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new: faber book covers + giveaway


I’m in book mode these days so I love seeing what other publishers are producing. Faber just released a gorgeous series based on the Romantic Poets and inspired by the designs of Josiah Wedgwood and I’m loving both the covers and endpapers. The collection celebrates Byron, Clare, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Shelley, Blake, Burns and Keats through re-imagined covers by contemporary artists. Faber senior designer Miriam Rosenbloom commissioned original prints for the book jackets and endpapers that draw from classic Wedgwood designs. I’ve chosen some of my favorite designs above and below, but I’m thrilled because Faber is going to give away three full sets and a canvas bag based on the collection to three lucky D*S readers (open to all readers internationally)! If you’d like to win one of these beautiful sets of poetry books, please leave a comment below with a line from your favorite poem (please include the author’s name) and the Faber team will choose their three favorites to win. The deadline for comment entries is Wednesday, September 28th at 10pm EST. Thanks to much to everyone at Faber for sharing these with us! xo, grace

*UPDATE: The Faber winners have been notified via email. Thank you to everyone who entered!



More images of the books continue after the jump!






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921 Comments

Elyse G.

On Tuesday She Woke up and Realized she had forgotten the definition of the word ‘impossible.’ She decided it wasn’t important ~ The Persistence of Yellow

Zoé

«je n’attends pas à demain je t’attends
je n’attends pas la fin du monde je t’attends»
Gaston Miron, a french canadian poet
Is worked is based on nature and his love of women.
His words has been put on music by wonderful french-canadians artists : http://www.agencespectra.ca/agence_fiche.aspx?artId=108
Well he is my favourite poet and i’d love to find his book L’homme Rapaillé with such a beautiful cover
Zoé

Margie McGee

“Oh, when she was sad, she cast herself down into such a pure depth,
Even a father could not find her:
Scraping her cheek against straw,
Stirring the clearest water.”
– Theodore Roethke (Elegy for Jane)

Regina

These are beautiful.

My macabre favorite–a few lines from Shelley’s Prometheus Unbound: “Ere Babylon was dust, / The Magus Zoroaster, my dead child, / Met his own image walking in the garden. / That apparition, sole of men, he saw. / For know there are two worlds of life and death: / One that which thou beholdest; but the other / Is underneath the grave, where do inhabit / The shadows of all forms that think and live / Till death unite them and they part no more….”

Terrell Fuller

nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands — e.e. cummings

Claire el

To see a world in a Grain of Sand,
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.
~William Blake

Philip

A fly is in the milk-pot — must he die
By a humane society?
No, no; there Mr. Werter takes his spoon,
Inserts it, dips the handle, and lo! soon
The little straggler, sav’d from perils dark,
Across the teaboard draws a long wet mark.

John Keats, A Party of Lovers

Ellyn Gaspardi

I’d rather be a sparrow than a snail, yes I would…..Paul Simon

Rosie

I want
To do with you what spring does with the cherry trees. –Pablo Neruda

Michaela

And we, who think of happiness as /rising, would feel an emotion / that almost startles / when a happy thing falls.
~ Rilke, Duino Elegies, translated by Kinnell and Liebmann

Ginny S.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost

Angie

One of my favorite poems is by the French poet Jacques Prevert. It’s actually the lyric to an achingly beautiful song called “Les Feuilles Mortes.” I apologize for the pretension of posting a poem in French, but it really is my favorite.

C’est une chanson qui nous ressemble.
Toi, tu m’aimais et je t’aimais
Et nous vivions tous deux ensemble,
Toi qui m’aimais, moi qui t’aimais.
Mais la vie sépare ceux qui s’aiment,
Tout doucement, sans faire de bruit
Et la mer efface sur le sable
Les pas des amants désunis.

RH

The sweetest little song – Leonard Cohen

You go your way
I’ll go your way too

Emma

drive, he sd, for
christ’s sake, look
out where yr going.

– Robert Creeley, “I Know a Man”

Erfs

Great giveaway! I’ve always been a huge fan of William Blake. I have a lot of favorites but thought this line from To Autumn was appropriate:

“O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stainèd
With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit
Beneath my shady roof; there thou may’st rest,
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe,
And all the daughters of the year shall dance!”

Tamsin

“Jeg holder ditt hode i mine hender, som du holder mitt hjerte i din ømhet” – Stein Mehren.

Sorry, my favorite poem is in Norwegian! It’s beautiful, though :)

erica

and the fact that you move so beautifully more or less takes care of Futurism

from Having a Coke with You by Frank O’Hara

Miss Quick

“I have drunken deep of joy, And I will taste no other wine tonight.” ~Percy Bysshe Shelley

**Truth be told my actual favorite is Keats’ five opening lines of Endymion, but since I could tell that was printed on the back of Keats’ book I thought I should go with another line!!**

Maria

I may not have a great line to recite, but I must say those book covers are fantastic!

stephanie

Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before —
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.” – “The Raven” Edgar Allan Poe

Sara

Only reapers, reaping early,
In among the bearded barley
Hear a song that echoes cheerly
From the river winding clearly;
Down to tower’d Camelot;
And by the moon the reaper weary,
Piling sheaves in uplands airy,
Listening, whispers, ” ‘Tis the fairy
Lady of Shalott.”

-Tennyson

Ellie Rogers

Taking the hands of someone you love,
You see that are delicate cages…
Tiny birds are singing
In the secluded prairies
And in the deep valleys of the hand.
-Robert Bly

Tiffany

How are things consequent? When they catch you
again, what will you say? That all things
may be weighed, may be raised and weighed
by two human hands?

Parades – Jesse Ball.

Ana

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe
– Jabberwocky, Lewis Carroll

Amanda L.

“What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Lindsay

Go forth under the open sky, and list, to Nature’s teachings, while from all around— 15
Earth and her waters, and the depths of air—
Comes a still voice….
-thanatopsis//william cullen

Susan Gosman

I caught this morning morning’s minion, kingdom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding (Gerard Manley Hopkins)

Lis

great contest! Would love to see Heaney’s Wordsworth selections. “Useless to think you’ll park and capture it / More thoroughly. You are neither here nor there, / A hurry through which known and strange things pass” -Postscript by Seamus Heaney

Alexandra

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo. ~T.S. Eliot

Bree C.

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes. – Walt Whitman

(and oh, how true.)

Katherine

oh nooooooooooooooooooooooo!!! Another set of gorgeous classic books! As if those Penguin Classic redos of Jane Austin and Emily Bronte weren’t enough!!! Darn you, D*S, you are the ruin of my savings account! :-P

Rachel G.

I have always loved the last line of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Ode to a West Wind”: The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind, If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

PS- As someone who works in publishing and lives and breathes books, I can’t get over how beautiful these books are! Those endpapers!

Donna Esposito

Leaning into the afternoons I cast my sad nets toward your oceanic eyes. Pablo Neruda

Tara K.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

~Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

Valerie

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
*Walt Whitman

Maria Swift

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast.

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold.

W.C. Williams

Andrew

Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today.
John Dryden: Happy the Man

Katie Strachan

Lord Byron gets the edge, because of his editor. Paul Muldoon is amazing. As are these books.

“I had a dream, which was not all a dream./The bright sun was extinguish’d, and the stars/Did wander darkling in the eternal space”

Binaebi

“But those Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
All ran away and hid
From one little Did.”
– Woulda Coulda Shoulda by Shel Silverstein

A long sentence, but a worthy one.

Abby

Someday, I promised her, I’ll be someone
going somewhere and we plotted it in the humdrum
school for proper girls.

-Anne Sexton “A Story for Rose on the Midnight Flight to Boston”

Emily

“Just recently he’d been a son-of-a-bitch and sweetheart in the same day, and once again knew what antonyms love and control are”

– Stephen Dunn, “Named”

Michelle

and then my heart with pleasure fills,
and dances with the daffodils.
Wordsworth; yay for the Romantics!

Ruth Patterson

“…Nursing her wrath to keep it warm. ”
From Tam O’ Shanter by Robert Burns

Mandy

“Only what meeting made us feel,
So new, and gentle-sharp, and strange?”
-Philip Larkin

nicswife

“…that what seemed fair in all the world, seemed now mean, or in her summed up, in her contained, and in her looks, which from that time infused sweetness into my heart, unfelt before…”
John Milton, Paradise Lost

Colyn M.

In honor of banned books week… “Poetry fettered, fetters the human race. Nations are destroyed or flourish in proportion as their poetry, painting, and music are destroyed or flourish.” -William Blake

Sommer Roman

Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still
for once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for a second,
and not move our arms so much.
-Pablo Neruda

Andy M.

That time is past,
And all its aching joys are now no more,
And all its dizzy raptures.
– Wordsworth, Tintern Abbey

Great looking books! I love the English publishing trend to make small pocket-sized collections like this.

Elizabeth

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure-dome decree – Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Sarah

Before the five senses were opened, and earlier than any beginning
They waited, ready, for all those who would call themselves mortals,
So that they might praise, as I do, life, that is, happiness.

Czeslaw Milosz

Melissa S.

‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.’
-John Keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn

Molly

To be loved is all I need,
And whom I love, I love indeed.
~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge

andy hunt

“Sometimes life is merely a matter of coffee and whatever intimacy a cup of coffee affords.”
― Richard Brautigan

Jenny

For whatever we lose(like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea
-e.e. cummings

Molly

Children of the future age,
Reading this indignant page,
Know that in a former time
Love, sweet love, was thought a crime.

A Little Girl Lost
-William Blake

Kelsey

” …Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.”
~Wendell Berry, “Manifesto: The Mad Farmer
Liberation Front”

Zoe

“How many slams in an old screen door? Depends how loud you shut it. How many slices in a bread? Depends how thin you cut it. How much good inside a day? Depends how good you live ‘em. How much love inside a friend? Depends how much you give ‘em.”
― Shel Silverstein

Erica

First he gave me his heart. It was red fruit containing many seeds, the skin leathery, unlikely. – Pomegranate by Louise Gluck

Shannon

“Oh, my friend,
All that you see of me
Is just a shell,
And the rest belongs to love.” ~Rumi

meggandwyer

” love to go out in late September
among the fat, overripe, icy, black blackberries
to eat blackberries for breakfast,
the stalks very prickly, a penalty
they earn for knowing the black art
of blackberry-making”

Galway Kinnell

Amy

Sweet babe, in thy face
Soft desires I can trace,
Secret joys and secret smiles,
Little pretty infant wiles.
-Cradle Song; William Blake

Janel Atlas

“…but trailing clouds of glory do we come / from God who is our home.” ~ Wordsworth. I used this on a memorial card for my daughter.

Noel

so sweet
and so cold

-william carlos williams (“This is Just to Say”)

Meg

Oh, they are beautiful books!

The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
The furrow followed free:
We were the first that ever burst
Into that silent sea.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Jessica

`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare…-Shelley

Maureen

“Your absence has gone through me / Like thread through a needle. / Everything I do is stitched with its color.” ~ W.S. Merwin

KB

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
-William Blake

Cristina. C.

and if what calls itself a world should have
the luck to hear such singing(or glimpse such
sunlight as will leap higher than high
through gayer than gayest someone’s heart at your each
nearness)everyone certainly would(my
most beautiful darling)believe in nothing but love- e.e. cummings

Joanna

And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
Shakespeare

Sophie

“I wandered lonely as a cloud/That foats on high o’er vales and hills.” (Wordsworth)

My father is a professor of English Romanticism, and had me memorize that whole poem when I was homeschooling!

Savanah Macaulay

“Folding clothes, I think of folding you into my life.” Sorting Laundry by Elisavietta Ritchie.

Louise Knight-Gibson

Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
we shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow
and watch where the chalk-white arrows go
to the place where the sidewalk ends.

“Where the Sidewalk Ends” by Shel Silverstein

andrea despot

“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.”
– T.S. Eliot

anne banks

because it is one of my favorite opening lines and because it is his birthday, i choose: “let us go then, you and i, when the evening is spread out against the sky…” from ts eliot’s “the lovesong of j. alfred prufrock”

Morgan

This sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everthing, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. -Great God!

~Wordsworth

Tricia

Beautiful books! Here’s a line that always stuck in my head…

We wear the mask that grins and lies, It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes…With torn and bleeding hearts we smile, (Paul Laurence Dunbar)

Rose

“Do you ask what the birds say? The Sparrow, the Dove / The Linnet and Thrush say, “I love and I love!”” -Coleridge’s “Answer to a Child’s Question

My mother read me this poem when I was a child, and I took it literally: I really believed that birdsong meant “I love, I love.” I still think of it when I hear birds chirping–it reminds me to love my world, too.

Josephine chinn

Your life is your life, know it while you have it. You are marvelous, the gods wait to delight in you. Charles Bukowski

April

“You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.” -Mary Oliver, “Wild Geese”

Annie H

The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Robert Frost

Years ago, my mom taught me this poem. Now, I’m teaching it to my daughter.

tracylee

If you are a dreamer, come in.
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer . . .
If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire,
For we have some flax golden tales to spin.
Come in!
Come in!

– An Invitation, by Shel Silverstein

Sandra

Ma jeunesse ne fut qu’un ténébreux orage,
Traversé çà et là par de brillants soleils;
Le tonnerre et la pluie ont fait un tel ravage,
Qu’il reste en mon jardin bien peu de fruits vermeils
-Baudelaire
(love the english poets, too, though…and those book covers are great!)

Neada B

Perhaps everything terrible is, in its deepest being, something helpless that wants help from us. ***Rainer Maria Rilke***

Annelise

The blissful cloud of summer-indolence
Benumb’d my eyes; my pulse grew less and less;

from Keats’ “Ode on Indolence”

Jenny Catlin

I am in love with a certain prostitute who melts my love in a spoon, who leaves me empty and sparse as the light of a silver moon. (Certain Prostitutes) David Roskos

Elliot

For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.
Shakespeare, Sonnet 29

Jade Weston

Bless everything you can with eyes and hands and tongue.
If you can’t bless it, get ready to make it new.

– Marge Piercy

Vanessa C

Shelley’s Prometheus Unbound is the one poem I always return too. Especially the fourth act.
“To suffer woes which Hope thinks infinite;
To forgive wrongs darker than death or night;
To defy Power, which seems omnipotent;
To love, and bear; to hope till Hope creates
From its own wreck the thing it contemplates;
Neither to change, nor falter, nor repent;
This, like thy glory, Titan, is to be
Good, great and joyous, beautiful and free;
This is alone Life, Joy, Empire, and Victory”

Merja

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song,
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong

W. H. Auden

Cassie a

His heart in me keeps me and him in one,
My heart in him his thoughts and senses guides;
He loves my heart, for once it was his own;
I cherish his, because in me it bides.
– Sir Phillip Sydney

Sondra S.

And when wind and winter harden
All the loveless land,
It will whisper of the garden,
You will understand.

Oscar Wilde

Heather

Of unreflecting love! – then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone -Keats

Magdalena Antuña

Love set you going like a fat gold watch.
The midwife slapped your footsoles, and your bald cry
Took its place among the elements.

“The Morning Song”, Sylvia Plath.

Heather

It well may be that in a difficult hour,
Pinned down by pain and moaning for release,
Or nagged by want past resolution’s power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It well may be. I do not think I would. – LOVE IS NOT ALL by Edan St Vincent Millay

sam

So if, my dear, there sometimes seem to be
Old bridges breaking between you and me

Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall
Confident that we have built our wall.

–Seamus Heaney

Matthew M

Oh, how I love me some Keats:

When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st,
“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,–that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”

jamie despres

First off, those books are absolutely stunning. I would have loved to have had the chance to design one.

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

– Sylvia Plath

Amanda Thon

The things of this world
exist, they are;
you can’t refuse them

to bear and not to own;
to act and not lay claim;
to do the work and let it go:
for just letting go
is what makes it stay.

Lao Tzu as retold by Ursula K. Le Guin

Frances

I’ll make my way.
Until the universe can fit inside my heart
– Frederico Garcia Lorca

Eva

Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

-Wendell Berry

InspireMe

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow, 5
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

“The Lake Isle of Innisfree” – Yeats

Kristen

Though much is taken, much abides; and though
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.

Joya

Beautiful covers & books!
“Hope” is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all
-Emily Dickinson

carly

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
-e.e. cummings

Carly Stotts

Said the little boy, “Sometimes I drop my spoon.”
Said the old man, “I do that too.”
The little boy whispered, “I wet my pants.”
“I do that too,” laughed the little old man.
Said the little boy, “I often cry.”
The old man nodded, “So do I.”
“But worst of all,” said the boy, “it seems
Grown-ups don’t pay attention to me.”
And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand.
“I know what you mean,” said the little old man.

Shel Silverstein

Claire

so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens.

– william carlos williams

Joan

“The nineteenth Autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.”

The Wild Swans at Coole, W.B. Yeats

I first learned the verb “to wheel” though this poem and cannot look at swans in the sky without thinking of it still.

