use! As tho’ to breathe were life! Life piled on life Were all too little, and of one to me Little remains: but every hour is saved From that eternal silence, something more, A bringer of new things; and vile it were For some three suns to store and hoard myself, And this gray spirit yearning in desire To follow knowledge like a sinking star, Beyond the utmost bound of human thought. This is my son, mine own Telemachus, To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle,— Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil This labour, by slow prudence to make mild A rugged people, and thro’ soft degrees Subdue them to the useful and the good. Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere Of common duties, decent not to fail In offices of tenderness, and pay Meet adoration to my household gods, When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.

There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail: There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners, Souls that have toil’d, and wrought, and thought with me— That ever with a frolic welcome took The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed Free hearts, free foreheads—you and I are old; Old age hath yet his honour and his toil; Death closes all: but something ere the end, Some work of noble note, may yet be done, Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods. The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks: The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends, ‘T is not too late to seek a newer world. Push off, and sitting well in order smite The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths Of all the western stars, until I die. It may be that the gulfs will wash us down: It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles, And see the great Achilles, whom we knew. Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’ We are not now that strength which in old days Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Robert Browning – My Last Duchess
that’s my last duchess painted on the wall, looking as if she were alive.

i callthat piece a wonder, now: fra pandolf’s handsworked busily a day, and there she stands. will’t please you sit and look at her? i said”fra Pandolf” by design, for never readstrangers like you that pictured countenance, the depth and passion of its earnest glance, but to myself they turned (since none puts bythe curtain i have drawn for you, but i)and seemed as thy would ask me, if they durst,how such a glance came there; so, not the firstare you to turn and ask thus. sir, ’twas nother husband’s presence only, called that spot of joy into the duchess’ cheek: perhaps Fra Landolf chanced to say “her mantle lapsover my lady’s wrist too much,” or “painmust never hope to reproduce the faint half-flush that dies along her throat”: such stuffwas courtesy, she thought, and cause enoughfor calling up that spot of joy. she hada heart – how shall i say?- too soon made glad,too easily impressed; she liked whate’ershe looked on, and her looks went everywhere. sirr, ’twas all one! my favor at her breast.the dropping of the daylight in the west,the bough of cherries some officious fool broke in the orchard for her, the white muleshe rode with round the terrace – all and eachwould draw from he alike the approving speech,or blush, at least. she thanked men-good! but thankedsomehow- i know not how- as if she ranked my gift of a nine-hundred-years-old namewith anybody’s gift. who’d stoop to blamethis sort of trifling? even had you skillin speech – which i have not- to make your willquite clear to such an one, and say,” just thisor that in your disgusts me; here you miss,or there exceed the mark: – and if she letherself be lessoned so, nor plainly sether wits to yours, forsooth, and made excuse, -e’en then woul dbe some stooping; and i choose never to stoop.

oh sir, she smiled, no doubt,whene’er i passed her; but who passed withoutmuch the same smile? this free; i have commands;then all smiles stopped together. there she standsas if alive. will ‘t please you rise? we’ll meetthe company below, then. i repeat, the count your masters known munificence is able warrant that no just pretense of mine for dowry will be disallowed;though his fair daughter’s self, as i avowedat starting, is my object. nay, we’ll gotogether down, sir.

notice naptune, thought, taming a sea-horse, thought a ririty, which claus of innsbruck cast in bronze for me!

Gerard Manley Hopkins – God’s Grandeur
The world is charged with the grandeur of god. it will fame out, like shining from shook foil;it gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oilcrushed. why do men then now not reck his rod? generations have trod, have trod, have trod;and all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;and wears man’s smudge and share man’s smell; the soilis bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

and for all this, nature is never spent;there lives the dearest freshness deep down things;and though the last lights off the black west wentoh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs-because the holy ghost over the bentworld broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

