While you are preparing for sleep, brushing your teeth, or riffling through a magazine in bed, the dead of the day are setting out on their journey...
Teasdale was a lyric poet born in St. Louis, Missouri. She won a Pulitzer Prize for her poetry collection Love Songs in 1918, and an award that is listed as the earliest Pulitzer Prize for Poetry Barter1918 Life has loveliness to sell,All beautiful and splendid things,Blue waves whitened on a cliff,Soaring fire that sways and … Continue reading Barter by Sara Teasdale
Balaban1969 I ran down the street and into the house smelledof oregano and shook Mickey Monaco, saidC'mon, Balaban's got a breadloafclimbing over old Gruber's fence, he thinksthe mad dogs is doves. But Mickey grew up in the bed till he was too oldand besides Balaban was crazy, he suckedhis tongue and got left back twice.So … Continue reading Balaban by Jack Hirschman
I went out at night alone; The young blood flowing beyond the sea Seemed to have drenched my spirit’s wings— I bore my sorrow heavily...
A Poet's Voice XV1923 Part One The power of charity sows deep in my heart, and I reap and gather the wheat in bundles and give them to the hungry. My soul gives life to the grapevine and I press its bunches and give the juice to the thirsty. Heaven fills my lamp with oil … Continue reading A Poet’s Voice XV by Khalil Gibran
A centipede was thirsty, But to satisfy its need, It drank too much for it to hold ---
What will you do, God, when I die? I am your jar (if cracked, I lie?) Your well-spring (if the well go dry?) I am your craft, your vesture I— You lose your purport, losing me...
“Which of these films was Dirk Bogarde not in? One hundredweight of bauxite makes how much aluminium? how many tales in ‘The Decameron’?”...
There is something dense, united, settled in the depths, repeating its number, its identical sign. How it is noted that stones have touched time, in their refined matter there is an odor of age, of water brought by the sea, from salt and sleep...
Poem And if it snowed and snow covered the drivehe took a spade and tossed it to one side.And always tucked his daughter up at nightAnd slippered her the one time that she lied.And every week he tipped up half his wage.And what he didn't spend each week he saved.And praised his wife for every … Continue reading Poem by Simon Armitage
We Refugees I come from a musical placeWhere they shoot me for my songAnd my brother has been torturedBy my brother in my land. I come from a beautiful placeWhere they hate my shade of skinThey don't like the way I prayAnd they ban free poetry. I come from a beautiful placeWhere girls cannot go … Continue reading We Refugees by Benjamin Zephaniah
Ode on Melancholy1819 No, no, go not to Lethe, neither twistWolf's-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine;Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kiss'dBy nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine;Make not your rosary of yew-berries,Nor let the beetle, nor the death-moth beYour mournful Psyche, nor the downy owlA partner in your sorrow's mysteries;For shade to shade will … Continue reading Ode on Melancholy by John Keats
Oceanic dawn at the centre of my life, waves like grapes, the sky's solitude,...