Jennifer Brandon

But our love was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we
Of many far wiser than we
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

From Edgar Allan Poe “Annabel Lee”

Ali

Say, is there Beauty yet to find?
And Certainty? and Quiet kind?
Deep meadows yet, for to forget
The lies, and truths, and pain?… oh! yet
Stands the Church clock at ten to three?
And is there honey still for tea?

Rupert Brooke, 1912 – The Old Vicarage

JackyO

From my favorite poem by John Keats, especially at this time of year but anytime will do for his ode “To Autumn,” for he proves that the “wailful choir” of the “soft-dying day” is an apt competitor for Spring and its beauty:

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where 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 mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies.

Beverly

O my heart! O tender and fierce pangs, I can stand them not, I will
depart;
O to be a Virginian where I grew up! O to be a Carolinian!
O longings irrepressible! O I will go back to old Tennessee and
never wander more.

from Walt Whitman “O Magnet-South”

Megan

I was fortunate enough to take a poetry course with Julia Kasdorf two years ago in Italy. This is a passage from one of her poems, “First Gestures”.

Living, we cover vast territories;
imagine your life drawn on a map–
a scribble on the town where you grew up,
each bus trip traced between school
and home, or a clean line across the sea
to a place you flew once. Think of the time
and things we accumulate, all the while growing
more conscious of losing and leaving. Aging,
our bodies collect wrinkles and scars
for each place the world would not give
under our weight. Our thoughts get laced
with strange aches, sweet as the final chord
that hangs in a guitar’s blond torso.

Celeste

I arise from dreams of thee
In the first sweet sleep of night,
When the winds are breathing low,
And the stars are shining bright. – Percy Shelly

Lisa Holton

“that purple lined palace of sweet sin” Keats, “Lamia”
I LOVE this poetry series!! Keep up the good work!

Emily

Those are lovely!

“Longing, we say, because desire is full
of endless distances. I must have been the same to her.
But I remember so much, the way her hands dismantled bread,
the thing her father said that hurt her, what
she dreamed. There are moments when the body is as numinous
as words, days that are the good flesh continuing.
Such tenderness, those afternoons and evenings,
saying blackberry, blackberry, blackberry.” – Meditation at Lagunitas, Robert Hass

Johanna

Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in the 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.

“Ulysses”, Tennyson

Amm

“For words, like Nature, half reveal And half conceal the Soul within.” ― Alfred Tennyson

Amy Howard

“The insane asylum
loved him so much
that it followed
him all over
California,
and Baudelaire
laughed when the
insane asylum
rubbed itself
up against his
leg like a
strange cat.”

-Richard Brautigan

Brianne

Though thou loved her as thyself,
As a self of purer clay,
Tho’ her parting dims the day,
Stealing grace from all alive,
Heartily know,
When half-gods go,
The gods arrive.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Diane Tompkins

“That inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude”

from “I wandered lonely as a cloud _” by William Wordsworth

Shelbey Campbell

“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne’er express, yet cannot all conceal.”
—Lord Byron

no words have ever made my heart smile as much as these do :)

Emily

I prize thy love more than whole Mines of gold,
Or all the riches that the East doth hold.
My love is such that Rivers cannot quench,
Nor ought but love from thee, give recompence.

Ann Bradstreet

cassidy

Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.

-John Keats (La Belle Dame sans Merci)

OR

O victory forget your underwear we’re free

-Allen Ginsberg (Howl)

Johanna

Oh darn, someone already posted my favorite line and I didn’t see it before I posted it again. Sorry! :(

Maria

Wow, it’s hard to choose just one! Here goes:

No vayas a creer lo que te cuentan del mundo
en realidad el mundo es incontable
en todo caso es provincia de ti

From “Mundo” by Mario Benedetti. Translates, roughly, as
“Don’t you believe what they tell you of the world
the world is actually uncountable/untellable
at any rate it’s a province of you”

Bobbie Welch

In politics, what begins in fear usually ends in folly – Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Debbie

“Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird”
Langston Hughes

Alyssa

How beautiful! I love Faber’s special collections. Forgive me for posting more than just a line! Here is the end of ‘The Smiths, as I understand them ‘ by Bob Hicok:

Leading the diary to write in its diary,
I didn’t have the heart to tell her
I felt a breeze, and in that breeze
I smelled a storm, and in that storm
I heard the screaming of trees, for the diary
had been raised to keep its thoughts
to itself, with perfect penmanship,
in the belief that words are bodies
who would admit, if asked, “my experience
of the transcendental has always been
a secondary one,” but go on, still,
to do the work we’ve asked them to,
to hold everything our arms cannot.

Brenna

You will ask: But where are the lilacs?
And the metaphysics covered with poppies?
And the rain that often struck
his words, filling them
with holes and birds?

Pablo Neruda’s “I Explain a Few Things”

christie moore

when by now and tree by leaf
she laughed his joy she cried his grief
bird by snow and stir by still
anyone’s any was all to her

Gideon

“He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.”

W.H. Auden

Love the looks of these, so colourful!

Julie

At the border crossing all I could hear was your pulse
and the wind combing along my earbone
like antimatter.

Anne Carson – “Mimnermos: The Brainsex Paintings” from “Plainwater”

ker

How beautiful, if sorrow had not made / Sorrow more Beautiful than Beauty’s self

Kat Stromberger

my heart, my teeth,
my light and my spoon
my salt of the dim week,
my clear windowpane moon.

–Pablo Neruda, Love Song (trans)

Andrea Goldsmith

But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real.
— Marge Piercy

WSAKE

Behind the glass, under the cellophane,
Remains your final summer — sweet
and meaningless, and not to come again.

Philip Larkin

Ginger S.

“The best portion of a good man’s life: his little, nameless unremembered acts of kindness and love.”
― William Wordsworth

p.s. Love reading everyone’s favorite quotes.

Lauren-Rae

We dance around in a ring and suppose,
While the secret sits in the middle and knows.

~Robert Frost

Marsa McNutt

You are the known way leading always to the unknown,
and you are the known place to which the unknown is always
leading me back. More blessed in you than I know,
I possess nothing worthy to give you, nothing
not belittled by my saying that I possess it.

The Country of Marriage by Wendell Berry

Katie R

So I give her this month, and the next/Though the whole of my year should be hers who has/rendered already/So many of it’s days intolerable or perplexed/But so many more so happy

from “Autumn Journal” by Louis MacNeice

Gergana

I cannot find a word to describe how much I like them (must be my poor English though)

I went to the market, where they sell birds
and I bought some birds
for you
my love
I went to the market, where they sell flowers
and I bought some flowers
for you
my love
I went to the market, where they sell chains
and I bought some chains
heavy chains
for you
my love
And then I went to the slave market
and I looked for you
but I did not find you there
my love

Jacques Prevert

Also Ode to a nightingale by Keats.

Jean

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.
— Emily Dickinson

Jennifer S

Penelope for her Ulysses’ sake,
Devised a web her wooers to deceive;
In which the work that she all day did make
The same at night she did again unreave.
-Edmund Spencer, Amoretti 23

Lovely books! The Romantics would be an appealing addition to my household.

Bailey

A fragment from “Calidore: A Fragment” by Keats:

Green tufted islands casting their soft shades
Across the lake; sequester’d leafy glades,
That through the dimness of their twilight show
Large dock leaves, spiral foxgloves, or the glow
Of the wild cat’s eyes, or the silvery stems
Of delicate birch trees, or long grass which hems
A little brook.

Martha

IN A STATION OF THE METRO

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet black bough.

-Ezra Pound

Virginia C~

It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
– Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou

pamela

so beautiful the books! this one is such a classic, but it is one that always is in my head when making choices. Two roads diverged in a wood, and , I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost

Shana

We were all inmates of one place,
And I, the monarch of each race,
Had power to kill – yet, strange to tell!
In quiet we had learn’d to dwell;
My very chains and I grew friends,
So much a long communion tends
To make us what we are: – even I
Regain’d my freedom with a sigh.

(Lord Byron, Prisoner of Chillon)

Maggie J.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
– Lewis Carroll

Libby K

“Come Sleep! O Sleep, the certain knot of peace,
The baiting place of wit, the balm of woe,
The poor man’s wealth, the prisoner’s release,
The indifferent judge between the high and low”
-Sir Phillip Sidney

Erin Read

I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul. –William Henley

I could certainly throw out some cummings as well but I’ll leave off with William Carlos Williams’ famous:

so much depends
upon
a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens

Lourdes

Some human beings are delicate things, Some human beings are delicious and wonderous things. If you want to piss on the sun go ahead but leave them alone.

-Charles Bukowski

Emily

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. – Robert Frost

My favorite poem!! Oh, I would love to win these books!!

Gwen

I want to say something but shame
prevents me

yet if you had a desire for good or beautiful things
and your tongue were not concocting some evil to say,
shame would not hold down your eyes
but rather you would speak about what is just.

Sappho, trans. Anne Carson (If Not, Winter)

Rose

I don’t love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as certain dark things are loved,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

Pablo Neruda

Candice

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” – Leo Tolstoy

Leanimal

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

– William Carlos Williams

Jason Hackwith

“And what is our failure here but a triumph’s evidence for the fullness of the days?”
from Dramatis Personae: Abt Vogler, by the inimitable Robert Browning

Sarah Moore

“How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot!
The world forgetting by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each pray’r accepted, and each wish resign’d…”
Alexander Pope

Caroline

Just one line from just one poem? An almost impossible task, but I’ll choose this excerpt from Mary Oliver’s Wild Geese, which I read to my husband at our wedding:

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Hillary

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.

Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Stephanie

And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’
He chortled in his joy.

Jabberwocky – Lewis Carroll

Alison

”People who are always praising the past
And especially the times of faith as best
Ought to go and live in the Middle Ages
And be burnt at the stake as witches and sages.”

Stevie Smith

Marta Taylor

“The horse grazes
in circles until there
is no more rope –

there is plenty
of rope, it is tied
to many things –

it is holding the
wind to the sky, the
horizon to the earth”

Rob Taylor, from the collection, “The Other Side of Ourselves”
(http://roblucastaylor.com/publications.html)

Thank you :)

Catherine

Mary, folks are disappearing one by one.
They turn to gold and vanish like the leaves
of sugar maples. But we can save ourselves.
We’ll pick our own salvations, one by one,
from a blue bowl full of sunlight until none is left. – Thomas Lynch

Bre

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.

– Theodore Roethke

Priscilla C.

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—
– TS Eliot

Colleen Murray

O, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us an orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
the round jubilance of peach.

“From Blossoms” Li-Young Lee

Alexa Mazzarello

“I will remember the kisses
our lips raw with love
and how you gave me
everything you had
and how I
offered you what was left of
me,
and I will remember your small room
the feel of you
the light in the window
your records
your books
our morning coffee
our noons our nights
our bodies spilled together
sleeping
the tiny flowing currents
immediate and forever
your leg my leg
your arm my arm
your smile and the warmth
of you
who made me laugh
again.”

– excerpt from Raw with Love by Charles Bukowski

Elizabeth Adama

“Behold, we know not anything;
I can but trust that good shall fall
At last–far off–at last, to all,
And every winter change to spring.”
Byron

Cassidy

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost

Paulette Beete

My favorite poem is Robert Hayden’s “Those Winter Sundays”…

Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

misa

i can’t do it, you say it’s killing
me, but you thrive, you glow
on the street like a neon raspberry,
you float and sail, a helium balloon
bright bachelor’s button blue and bobbing
on the cold and hot winds of our breath
-marge piercy

Heidi

The surest thing there is is we are riders,
And though none too successful at it, guiders…

Robert Frost

Gabrielle

There are only two things now,
The great black night scooped out
And this fire-glow.
-New Year’s Eve by DH Lawrence

Rinna

This is my favourite as my husband recited it to me on our wedding day

O my Luve’s like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve’s like the melodie
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry:

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun:
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee well, my only Luve
And fare thee well, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho’ it were ten thousand mile.

Robbie Burns

Yahel

My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began,
So is it now I am a man,
So be it when I shall grow old
Or let me die!
-William Wordsworth

Kristen

A Bright Day by John Montague

At times I see it, present
As a bright day, or a hill,
The only way of saying something
Luminously as possible.

Not the accumulated richness
Of an old historical language–
That musk-deep odour!
But a slow exactness

Which recreates experience
By ritualizing its details–
Pale web of curtain, width
Of deal table, till all

Takes on a witch-bright glow
And even the clock on the mantel
Moves its hands in a fierce delight
Of so, and so, and so.

Laura

I look
at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world
except possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally and anyway it’s in the Frick
which thank heavens you haven’t gone to yet so we can go together the first time

– Frank O’Hara

Brooke Evans

You said live out loud, and die you said lightly, and over and over again you
said be. – Rilke

Krista

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)
e.e cummings

I love the prints on these covers.. beatiful

Nathan

A Coat by William Butler Yeats

I made my song a coat
Covered with embroideries
Out of old mythologies
From heel to throat;
But the fools caught it,
Wore it in the world’s eyes
As though they’d wrought it.
Song, let them take it,
For there’s more enterprise
In walking naked.

Billy

when I feel, fair creature of an hour!
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love!—then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.

-John Keats, “When I Have Fears that I May Cease to Be”

Mollie

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
-Daffodils by Wordsworth

Samantha

“J’ai cherché dans l’amour un sommeil oublieux;
Mais l’amour n’est pour moi qu’un matelas d’aiguilles
Fait pour donner à boire à ces cruelles filles!”

In love I’ve sought an hour’s oblivion –
but love to me is a pallet stuffed with pins
that drains away my blood for whores to drink!

Charles Baudelaire

William

Many men
Have searched all over Tuscany and never found
What I found there, the heart of the light
Itself shelled and leaved, balancing
On filaments themselves falling. The secret
Of this journey is to let the wind
Blow its dust all over your body,
To let it go on blowing, to step lightly, lightly
All the way through your ruins, and not to lose
Any sleep over the dead, who surely
Will bury their own, don’t worry.
-James Wright, “The Journey.”

Alison MacPherson

Anyone lived in a pretty how town
With up so floating many bells down

e.e. cummings

Sophia

” My eyes are vague blue, like the sky, and change all the time; they are indiscriminate but fleeting, entirely specific and disloyal, so that no one trusts me. I am always looking away. Or again at something after it has given me up. It makes me restless and that makes me unhappy, but I cannot keep them still. If only I had grey, green, black, brown, yellow eyes; I would stay at home and do something. It’s not that I’m curious. On the contrary, I am bored but it’s my duty to be attentive, I am needed by things as the sky must be above the earth. And lately, so great has their anxiety become, I can spare myself little sleep.”
– Frank O’Hara

Katie

“Forget not
that the earth delights
to feel your bare feet
and the winds long
to play with your hair.”

― Khalil Gibran

Aimee

“…For gloriously, victoriously, can courage quell despair!” -Charlotte Bronte

fawn

The springtime of Lovers has come,
that this dust bowl may become a garden;
the proclamation of heaven has come,
that the bird of the soul may rise in flight.
The sea becomes full of pearls,
the salt marsh becomes sweet as kauthar,
the stone becomes a ruby from the mine,
the body becomes wholly soul.

-Rumi

wendy

I couldn’t choose just one line…

Here, then, at home, by no more storms distrest,
Folding laborious hands we sit, wings furled;
Here in close perfume lies the rose-leaf curled,
Here the sun stands and knows not east nor west,
Here no tide runs; we have come, last and best,
From the wide zone through dizzying circles hurled,
To that still centre where the spinning world
Sleeps on its axis, to the heart of rest.

Lay on thy whips, O Love, that we upright,
Poised on the perilous point, in no lax bed
May sleep, as tension at the verberant core
Of music sleeps; for, if thou spare to smite,
Staggering, we stoop, stooping, fall dumb and dead,
And, dying, so, sleep our sweet sleep no more.

-Dorothy Sayers, Gaudy Night

Hannah

“To see a world in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wild flower.”

I think this is the only line of poetry that has truly cemented itself into my head … also, the inner cover linings of these books are just lovely!

Beth Langford

Love for Love
(3rd and 4th lines of the first of two stanzas)

Gie me love in her I court,
Love to love maks a’ the sport.

~~a beautiful collection!

Robert Burns

Jessica

If you are a dreamer, come in.
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer . . .
If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire,
For we have some flax golden tales to spin.
Come in!
Come in!

– Shel Silverstein

pamela

“Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.”
― Maya Angelou, Phenomenal Woman

Kristen S

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach…
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Eric

How strange it is that man on earth should roam,
And lead a life of woe, but not forsake
His rugged path; nor dare he view alone
His future doom which is but to awake.

John Keats

Traci Lee

In out-of-the way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.”
– For A New Beginning, John ODonohue

Molly lee

My candle burns at both ends
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends –
It gives a lovely light.
Edna St. Vincent Millay

Lindsey B.

since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;

-since feeling is first, ee cummings

Nancy

I think that I shall never see
A poem as lovely as a tree.