John Keats – To Autumn
season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,close bosom-freind of the maturing sun:conspuring with him how to load and blesswith fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run ;to bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees,and fill all fruit with ripeness ro the core;to swell the four, and plump the hazel shellswith a sweet kernel; to set buddin more,and still more, later flowers for the bees,until they think warm days will never cease,for summer has o’er-brimmed their clammy cells. who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?sometimes whoever seeks abroad may findthee sitting careless on a granary floor,thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;or on a half-reaped furrow sound asleep,drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hookspares the next swath and all its twined flowers:and sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keepsteady thy laden head across a brook;or by a cider-press, with patient look,thou watchest the last oozing hours by hours. where are the songs of spring?are, whre are they?think not of them, thou hast thy music too- while barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day, and touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;then in a wailful choir the small gnats morunamong the river sallows, borne aloftor skinking as the light wind lives or dies;and full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;hedfe crikcets sing; and now with treble softthe redbreast whistles form a garden-croft;and gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

William Shakespeare – 18 (shall i compare thee to a summer’s day?)
shall i compare thee to a summer’s day? thou art more lovely and more temperate:rough winds do shake the darling buds of may,and summer’s lease hath all too short a date;sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines,and often is his fold complexion dimmed;and every fair from fair sometimes declines, by chance or nature’s changing course untrimmed,by thy eternal summer shall not fade,nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,when in eternal lines to time thou grow’st:so long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,so long lives this, and this gives life to thee

william shakespeare – 30 (“When to the sessions of sweet silent thought”)
When to the sessions of sweet silent thoughti summon up remembrance of things past,i sigh the lack of many a thing i sought, and with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste:then can i drown an eye, unused to flow,for precious friends hid in death’s dateless night, and weep afresh love’s long since canceled woe, and moan the expense of many a vanished sight:then can i greave at grievances foregone,and heavily from woe to woe tell o’erthe sad account of fore-bemoaned moan, which i new pay as if not paid before.but if the while i think on thee, dear friend,all losses are restored and sorrows end.

william shakespeare – 55 (“Not marble, nor the gilded monuments”)
Not marble, nor the gilded monumentsof princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme;but you shall shine more bright in these contentsthan unswept stone, besmeared with sluttish time.

when wasteful war shall statues overturn,and broils root out the work of masonry,nor mars his sword nor war’s quick fire shall burnthe living record of your memory.’gainst death and all-oblivious enmityshall you pace forth; your praise shall still find roomeven in the eyes of all posteritythat wear this world out to the ending, till the judgment that yourself arise, you live in this, and dwell in lovers’ eyes

william shakespeare – 73 (“That time of year thou mayst in me behold”)
that time of year thou mayst in me beholdwhen yellow leaves, or none, or few do hangupon those boughs which shake against the cold, bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds me thou see’st the twilight of such dayas after sunset fadeth in the west;which by and by black night doth take away,death’s second self, that seal up all in rest.

in me thou see’st the glowing of such fire,that on the ashes of his youth doth lie,as the deathbed whereon it must expire,consumed with that which it was nourished by. this thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,to love that well which thou mist leave ere long.

William Butler Yeats – An Irish Airman Foresees His Death
I know that i shall meet my fatesomewhere among the clouds above;those that i fight i do not hate,those that i guard i do not love;my country is Kiltartan Cross,My countrymen Kiltartan’s poor,no likely end could bring them lossor leave them happier than before. nor law, nor duty bade me fight,nor public men, nor cheering crowds,a lonely impulse of delightdrove to this tumult in the clouds;i balanced all, brought all to mind,the years to come seemed waste of breath,a waste of breath the years behindin balance with this life, this death.

walt whitman -I saw in Louisiana a live-oak growing
I saw in Louisiana a live-oak growing,all alone stood it and the moss hung down from the branches,without any companion it grew there uttering joyous leaves of dark green,and its look, rude, unbending, lusty, made me think of myself,but i wonder’d how it could utter joyous leaves standing alone there without its friend near, for i knew i could not,and i broke off a twig with a certain number of leaves upon it, and twined around it a little moss,and brought it away, and i have placed it in sight in my room,it is not needed to remind me as of my own dear friends,(for i believe lately i think of little else than of them,)yet it remains to me a curious token, it makes me think of manly love;for all that, and though the live-oak glistens there in louisiana solitary in a wide flat space,uttering joyous leaves all its life without a friend a lover near,i know very well i could not.