Lenore1843 Ah broken is the golden bowl! the spirit flown forever!Let the bell toll!--a saintly soul floats on the Stygian river;And, Guy De Vere, hast thou no tear?--weep now or never more!See! on yon drear and rigid bier low lies thy love, Lenore!Come! let the burial rite be read--the funeral song be sung!--An anthem for … Continue reading Lenore by Edgar Allan Poe
Song from Pippa Passes1841 The year's at the spring,And day's at the morn;Morning's at seven;The hill-side's dew-pearl'd;The lark's on the wing;The snail's on the thorn;God's in His heaven—All's right with the world! Robert BrowningBorn: 7 May 1812, London, UKNationality: EnglishDied: 12 December 1889, Venice, Italy Browning was a poet and playwright whose dramatic monologue made … Continue reading Song from Pippa Passes by Robert Browning
Song of the Lotus-Eaters1832 There is sweet music here that softer fallsThan petals from blown roses on the grass,Or night-dews on still waters between wallsOf shadowy granite, in a gleaming pass ;Music that gentlier on the spirit lies,Than tired eyelids upon tired eyes ;Music that brings sweet sleep down from the blissful skies.Here are cool … Continue reading Song of the Lotus-Eaters by Alfred Lord Tennyson
May The wind is tossing the lilacs,The new leaves laugh in the sun,And the petals fall on the orchard wall,But for me the spring is done. Beneath the apple blossomsI go a wintry way,For love that smiled in AprilIs false to me in May. Sara TeasdaleBorn: 8 August 1884, Missouri, USANationality AmericanDied: 29 January 1933, … Continue reading May by Sara Teasdale
Paiute Ant Pudding1992 They would go in deep night before the ants were awakewith an empty sack and another with burning coals.They would stuff the branches where the ants were sleeping,into the empty sack, scrape them down,and pour them into the sack with the burning coals.The legs and pincers would come loose in the heat.Back … Continue reading Paiute Ant Pudding by Jack Hirschman
I Am Not Yours I am not yours, not lost in you,Not lost, although I long to beLost as a candle lit at noon,Lost as a snowflake in the sea. You love me, and I find you stillA spirit beautiful and bright,Yet I am I, who long to beLost as a light is lost in … Continue reading I Am Not Yours by Sara Teasdale
So We'll Go No More A-roving1817 So, we'll go no more a rovingSo late into the night,Though the heart be still as loving,And the moon be still as bright. For the sword outwears its sheath,And the soul wears out the breast,And the heart must pause to breathe,And love itself have rest. Though the night was … Continue reading So We’ll Go No More A-roving by George Gordon Byron
Hot and Cold A woman who my mother knowsCame in and took off all her clothes. Said I, not being very old,'By golly gosh, you must be cold!' 'No, no!' she cried. 'Indeed I'm not!I'm feeling devilishly hot!' Roald DahlBorn: 13 September 1916, Llandaff, WalesNationality BritishDied: 23 November 1990, Oxford, England Dahl was a novelist, … Continue reading Hot and Cold by Roald Dahl
Hope is the Thing with Feathers1861 “Hope” is the thing with feathers -That perches in the soul -And sings the tune without the words -And never stops - at all - And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -And sore must be the storm -That could abash the little BirdThat kept so many … Continue reading Hope is the Thing with Feathers by Emily Dickinson
Teeth English Teeth, English Teeth!Shining in the sunA part of British heritageAye, each and every one.English Teeth, Happy Teeth!Always having funClamping down on bits of fishAnd sausages half done.English Teeth! HEROES' Teeth!Hear them click! and clack!Let's sing a song of praise to them -Three Cheers for the Brown Grey and Black Spike MilliganBorn: 16 April … Continue reading Teeth by Spike Milligan
Tears, Idle Tears1847 Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean,Tears from the depth of some divine despairRise in the heart, and gather to the eyes,In looking on the happy Autumn-fields,And thinking of the days that are no more. Fresh as the first beam glittering on a sail,That brings our friends up from the … Continue reading Tears, Idle Tears by Alfred Lord Tennyson
Ulysses1833 It little profits that an idle king,By this still hearth, among these barren crags,Match'd with an aged wife, I mete and doleUnequal laws unto a savage race,That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.I cannot rest from travel: I will drinkLife to the lees: All times I have enjoy'dGreatly, have suffer'd greatly, … Continue reading Ulysses by Alfred Lord Tennyson