Joyce Kilmer

Melissa

“Then catch the moments as they fly,
And use them as ye ought, man:
Believe me, happiness is shy,
And comes not aye when sought, man. ”
-Robert Burns

Ahh, good reminder for everyone!

Ashley

Tyger, tyger burning bright
In the forests of the night
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

William Blake

Ingrid

And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

-Keats

lauren michele

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

[Mary Oliver, When Death Comes]

Lisa

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
– WB Yeats (When you are Old).

Kathleen

From my favorite romantic poem, as it seems to fit the theme:

“He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.”

— Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Coleridge

Rarer Borealis

Two-Volume Novel

The sun’s gone dim, and
The moon’s turned black;
For I loved him, and
He didn’t love back.

It’s also the poem in its entirety.

susan mccarthy

” Come forth into the light of things,
Let nature be your teacher.”

William Wordsworth

Jacqueline

”All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.”
– Edgar Allan Poe

Mara

“Let us nudge the steam radiator with our wool slippers and write poems of Launcelot, the hero, and Roland, the hero, and all the olden golden men who rode horses in the rain.”

“Horses and Men in Rain” by Carl Sandburg

Kate O

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?

-The Summer Day by Mary Oliver

Maria

And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
John Donne

Erin D

These are the first days of fall. The wind
at evening smells of roads still to be traveled,
while the sound of leaves blowing across the lawns
is like an unsettled feeling in the blood,
the desire to get in a car and just keep driving.
Stephen Dobyns, “How to Like It”

…not a romantic, but oh, how i love this poem! Beautiful covers, and awesome to see that people still love poetry!

Kristen

Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny,
I am looped in the loops of her hair.

-William Butler Yeats

maggie

She cried “Laura,” up the garden,
“Did you miss me ?
Come and kiss me.
Never mind my bruises,
Hug me, kiss me, suck my juices
Squeezed from goblin fruits for you,
Goblin pulp and goblin dew.
Eat me, drink me, love me;
Laura, make much of me:
For your sake I have braved the glen
And had to do with goblin merchant men.”

-Christina Rossetti, “Goblin Market”

Christine P.

You dance inside my chest,
where no one sees you,
but sometimes I do,
and that sight becomes this art. — Rumi

Kate

I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley

Layne Lynch

I know it – and to know it is despair
To one who loves you as I love, sweet Fanny!
Whose heart goes fluttering for you every where,
Nor, when away you roam,
Dare keep its wretched home,
Love, love alone, his pains severe and many:
Then, loveliest! keep me free,
From torturing jealousy.

Ode To Fanny, John Keats

sara

These are beautiful!

From one word to the other
What I say vanishes.
I know that I am alive
Between two parentheses.

Octavio Paz

Carolina

so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens.

William Carlos Williams

Gretchen

The child who hates silences talks and talks
of cicadas and the manes of horses.

—Carol Frost, “All Summer Long”

Kat

“when all’s done and said, and under the grass lies her head by oaks and roses deliberated.” – e.e. cummings

Sara Anne

we are for each other: then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life’s not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis

-ee cummings

meg

“The untranslatable thought must be the most precise.
Yet words are not the end of thought, they are where it begins.”
Jane Hirshfield, “After Long Silence”

erin

It’s true love because…
Despite cigarette cough, tooth decay, acid indigestion, dandruff, and other features of married life that tend to dampen the fires of passion,
We still feel something
We can call
True love.
-judith viorst

Jignasa

From one of my favourite author :

“Your children are not your children,
They are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they’re with you yet they belong not to you.”
-Kahlil Gibran

Carly Stotts

I already made a comment, but this awesome post with these beautiful books have gotten me on a poetry kick all afternoon, and I just had to share this little gem:

By Dorothea Grossman

I have to tell you,
there are times when
the sun strikes me
like a gong,
and I remember everything,
even your ears.

Mel Carr

“So was I once myself a swinger of birches.
And so I dream of going back to be”
Birches: Robert Frost

Ellen Messner

I look
at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world
except possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally and anyway it’s in the Frick
which thank heavens you haven’t gone to yet so we can go together the first time
and the fact that you move so beautifully more or less takes care of Futurism
just as at home I never think of the Nude Descending a Staircase or
at a rehearsal a single drawing of Leonardo or Michelangelo that used to wow me
and what good does all the research of the Impressionists do them
when they never got the right person to stand near the tree when the sun sank
or for that matter Marino Marini when he didn’t pick the rider as carefully
as the horse

it seems they were all cheated of some marvelous experience
which is not going to go wasted on me which is why I am telling you about it

—Frank O’Hara

Liz Rhodes

”I will be the gladdest thing
Under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one.”

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Laura Rupp

“like the fox I run with the hunted and if I’m not the happiest man on earth I’m surely the luckiest man alive. ” -Charles Bukowski’s My Fate

JG

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster,

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

–Elizabeth Bishop

Steph N

Scourge them with roses only,
be light as helium,

for always to one, or several, morning comes
whose head has fallen over the edge of his bed,
whose face is turned
so that the image of

the city grows down into his open eyes
inverted and distorted. No. I mean
distorted and revealed,
if he sees it at all.
-Elizabeth Bishop

Jill Hood

Nothing that is can stay
The moon will wax,the moon will wane
The mist and cloud will turn to rain
The rain to mist and cloud again.
Tomorrow will be today.

Longfellow

Eliza

“Once off the bush
The fruit fermented, the sweet flesh would turn sour.
I always felt like crying. It wasn’t fair
That all the lovely canfuls smelt of rot.
Each year I hoped they’d keep, knew they would not. ”
-Seamus Heaney

Jessica

The Lake Isle of Innisfree
by W. B. Yeats

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

Allison

“Though much was taken, much abides; and though
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.”

Tennyson’s Ulysses
(excellent poem)

Erin Armstrong

Anything that Neil Gaiman writes is amazing; However, I must say, Instructions is one of my favorites of his.

“Do not be jealous of your sister.
Know that diamonds and roses
are as uncomfortable when they tumble from
one’s lips as toads and frogs:
colder, too, and sharper, and they cut.” – snippet from instructions by Neil Gaiman

Hana Boyce

I LOVE that one of the books are from one of my favorites, Lord Byron!! These lines paint such an incredible picture in my mind…

“She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes.”

She walks in Beauty, Lord Byron.

Yvonne p.

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips’ red……
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare. ~William Shakespeare

Courtney Rian

in all people I see myself, none more and not one a barleycorn less
and the good or bad I say of myself I say of them

walt whitman

Adam B

for he knows as well as I do/
That the branch will not break

-James Wright (from “Two Hangovers”)

Liz

Song by Rupert Brooke

“Oh! Love,” they said, “is King of Kings,
   And Triumph is his crown.
Earth fades in flame before his wings,
   And Sun and Moon bow down.” —
But that, I knew, would never do;
   And Heaven is all too high.
So whenever I meet a Queen, I said,
   I will not catch her eye.
“Oh! Love,” they said, and “Love,” they said,
   “The gift of Love is this;
A crown of thorns about thy head,
   And vinegar to thy kiss!” —
But Tragedy is not for me;
   And I’m content to be gay.
So whenever I spied a Tragic Lady,
   I went another way.
And so I never feared to see
   You wander down the street,
Or come across the fields to me
   On ordinary feet.
For what they’d never told me of,
   And what I never knew;
It was that all the time, my love,
   Love would be merely you.

These are gorgeous books!

Michelle

love you much(most beautiful darling)

more than anyone on the earth and i
like you better than everything in the sky

-sunlight and singing welcome your coming

e.e. cummings

Kiersten

Nor wilt thou then forget,
That after many wanderings, many years
Of absence, these steep woods and lofty cliffs,
And this green pastoral landscape, were to me
More dear, both for themselves and for thy sake!

– From William Wordsworth’s “Lines Written a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey”

Alison

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

I see that quite a few other people have also chose this one, but it still gives me chills every time I read it.

N. Damron

In fact, to speak in earnest, I believe it adds a charm
To spice the good a trifle with a little dust of harm–
For I find an extra flavor in Memory’s mellow wine
That makes me drink the deeper to the old sweetheart of mine.

— James Whitcomb Riley

Eva

Keep it in memory, forever…perhaps tomorrow we will be somewhere else, altogether.
Seen Fleetingly, From a Train by Bronislaw Maj

Laura Lewis

“Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won’t adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is to sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet. That would mean that security is out of the question. The words “make” and “stay” become inappropriate. My love for you has no strings attached. I love you for free.” – Tom Robbins

Jalet

For fun and the wonderful spirit of fall, I like this:
SEPTEMBER “The breezes taste Of apple peel. The air is full Of smells to feel- …Ripe fruit, old footballs, Burning brush, New books, erasers, Chalk, and such. The bee, his hive, Well-honeyed hum, And Mother cuts Chrysanthemums. Like plates washed clean With suds, the days Are polished with A morning haze.” – John Updike, September

Stefanie Bakken

I couldn’t narrow it down to one line–so here’s the whole beautiful poem.
Song of the Barren Orange Tree
by Federico Garcia Lorca (translated by W.S. Merwin)
Woodcutter.
Cut my shadow from me.
Free me from the torment
of seeing myself without fruit.
Why was I born among mirrors?
The day walks in circles around me,
and the night copies me
in all its stars.
I want to live without seeing myself,
and I will dream that ants
and thistleburrs are my
leaves and my birds.

Shanley

it’s right to
praise the random,
the tiny god of probability that
brought us here,
to praise not meaning, but feeling,
the still-warm
sky at dusk, the light that lingers and
the night
that when it comes is gentle.

— “why i’m here” by Jacqueline Berger

Kristin

But ever in the moonlight
She pined and pined away;
Sought them by night and day,
Found them no more, but dwindled and grew grey;
Then fell with the first snow,
While to this day no grass will grow
Where she lies low:
I planted daisies there a year ago
That never blow.

Goblin Market
by Christina Rossetti

Kelsey

“Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.”
– Samuel Taylor Coleridge “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”
(we also share a birthday – October 21st – which is fun)

Sasha

“…And if sometimes, on the steps of a palace or the green grass of a ditch, in the mournful solitude of your room, you wake again, drunkenness already diminishing or gone, ask the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock—everything that is flying, everything that is groaning, everything that is rolling, everything that is singing, everything that is speaking. ..ask what time it is and wind, wave, star, bird, clock will answer you: “It is time to be drunk! So as not to be the martyred slaves of time, be drunk, be continually drunk! On wine, on poetry or on virtue, as you wish.”
– Charles Baudelaire

Erica W.

Tiger, tiger
Burning bright
In the forests of the night
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

–William Blake

Linda

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

-William Carlos Williams

Susanna

…Ah, but what can we take along
into that other realm? Not the art of looking,
which is learned so slowly, and nothing that happened here. Nothing.
The sufferings, then. And, above all, the heaviness,
and the long experience of love, – just what is wholly
unsayable.

from the Ninth Duino Elegy, Rainer Maria Rilke

Sylvia C.

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
– Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken

Emma

another ee cummings:

“somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near”

Kathryn

I, too, dislike it: there are things that are important beyond
all this fiddle.
Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one
discovers in
it after all, a place for the genuine.

-Marianne Moore

Ana

“The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
petals on a wet, black bough.”

–In the Station of the Metro by Ezra Pound

Ryan

Oh man would I love to win this! I had this poem on my wall for years- Texan by Charles Bukowski. My favorite part (the end) is below:

and all of Los Angeles falls down
and weeps for joy,
the walls of the love parlors shake–
the ocean rushes in and she turns
to me and says, “damn this hair!”
and I say,
“yes.”

Rose

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster,

-Elizabeth Bishop

Bethany

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.

Emily Dickinson

chloe

“If you like
I’ll be furious flesh elemental,
or- changing to tone that the sunset arouses- if you like-
I’ll be extraordinary gentle,
not a man but – a cloud in trousers.” Vladamir Mayakovsky

cool to see someone has Stephen Dobyns, I also love his work.

Michelle

Loved reading everyone else’s selections!

“she walks in beauty like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry nights,
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes.”

Byron.

Awesome books <3 them!

Jenny

“O my God, what am I
That these late mouths should cry open
In a forest of frost, in a dawn of cornflowers.”
– Sylvia Plath

Andrea G.

“Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree”

-Joyce Kilmer

A great line and it’s ABOUT poetry too. Bonus points? :)

Erin

“In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.”

-Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Love this poem! I teach freshmen English at a university and this is the poem I use to teach my students imagery. Coleridge is a genius.

Catherine

Never seek to tell thy love
Love that never told can be;
For the gentle wind does move
Silently, invisibly.
– William Blake

Jennifer

I love the Romantic poets, my favorite being Keats, my favorite Keats Biographer being Andrew Motion! I struggle to choose just a few lines, but I have always been captivated by the lovers from “Ode on a Grecian Urn:”

Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal—yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

-John Keats

Jen

For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,         50
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?
 
– T.S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”

The first time I ever truly loved a poem.

Adam B

“Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
into blossom.”

James Wright (from A Blessing)

Adam B

“They fuck you up your mum and dad”

from This Be The Verse by Philip Larkin

jordan

let me keep my mind
on what matters,
which is my work,
which is mostly
standing still
and learning
to be astonished.

mary oliver

Johanna Z.

Beautiful! Also, tsk tsk commenters…where are your quotation marks? : )
“Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds.”- W. Shakespeare

Laura

Translating poetry is too hard (and often pointless), so I won´t try. My favorite poet is Ajo, a Spanish girl. And this is, for me, one of the best of her “micropoems”. I hope you can understand it!
“Si le sumo mi soledad a la tuya
qué es lo que obtengo a cambio
¿dos soledades o ninguna?” – Ajo

Dru B-B

To make a prairie it takes a clover
and one bee, One clover, and a bee,
And revery. The revery alone will do
If bees are few.
Emily Dickinson

Jessica R.

…and you remember
where you were, where you were going to be if you stayed
nest-bound, earth-bound, bewildered, and what was waiting
here for you to discover, what you couldn’t see, but could feel
under you, beside you, above you, with you, in you, holding you.

From First Flight by David Wagoner

Katie

And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

-Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Kelly

I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,
When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,
when he beats his bars and would be free,
it isn’t a carol of joy or glee,
But a prayer that he sends from his heart’s deep core,
But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings
I know why the caged bird sings

-Maya Angelou

Juliana Baseman

Let me be
a mirror in which something else
might catch a glimpse of itself—
the burnished stone beneath
a lifetime of water, flowing.

-Paulann Peterson (from the poem “Finish”)

Lyette

Remember the 1340’s? We were doing a dance called the Catapult.
You always wore brown, the color craze of the decade,
and I was draped in one of those capes that were popular,
the ones with unicorns and pomegranates in needlework.
Everyone would pause for beer and onions in the afternoon,
and at night we would play a game called “Find the Cow.”
Everything was hand-lettered then, not like today.
-Billy Collins, “Nostalgia”

Erin

Can I say two? Hard to choose (by the way, loved reading through all these!)

But we loved with a love that was more than love-
I and my Annabel Lee; (Edgar Allen Poe)

Where both deliberate, the love is slight:
Who ever loved, that loved not at first sight? (Christopher Marlowe)

Chris Sabbatini

who wandered around and around at midnight in the railway yard wondering where to go, and went, leaving no broken hearts, [...]

where we wake up electrified out of the coma by our own souls’ airplanes roaring over the roof they’ve come to drop angelic bombs the hospital illuminates itself imaginary walls collapse O skinny legions run outside O starry-spangled shock of mercy the eternal war is here O victory forget your underwear we’re free

– Allen Ginsberg “Howl”

Amanda Stewart

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends
It gives a lovely light!
-Edna St. Vincent Millay

Megan

And the ripples are thoughts coming out to the edge of a dream.

– John Shaw Neilson

Bethany

“Lady, your room is lousy with flowers.

The roses in the Toby jug
Gave up the ghost last night. High time.
Their yellow corsets were ready to split.
You snored, and I heard the petals unlatch,
Tapping and ticking like nervous fingers.
You should have junked them before they died.”

“Leaving Early” by Sylvia Plath

Rita Quelhas

“Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.”
W.B. Yeats

Logan

(My favorite poems are always changing!)

I tell you this
to break your heart,
by which I mean only
that it break open and never close again
to the rest of the world.

– Lead, Mary Oliver

Joanna

What a fantastic idea for a giveaway. I would be all to happy to participate. And here, an excerpt from A VALEDICTION FORBIDDING MOURNING by the exquisite John Donne:

Dull sublunary lovers’ love
Whose soul is sense—cannot admit
Of absence, ’cause it doth remove
The thing which elemented it.

But we by a love so much refined,
That ourselves know not what it is,
Inter-assurèd of the mind,
Care less, eyes, lips and hands to miss.

Our two souls therefore, which are one,
Though I must go, endure not yet
A breach, but an expansion,
Like gold to aery thinness beat.