Robert Frost – the road not taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,and sorry i could not travel bothand be one traveler, long i stoodand looked down one as far as i couldto where it bent in the undergrowth;then took the other, as just fair,and having perhaps the better claim, because it was grassy and wanted wear;though as for that the passing therehad worn them really about the same,and both that morning equally lay in leaves no step had trodden black.oh, i keep the first for another day!yet knowing how way lead on to way,i doubted if i should ever come back.i shall be telling this with a sighsomewhere ages and ages hence:two roads diverged in a wood, and i-i took the one less traveled by,and that has made all the difference.

Emily Dickinson – 260 (288) (I’m nobody! who are you?)
im nobody! who are you? are you – nobody- too?then there’s a pair of us!don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know!How dreary – to be – somebody!how public – like a frog-to tell one’s name – the livelong June -to an admiring Bog!

William Carlos Williams – To Elsie
The pure products of americago crazy-mountain folk from kentuckyor the ribbed north end of jerseywith its isolate lakes andvalleys, its deaf-mutes, thievesold namesand promiscuity betweendevil-may-care men who have takento railroadingout of sheer lust of adventure-and young slatterns, bathedin filthfrom monday to saturdayto be tricked out that nightwith gaudsfrom imaginations which have nopeasant traditions to give themcharacterbut flutter and flauntsheer rags- succumbing withoutemoitonsave numbed terrorunder some hedge of shoe-cherryor viburnum-which they cannot express-unless it be that marriageperhapswith a dash of indian bloodwill throw up a girl so desolateso hemmed roundwith disease or murderthat she’ll be rescued by anagent-reared by the state andsent out at fifteen to work insome hard-pressedhouse in the suburbs-some doctor’s family, some Elsie-voluptuous waterexpressing with broken brain the truth about us-her greatungainly hips and flopping breastsaddressed to cheapjewleryand rich young men with fine eyesas if the earth under our feetwerean excrement of some skyand we degraded prisonersdestinedto hunger until we eat filthwhile the imagination strainsafter deergoing by fields of goldenrod inthe stifling heat of septembersomehowit seems to destroy usit is only in isolate flecks thatsomethingis given offno oneto witnessand adjust, no one to drive the car.

William Blake – the Little black boy
My mother bore me in the southern wild,and i am black, but o! my soul is white;white as an angel is the english child:but i am black as if bereaved of mother taught me underneath a tree,and sitting down before the heat of day,she took me on her lap and kissed me,and pointing to the east, began to say:”look on the rising sun: there god does live,and give his light, and gives his heat away;and flowers and trees and beasts and men receivecomfort in morning, joy in the noon day.

“and we are put on earth a little space,that we may learn to bear the beams of love,and these black bodies and this sun-burnt faceis but a cloud, and like a shady grove.”for when our souls have learned the heat to bear,the cloud will vanish; we shall hear his voice,saying: ‘come out from the grove, my love and care,and round my golden tent like lambs rejoice.’ “thus did my mother say, and kissed me;and this i say to little english boy:when i from black and he from white cloud free,and round the tent of god like lambs we joy,I’ll shade him from the heat till he can bearto lean in joy upon our father’s knee;and then i’ll stand and stoke his silver hair,and be like him, and he will then love me.

william blake – the chimney sweeper
When my mother died I was very young, And my father sold me while yet my tongue Could scarcely cry ” ‘weep! ‘weep! ‘weep! ‘weep!” So your chimneys I sweep & in soot I sleep. There’s little Tom Dacre, who cried when his head That curled like a lamb’s back, was shaved, so I said, “Hush, Tom! never mind it, for when your head’s bare, You know that the soot cannot spoil your white hair.” And so he was quiet, & that very night, As Tom was a-sleeping he had such a sight! That thousands of sweepers, Dick, Joe, Ned, & Jack, Were all of them locked up in coffins of black; And by came an Angel who had a bright key, And he opened the coffins & set them all free; Then down a green plain, leaping, laughing they run, And wash in a river and shine in the Sun.