Lady Lazarus1965 I have done it again.One year in every tenI manage it—— A sort of walking miracle, my skinBright as a Nazi lampshade,My right foot A paperweight,My face a featureless, fineJew linen. Peel off the napkinO my enemy.Do I terrify?—— The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth?The sour breathWill vanish in … Continue reading Lady Lazarus by Sylvia Plath
God Save the King God save our gracious king!Long live our noble king!God save the king!Send him victorious,Happy and glorious,Long to reign over us—God save the king! O Lord our God, arise!Scatter his enemies,And make them fall;Confound their politics,Frustrate their knavish tricks;On him our hopes we fix,God save us all! Thy choicest gifts in storeOn … Continue reading God Save the King by Henry Carey
Recessional1897 God of our fathers, known of old,Lord of our far-flung battle-line,Beneath whose awful Hand we holdDominion over palm and pine—Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,Lest we forget—lest we forget! The tumult and the shouting dies;The Captains and the Kings depart:Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,An humble and a contrite heart.Lord God of Hosts, … Continue reading Recessional by Rudyard Kipling
She Walks in Beauty1814 She walks in beauty, like the nightOf cloudless climes and starry skies;And all that’s best of dark and brightMeet in her aspect and her eyes;Thus mellowed to that tender lightWhich heaven to gaudy day denies. One shade the more, one ray the less,Had half impaired the nameless graceWhich waves in every … Continue reading She Walks in Beauty by George Gordon Byron
Chaucer's Prophecyc1380 When priestes failen in their saws,And lordes turne Godde's lawsAgainst the right;And lechery is holden as privy solace,And robbery as free purchase,Beware then of ill!Then shall the Land of AlbionTurne to confusion,As sometime it befell. Ora pro Anglia Sancta Maria, quod Thomas Cantuaria. Sweet Jesus, heaven's King,Fair and best of all thing,You bring … Continue reading Chaucer’s Prophecy by Geoffrey Chaucer
Gunga Din1890 You may talk o’ gin and beerWhen you’re quartered safe out ’ere,An’ you’re sent to penny-fights an’ Aldershot it;But when it comes to slaughterYou will do your work on water,An’ you’ll lick the bloomin’ boots of ’im that’s got it.Now in Injia’s sunny clime,Where I used to spend my timeA-servin’ of ’Er Majesty … Continue reading Gunga Din by Rudyard Kipling
Poet: Shel SilversteinDate of Birth: 25 September 1930, Illinois, USANationality: AmericanDate of Death: 10 May 1999, Florida, USA Silverstein was a writer known for cartoons, songs, and children’s books. He appeared as Uncle Shelby in some of his work. His books have been translated into over 30 languages and have sold more than 20 million … Continue reading Now Here’s My Plan…
Poet: Edgar Albert GuestBorn: 20 August 1881, Birmingham, EnglandNationality: English-AmericanDied: 5 August 1959, Michigan, USA Guest was a poet, popular in the first half of the 20th century. He became known as the People’s Poet well-known for poetry with an optimistically inspirational view on everyday life. He was born in Birmingham, UK in 1881, later … Continue reading Failure Is Ceasing to Try
Fire and Ice1920 Some say the world will end in fire,Some say in ice.From what I’ve tasted of desireI hold with those who favor fire.But if it had to perish twice,I think I know enough of hateTo say that for destruction iceIs also greatAnd would suffice Robert FrostBorn: 20 March 1874, California, USANationality: AmericanDied: 29 … Continue reading Fire and Ice by Robert Frost
Battle of the Baltic1801 Of Nelson and the NorthSing the glorious day’s renown,When to battle fierce came forthAll the might of Denmark’s crown,And her arms along the deep proudly shone;By each gun the lighted brandIn a bold determined hand,And the Prince of all the landLed them on. Like leviathans afloatLay their bulwarks on the brine,While … Continue reading Battle of the Baltic by Thomas Campbell
Pierrot1926 I work all day,Said Simple John,Myself a house to buy.I work all day,Said Simple John,But Pierrot wondered why.For Pierrot loved the long white road,And Pierrot loved the moon,And Pierrot loved a star-filled sky,And the breath of a rose in June.I have one wife,Said Simple John,And, faith, I love her yet.I have one wife,Said Simple … Continue reading Pierrot by Langston Hughes