If they be two, they are two so
As stiff twin compasses are two ;
Thy soul, the fix’d foot, makes no show
To move, but doth, if th’ other do.

P.S. Love seeing so many Keats lovers all in one place!

Kiki

Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.
The Jumbles, Edward Lear

Mariel

Well, this is only half of the line–but I specifically love this part of John Keat’s “Ode to a Nightingale.”

That thou, light-wingèd Dryad of the trees,
In some melodious plot
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
Singest of summer in full-throated ease.

Suzanne M.

O would some power the giftie gie us to see ourselves as others see us.
(O would some power the gift to give us to see ourselves as others see us.)
Robert Burns, Poem “To a Louse” – verse 8
Scottish national poet (1759 – 1796)

rachel

Bohemia by Dorothy Parker

Authors and actors and artists and such
Never know nothing, and never know much.
Sculptors and singers and those of their kidney
Tell their affairs from Seattle to Sydney.
Playwrights and poets and such horses’ necks
Start off from anywhere, end up at sex.
Diarists, critics, and similar roe
Never say nothing, and never say no.
People Who Do Things exceed my endurance;
God, for a man that solicits insurance!

Olga

I might have resented
The people I love
If love
Hadn’t tought me
To be sad and to stay sad.

-Orhan Veli

Marcia Dale

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all… Emily Dickinson (a perfect description of my 100-year old mother-in-law who whistles tunelessly all the day long and looks forward to every day anticipating the next adventure…)

Katherine J.

My Heart

I’m not going to cry all the time
nor shall I laugh all the time,
I don’t prefer one “strain” to another.
I’d have the immediacy of a bad movie,
not just a sleeper, but also the big,
overproduced first-run kind. I want to be
at least as alive as the vulgar. And if
some aficionado of my mess says “That’s
not like Frank!”, all to the good! I
don’t wear brown and grey suits all the time,
do I? No. I wear workshirts to the opera,
often. I want my feet to be bare,
I want my face to be shaven, and my heart–
you can’t plan on the heart, but
the better part of it, my poetry, is open.

(Frank O’Hara)

Liz

His beak is focussed; he is preoccupied,

looking for something, something, something.
Poor bird, he is obsessed!

Elizabeth Bishop, Sandpiper

Laura Barker

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;

Lord Byron

Jennifer

“They took some honey
and plenty of money,
wrapped up in a five pound note.” ~Edward Lear

I once had a toddler who would bring me this board book, illustrated by Jan Brett, literally dozens of times a day. Nothing ever made me love poetry like reading it to a child curled up in my lap, delighting in the sound of the words.

Sarah

“Today is far from childhood…but up and down the hills…I hold my sister’s hand the tighter which shortens all the miles” E. Dickens

Katja

“The many men, so beautiful!
And they all dead did lie:
And a thousand thousand slimy things
Lived on; and so did I.”

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Nat @ Dear Little House

Those books are gorgeous. My favourite poem is my favourite because of sentimental reasons (it’s also a good poem!). It was my dad’s favourite, he always had a framed copy on his wall, and it was his mantra. He passed away 8 years ago and I have the word ‘if’ tattooed on my wrist to remind me of my dad and of his mantra “If” by Rudyard Kipling.

My favourite stanza:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

catherine

I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
– W. B. Yeats

Denise F

Elegy in Joy – by Muriel Rukeyser

We tell beginnings: for the flesh and the answer,
or the look, the lake in the eye that knows,
for the despair that flows down in widest rivers,
cloud of home; and also the green tree of grace,
all in the leaf, in the love that gives us ourselves.

Hana N

One moment now may give us more
Than years of toiling reason:
Our minds shall drink at every pore
The spirit of the season.

Some silent laws our hearts will make,
Which they shall long obey:
We for the year to come may take
Our temper from to-day.

And from the blessed power that rolls
About, below, above,
We’ll frame the measure of our souls:
They shall be tuned to love.
-Wordsworth

Kelsey Violet

Reading through everyone’s favorite lines is such a calm, happy way to spend the evening! Looks like e.e. cummings, Shel Silverstein, and William Carlos Williams are faves. :) I like these simple lines from Edna St. Vincent Millay:

And all the loveliest things there be/ Come simply, so it seems to me.

shawna tatom

ooooh these are sooo beautiful.

“And we are put on earth a little space,
That we may bear the beams of love.” William Blake

Kate Sahler

“…Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.”
-Ellen Bass

Yvette

Stranger on the river bank,
like the river, water binds me to your name.
Nothing brings me back from this distance
to the oasis: neither war nor peace.
Nothing grants me entry to the gospels.
Nothing. Nothing shines from the shore
of ebb and flow between the Tigris and the Nile.

What shall I do? What shall I do without exile
and a long night of gazing at the water?

Jennifer

This is my favorite stanza from Wordsworth’s Ode on Intimations of Immortality:

Then sing, ye birds, sing, sing a joyous song!
And let the young lambs bound
As to the tabor’s sound!
We in thought will join your throng,
Ye that pipe and ye that play,
Ye that through your hearts to-day
Feel the gladness of the May!
What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be;
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering;
In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.

Laurel

These are beautiful books. From William Wordsworth’s “Lines” (also known as Tintern Abbey):

And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man:
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things.

Louise Fristensky

She named
The goat Broken Thorn Sweet Blackberry, named it after
The night’s bush of stars, because the goat’s silky hair
Was dark as well water, because it had eyes like wild fruit.

Song by Brigit Pegeen Kelly

Marjorie Jumisco

…be secret and exult, for that is the most difficult

From: To a Friend whose work has come to nothing, Wm. Butler Yeats

Elizabeth Reynolds

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.
– T. S. Eliot

Gretchen

anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn’t he danced his did

-e.e. cummings

Ta

I remembered you with my soul clenched
in that sadness of mine that you know.
-Neruda

Rebecca

This line is the last one in a french poem by Paul Eluard, called “Ma Morte Vivante” (“My Dead Alive”), and it always gives me the chills :

“J’étais si près de toi que j’ai froid près des autres.”
(“I was so close to you, I’m cold near the others.”)

These books look absolutely beautiful, and I love the insides so much !

Marcia

All night
the dark buds of dreams
open
richly.

“Dreams,” Mary Oliver

Natalie Kemp

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 they will sing to me.

The Love Song Of J Alfred Prufrock – T.S. Eliot

Betty

I love this line from Margaret Atwood’s poem “Nothing” so much that I got it tattooed to my arm:

What touches you is what you touch.

Laurie Moore

Excerpt from “What the Dog Perhaps Hears” by Lisel Mueller

What is it like up there
above the shut-off level
of our simple ears?
For us there was no birth cry,
the newborn bird is suddenly here,
the egg broken, the nest alive,
and we heard nothing when the world changed.

Cindy G.

I have loved Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” since I was in 9th grade.
“God save thee Ancient Mariner, from the fiends that plague thee thus. Why lookst thou so?
– With my crossbow, I shot the albatross.”

And the consequences did follow…

Melissa

“Praise the Lord, O my soul;
All my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all his benefits.
He forgives all my sins
And heals all my diseases;
He redeems my life from the pit
And crowns me with love and compassion.
He satisfies my desires with good things,
So that my youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

David (Psalm 103:1-5)

Alexandra Lauer

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To 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 plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.
–“Dover Beach” by Matthew Arnold

Kimberley

So many to choose from, but here’s a bit of one that I’ve always loved:

“Proud, though torn, is her bellying sail, with the Crimson Eagle thereon,
Proudly erect is the Dragon’s head, though its colour had long since gone,
But the ship is hardy and tough, and the men are hardy as she,
When their Viking ships are abroad again,
Daring the uttermost wrath of the main,
Exploring the wonderful earth again,
Daring the wonderful sea.”
– Mervyn Peake, “Vikings” 1932

Cat

Thou wouldst be loved? – then let thy heart
From its present pathway part not!

Edgar Allan Poe

I recite this poem in its entirety to my girls when ever I get the chance!

coralie

If ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were lov’d by wife, then thee.
If ever wife was happy in a man,
Compare with me, ye women, if you can. . .

Anne Bradstreet

Rebecca Martin

With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this
Calling

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

~ T.S. Eliot, from Little Gidding

Liz W.

This is my favorite poem.

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:

`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!’

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

(Percy Bysshe Shelley)

Abby B

My grandmother threw tomatoes
from her balcony, she pulled imagination like a blanket
over my head. I painted
my mother’s face. She understood
loneliness, hid the dead in the earth like partisans.

-Ilya Kaminksy, from “Dancing in Odessa”

A kindred spirit.

Amy

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
did gyre and gimble in the wabe.
All mimsy were the borogoves,
and the momeraths outgrabe.
–Lewis Carroll

Kimberly

Then it is only kindess that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindess that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or as friend.
– excerpt from Kindess by Naomi Shihab Nye

Kaitlin

“Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard/Are sweeter..”

John Keats – Ode on a Grecian Urn

Justine Johnson

From too much love of living,
From hope and fear set free,
We thank with brief thanksgiving
Whatever gods may be
That no life lives for ever;
That dead men rise up never;
That even the weariest river
Winds somewhere safe to sea
-Algernon Charles Swinburne

Catherine

My father loved poetry and taught us to love it too. We read Crossing The Bar by Alfred Lord Tennyson at Daddy’s funeral.

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.

jessica

O sweet spontaneous
earth how often have
the
doting
fingers of
purient philosophers pinched
and
poked
thee,
has the naughty thumb
of science prodded
thy
beauty.

mandy gross

today you are you,
that is truer than true,
there is no one in the world who is youer than you. – dr. suess.

it seems a little cheesy but i just love those lines and that message.

jessicac

White bee, you buzz in my soul, drunk with honey, and your flight winds in slow spirals of smoke.

Pablo Neruda , White Bee

Mary

Familiar

As I pick up your pants
fold them over the chair
I remember the time I fell
off a barstool into your lap,
the first time my hands traveled
the curved distance of your shirt
across the belt’s boundary
along the ridges of your hips.

-Donna Masini

Kessia Reyne

Halts by me that footfall.
Is my gloom, after all,
shade of his hand outstretched caressingly?

:: Francis Thompson, The Hound of Heaven

Bobbi

I grow old … I grow old …
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot

Kiara

Home is the place where, when you have to go there,
They have to take you in.

Robert Frost
(The Death of the Hired Man)

Shonna

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

– William Carlos Williams, ‘This is just to say’

Katie

“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river
moving in you, a joy.” -Rumi (Moving Water)

Amanda

“How pleasant thy banks and sweet valleys below
Where wild are the woodlands, the primroses blow.”
Sweet Afton Robert Burns

Kara

And let me breathe into the happy air,
That doth enfold and touch thee all about,
Vows of my slavery, my giving up,
My sudden adoration, my great love!

-John Keats

Lisa Taggart

oh what lovely books and so much fun to read all this poetry! Here’s my line though natch it is tres difficult to choose one:

As strong as
the suction cups
on the octopus
are the valves
of the attention.
-Kay Ryan

thanks for this!

Jennifer Gough

Mum and I spent a memorable day in Rome this July at the Keats/ Shelley Museum. (Without my brother and father pacing the floor and looking at their watches) Mum and I wandered the small house for hours and then had morning tea at Mrs Babington’s cafe beside the Spanish Steps … ah…. swoon………..
John Keats: Ode to a Nightingale
” But being too happy in thine happiness,
That thou, light-wingèd Dryad of the trees,”

Kate

Thou still unravished bride of quietness, thou foster child of silence and slow time

Ode on a Grecian Urn, John Keats

shirley

“here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)”

–i carry your heart with me by the ever wonderful ee cummings

Stacie

These are so lovely.

One of my favorites is by Lord Byron.

“She walks in beauty, like the night / Of cloudless climes and starry skies; / And all that’s best of dark and bright / Meet in her aspect and her eyes.”

Katie

“`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.” – Lewis Carroll’s The Jabberwocky

My favourite as a kid, and still holds a special place now.

Marlene

The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.

Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere,
they’re in each other all along. ~Rumi

Ashley Renfrew

My arms are like the twisted thorn
And yet there beauty lay

“A Man Young and Old” W.B. Yeats

Jess Guyer

Not because of victories I sing, having none, but for the common sunshine, the breeze, the largess of the spring
Charles Reznikoff

erin

Some mornings I get up and can’t tie my shoes.
I’m forty-four years old and can’t toast the seedless rye.
My kid cries because her hands are wet;
my wife undresses in front of open windows.
What am I supposed to do?
I wake up.
I say good morning.
I put on my pants.

–Matthew Lippman

Kay

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”
-John Keats

“Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace”
-John Lennon

Laura E.

Best give away ever! Here’s my offering, from the incomparable Gwendolyn Brooks!

my dreams, my works, must wait till after hell

I hold my honey and I store my bread
In little jars and cabinets of my will.
I label clearly, and each latch and lid
I bid, Be firm till I return from hell.
I am very hungry. I am incomplete.
And none can tell when I may dine again.
No man can give me any word but Wait,
The puny light. I keep eyes pointed in;
Hoping that, when the devil days of my hurt
Drag out to their last dregs and I resume
On such legs as are left me, in such heart
As I can manage, remember to go home,
My taste will not have turned insensitive
To honey and bread old purity could love.

– a sonnet from Gay Chaps at the Bar

Callie

“Maybe poems are made of breath, the way water,
cajoled to boil, says, This is my soul, freed.”

Dean Young, “Scarecrow on Fire”

Amy Joelle

But I have seen his eyes, they are
As pretty and bright
As raindrops on black twigs
In March,…”

Stevie Smith, Black March

David C

Keats, forever, Keats. No-one can write so touchingly nor lyrically. The octet of the sonnet written during his brother’s prolonged death – a sustained sentence, truncated and lilting, miraculous and crepuscular. So quiet and kind:

[...] The sun, when first he kist away the tears
That fill’d the eyes of morn;—the laurel’d peers
Who from the feathery gold of evening lean;—
The ocean with its vastness, its blue green,
Its ships, its rocks, its caves, its hopes, its fears,—
Its voice mysterious, which whoso hears
Must think on what will be, and what has been.
– Keats, ‘To My Brother George,’ ll.2-8.

(You may now exhale, and imbibe the sublime!).

Anna

Altogether elsewhere, vast
Herds of reindeer move across
Miles and miles of golden moss
Silently and very fast.
-W.H. Auden from ‘The Fall of Rome’

Lauren

New York, I love You but you’re bringing me down
New York, I love You but you’re bringing me down
Like a death of the heart…Jesus, where do I start
But you’re still the one pool where I’d happily drown

LCD soundsystem (only because all of the good Emily Dickinson was already taken)

Clara

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
— W. B. Yeats

Veronica

Excerpt from The Pains of Sleep by Samuel Coleridge

Fantastic passions! maddening brawl!
And shame and terror over all!
Deeds to be hid which were not hid,
Which all confused I could not know
Whether I suffered, or I did:
For all seemed guilt, remorse or woe,

Clarenda Stanley

My friends forsake me like a memory lost;

I Am by John Clare

Meadow

“I would like to be the air
that inhabits you for a moment
only. I would like to be that unnoticed
and that necessary”
Variation on the word sleep, Margaret Atwood

Nicole Carol

I chose a short poem from my favorite collection of poetry versus my favorite line of poetry. Just as these works from Faber are collections, many times it’s the body of work that draws you in and makes you hold a book close.

From Wislawa Szymborska, Poems New and Collected (1957-1997), an answer to the Romantics:

An Effort

Alack and woe, oh song: you’re mocking me;
try as I may, I’ll never be your red, red rose.
A rose is a rose is a rose. And you know it.

I worked to sprout leaves. I tried to take root.
I held my breath to speed things up, and waited
for the petals to enclose me.

Merciless song, you leave me with my lone,
nonconvertible, unmetamorphic body:
I’m one-time-only to the marrow of my bones.

E Schmidt

…”we loved with a love that was more than love–”

Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe

Kelsey

and I cannot tell you
how vastly my loneliness was deepened,
how poignant and amplified the world before me seemed,
when I found on one page

A few greasy looking smears
and next to them, written in soft pencil –
by a beautiful girl, I could tell,
whom I would never meet –
“Pardon the egg salad stains, but I’m in love.”

Billy Collins, “Marginalia”

Sarah S

What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whitman, for I walked down the side streets under the trees with a headache self-conscious looking at the full moon. – Allen Ginsberg

Shelley

“I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
WI wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.”
Wordsworth

A beautiful spring-y poem, perfect for this time of the year in my neck of the woods.

Dawn

“Till the bridge you will need be form’d, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my Soul.”
Whitman’s A Noiseless Patient Spider

Pied Person

this poem is how my parents taught me to love my freckles. :)

GLORY be to God for dappled things
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.

“pied beauty” – gerard manley hopkins

Elaine

‘And should I then presume? And how should I begin?’