Then naked & white, all their bags left behind, They rise upon clouds, and sport in the wind. And the Angel told Tom, if he’d be a good boy, He’d have God for his father & never want joy. And so Tom awoke; and we rose in the dark And got with our bags & our brushes to work. Though the morning was cold, Tom was happy & warm; So if all do their duty, they need not fear harm.

A. R. Ammons – Corsons inlet
I went for a walk over the dunes again this morningto the sea,then turned right along the surf rounded a naked headland and returned along the inlet shore:it was muggy sunny, the wind from the sea steady and high, crisp in the running sand, some breakthroughs of sun but after a bitcontinuous overcast:the walk liberating, I was released from forms, from the perpendiculars, straight lines, blocks, boxes, bindsof thoughtinto the hues, shadings, rises, flowing bends and blends of sight: I allow myself eddies of meaning: yield to a direction of significancerunninglike a stream through the geography of my work: you can findin my sayings swerves of action like the inlet’s cutting edge: there are dunes of motion,organizations of grass, white sandy paths of remembrance in the overall wandering of mirroring mind:but Overall is beyond me: is the sum of these eventsI cannot draw, the ledger I cannot keep, the accountingbeyond the account:in nature there are few sharp lines: there are areas of primrose more or less dispersed;disorderly orders of bayberry; between the rowsof dunes,irregular swamps of reeds,though not reeds alone, but grass, bayberry, yarrow, all .

..predominantly reeds:I have reached no conclusions, have erected no boundaries, shutting out and shutting in, separating inside from outside: I have drawn no lines: asmanifold events of sandchange the dune’s shape that will not be the same shape tomorrow,so I am willing to go along, to accept the becomingthought, to stake off no beginnings or ends, establish no walls:by transitions the land falls from grassy dunes to creek to undercreek: but there are no lines, though change in that transition is clear as any sharpness: but “sharpness” spread out, allowed to occur over a wider rangethan mental lines can keep:the moon was full last night: today, low tide was low: black shoals of mussels exposed to the riskof airand, earlier, of sun,waved in and out with the waterline, waterline inexact, caught always in the event of change: a young mottled gull stood free on the shoals and ateto vomiting: another gull, squawking possession, cracked a crab, picked out the entrails, swallowed the soft-shelled legs, a ruddyturnstone running in to snatch leftover bits:risk is full: every living thing insiege: the demand is life, to keep life: the smallwhite blacklegged egret, how beautiful, quietly stalks and spears the shallows, darts to shore to stab—what? I couldn’t see against the black mudflats—a frightened fiddler crab? the news to my left over the dunes andreeds and bayberry clumps was fall: thousands of tree swallows gathering for flight: an order held in constant change: a congregationrich with entropy: nevertheless, separable, noticeable as one event, not chaos: preparations forflight from winter,cheet, cheet, cheet, cheet, wings rifling the green clumps,beaksat the bayberries a perception full of wind, flight, curve, sound: the possibility of rule as the sum of rulelessness:the “field” of actionwith moving, incalculable center:in the smaller view, order tight with shape:blue tiny flowers on a leafless weed: carapace of crab:snail shell: pulsations of order in the bellies of minnows: orders swallowed, broken down, transferred through membranesto strengthen larger orders: but in the large view, nolines or changeless shapes: the working in and out, together and against, of millions of events: this, so that I make no form of formlessness:orders as summaries, as outcomes of actions override or in some way result, not predictably (seeing me gain the top of a dune,the swallowscould take flight—some other fields of bayberry could enter fall berryless) and there is serenity: no arranged terror: no forcing of image, plan,or thought:no propaganda, no humbling of reality to precept:terror pervades but is not arranged, all possibilities of escape open: no route shut, except in the sudden loss of all routes: I see narrow orders, limited tightness, but will not run to that easy victory: still around the looser, wider forces work: I will try to fasten into order enlarging grasps of disorder, widening scope, but enjoying the freedom thatScope eludes my grasp, that there is no finality of vision, that I have perceived nothing completely,that tomorrow a new walk is a new walk.

