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Poem for the Day

Posted: 9 April 2013

The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and is tune is heard
on the distant hill for the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
an the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Maya Angelou 1928 -

Poem for the Day

Posted: 8 April 2013

The world is full of wistful ones who hoard their souvenirs.
The spinster keeps a faded rose through all the faded years,
A travel folder lures the clerk while he dreams of a foreign sky,
But I preserve the recipes I'll never dare to try.

Vichyssoise, bouillabaisse,
Terrapin mousse,
Cucumber hollandaise,
Staffordshire goose,
Oh, the ginger, the clove,
Oh, the sauces well-shaken!
But here on my stove
Lies the liver-and-bacon.

On idle days, on rainy days, when all the world is shut out,
I don the yellow clippings of the recipes I've cut out.
And lovingly I memorize directions neatly pasted,
For scones and soups and savouries I've never even tasted.

With eggs and with syrup,
With herbs and with cream,
In fancy I stir up
An epicure's dream
Of Netherland crumb cakes,
Of sweetbreads-in-mustard;
Of pasties and plumcakes
And Devonshire custard.

Oh, some folks dote on serious tomes, some read romances rippling,
But a cookbook is my Odyssey, my Shakespeare, and my Kipling.
For while I baste the leg of lamb or stir the tapioca,
I'm visioning a vol-au-vent, or a nougat à la Mocha —

Some gossamer trifle
That gourmets adore,
As French as the Eiffel
(And probably more),
Like mushrooms with spices
And artichoke hearts,
And aspics and ices
And shortbreads and tarts,
With crusts that are thinner
Than sea foam on top . . .
My menu for dinner?
We're having a chop.

The Ballad of Culinary Frustration
Phyllis McGinley 1905 - 1978

Poem for the Day

Posted: 7 April 2013

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, -- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! -- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

How Do I Love Thee?
Elizabeth Barrett Browning 1806 - 1861

Poem for the Day

Posted: 6 April 2013

It's awfully bad luck on Diana,
Her ponies have swallowed their bits;
She fished down their throats with a spanner
And frightened them all into fits.

So now she's attempting to borrow.
Do lend her some bits, Mummy, do;
I'll lend her my own for tomorrow,
But today I'll be wanting them too.

Just look at Prunella on Guzzle,
The wizardest pony on earth;
Why doesn't she slacken his muzzle
And tighten the breech in his girth?

I say, Mummy, there's Mrs. Geyser
And doesn't she look pretty sick?
I bet it's because Mona Lisa
Was hit on the hock with a brick.

Miss Blewitt says Monica threw it,
But Monica says it was Joan,
And Joan's very thick with Miss Blewitt,
So Monica's sulking alone.

And Margaret failed in her paces,
Her withers got tied in a noose,
So her coronet's caught in the traces
And now all her fetlocks are loose.

Oh, it's me now I'm terribly nervous
I wonder if Smudges will shy
She's practically certain to swerve as
Her Pelham is over one eye.

Oh wasn't it naughty of Smudges?
Oh, Mummy, I'm sick with disgust.
She threw me in front of the Judges,
And my silly old collarbone's bust.

Hunter Trials
John Betjeman 1906 - 1984

Poem for the Day

Posted: 5 April 2013

The keen stars were twinkling,
And the fair moon was rising among them,
Dear Jane.
The guitar was tinkling,
But the notes were not sweet till you sung them
Again.

As the moon's soft splendour
O'er the faint cold starlight of Heaven
Is thrown,
So your voice most tender
To the strings without soul had then given
Its own.

The stars will awaken,
Though the moon sleep a full hour later
To-night;
No leaf will be shaken
Whilst the dews of your melody scatter
Delight.

Though the sound overpowers,
Sing again, with your dear voice revealing
A tone
Of some world far from ours,
Where music and moonlight and feeling
Are one.

To Jane: The Keen Stars Were Twinkling
Percy Bysshe Shelley 1792 - 1822

 

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