T.S. Eliot, ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’

Steph

“For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,         50
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?”
– The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.s. Eliot

susie.

how shall i know
unless i go
to cairo and cathay,
whether or not
this blessed spot
is blest in every way?

now it may be
the flower for me
is this beneath my nose
how shall i tell
unless i smell
the carthaginian rose.

the fabric of my faithful love
no power shall dim or ravel
whilst i stay here
but oh my dear
if i should ever travel!
-edna st. vincent millay

~or~

the world is a beautiful place/to be born into/if you don’t mind happiness/not always being/so very much fun/if you don’t mind a touch of hell/now and then/just when everything is fine/because even in heaven/they don’t sing/all the time.

-ferlinghetti

Martha

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune–without the words,
And never stops at all,

–Emily Dickinson

A. Kubin

So always standing in front of something the other
As words stand in front of objects, feelings, and ideas.
-Kenneth Koch

Lori

Sometimes you wake up.
Sometimes the fall kills you.
And sometimes, when you fall, you fly.

– Neil Gaiman

hila

I’ve taught the Romantic poets so many times, I gasped when I saw these. Even if I don’t win, I’ll probably buy this set.

It’s so hard to choose just one line out of one poem. My favourite would probably have to be this line by Irving Feldman, from a poem about the Holocaust:

-this page
I write and
the silent
who couldn’t cannot
whom silence
and I
cannot what nevertheless
how can I
write.

-Irving Feldman

But this line would come at a close second:

I’m with you in Rockland
where you bang on the catatonic piano the soul is
innocent and immortal it should never die ungodly in an
armed madhouse

-Allen Ginsberg

greg

My mother combs,
pulls her hair back
tight, rolls it
around two fingers, pins it
in a bun to the back of her head.
For half a hundred years she has done this.
My father likes to see it like this.
He says it is kempt.

But I know
it is because of the way
my mother’s hair falls
when he pulls the pins out.
Easily, like the curtains
when they untie them in the evening.

– Li-young Lee, from the poem: “Early in the Morning”

Kay

And did you get what you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself beloved on the earth.

Late fragment by Raymond Carver

Jodie S

‘What, you are stepping westward?’- ‘yea.’
-‘Twould be a wildish destiny,
if we, who thus together roam
In a strange Land, and far from home,
Were in this place the guests of Chance:
Yet who would stop, or fear to advance,
Though home or shelter he had none,
With such a sky to lead him on?
-Wordsworth

Sarah

For beauty is nothing
but the beginning of terror, which we still are just able to endure,
and we are so awed because it serenely disdains
to annihilate us. Every angel is terrifying.
–Rainer Maria Rilke

Shannon

This Is Just To Say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast.

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold.

— William Carlos Williams

Molly Falck

“One moment now may give us more / Than fifty years of reason” – Wordsworth, Lines written at a small distance from my house

Shannon

then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life’s not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis

e. e. cummings (Since Feeling is First)

Jennif

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (_Write_ it!) like disaster.
—Elizabeth Bishop

Darci

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, 
I took the one less traveled by, 
And that has made all the difference. – Robert Frost

Words & Eggs

“We Poets in our youth begin in gladness; / But thereof come in the end despondency and madness.”
-William Wordsworth, “Resolution and Independence” (1802)

Katie B

I’d say a
zillion yeses to anyone for that.

– Mary Szybist from “Girls Overheard While Assembling a Puzzle”

Girlie

HAD I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with the golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams beneath your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams
WB Yeats

Norma C. Wheller

To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.

Mary Oliver In Blackwater Woods

Jaimie

i like your body. i like what it does,
i like its hows. i like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones,and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which i will
again and again and again
kiss, i like kissing this and that of you,

Clare

How to choose?!

But oft, in lonely rooms, and ‘mid the din
Of towns and cities, I have owed to them
In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,
Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart…

William Wordsworth

Jennifer H.

In the stormy east-wind straining,
The pale yellow woods were waning,
The broad stream in his banks complaining.
Heavily the low sky raining
Over tower’d Camelot;
Down she came and found a boat
Beneath a willow left afloat,
And around about the prow she wrote
The Lady of Shalott.

— Tennyson, The Lady of Shalott

Anamika

any of Berryman’s Dream Songs, but particularly and always Dream Song 14, which ends:
“And the tranquil hills, & gin, look like a drag
and somehow a dog
has taken itself & its tail considerably away
into the mountains or sea or sky, leaving
behind: me, wag.”

Emily

so I love you because I know no other way
that this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

– Pablo Neruda

Annette

“Whenas in silks my Julia goes, Then, then (methinks) how sweetly flows the liquefaction of her clothes”
Robert Herrick

Erin

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.

“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” – Robert Frost

Shoshana

“… he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sun rise.”
William Blake

Emily

Then I did this:
Shouldered the cross of an albatross
up the hill of the sky,
Why? To follow a ship.

From “Thetis” in a collection entitled The World’s Wife by Carol Ann Duffy

Ericka

And, where warm hands have prest and closed,
Silence.

Tennyson, “In Memoriam”

Kyra

[?] made three seasons, summer
and winter and autumn third
and fourth spring when
there is blooming but to eat enough
is not
– Alkman fragment 20

shoshiyoshi

“Somewhere 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.”
– Robert Frost

Octavia

The brain is just the weight of God,
For, lift them, pound for pound,
And they will differ, if they do,
As syllable from sound.

Emily Dickinson

Linda

The earth holds itself still
You would say somebody sighed

–Pierre Reverdy

Sarah Smith

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too —

Keats, Ode to Autumn

Ashley

May came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.

-E.E.Cummings

Sarah

“And there he dozed and dreamed of ale,
Till in the sky the stars were pale,
and dawn was in the air.”
The Man in the Moon Came Down Too Soon by J. R. R. Tolkien

Leigh M.

Ai, how many times have I envied his tail
as we walked together on the shores of the sea
in the lonely winter of Isla Negra
where the wintering birds filled the sky
and my hairy dog was jumping about
full of the voltage of the sea’s movement:
my wandering dog, sniffing away
with his golden tail held high,
face to face with the ocean’s spray.

From “A Dog Has Died” by Pablo Neruda

Gabriella

“The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a heav’n of hell, a hell of heav’n.”
John Milton, Paradise Lost

Nichole

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

“Invictus” by William Ernest Henley

Amberley

“As if by hand of lady fair the work had woven been,/And cups, the darlings of the eye/So deep in their vermilion dye” William Blake

Christina

“I knew a woman, lovely in her bones,
When small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them;
Ah, when she moved, she moved more ways than one:
The shapes a bright container can contain!
Of her choice virtues only gods should speak,
Or English poets who grew up on Greek
(I’d have them sing in chorus, cheek to cheek.)”
–Theodore Roethke

farah

“Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art —
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart…”
– John Keats, “Bright Star”

it may be a cliche answer, but I really do love the cadence of it

Meagan

“Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter…”

-John Keats (“Ode on a Grecian Urn,” lines 11-12)

I love how these lines represent the beauty of creativity and the imagination.

Kelly

“It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.”
Phenomenal Woman – Maya Angelou

Nellie

And warms and moves this needless frame,
(A fever could but do the same)
And, wanting where its spite to try,
Has made me live to let me die.
~ Andrew Marvell, “A Dialogue between the Body and Soul”

Pam

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings.”

Lewis Carroll

s.m.

so many wonderful lines. here’s another.
“wild for to hold, though I seem tame.” from Thomas Wyatt’s “Whoso list to hunt”

the full context is in reference to a deer:
“And graven with diamonds in letters plain,
There is written her fair neck round about,
“Noli me tangere, for Caesar’s I am,
And wild for to hold, though I seem tame.”

Cathy Graves

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

Anne Feld Lowell

Those editions are a thing of beauty (and surely a joy forever)

Here’s an equally lovely line, from Keats:

An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven’s brink.

Fanny

This is the best poem ever…

“…..I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body. I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride; so I love you because I know no other way
in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand so intimate that when you fall asleep it is my eyes that close.”

Pablo Neruda
Sonnet 17

Elizabeth Forrest Lambert

Y cuando asomas
suenan todos los ríos
en mi cuerpo, sacuden
el cielo las campanas,
y un himno llena el mundo.

(translated)

And when you appear
All the rivers sound
In my body, bells
Shake the sky,
And a hymn fills the world.

Pablo Neruda’s “La Reina

Areiel

Oh for a voice like thunder, and a tongue to drown the throat of war…
-William Blake

Sandy Boyd

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

I Know Why a Caged Bird Sings ~Maya Angelou

Ben

“So instead of getting to Heaven, at last-
I’m going, all along.”
–Emily Dickinson, “324”

I adore this poem.

molly siegler

In middle school I began studying poetry and will always remember reading “there is no frigate like a book” by Emily Dickinson. But Edna St. Vincent Millay is my absolute favorite:

I will be the gladdest thing
Under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one.

Dana V

Read this poem out loud — Gerard Manley Hopkins should always be read out loud — just for the delicious way his words feel in your mouth. They’ll fill your mouth, especially the vowels, and make your tongue dance!

Pied Beauty
by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Glory be to God for dappled things–
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced–fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise Him.

Katie C.

Now that the great dog I worshipped for years
Has become none other than myself, I can look within
And bark, and I can look at the mountains down the street
And bark at them as well. I am an eye that sees itself
Look back, a nose that tracks the scent of shadows
As they fall, an ear that picks up sounds
Before they’re born. I am the last of the platinum
Retrievers, the end of a gorgeous line.
But there’s no comfort being who I am.
I roam around and ponder fate’s abolishments
Until my eyes are filled with tears and I say to myself, “Oh Rex,
Forget. Forget. The stars are out. The marble moon slides by.”

— The second of Mark Strand’s Five Dog Poems

Elizabeth

In the mountains, there you feel free.
I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.
– T.S. Eliot

Julia

“one short sleep past; wee wake eternally
and death shall be no more: death, thou shalt die”
– john donne

Ian Thompson

…but O before the end, as the sparrows wing
each night to their secret nests in the elm’s green dome
O let the last bus bring
Love to lover, let the starveling
Dog turn the corner and lope suddenly
Miraculously, down its own street.
– “Small Comfort” by Katha Pollitt

Taron

Beautiful books!

Said the little boy, “Sometimes I drop my spoon.”
Said the old man, “I do that too.”
The little boy whispered, “I wet my pants.”
“I do that too,” laughed the little old man.
Said the little boy, “I often cry.”
The old man nodded, “So do I.”
“But worst of all,” said the boy, “it seems Grown-ups don’t pay attention to me.”
And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand.
“I know what you mean,” said the little old man.
– Shel Silverstein

Erika Bennett

“I wish Thy way. But when in I myself would rise and long for something otherwise then, Holy One, take sword and spear and slay…” -Amy Carmichael

Erin

“To tell your name the livelong June
To an admiring bog!”
~Emily Dickinson, I’m Nobody! Who are you?

Had to memorize this poem back in middle school. It resonated with me so much that, 15 years later, I can still recite it!

Kelly

My heart is warm with
The friends I make,
And better friends I’ll not
Be knowing;
Yet there isn’t a train
I wouldn’t take
No matter where it’s going.

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Caroline Glad

“I have great hopes that we shall love each other all our lives as much as if we had never married at all.”
Lord Byron

Madeline

The Certainty of Numbers, by Bruce Snider, begins: “It’s not the numbers you dislike—
the 3s or 5s or 7s—but the way
the answers leave no room for you,
the way 4 plus 2 is always 6
never 9 or 10 or Florida,
the way 3 divided by 1
is never an essay about spelunking
or poached salmon…”

Cami H.

Daydream delusion,limousine eyelash
oh,baby with your pretty face ,drop a tear in my wineglass.
Look at those big eyes,see what you mean to me.
Sweet cakes and milkshakes.
I’m a delusion angel,
i am a fantasy parade…
By: The poet on the pier, asking for change in exchange for a poem.
*I know this is not as fancy as some of the beautiful poems posted here,but i think beauty can be found in the simplest of words!

Malia

I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body
-Pablo Neruda, “I Crave Your Mouth, Your Voice, Your Hair”

Kalehua Kim

“…what good is it
to be the lime burner’s daughter
left with no trace
as if not spoken to in the act of love
as if wounded without the pleasure of a scar.

You touched
your belly to my hands
in the dry air and said
I am the cinnamon
peeler’s wife. Smell me.”
– Michael Ondaatje, “The Cinnamon Peeler”

Sarah M.

“So I wait for you like a lonely house
till you will see me again and live in me.
Till then my windows ache.”

— Pablo Neruda

Meg

“Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold”
— This is Just to Say, William Carlos Williams

Bidisha

Gorgeous cover art on the series! It was so lovely to read through the comments, it was like a taking a mini journey through favorite poets and discovering some that I never knew, made for a wonderful read.

The line that inspires me every time –

“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.”

– Robert Frost, Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening

Anna-Lee

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done,
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.
Yeats

I always loved this poem, when my boyfriend died in an accident this year and my dear grandmother (who taught me to love poetry) passed on a few months later, it became even more meaningful to me.

Meg

Oh snap! Can’t believe two posts ahead of me the same lines appeared! oh well. They are worth repeating.

marley

“Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.”
Inversnaid, Gerard Manley Hopkins

Janet L.

“Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness! / Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun…”

– John Keats, “To Autumn”

kristine

‘Love bade me welcome, yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.’

– George Herbert, Love (III)

Bernadette L.

“Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—”

-John Keats

Melissa P.

“How swiftly the strained honey
of afternoon light
flows into darkness

and the closed bud shrugs off
its special mystery
in order to break into blossom:

as if what exists, exists
so that it can be lost
and become precious.”

-Lisel Mueller

Yonghui

Who gave the form of laws to peoples, who made
Sense of the heavens, if not I? I am
Energy of moon and sun’s deep force.

the last stanza of a sestina by Diana Wynne Jones

Sandra Collins

“And as in uffish thought he stood, the Jabberwock, with eyes of flame, came whuffling through the tulgey wood and burbled as it came.”

Lewis Carroll

Daniel Gerson

I look for the way
things will turn
out spiralling from a center,
the shape
things will take to come forth in

AR Ammons (from “Poetics”)

Jackie

There is that in me – I do not know what it is – but I know it is in me.

Wrench’d and sweaty – calm and cool then my body becomes,
I sleep – I sleep long.

I do not know it – it is without name – it is a word unsaid,
It is not in any dictionary, utterance, symbol.

Something it swings on more than the earth I swing on,
To it the creation is the friend whose embracing awakes me.

Perhaps I might tell more. Outlines! I plead for my brothers and sisters

Do you see O my brothers and sisters?
It is not chaos or death – it is form, union, plan – it is eternal life – it is Happiness….

-Walt Whitman, “Song of Myself” (Section 50)

Kelly June (Intrepid Hermit)

“woman wailing for her demon lover” –from Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
I love the whole poem, but I really love the imagery and force of this line.

Poor Coleridge always played second fiddle to Wordsworth and even at one point said “As to poetry, I have altogether abandoned it, being convinced that I never had the essentials of poetic genius, and that I mistook a strong desire for original power.” Not a line from one of his poems, but isn’t reassuring to see that even geniuses have self-doubt?

Christine Gant

I have great hopes that we shall love each other all our lives as much as if we had never married at all.

~ Lord Byron

Olga Lillie Camarena

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
William Ernest Henley

Caterina

“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked /

dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix /

angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night /

who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz…”

– Allen Ginsberg, “The Howl”

Helen Liang

“how terrible to buy that absence before the fragrance of any presence comes…just the thought” Autonomy by A.R. Ammons

Laura Faye

“Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
Fled is that music: – Do I wake or sleep?”
-Keats, “Ode to a Nightingale”

JP N.

Ode to the Book

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When I close a book
I open life.

Ode to the Book – Pablo Neruda

caroline

My goodness, those books are so pretty. And I “collect” quotes that inspire me in a little journal but since this is a poem quote, I guess I can’t share those.

But my favorite line from a poem has to be this one..

“THE PEDIGREE OF THE HONEY DOES NOT CONCERN THE BEE; A CLOVER, ANY TIME, TO HIM IS ARISTOCRACY” by Emily Dickinson.

I just love it.

swati

Futility, by Wilfred Owen
—————————————————-

Move him into the sun-
Gently its touch awoke him once
At home, whispering of fields unsown
Always it woke him, even in France
Until this morning and this snow
If anything might rouse him now
The kind old sun will know.

Emily

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
– T.S. Eliot

Mary B.

“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.” – Mary Jane Iron

kim

“Love is so short, forgetting is so long”
By Pablo Neruda, from “Tonight I can write the saddest lines”
He’s my favourite, especially after watching Il Postino :)

Laurie Jordan

“i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart)”
e e cummings

Maria Folch

It’s not a line of a poem, it’s John Keats’ last request: to be placed under an unnamed tombstone which contained only the words

“Here lies one whose name was writ in water.”