Old Men People expect old men to die,They do not really mourn old men.Old men are different. People lookAt them with eyes that wonder when…People watch with unshocked eyes;But the old men know when an old man dies Ogden NashBorn: 19 August 1902, New York, USANationality: AmericanDied: 19 May 1971, Maryland, USA Nash was a … Continue reading Old Men by Ogden Nash
Endymion1818 A Poetic Romance (excerpt)BOOK IA thing of beauty is a joy for ever:Its loveliness increases; it will neverPass into nothingness; but still will keepA bower quiet for us, and a sleepFull of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathingA flowery band to bind us to the earth,Spite of … Continue reading Endymion by John Keats
Chicago1914 Hog Butcher for the World,Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler;Stormy, husky, brawling,City of the Big Shoulders: They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I have seen your painted women under the gas lamps luring the farm boys.And they tell me you are crooked and … Continue reading Chicago by Carl Sandburg
A Prayer for my Daughter1919 Once more the storm is howling, and half hidUnder this cradle-hood and coverlidMy child sleeps on. There is no obstacleBut Gregory's wood and one bare hillWhereby the haystack- and roof-levelling wind,Bred on the Atlantic, can be stayed;And for an hour I have walked and prayedBecause of the great gloom that … Continue reading A Prayer for my Daughter by William Butler Yeats
See It Through When you’re up against a trouble,Meet it squarely, face to face;Lift your chin and set your shoulders,Plant your feet and take a brace.When it’s vain to try to dodge it,Do the best that you can do;You may fail, but you may conquer,See it through! Black may be the clouds about youAnd your … Continue reading See It Through by Edgar Albert Guest
Shall earth no more inspire thee Shall earth no more inspire thee,Thou lonely dreamer now?Since passion may not fire theeShall Nature cease to bow? Thy mind is ever movingIn regions dark to thee;Recall its useless roving—Come back and dwell with me. I know my mountain breezesEnchant and soothe thee still—I know my sunshine pleasesDespite thy … Continue reading Shall earth no more inspire thee by Emily Brontë
Nothing Gold Can Stay1923 Nature’s first green is gold,Her hardest hue to hold.Her early leaf’s a flower;But only so an hour.Then leaf subsides to leaf.So Eden sank to grief,So dawn goes down to day.Nothing gold can stay Robert FrostBorn: 20 March 1874, California, USANationality: AmericanDied: 29 January 1963, Massachusetts, USA Robert Lee Frost was a … Continue reading Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost
Going Blind She sat just like the others at the table.But on second glance, she seemed to hold her cupa little differently as she picked it up.She smiled once. It was almost painful. And when they finished and it was time to standand slowly, as chance selected them, they leftand moved through many rooms (they … Continue reading Going Blind by Rainer Maria Rilke
The spotted hawk swoops by and accuses me, he complains of my gab and my loitering. I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable, I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world. The last scud of day holds back for me, It flings my likeness after the rest and true as any on the shadow’d wilds, It coaxes me to the vapor and the dusk....
On Linden when the sun was low, All bloodless lay the untrodden snow, And dark as winter was the flow Of Iser, rolling rapidly...
By the old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin' lazy at the sea, There's a Burma girl a-settin', and I know she thinks o' me; For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the temple-bells they say: "Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay! " Come you back to Mandalay...
'Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land, Taught my benighted soul to understand That there's a God, that there's a Saviour too:...
That time of year thou mayst in me behold When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang Upon those boughs which shake against the cold...
The dark wings of night enfolded the city upon which Nature had spread a pure white garment of snow; and men deserted the streets for their houses in search of warmth, while the north wind probed in contemplation of laying waste the gardens. There in the suburb stood an old hut heavily laden with snow and on the verge of falling. In a dark recess of that hovel was a poor bed in which a dying youth was lying, staring at the dim light of his oil lamp, made to flicker by the entering winds....