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Poet for the Day

Posted: 4 February 2014

We are going to tea with a poet.
Confidences poured out-
‘One lump or two? Milk?
-and passed around the table

Hot toasted paragraphs
dripping with melted adjectives,
sentences with the crusts neatly cut off,
a tempting selection of metaphors-
‘Must watch the figure’
-laid out on a plate for us to choose from.

It is teatime with the poet.
‘A second cup? Certainly.
Pass the haiku. A villanelle?
Go on, spoil yourself.
Sure you haven’t got room for a sonnet?
Oh, very well.’

Time to go.
He brushes up for a few commas from the tablecloth
and, with a polite semi-colon;
shows us to the door.

Tea With the Poet
Adrian Henri

Poem for the Day

Posted: 3 February 2014

What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply,
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in winter stands the lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone,
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.

What My Lips Have Kissed (Sonnet XLIII)
Edna St. Vincent Millay

Poem for the Day

Posted: 2 February 2014

Happy the man, whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air,
In his own ground.

Whose heards with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire,
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
In winter fire.

Blest! who can unconcern'dly find
Hours, days, and years slide soft away,
In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day,

Sound sleep by night; study and ease
Together mix'd; sweet recreation,
And innocence, which most does please,
With meditation.

Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me dye;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lye.

Ode to Solitude
Alexander Pope

Poem for the Day

Posted: 1 February 2014

All my past life is mine no more,
The flying hours are gone,
Like transitory dreams giv’n o’er,
Whose images are kept in store
By memory alone.

The time that is to come is not;
How can it then be mine?
The present moment’s all my lot;
And that, as fast as it is got,
Dearest, is only thine.

Then talk not of inconstancy,
False hearts, and broken vows;
If I, by miracle, can be
This live-long minute true to thee,
’Tis all that Heav'n allows.

Love and Life, A Song
John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester

Poem for the Day

Posted: 31 January 2014

I said perhaps Patagonia, and pictured
a peninsula, wide enough
for a couple of ladderback chairs
to wobble on at high tide. I thought

of us in breathless cold, facing
a horizon round as a coin, looped
in a cat’s cradle strung by gulls
from sea to sun. I planned to wait

till the waves had bored themselves
to sleep, till the last clinging barnacles,
growing worried in the hush,
had paddled off in tiny coracles, till

those restless birds, your actor’s hands,
had dropped slack into your lap,
until you’d turned, at last, to me.
When I spoke of Patagonia, I meant

skies all empty aching blue. I meant
years. I meant all of them with you.

Patagonia
Kate Clanchy

381-385 of 841 blog entries

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