The non catholic cemetery is very close to my home, here in Rome, and I go often just to stay there for a while, it is a silent and peaceful place…

Maggie

“I will arise and go now, for always night and day/ I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore; /While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray, / I hear it in the deep heart’s core.”

-William Butler Yeats, “The Lake Isle of Innisfree”

Rosie

“The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.”

W.H.Auden – Funeral Blues/Stop all the Clocks

Pabhleen Ahuja

How to live, I said, as the flame-tree lives?
-to know what the flame-tree knows;
to be prodigal of my life as that wild tree
and wear my passion so? – Judith Wright

Sallie Ferguson

In my senior year in high school, some fifty years ago, I had who I thought was the meanest teacher who ever pushed the Romantics into closed minds and out of unwilling throats. Memorization was her most used lesson plan. Why should we learn all this stuff we will never use we all questioned. Yet today, those lines often come back to me at just the right times. She was an old woman then and passed on many years ago, but so often I hear her voice as all those lines come back to me. So I think I would have to agree with John Clare’s observation that “If life had a second edition, how I would correct the proofs.” I showed no appreciation then for the lines that have served me so well since. I hope somehow she knew that someday that obstinate teenager’s proofs would be corrected.

Cara

“Je suis comme je suis
Je suis faite comme ça”

Jacques Prévert, Paroles

Sabryn

XVII. The Tyranny of Love.

Love steals unheeded o’er the tranquil mind, 
As Summer breezes fan the sleeping main,
Slow through each fibre creeps the subtle pain,
’Till closely round the yielding bosom twin’d.
Vain is the hope the magic to unbind,
The potent mischief riots in the brain,
Grasps ev’ry thought, and burns in ev’ry vein,
’Till in the heart the Tyrant lives enshrin’d.
Oh! Victor strong! bending the vanquish’d frame;
Sweet is the thraldom that thou bid’st us prove!
And sacred is the tear thy victims claim,
For blest are those whom sighs of sorrow move!
Then nymphs beware how ye profane my name,
Nor blame my weakness, till like me ye love!

From: Sappho and Phaon 
by Mary Robinson, 1796

Rie

“don’t do it on me”
From a poem my hubby wrote me about 15yrs ago, a chirpy thing to cheer me up!

Pauline Esson

I went to the same school as Byron, in Aberdeen. There’s still a desk there with his name carved in it, reputed to be by his own hand.
I love that he lived a wild and raucous life himself and also sees in a woman’s face that, which ‘tell of days in goodness spent’.

And on that cheek and o’er that brow
So soft, so calm yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow
But tell of days in goodness spent
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent.

She Walks in Beauty, Byron

Chaotic_Good

Temperate I am, yet never had a temper;
Modest I am, yet with some slight assurance;
Changeable too, yet somehow idem semper;
Patient, but not enamoured of endurance;
Cheerful, but sometimes rather apt to whimper;
Mild, but at times a sort of Hercules furens;
So that I almost think that the same skin
For one without has two or three within.

– Lord Byron “Don Juan”

Elizabeth Edgerton

“I can hear you making / small holes in the silence / rain.” Hone Tuwhare

El Thomson

what could be more romantic than? –

“O my Luve’s like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve’s like the melodie
That’s sweetly played in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry:

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.”
– Robert Burns

Charlotte

When Tom and Elizabeth took the farm
The bracken made their bed
and Quardle ardle oodle ardle wardle doodle
The magpies said

Denis Glover, “The Magpies”

Jenni Kristiina

Jag längtar till landet som icke är,
ty allting som är, är jag trött att begära.

(translated:)
I long for the land that is not,
for everything that is I am weary of craving.

by lovely Edith Södergran

Irene

The Days of Autumn

The days of autumn are translucent
painted on the forest’s golden ground …
The days of autumnsmile at all the world.
It is so good to sleep without desire,
sated with flowers, of green grown tired,
the vine’s red garland at the headboard of the bed…
The day of autumn has no longer any longing,
its fingers are so pitilessly cold,
in its dreams it glimpses everywhere
the white flakes’ ceaseless falling.
(Edith Södergran)

Trianna

When I had no roof I made
Audacity my roof. When I had
No supper my eyes dined.

When I had no eyes I listened.
When I had no ears I thought.
When I had no thought I waited.

When I had no father I made
Care my father. When I had
No mother I embraced order.

When I had no friend I made
Quiet my friend. When I had no
Enemy I opposed my body.

When I had no temple I made
My voice my temple. I have
No priest, my tongue is my choir.

Robert Pinsky

Joycelyn

Answer.

That you are here—that life exists, and identity;
That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.
– Walt Whitman, “O Me! O Life!”

Sarah Dinsmore

The books are beautiful, and I particularly like the end papers which remind me of Japanese textile designs. How nice that Faber are creating such lovely books now; hopefully this means that books will be around for a very long time alongside all the new technology available for reading.

“Complacencies of the peignoir, and late
Coffee and oranges in a sunny chair,
And the green freedom of a cockatoo
Upon a rug mingle to dissipate
The holy hush of ancient sacrifice.”

Wallace Stevens, “Sunday Morning”

Luiza

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” – T. S. Elliot

Kate Wilson

Toe upon toe, a snowing flesh,
A gold of lemon, root and rind,
She sifts in sunlight down the stairs
With nothing on. Nor on her mind.

X.J.Kennedy ‘Nude Descending a Staircase’

Richard Roper

How calm is my recess! and how the frost

Raging abroad, and the rough wind, endear

The silence and the warmth enjoyed within!

– William Cowper, ‘The Task’

James Smythe

We shall not cease from exploration,
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

– T S Eliot, Little Gidding

Martijn

Follow, poet, follow right
To the bottom of the night,
With your unconstraining voice
Still persuade us to rejoice;

– W.H. Auden, “In Memory of W.B. Yeats”

(I was initially going to post the final four lines of “The fall of Rome” but Anna has done that already.)

Wim

I am recently returned from my Italian honeymoon, where my wife and I visited the Keats-Shelley House in Rome. We were particularly enamoured with a drawing Keats made of a Grecian urn in the Louvre that was on display. “When old age shall this generation waste, | Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe | Than ours, a friend to man” (“Ode on a Grecian Urn”)

C Murray

” If you know a bit/About the Universe/It’s because you’ve taken it in/Like that/ Looked as hard/as you looked into yourself /

from ‘A Herbal’ , The Human Chain, by Seamus Heaney.

Donald F

“Though leaves are many, the root is one;
Through all the lying days of my youth
I swayed my leaves and flowers in the sun;
Now I may wither into the truth.”

– W.B. Yeats, ‘The Coming of Wisdom with Time’

(since the whole thing’s four lines, I’m hoping I can get away with it. if two is the most we can choose, I pick ll. 2-3. if one, l. 4.)

lesley barnes

The mirror crack’d from side to side;
“The curse is come upon me,” cried
The Lady of Shalott.

The Lady of Shalott by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

AND also the title one of my fav agatha christie novels!

Mickey Milner

The bulldog knows his match and waxes cold,
The badger grins and never leaves his hold.

From John Clare’s BADGER

Mary K

I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after

Wallace Stevens, “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”

Heidi

your life is your life
know it while you have it
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight in you

Charles Bukowski

Elizabeth

When the innermost point in us stands
Outside, as the most practiced distance, as the other
Side of air.
–Rainer Maria Rilke

Rilke has helped me a great deal along the way.
The covers of these books mirror the beauty of the poetry within. Great job!

rivqa

Gorgeous covers!

My favourite line(s), from Leonard Cohen’s “You’d sing too”:
You’d sing too
if you found yourself
in a place like this
You wouldn’t worry about
whether you were as good
as Ray Charles or Edith Piaf

Aurelie Paoli

This whole poem is just beautiful, but this paragraph simply resonates.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.”

Funeral Blues WH Auden

Kristie Maxa

“My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ay, my foes, and oh, my friends–
It gives a lovely light.”

Edna Saint Vincent Millay

Amalia S

I hope ‘The Tiger’ makes it to the seLection..

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

-William Blake

Trudy

Love, love, love these!

“And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.” – The Raven, Edgar Allan Poe

Sarah

Je marcherai les yeux fixés sur mes pensées,
Sans rien voir au dehors, sans entendre aucun bruit,
Seul, inconnu, le dos courbé, les mains croisées,
Triste et le jour pour moi sera comme la nuit.
– “Demain, Des l’Aube” by Victor Hugo, a beautiful poem expressing his grief over the death of his daughter Leopoldine. It’s a sad poem but the imagery is so vivid that the result is heart breaking.

Deborah/TheBookishDame

One of my life’s joys is having gorgeous collections of great works of poetry and literature. I would be so delighted to have these beautiful volumes in my library. What a brilliant idea to choose printwork inspired by Wedgwood!
So difficult to choose a single section of poetry, but, this from “Isabella; Or the Pot of Basil”

“But, for the general award of love,
The little sweet doth kill much bitterness;
……Even bees, the little almsmen of spring-bowers,
Know there is richest juice in poison-flowers.”

John Keats 1795-1821

Carrie

Yes, to touch two fingers made us worlds

‘The Knife’ – Keith Douglas

Alda

[...] I saw, in gradual vision through my tears,
The sweet, sad years, the melancholy years,
Those of my own life, who by turns had flung
A shadow across me. Straightway I was ‘ware
So weeping, how a mystic Shape did move
Behind me, and drew me backward by the hair;
And a voice said in mastery, while I strove–
“Guess now who holds thee?” — Death, I said, But there,
The silver answer rang — “Not Death, but Love.”

– Elizabeth Barret Browning, Sonnets from the Portuguese

Elouna

“I am an African / For her blue skies take my breath away
And my hope for the future is bright
I am an African / For her people greet me as family
And teach me the meaning of community
I am an African / For her wildness quenches my spirit
And brings me closer to the source of life”

– Wayne Visser

Holly

I have too many favorite poems! Since there is a beautiful John Clare book in the set and I love him, I chose a stanza from his poem, “I Am”:

I long for scenes where man has never trod;
A place where woman never smil’d or wept;
There to abide with my creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept:
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie;
The grass below–above the vaulted sky.

Tracy Dick

The chestnut-blossom,
Blown on her dress,
Seems only a sculptor’s
Cleverness. Humbert Wolfe

Michelle

Ooooooo, it can’t just be one line – you need to let the rhythm build a bit. Here’s an extract then:

It might interest you to know,
speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world,
that I am the sound of rain on the roof.

I also happen to be the shooting star,
the evening paper blowing down an alley
and the basket of chestnuts on the kitchen table.

I am also the moon in the trees
and the blind woman’s tea cup.
But don’t worry, I’m not the bread and the knife.
You are still the bread and the knife.
You will always be the bread and the knife,
not to mention the crystal goblet and–somehow–the wine.

– Litany, Billy Collins

Ali

‘Tree let your naked arms fall
nor extend vain entreaties to the radiant ball.
This is no gallant monsoon’s flash,
no dashing trade wind’s blast.
The fading green of your magic
emanations shall not make pure again
these polluted skies . . . for this
is no ordinary sun.

O tree
in the shadowless mountains
the white plains and
the drab sea floor
your end at last is written’

Hone Tuwhare, No Ordinary Sun

Katharina

“…And high above this winding length of street,
This noiseless and unpeopled avenue,
Pure, silent, solemn, beautiful, was seen
The huge majestic temple of St Paul
In awful sequestration, through a veil,
Through its own sacred veil of falling snow.”
St Paul’s by W. Wordsworth

Jennifer low

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon
The golden apples of the sun.

W.B. Yeats

Kirsten Spear

When to the heart of man
was it ever less than treason
to go with the flow of things
and give in, with a grace,
to reason?
-Robert Frost

Broche Fabian

There’s a race of men that don’t fit in,
A race that can’t stay still;
So they break the hearts of kith and kin,
And they roam the world at will.
-Robert Service, The Men That Don’t Fit In

Sydney

I love reading everyone’s favorite poems.. I’ve actually just ordered a few books :)

“There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.”

– Robert Service

Gemma

Maya Angelou – Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Tony Black

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Sonnet 18, Shakespeare – who could resist??!?

Clarabelle

Macabre but poignant:

‘What passing-bells for these who die as cattle? ‘

Wilfred Owen

Emma

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome

Love after Love by Derek Walcott.

I have this framed in my bedroom. Those books are inspiringly beautiful.

Nell

“At five in the afternoon.
It was just five in the afternoon.
A boy brought the white sheet
at five in the afternoon.
A basket of lime made ready
at five in the afternoon.
The rest was death and only death
at five in the afternoon.” Garcia Lorca from the “Lament for Ignacio Sanchez Mejias’

Ah absolutely love all of his poetry – so hard to choose. Also, I now have my sights set on these books. Perfect for a sunny sunday afternoon.

Liz

Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds

William Shakespeare, S0nnett 116

Matilda

i like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quite new a thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
– e e cummings

(I couldn’t pick just one line!)

Kate

“Opposition is true Friendship”.

William Blake

William Blake was a favorite poet of my Mom’s she named one of my brothers Blake in his honour, I in turn have named one of my sons Blake.

Alison

If they be two, they are two so
As stiff twin compasses are two
Thy soul, the fix’d foot, makes no show
To move, but doth, if the other do.

– John Donne “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning”

Ina

“AM I A PHOTOGRAPH
YOU GAZE AT IN
MOMENTS OF WEAKNESS?”
Viggo Mortensen, Coincidence Of Memory

Great giveaway – I have never before read all the comments :) Thank you!

Angela M

“Nothing in the world is single; All things by a law divine; In another’s being mingle– Why not I with thine”

-Love’s Philosophy by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Malene Hald

“And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”

– Rudyard Kipling, “If”

Loretta McCawley

I WANDERED lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;

William Wordsworth

Yumi Romero

“I too lived—Brooklyn, of ample hills, was mine;
I too walk’d the streets of Manhattan Island, and bathed in the waters around it;
I too felt the curious abrupt questionings stir within me,
In the day, among crowds of people, sometimes they came upon me,
In my walks home late at night, or as I lay in my bed, they came upon me.”

Walt Whitman- Crossing Brooklyn Ferry

Ashley

The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
The furrow followed free;
We were the first that ever burst
Into that silent sea.

Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Audrey B.

And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side 
Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride…
-Edgar Allan Poe, “Annabel Lee”

Beth

My blood aproves,
and kisses are a better fate
than wisdom
lady I swear by all flowers. Don’t cry
– the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelid’s flutter which says

we are for each other:

– e e cummings

Ryan P.

“The stars are not wanted now; put out every one.
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun.”
-W. H. Auden

Alina

They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

-Edward Lear

I love reading all the comments! Thanks for the great giveaway!

Gail Walker

To A mouse on Turning Her up in her Nest with the Plough, November, 1785

Robert Burns

I’m truly sorry man’s dominion
Has broken Nature’s social union,
An’ justifies that ill opinion
Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor earth-born companion,
An’ fellow-mortal !

Katie

“I had no time to hate because
the Grave would hinder me
and life was not so ample I
could finish enmity.

Nor had I time to love, but since
some industry must be
the little toil of love, I thought
was large enough for me.”

Emily Dickinson

I’ve been in love with this poem for about five years now. Sometimes I sit down and try to unpack its meaning (because with Dickinson, there’s almost always a subtext and a lot more said than the words themselves); other times I just enjoy its concise beauty.

Catherine Burkinshaw

Familiar acts are beautiful through love.
Percy Bysshe Shelley

Danny Lynn

“Everyone grumbled. The sky was grey.
We had nothing to do and nothing to say.
We were nearing the end of a dismal day,
And then there seemed to be nothing beyond,
Then—Daddy fell into the pond!”

– Alfred Noyes, “Daddy Fell into the Pond”

S

“But oh ye lords of ladies intellectual / Inform us truly, have they not henpeck’d you all?” Truth and comedy from Byron in Don Juan.

Pam

Beauty is truth, truth beauty – that is all
ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
Keats

On my first day of NYU film school, 32 years ago, my professor recited this line to our class and cried. I knew I was in the right place.

susan

“Put out my eyes, and I can see you still;
slam my ears to and I can hear you yet;
and without any feet can go to you;
and tongueless, I can conjure you at will.
Break off my arms, I shall take hold of you
and grasp you with my heart as with a hand;
arrest my heart, my brain will beat as true;
and if you set this brain of mine afire,
upon my blood I then will carry you.”
–Rilke
And upon the

Claire

“In such proportions we just beauties see; and in short measures, life may perfect be.” – Ben Jonson

Bree

Their faith, my tears, the world deride—
I come to shed them at their side.

-Matthew Arnold from “Stanzas from the Grand Chartreuse”

Leah

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul
-W.E. Henley

Gretchen

Oh those books are lovely!

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.