Wallace Stevens – the snow man
one must have a mind of winterto read the frost and the boughsof the pine-trees crusted with snow;and gave been cold a long timeto behold the hunters shagged with ice,the spruces rough in the distant glitterof the january sun; and not to thinkof any misery in the sound of the wind,in the sound of a few leaves,which is the sound of the landfull of the same windthat is blowing in the same bare placefor the listener, who listens in the snow,and, nothing himself, beholdsnothing that is not there and the nothing that is

Charles Wright – Sitting outside at the end of Autumn
Three years ago, in the afternoons, I used to sit back here and try To answer the simple arithmetic of my life, But never could figure it— This object and that object Never contained the landscape nor all of its implications, This tree and that shrub Never completely satisfied the sum or quotient I took from or carried to, nor do they do so now, Though I’m back here again, looking to calculate, Looking to see what adds up. Everything comes from something, only something comes from nothing, Lao Tzu says, more or less. Eminently sensible, I say, Rubbing this tiny snail shell between my thumb and two fingers.

Delicate as an earring, it carries its emptiness like a child It would be rid of. I rub it clockwise and counterclockwise, hoping for anything Resplendent in its vocabulary or disguise— But one and one make nothing, he adds, endless and everywhere, The shadow that everything casts.

Robert Southwell – The burning babe
As i in hoary winter’s night stood shivering in the snow,surprised i was with sudden heat which made my heart to glow;and lifting up a fearful eye to view what fire was near,a pretty babe all burning bright did in the air appear;who, scorched with excessive hear, such floods of tears did shed as though his floods should quench his flames which with his tears were fed.’alas’ quoth he, ‘but newly born in fiery hears i fry,yet none approach to warm their hearts or feel my fire but i!my faultless breast the furnace is, the fuel wounding thorns,love is the fire, and sighs the smoke, the ashes shame and scorns;the fuel justice layette on, and mercy blows the coals,the metal in this furnace wrought are men’s defiled souls,for which, as now on fire i am to work them to their good,so will i melt into a bath to wash them in my blood.’with this he vanished out of sight and swiftly shrunk away,and straight i called not mind that it was Christmas day.

G. M.

Hopkins – Felix randal

Felix Randal the farrier, o is he dead then? my duty all ended,who have watched his mould of man, big boned and hardy handsomepining, pining, till time when reason rambled in it and somefatal four disorders, fleshed there, all contended?sickness broke him, impatient, he cursed at first, but mendedbeing annoyed and all; though a heavenlier heart began somemonths earlier, since i had our sweet reprieve and ransom tendered to him. ah well, god rest him all road ever he offended!This seeing the sick endears them to us, us too it endears. my tongue had taught thee comfort, touch had quenched thy tears,thy tears that touched my heart, child, felix, poor felix randal. how far from then forethought of, all thy more boisterous years,when though at the random grim forge, powerful amidst peers,didst fettle for the great very drayhorse his bright and battering sandal!

sylvia plath – morning song
love set you going like a fat gold watch. the midwife slapped your footsoles, and your bald crytook its pale among the elements.our voices echo, magnifying your arrival.

new a drafty museum, your nakednessshadows our safety. we stand round blankly as walls. i’m no more your motherthan the cloud that distills a mirror to select its own sloweffacement at the wind’s hand.all night your moth-breathflickers among the flat pink roses. i wake to listen:a far sea moves in my cry, and i stumble from bed, cow-heavy and floralin my victorian nightgown.

your mouth opens clean as a cat’s. the window squarewhitens and swallows its dull stars. and now you tryyour handful of notes;the clear vowels rise like balloons.

langston hughes – theme for english b
The instructor said, Go home and write a page tonight. And let that page come out of you— Then, it will be true.

