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Poem for the Day

Posted: 30 June 2014

She was eliza for a few weeks
When she was a baby -
Eliza Lily. Soon it changed to Lil.

Later she was Miss Steward in the baker's shop
And then 'my love', 'my darling', Mother.

Widowed at thirty, she went back to work ...
As Mrs Hand. Her daughter grew up,
Married and gave birth.

Now she was Nanna. 'Everybody
Calls me nanna,' she would say to visitors.
And so they did - friends, tradesmen, the doctor.

In the geriatric ward
They used the patients' Christian names.
'Lil,' we said, 'or Nanna,'
But it wasn't in her file
And for those last bewildered weeks
She was Eliza once again.

Names
Wendy Cope

Poem for the Day

Posted: 29 June 2014

When I compare
What I have lost with what I have gained,
What I have missed with what attained,
Little room do I find for pride.

I am aware
How many days have been idly spent;
How like an arrow the good intent...
Has fallen short or been turned aside.

But who shall dare
To measure loss and gain in this wise?
Defeat may be victory in disguise;
The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide.

Loss and Gain
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Poem for the Day

Posted: 28 June 2014

"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 Bird
That kept so many warm—...
I've heard it in the chillest land—
And on the strangest Sea—

Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb—of Me.

Hope is the Thing With Feathers
Emily Dickinson

Poem for the Day

Posted: 27 June 2014

He blinks upon the hearth-rug,
And yawns in deep content,
Accepting all the comforts
That Providence has sent.

Louder he purrs and louder,
In one glad hymn of praise
For all the night's adventures, ...
For quiet restful days.

Life will go on forever,
With all that cat can wish;
Warmth and the glad procession
Of fish and milk and fish.

Only - the thought disturbs him -
He's noticed once or twice,
The times are somehow breeding
A nimbler race of mice.

On a Cat, Ageing
Sir Alexander Gray

Poem for the Day

Posted: 26 June 2014

‘Fall in, that awkward squad, and strike no more
Attractive attitudes! Dress by the right!
The luminous rich colours that you wore
Have changed to hueless khaki in the night.
Magic? What’s magic got to do with you?
There’s no such thing! Blood’s red, and skies are blue.’

They gasped and sweated, marching up and down. ...
I drilled them till they cursed my raucous shout.
Love chucked his lute away and dropped his crown.
Rhyme got sore heels and wanted to fall out.
‘Left, right! Press on your butts!’ They looked at me
Reproachful; how I longed to set them free!

I gave them lectures on Defence, Attack;
They fidgeted and shuffled, yawned and sighed,
And boggled at my questions. Joy was slack,
And Wisdom gnawed his fingers, gloomy-eyed.
Young Fancy—how I loved him all the while—
Stared at his note-book with a rueful smile.

Their training done, I shipped them all to France,
Where most of those I’d loved too well got killed.
Rapture and pale Enchantment and Romance,
And many a sickly, slender lord who’d filled
My soul long since with lutanies of sin,
Went home, because they couldn’t stand the din.

But the kind, common ones that I despised
(Hardly a man of them I’d count as friend),
What stubborn-hearted virtues they disguised!
They stood and played the hero to the end,
Won gold and silver medals bright with bars,
And marched resplendent home with crowns and stars.

Conscripts
Siegfried Sassoon

221-225 of 841 blog entries

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