-Robert Frost

Diane

These books are beautiful! Pick me!
My favorite, from Joyce Kilmer:
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

jennifer

I sing the body electric,
The armies of those I love engirth me and I engirth them,
They will not let me off till I go with them, respond to them,
And discorrupt them, and charge them full with the charge of the
soul.
-Walt Whitman

Meg

Life is a stream
On which we strew
Petal by petal the flower of our heart;
The end lost in dream,
They float past our view,
We only watch their glad, early start.
Freighted with hope,
Crimsoned with joy,
We scatter the leaves of our opening rose;
Their widening scope,
Their distant employ,
We never shall know. And the stream as it flows
Sweeps them away,
Each one is gone
Ever beyond into infinite ways.
We alone stay
While years hurry on,
The flower fared forth, though its fragrance still stays.
-Amy Lowell, “Petals”

Gina

Wild nights! Wild nights!
Were I with thee,
Wild nights should be
Our luxury!

Emily Dickinson

Lorna Sullivan

‘… as the holy birds at the kitchen window peck into their marriage of seeds…”
from “Welcome Morning”
-Anne Sexton

Alvin

Daybreak took away
The magic of dreams,
Fragments of apparitions
That became
More tangible than words-
Echoes and reflections
Of the trust
Than men had bartered
For silence.

– Peter Skrzynecki (one of Australia’s famous poet)

This poem is an excerpt from one of Peter’s poem called ‘Crossing The Red Sea’ in which describing what Peter as a child is experiencing, feeling and his observation of the condition and situation while he was on a boat migrating to Australia from Poland.

sangeetha

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils

–William Wordsworth

Shannon

“Tie your heart at night to mine, love,
and both will defeat the darkness
like twin drums beating in the forest
against the heavy wall of wet leaves.”
– Pablo Neruda “LXXIX” from ‘Cien sonetos de amor’”

Shelley E

Poverty stole your golden shoes
but it didn’t steal your laughter
And heartache came to visit me
but i knew it wasn’t ever after
We will fight, not out of spite
for someone must stand up for what’s right
’cause where there’s a man who has no voice
there ours shall go singing

– Jewel Kilcher

Kathleen Joyal

As somewhat of a misfit student in a conventional school system, poetry was a beautiful distraction to the tumultuous years of adolescence. At the age of 12, I realized I could escape happily while reading it, and actually write my own to express my life experiences. Here is a favorite from a poetry book my parents gave me in 1978…….

When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils,
Beside the lake, beneath the trees
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

William Wordsworth

Pete Griffiths

“Love set you ticking like a fat gold watch”

Sylvia Plath

‘Morning Song’

Rohini Maris

Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.

-Jack Gilbert, “Failing and Flying”

Ruthie Wright

Grow old along with me. The best is yet be to be (Robert Browning) I love the relationship between Robert and Elizabeth Browning

Margaret Pearl

“The smallest sprout shows there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the end to arrest it,
And ceas’d the moment life appear’d.

All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.”

– Walt Whitman, “Song of Myself”

Mandy

“Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe,—
Sailed on a river of crystal light
Into a sea of dew.” Eugene Field

Peggy Cook

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

Andrea Cohn

May the light always find you
on a dreary day;
when you need to be home,
may you find your way.
May you always have courage
to take a chance,
and may you never find frogs
in your underpants.
(Author unknown)

Diana V.

Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas

Matt M

“Washing at their identity.
Now, helpless in the hollow of
An unarmorial age, a trough
Of smoke in slow suspended skeins
Above their scrap of history,
Only an attitude remains:

Time has transfigured them into
Untruth. The stone fidelity
They hardly meant has come to be
Their final blazon, and to prove
Our almost-instinct almost true:
What will survive of us is love. ”

-Philip Larkin, “An Arundel Tomb”

Vanessa

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Melissa Wongkar

Language has not the power to speak what love indites
The Soul lies buried in the ink that writes
– John Clare

Elena

But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
and loved the sorrows of your changing face.

~W.B. Yeats, “When You Are Old”

Stacey Harwood

All human history attests
That happiness for man — the hungry sinner! —
Since Eve ate apples, much depends on dinner.
Don Juan, Canto XIII by Lord Byron

Lindsay.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

Stop All the Clocks by W.H. Auden

Lindsay.

And some kind of help
is the kind of help
we all could do without.

Helping, by Shel Silverstein

Lisa

“One must have a mind of winter” is my favorite line of all time, and it’s the first line of Wallace Stevens’ The Snow Man.

Kei Tsuzuki

“Beauty is truth, truth is beauty,” — that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

– Keats, “Ode on a Grecian Urn”

I know this is a little obvious, but the quote still works for me to this day. We quoted Keats at our wedding, and named our first cat after him…

Alison Erin

Nature’s first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leaf’s a flower; But only so an hour.

Nothing Gold Can Stay, by Robert Frost.

:-)

Katy Burke

Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means
Time held me green and dying
Though I sang in my chains like the sea.
— Dylan Thomas, Fern Hill

A.W. Tran

Can any poet be more romantic than Byron?
I’ve always treasured the last stanza of “She Walks in Beauty”…

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,  
  So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,  
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,   
  But tell of days in goodness spent,  
A mind at peace with all below,  
  A heart whose love is innocent!

Mimi

What gorgeous books! And what a phenomenal set of editors. In the spirit of “Tintern Abbey” (among other poems), I’ve chosen a few lines from a poem by Robert Duncan.

Often I am permitted to return
to a meadow
as if it were a scene made-up by the mind,
that is not mine, but is a made place,

that is mine, it is so near to the heart,
an eternal pasture folded in all thought
so that there is a hall therein

that is a made place, created by light
wherefrom the shadows that are forms fall.

Braden Alexander

I grow old… I grow old…
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

“The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot.

Marisa J

And just as there are no words for the surface, that is,
No words to say what it really is, that it is not
Superficial but a visible core, then there is
No way out of the problem of pathos vs. experience.
You will stay on, restive, serene in
Your gesture which is neither embrace nor warning
But which holds something of both in pure
Affirmation that doesn’t affirm anything.

-Self Portrait in a Convex Mirror, by John Ashbery

Sheila Rae O

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.

– Leonard Cohen

Karen Seitz

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

Blaine

“I just scrubbed a behind that I know wasn’t mine, there’s too many kids in this tub”

Too Many Kids In This Tub – Shel Silverstein

janice

let us go then you and I
when the evening is spread out against the sky
like a patient etherized upon a table

love song of j. alfred prufrock
t.s.eliot

Gina

The pedigree of honey Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him Is aristocracy. – Emily Dickinson

Danae

i know someone already posted this one, but it truly is my favorite.

This Is Just To Say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

Revelle Taillon

How wonderful to read all this poetry!

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)
e.e. cummings

Vani

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”
― William Wordsworth

Linda Parvin Hutchinson

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

— Wendell Berry

Owen

they had not
noticed
the
magic.
the young man
put his head to
one side,
closed his
eyes,
pretended to
sleep.
there was nothing
else to do-
just to listen to the
sound of the
engine,
the sound of the
tires
in the
snow.

Bukowski – Nirvana

Jenna

I have two:
“If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
…Then the Earth is yours and everything in it,
And what is more – you’ll be a man my son!”
– “If” by Rudyard Kipling

“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
― Shel Silverstein

Vera

‘O Oysters, come and walk with us!
The Walrus did beseech.
‘A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each.’

The Walrus and the Carpenter – Lewis Carroll

edel

And now beside thee, bleating lamb,
I can lie down and sleep,
Or think on Him who bore thy name,
Graze after thee, and weep.
Blake

Jordan

In the tempestuous petticoat:
A careless shoe-string, in whose tie
I see a wild civility:
Do more bewitch me than when art
Is too precise in every part

-Robert Herrick “Delight in Disorder”

megan

love these! here’s a bit from Billy Collins’ “The Country”:

for one bright, shining moment
suddenly thrust ahead of his time—

now a fire-starter, now a torch-bearer
in a forgotten ritual, little brown druid
illuminating some ancient night.

Sandra

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”
-Kipling

Vlada

“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.”

From “Her Kind” by Anne Sexton

Greta

Lightly stepped a yellow star
To its lofty place,
Loosed the Moon her silver hat
From her lustral face.
All of evening softly lit
As an astral hall–
‘Father,’ I observed to Heaven,
‘You are punctual.’

-Emily Dickinson

Betsey Wolfson

She’s as sweet as tupelo honey
She’s an angel of the first degree
She’s as sweet as tupelo honey
Just like honey from the bee

Van Morrison

JOY

This tall horseman, my young man of Mars,
Scatters the gold dust from his hair, and takes
Me to pieces like a gun.

(Dunstan Thompson)

Kelly

I prefer “you” in the plural, I want “you”
You must come to me, all golden and pale
Like the dew and the air.
And then I start getting this feeling of exaltation.

From “A Blessing in Disguise,” John Ashbery

dawn

to amuse emus
on warm summer nights
kiwis do weewees
from spectacular heights

classy r us. My kids recited this once at the zoo to the emu keeper. It’s the only poem we all know by heart. Haikus on the other hand…

eilish bouchier

‘I lay my cloak under your feet
Tread softly for you tread on my dreams’

W.B. Yeats

This is a wonderful collection of quotes and has reminded me of some poetry I already love and introduced some beautiful new poets. Thank you for the inspiration. x Eilish

Judith HeartSong

The Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood . . .

Lara M

“Take away those rosy lips,
Rich with balmy treasure;
Turn away thine eyes of love,
Lest I die with pleasure!”

-From “Thine Am I, My Faithful Fair” by Robbie Burns, Scottish heartthrob and poet

Charlotte Curtis

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

– Mary Oliver, The Summer Day

Jamie @ See You There!

I just love the whimsy of this line and of his illustrations…

“And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.”

Where the Sidewalk Ends – Shel Silverstein

VCEden

What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells! / In the startled ear of night / How they scream out their affright!
(From The Bells by Edgar Allan Poe)

Myriam

Emily Dickinson:

I’m 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!

isabel

Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,

strong legs, bones and teeth,

and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered,

and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp.

Billy Collins

Carole

I thank you God for this most amazing day,
for the leaping greenly spirits of trees,
and for the blue dream of sky
and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.
e.e. cummings

Katie

“Women are meant to be loved, not to be understood” – Oscar Wilde (Irish Poet & Writer)

I saw this written on a stone in Dublin, Ireland and I love it because it is so true!

Rachel

“Then while we live, in love let’s so persevere,
That when we live no more, we may live ever.”

From To my Dear and loving Husband, by Anne Bradstreet

Annie

“They do not

mistake the lover for their own pleasure,

they are like great runners: they know they are alone

with the road surface, the cold, the wind,

the fit of their shoes, their over-all cardio-

vascular health — just factors”

Sharon Olds

Rick

“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more” – William Shakespeare Henry V

Jana

I love that this post made me think about poems I have loved, something I don’t do often enough! This is not the most profound of verses, but it feels apt as my beloved feline slumbers next to me:

How neatly a cat sleeps,
sleeps with its paws and its posture,
sleeps with its wicked claws,
and with its unfeeling blood,
sleeps with all the rings–
a series of burnt circles–
which have formed the odd geology
of its sand-colored tail.
–Pablo Neruda

andrea

“All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)” -g.m. hopkins

Dean Powell

Slightly more than one line, but whenever I recall “My Heart Leaps Up” it gives me that tingling sensation all over :)

My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!

William Wordsworth

Yvette

Ugh. I’ve probably ruined my chances, but the poem I quoted was “Who Am I , without Exile” by Mahmoud Darwish.

Sarah

Two against one is not very fun,
especially if you aren’t part of the two
-Silverstein :D

Kelly

How To Eat A Poem, by Eve Merriam

Don’t be polite.
Bite in.
Pick it up and eat the juice that may run down your chin.
It is ready and ripe now whenever you are.
You do not need a knife or fork or spoon
or plate or napkin or tablecloth
For there is no core
or stem
or rind
or pit
or seed
to throw away.

Katie Cappello

let me love what I cannot know
as the man born blind may love color
until all that he loves
fills him with color

-W.S. Merwin, “Rain”

Terry Gaskins

Life may change, but it may fly not;
Hope may vanish, but can die not;
Truth be veiled, but still it burneth;
Love repulsed, – but it returneth
P.B. Shelley

Courtney

Things do not change; we change.
Henry David Thoreau

&

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Gabrielle Kahn-Chiossone

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.
–Shel Silverstein

Katherine

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?

Mary Oliver, from “The Summer Day”

diane

Have Ithaka always in your mind.
Your arrival there is what you are destined for.
But don’t in the least hurry the journey.
Better it last for years,
so that when you reach the island you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to give you wealth.
-Cavafy

C. Paley

I love you as a sheriff searches for a walnut
That will solve a murder case unsolved for years
Because the murderer left it in the snow beside a window
Through which he saw her head, connecting with
Her shoulders by a neck, and laid a red
Roof in her heart.

-Kenneth Koch, “To You”

kc

from “Fern Hill ” by Dylan Thomas

oh as i was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
time held me green and dying
though i sang in my chains like the sea.

Kate

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
― Mary Oliver, New and Selected Poems

rosie haigh

“I try to forget what happiness was, and when that don’t work, I study the stars.”
william Shakespeare :)

Seren

The Raven is a classic indeed, and although I love the words and sentiment of the poem, I especially love the pace and movement of the poem. The words drive you forward and there’s a physical reaction. This poem inspired me to write and really was my first introduction to the power of text.

This is my favorite part:

“Be that word our sign in parting, bird or fiend,” I shrieked, upstarting-
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!- quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

Natalie

Nothing in the world is single;
All things by a law divine
In one spirit meet and mingle
Why not I with thine?

-Percy Shelley

Shannon

My lungs, duplicitous twins, expand with the utter validity
of my hate, which can never have enough of you,
Breathlessly, like two idealists in a broken submarine. -Julie Sheehan, “Hate Poem”

Tagati

Kubla Khan
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1798
——————————————————————————–

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.

Allie

And good, this danger
is danger of love, of complete love
for all life,
for all lives,
and if this love brings us
the death and the prisons,
I am sure that your big eyes,
as when I kiss them,
will then close with pride,
into double pride, love,
with your pride and my pride.

– Pablo Neruda (excerpt)

Cellabella

If I were a cinnamon peeler
I would ride your bed
and leave the yellow bark dust
on your pillow.

Michael Ondaatje

Faith

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

J.R.R. Tolkien

laura

like a ship that took me safely through the wildest storm of all- rilke

i have this engraved on a pendant- i wear it to carry the support of my family with me wherever i go

Rachel P.

To be honest, I don’t read that much poetry, or remember the good ones that I have. I seem to forget them a few days later. Either way, these books are aboslutely gorgeous, I’d love to win them. :)

Pat Martin

“I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree” Emily Dickinson
I love these journal books – the colors, the designs they just hold your eyes.

Amanda

This is a giant block of whatever is most difficult for you to carry,
& trust me on this,
you’ll carry it more times than you can count,
until you decide that’s exactly what you want to do most,
& then it won’t weigh a thing anymore.
–Brian Andreas

Ec Brown

many creatures must make, but only one must seek
within itself what to make
not bird, not badger, not beaver, not bee

Frank Bidart, Lament for the Makers

Nina

My favorite lines of poetry come from an anonymous, 8th century Irish ballad called Donal Og. The poem was translated from the original Gaelic by Lady Augusta Gregory. I read it in my first poetry class in college and was struck by its heartbreaking poignancy, timeless voice, and the modern, surreal details of the poem.

My favorite lines are from the poem’s last stanza:

“You have taken the east from me; you have taken the west from me;
you have taken what is before me and what is behind me;
you have taken the moon, you have taken the sun from me…”

Sarah-Jane

How will you ever decide? These are ALL wonderful passages!

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.”
– Rumi

Portia

First and last stanza’s of Elizabeth Bishop’s poem: One Art

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.
***
—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

Anna

The first thing that comes to mind is a line from a St. Vincent song.

“your heart is a strange little orange to peel”

I’m actually hoping to win because I think my husband would appreciate them. He’s more the poetry buff. I really like them for the design. Thanks for the giveaway!

Dorothy Hall

Choosing a favorite line. That’s difficult. Those romantics were inspired. But I never tire of GM Hopkin’s “God’s Grandeur”:

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 went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

Chills. Everytime.

Allie

So excited to see they have William Wordsworth among the collection!

One of my favorite poems of mine = Lines Written in Early Spring by WilliamWordsworth

Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And ’tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.

Barbara

It’s just too hard to pick a single, favourite poem! The lines that play round my head at any particular time will depend on what I’m reading then (at the moment I’m just blown away by Toby Martinez de las Rivas’ ‘Twenty-One Prayers for Weak or Fabulous Things’).

If I’m allowed more than one line, then maybe these from Simon Armitage’s ‘To His Lost Lover’ because the poem is both funny and poignant and actually aches:

“How he never figured out a fireproof plan,
or unravelled her hand, as if her hand

were a solid ball
of silver foil

and discovered a lifeline hiding inside it,
and measured the trace of his own alongside it.