I wonder if it’s that simple?I am twenty-two, colored, born in Winston-Salem.I went to school there, then Durham, then hereto this college on the hill above Harlem.I am the only colored student in my class.The steps from the hill lead down into Harlem,through a park, then I cross St. Nicholas,Eighth Avenue, Seventh, and I come to the Y,the Harlem Branch Y, where I take the elevatorup to my room, sit down, and write this page:It’s not easy to know what is true for you or me at twenty-two, my age. But I guess I’m what I feel and see and hear, Harlem, I hear you:hear you, hear me—we two—you, me, talk on this page.

(I hear New York, too.) Me—who?Well, I like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love.I like to work, read, learn, and understand life.I like a pipe for a Christmas present,or records—Bessie, bop, or Bach.I guess being colored doesn’t make me not likethe same things other folks like who are other races.

So will my page be colored that I write?Being me, it will not be white. But it will bea part of you, instructor. You are white— yet a part of me, as I am a part of you. That’s American.Sometimes perhaps you don’t want to be a part of me. Nor do I often want to be a part of you.But we are, that’s true! As I learn from you, I guess you learn from me— although you’re older—and white— and somewhat more free.

This is my page for English B.

Wilfred Owen – dulce et decorum est
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge, Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs, And towards our distant rest began to trudge. Men marched asleep.

Many had lost their boots, But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind; Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots Of gas-shells dropping softly behind. Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time, But someone still was yelling out and stumbling And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—Dim through the misty panes and thick green light, As under a green sea, I saw him drowning. In all my dreams before my helpless sight, He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace Behind the wagon that we flung him in, And watch the white eyes writhing in his face, His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin; If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,— My friend, you would not tell with such high zest To children ardent for some desperate glory, The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori.

William Butler Yeats – Easter 1916
I have met them at close of day Coming with vivid faces From counter or desk among grey Eighteenth-century houses. I have passed with a nod of the head Or polite meaningless words, Or have lingered awhile and said Polite meaningless words, And thought before I had done Of a mocking tale or a gibe To please a companion Around the fire at the club, Being certain that they and I But lived where motley is worn: All changed, changed utterly: A terrible beauty is born. That woman’s days were spent In ignorant good-will, Her nights in argument Until her voice grew shrill.

What voice more sweet than hers When, young and beautiful, She rode to harriers? This man had kept a school And rode our wingèd horse; This other his helper and friend Was coming into his force; He might have won fame in the end, So sensitive his nature seemed, So daring and sweet his thought. This other man I had dreamed A drunken, vainglorious lout. He had done most bitter wrong To some who are near my heart, Yet I number him in the song; He, too, has resigned his part In the casual comedy; He, too, has been changed in his turn, Transformed utterly: A terrible beauty is born. Hearts with one purpose alone Through summer and winter seem Enchanted to a stone To trouble the living stream. The horse that comes from the road, The rider, the birds that range From cloud to tumbling cloud, Minute by minute they change; A shadow of cloud on the stream Changes minute by minute; A horse-hoof slides on the brim, And a horse plashes within it; The long-legged moor-hens dive, And hens to moor-cocks call; Minute by minute they live: The stone’s in the midst of all. Too long a sacrifice Can make a stone of the heart. O when may it suffice? That is Heaven’s part, our part To murmur name upon name, As a mother names her child When sleep at last has come On limbs that had run wild. What is it but nightfall? No, no, not night but death; Was it needless death after all? For England may keep faith For all that is done and said.

We know their dream; enough To know they dreamed and are dead; And what if excess of love Bewildered them till they died? I write it out in a verse— MacDonagh and MacBride And Connolly and Pearse Now and in time to be, Wherever green is worn, Are changed, changed utterly: A terrible beauty is born.

Robert Lowell – For the Union Dead
The old South Boston Aquarium standsin a Sahara of snow now. Its broken windows are boarded. The bronze weathervane cod has lost half its scales.The airy tanks are dry.

Once my nose crawled like a snail on the glass;my hand tingledto burst the bubblesdrifting from the noses of the cowed, compliant fish.My hand draws back. I often sigh stillfor the dark downward and vegetating kingdomof the fish and reptile. One morning last March,I pressed against the new barbed and galvanizedfence on the Boston Common. Behind their cage,yellow dinosaur steamshovels were grunting as they cropped up tons of mush and grassto gouge their underworld garage.Parking spaces luxuriate like civicsandpiles in the heart of Boston.A girdle of orange, Puritan-pumpkin colored girdersbraces the tingling Statehouse,shaking over the excavations, as it faces Colonel Shawand his bell-cheeked Negro infantryon St. Gaudens’ shaking Civil War relief,propped by a plank splint against the garage’s earthquake.

Two months after marching through Boston,half the regiment was dead;at the dedication,William James could almost hear the bronze Negroes breathe. Their monument sticks like a fishbonein the city’s throat.Its Colonel is as leanas a compass-needle.He has an angry wrenlike vigilance,a greyhound’s gentle tautness;he seems to wince at pleasure,and suffocate for privacy.He is out of bounds now. He rejoices in man’s lovely,peculiar power to choose life and die—when he leads his black soldiers to death,he cannot bend his back.

On a thousand small town New England greens,the old white churches hold their airof sparse, sincere rebellion; frayed flagsquilt the graveyards of the Grand Army of the Republic.The stone statues of the abstract Union Soldiergrow slimmer and younger each year—wasp-waisted, they doze over musketsand muse through their sideburns . . .Shaw’s father wanted no monumentexcept the ditch,where his son’s body was thrownand lost with his “******s.”The ditch is nearer.

There are no statues for the last war here;on Boylston Street, a commercial photograph shows Hiroshima boilingover a Mosler Safe, the “Rock of Ages”that survived the blast. Space is nearer.When I crouch to my television set,the drained faces of Negro school-children rise like balloons.Colonel Shawis riding on his bubble,he waitsfor the blessèd break.The Aquarium is gone. Everywhere,giant finned cars nose forward like fish;a savage servilityslides by on grease.

Michael Harper – American History
Those four black girls blown up in that Alabama church remind me of five hundred middle passage blacks, in a net, under water in Charleston harbor so redcoats wouldn’t find them. Can’t find what you can’t see can you?

Richard Wilbur – Advice to a Prophet
When you come, as you soon must, to the streets of our city, Mad-eyed from stating the obvious, Not proclaiming our fall but begging us In God’s name to have self-pity, Spare us all word of the weapons, their force and range, The long numbers that rocket the mind; Our slow, unreckoning hearts will be left behind, Unable to fear what is too strange.

Nor shall you scare us with talk of the death of the race. How should we dream of this place without us?— The sun mere fire, the leaves untroubled about us, A stone look on the stone’s face? Speak of the world’s own change. Though we cannot conceive Of an undreamt thing, we know to our cost How the dreamt cloud crumbles, the vines are blackened by frost, How the view alters.

We could believe, If you told us so, that the white-tailed deer will slip Into perfect shade, grown perfectly shy, The lark avoid the reaches of our eye, The jack-pine lose its knuckled grip On the cold ledge, and every torrent burn As Xanthus once, its gliding trout Stunned in a twinkling. What should we be without The dolphin’s arc, the dove’s return, These things in which we have seen ourselves and spoken? Ask us, prophet, how we shall call Our natures forth when that live tongue is all Dispelled, that glass obscured or broken In which we have said the rose of our love and the clean Horse of our courage, in which beheld The singing locust of the soul unshelled, And all we mean or wish to mean. Ask us, ask us whether with the worldless rose Our hearts shall fail us; come demanding Whether there shall be lofty or long standing When the bronze annals of the oak-tree close.