But said some things and never meant them –
sweet nothings anybody could have mentioned.

And left unsaid some things he should have spoken,
about the heart, where it hurt exactly, and how often.”

But if I’m only allowed a single line (although I really want to give the one before it too) then it’s this one from Carol Ann Duffy’s utterly beautiful ‘Prayer’ – it is taken from the shipping forecast and shows how poets can find the music in the everyday, and everything, and how words can have an incantatory power:
“Rockall. Malin. Dogger. Finisterre.”

margo

He was my North, my South, my East and West, my morning week and my Sunday rest, my noon, my midnight, my talk, my song, I thought that love would last forever I was wrong. W H Auden (Funeral Blues)

Beth

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

-e.e. cummings

Liz

“Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy…”

Ode to a Nightingale, John Keats

margo

WH Auden (Funeral Blues)
He was my North, my South, my East and West, my morning week and my Sunday rest, my noon, my midnight, my talk, my song, I thought that love would last forever I was wrong.

Courtney Hanna-McNamara

I’m an English teacher, so choosing a favorite line of poetry is like asking a mother to choose her favorite child.

Because this is a set of Romantic period poets, and because fall is just starting to paint the leaves in shades of crimson and gold, I’ll have to choose a line from John Keats’ “To Autumn,” my favorite poem to use in class to teach about sensory images. Though I love the whole thing (the plumping hazel shells, the cider-press oozings hours by hours) my favorite line is from stanza three because it reminds me of the corn fields near my home that I see on long walks at dusk in fall:

“While barred clouds bloom the soft dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue”

Heather Lee

Because I could not stop for Death –
He kindly stopped for me –
The Carriage held but just Ourselves –
And Immortality
~ Emily Dickinson

Annie

Oh how lovely :) Thank you, Faber and D*S, for the excuse and the opportunity!

My current favourite is Emily Dickinson’s “Split the Lark,” which requires the first line and the last two, or the effect is lost (er, split):

Split the Lark–and you’ll find the Music–
………………………………………………
Scarlet Experiment! Sceptic Thomas!
Now, do you doubt that your Bird was true?

margo

He was my North, my South, my East and West, my morning week and my Sunday rest, my noon, my midnight, my talk, my song, I thought that love would last forever I was wrong.

Taken from W H Auden’s Funeral Blues

Natalie Seib

Absolutely gorgeous! I’m so excited to see Keats and Blake in there – my two favorites. My husband won my heart by reciting poetry from these two poets (among many other reasons!) Above all, the romance of these lines from “Ode on a Grecian Urn” woo me every time.
“When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st,
‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.'”
– John Keats

Aimee

Music, when soft voices die,
Vibrates in the memory —
Odours, when sweet violets sicken,
Live within the sense they quicken.
–Percy Bysshe Shelley

Sarah Moore

Christopher (“Kitty”) Smart, from “For I Will Consider My Cat Jeoffry,” _Jubilate Agno_

“For his ears are so acute that they sting again.”

Jeoffry was Smart’s sole companion when he was confined in a madhouse.

Cathie Richardson

Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,

from Bright Star by John Keats

Britta Borchers

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods;
There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar;
I love not man the less, but Nature more…
– Lord Byron

Irene K

Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse

T.S. Eliot

Heidi

Sweet babe, in thy face
Soft desires I can trace,
Secret joys and secret smiles,
Little pretty infant wiles
-William Blake

Katharine

And what else? What else do I of those years be dreaming?
Garden, where many leaves knew I and faces teeming –
Just leaves and faces in fact!… Leaf a stack crowd a stack!
My laughter – by lane’s end. Laughter so hard to hold back!
And head a hazeful of noise, in undercloud I run clear!
I have the sky’s breath– the heart! – below, treetops so near!

– Bolesław Leśmian “From Childhood Years”

Wendy

So hope for a great sea-change on the far side of revenge…
Seamus Heaney

Alisa Woodring

I hope “To a Mouse” made the Burns volume.

“Wee, sleekit, cowrin’, tim’rous beastie.”

Jacqueline

Books that are (almost!) as beautiful as the words they contain!

‘And still she slept
an azure-lidded sleep’ –John Keats

Pick me,pick me!

Alaina

These books have such a nice, classic design. The end pages are just beautiful. I’d love to feature them on my book blog if I could be lucky enough to win them.

One of my favorite poems, especially in the fall, is Les Etiquettes Jaunes by Frank O’ Hara. I love reading it out loud, particularly the last lines:

Leaf! don’t be neurotic
like the small chameleon.

anna

You have not grown old, and it is not too late
to dive into your increasing depths
where life calmly gives out its own secret.

~Rilke

Zabrina

“Tell me about the dream where we pull the bodies out of the lake
and dress them in warm clothes again.
How it was late, and no one could sleep, the horses running
until they forget that they are horses. ”
from Richard Siken’s Crush

julie

I love Love -though he has wings,
And like light can flee,
But above all other things,
Spirit, I love thee –
Thou art love and life! O come!
Make once more my heart thy home!- Percy Bysshe Shelley

i also love these books. wow. i’m sure i’m not helping my cause here, but i’ll probably buy them even if i don’t ‘win’ them.

Quinn

Edna St. Vincent Millay will always be a favorite:

“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”

Noora

Since I was a kind I’ve had a thing for a Finnish childrens’ poem called “Kaikista Paskin” by Kari Hotakainen. Loosly translated the name would be “The Shittiest of them all” and though in the poem this person goes to a shopping center and makes a total mess of it all he seems to really enjoy himself and in the end says that has never before been in such a magnificent shopping paradise.

Colleen

Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake forever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender taken breath,
And so live ever- or else swoon to death.

from Keat’s Bright Star

Katie

And I was green and carefree, famous among the barns
About the happy yard and singing as the farm was home,
In the sun that is young once only,
Time let me play and be
Golden in the mercy of his means,
And green and golden I was a huntsman and herdsman, the calves
Sang to my horn, the foxes on the hills barked clear and cold,
And the sabbath rang slowly
In the pebbles of the holy streams.
~Fern Hill, Dylan Thomas

These covers are gorgeous!

Stephanie

I take refuge in Keats’ ‘To Hope’ when I need to be reminded of the vast power and potential of my thoughts…

“Should Disappointment, parent of Despair,
Strive for her son to seize my careless heart;
When, like a cloud, he sits upon the air,
Preparing on his spell-bound prey to dart:
Chase him away, sweet Hope, with visage bright,
And fright him as the morning frightens night!”

Adele Jackson

What a beautifully bound and illustrated set of books – I love the illustrations so much!

Here’s a few lines from Robert Burns – best sung a capella by the lead singer of ‘Fairground Attraction’ Eddi Reader. The woman he wrote this poem for, Agnes McLehose was known as ‘the woman who broke Robbie Burns’ heart’

Ae Fond Kiss

Ae fond kiss, and then we sever;
Ae fareweel, alas, for ever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I’ll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I’ll wage thee.
Who shall say that Fortune grieves him,
While the star of hope she leaves him?
Me, nae cheerful twinkle lights me;
Dark despair around benights me.

Zoe Shearer

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they
Seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Longfellow – A Psalm of Life
Whenever I read these they always make my heart strong

Aubri

I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life… to put to rout all that was not life; and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
– Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Fran

Are you the leaf, the blossom or the bole?
O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,
How can we know the dancer from the dance?

–W. B. Yeats

Melissa

Needs must all please, yet some not all for need,
Needs must all toil, yet some not all for gain,
But that men taking pleasure may take heed
Whom present toil shall snatch from later pain.
Thus some have toiled, but their reward was small
Since, though they pleased, they were not heard at all.

– The Fabulists, Rudyard Kipling

Lily

“Te amo sin saber como, ni cuando, ni de donde,
te amo directamente sin problemas ni orgullo:
asi te amo porque no se amar de otra manera”
-Pablo Neruda

Translation:
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don’t know any other way of loving

More beautiful in Spanish though. <3

Jules

Not really a poem–more of a pun or epigram–but it’s been 22 years since I heard the story of John Donne and have yet to forget, “John Donne, Anne Donne, Undone.”

Deb Plapp

I would love to win these books!

Of a’ the airts wind can blaw,
I dearly love the west,
For there the bonnie lassie lives,
The lassie I lo’e best

Jean- Robert Burns

gisela

Yet even in these days so far retired
From happy pieties, thy lucent fans,
Fluttering among the faint Olympians,
I see, and sing, by my own eyes inspired.
So let me be thy choir, and make a moan
Upon the midnight hours;

John Keats – Ode to Psyche

Katie King

Not so much a poem as a quote:
Art is long, and Time is fleeting
–Longfellow–

Gwynne

“God give us leisure for these rites of love! ” William Shakespeare (Richard III)

Jane Robbins Mize

And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

-Wordsworth

Nylece Putnam

The beauty of the deep’ning night
Was lost upon my troubled mind
As in vain I sought to find
A rational solution to my plight.

“The only thing you have to do
is die,” the lovely lady said;
Not so, I thought, for in Death’s stead,
I surely must forever love you.
-R.J.Putnam
This isn’t all the poem…it’s beautiful…and it was written for me!

Debbie Onnen

may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.
– e.e. cummings

I love how irresistible stones are to children, and watching my own kids pick up stones always makes me think of these lines. Beautiful, beautiful presentation of these authors’ works!

Jenna Nicholson

Never marry but for love; but see that thou lovest what is lovely. He that minds a body and not a soul has not the better part of that relationship, and will consequently lack the noblest comfort of a married life.

Between a man and his wife nothing ought rule but love. As love ought to bring them together, so it is the best way to keep them well together.

A husband and wife that love one another show their children that they should do so too. Others visibly lose their authority in their families by their contempt of one another, and teach their children to be unnatural by their own examples.

Let not enjoyment lessen, but augment, affection; it being the basest of passions to like when we have not, what we slight when we possess.

Here it is we ought to search out our pleasure, where the field is large and full of variety, and of an enduring nature; sickness, poverty or disgrace being not able to shake it because it is not under the moving influences of worldly contingencies.

Nothing can be more entire and without reserve; nothing more zealous, affectionate and sincere; nothing more contented than such a couple, nor greater temporal felicity than to be one of them.

William Penn

Phil

It is a wild white nest
in the true mad north
of introspection

-Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Faith

Sometimes our life reminds me
of a forest in which there is a graceful clearing
and in that opening a house,
an orchard and garden,
comfortable shades, and flowers
red and yellow in the sun, a pattern
made in the light for the light to return to.
The forest is mostly dark, its ways
to be made anew day after day, the dark
richer than the light and more blessed,
provided we stay brave
enough to keep on going in.

-Wendell Berry, the Country of Marriage

Joe-Anne

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.

The very deep did rot: O Christ!
That ever this should be!
Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs
Upon the slimy sea.

My favourite Poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

amanda marie

“It took dominion everywhere. The jar was grey and bare. It did not give of bird or bush, Like nothing else in Tennessee.” – Wallace Stevens

As a 1L who feels like she never has time for creative endeavors, it’s good to know that Stevens was a lawyer and (at thirty-five) finally published some lush, bizarre poetry.

Janice Sinur

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.

Emily Dickinson

Sy Pie

Why? Because: They come from a star, live by its light,
and burn with it here in the dark outside the department store.

-Alan Dugan

Katy

“And I
Am the arrow,

The dew that flies
Suicidal, at one with the drive
Into the red

Eye, the cauldron of morning.”

This is from Sylvia Plath’s Ariel. Last line gets me every time.

Rosie WG

My atheistic self is fascinated with catholic and orthodox religions, where every mundane act is laden with heavier meanings. One of my favourite poems is Dylan Thomas’ “This bread I break”, and this is the lovely last stanza:

This flesh you break, this blood you let
Make desolation in the vein,
Wer oat and grape,
Born of the sensual root and sap;
My wine you drink, my bread you snap.

Of the poets in this series, there are two lines from John Clare’s “Autumn” that I particularly love. My partner and I were driving across the Nullabor (the dry, baking desert that covers south-central Australia) and listening to audiobooks. One of them was Clare:

Burning hot is the ground, liquid gold is the air,
Whoever looks round sees eternity there.

Katie

The purple could not keep the east,
The sunrise shook from fold,
Like breadths of topaz, packed a night,
The lady just unrolled.

Emily Dickinson

Sarah Thompson

For this I bless you as the ruin falls. The pains
You give me are more precious than all other gains. -C.S. Lewis

Heather C.

“Let us build memories in our children,
lest they drag out joyless lives,
lest they allow treasures to be lost because
they have not been given the keys.
We live, not by things, but by the meanings
of things. It is needful to transmit the passwords
from generation to generation. ” from Saint Exupery’s Generation to Generation.

Ray

O dance along the silver sand,
And beat the turtle drum,
That youth may last forever
And sorrow never come.

Ian Serraillier

Gabi

“I am he that walks with the tender and growing night” (Walt Whitman)

Bonus (by Alejandra Pizarnik, Buenos Aires, 1936-1972, with an impromptu translation):

“La rebelión consiste en mirar una rosa/hasta pulverizarse los ojos”
(Rebellion consists in staring at a rose/until your eyes are crushed.)

Nancy

The stars are distant and unobtrusive, but bright and enduring as our fairest and most memorable experiences.
– Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862)

Receiving the covers would be quite the memorable experience.

Sara

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

“This Is Just To Say” William Carlos Williams

Always thought this was a cute poem.

Daphna

What beautiful books!

Here’s the closing stanza from Richard Wilbur’s, “The Writer.” They’re lines about rescuing a trapped starling, but they’re also lines from a father to his daughter, a budding writer, about what it means not only to write but to love.

“It is always a matter, my darling,
Of life or death, as I had forgotten. I wish
What I wished you before, but harder.”

Carrie D

“Out of the ash I rise with my red hair
And eat men like air”
~Sylvia Plath

heather em

“I have you fast in my fortress,
And will not let you depart,
But put you down in the dungeon
In the round-tower of my heart.

And there will I keep you forever,
Yes, forever and a day,
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin,
And molder in dust away!”

-The Children’s Hour, Longfellow

Tarra

“I love a soul not all of wood,
Predestinated to be good,
But true to the backbone
Unto itself alone,
And false to none;
Born to its own affairs,
Its own joys and own cares;”

—H.D. Thoreau

Frances May

Nothing in the world is single,
All things by a law divine

-Percy Bysshe Shelley

anne

Who could fail to notice,

lit up in the blazing insulation,
the tiny looks of wonderment on the faces
of his fellow mice, onetime inhabitants
of what once was your house in the country?
-billy collins

Karianna

We sat grown quiet at the name of love;
We saw the last embers of daylight die,
And in the trembling blue-green of the sky
A moon, worn as if it had been a shell
Washed by time’s waters as they rose and fell
About the stars and broke in days and years.

– Yeat’s “Adam’s Curse”

heather

Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

-T.S Eliot

Hannah

“How astonishing it is that language can almost mean,
and frightening that it does not quite. ”

-The Forgotten Dialect of the Heart

Katie Giorgio

for a long time,
there were only your
footprints & laughter
in our dreams,

& even from
such small things,
we knew we couldn’t wait
to love you forever
–brian andreas

Georgie

For the eyes are signs of the soul within,
Of the heart that is leal and true,
And, my own sweetheart, I shall love you still,
Just as long as your eyes are blue.

A. B. Paterson… great Australian poet.

Jessi Peterson

Pigs upon delicate feet
Hold off the sky, trample the strength
That shall level these hills at length.

Buttoned from the blowing mist
Walk the ridges of ruined stone.
What humbles these hills has raised
The arrogance of blood and bone
And thrown the hawk upon the wind,
And lit the fox in the dripping ground.

Ted Hughes, “Crow Hill”

Robin

“Everything good between men and women is written in mud and butter and barbecue sauce.” -CD Wright

But because it’s fall, I think too of “Seasons of mist and mellow fruitfulness…” Keats, “To Autumn”

msd

I was going to pick The Lady of Shalott by Alfred Tennyson (I blame reading Anne of Green Gables as a child) but a few people have already, so, a childhood poem that always made me laugh by Ogden Nash…

Behold the hippopotamus!
We laugh at how he looks to us,
And yet in moments dank and grim,
I wonder how we look to him.

Deborah

I first read Wordswoth’s The Daffodils when I was a teenager, and the last five lines have stuck with me since. Over the last decade, I have lived in several countries on four continents (right now I live in Uganda, Africa), and these last five lines always resonate when I find myself daydreaming about the amazing places I’ve been. Then, truly, ‘my heart with pleasure fills’.

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

(William Wordsworth, The Daffodils, 1804)

Kimberley Boege

Thank you for sharing the images from these beautiful books!

A few lines from “Nightpiece” by Timothy Steele:

And when I tender the insomniac’s complaints,
It points out the universe
Isn’t sleeping, why should I
Expect more than this obscure interval
In which to read by tensor light,
Stick-figured, jointed at the waist,
Its luminous, bowed head in an old fashioned-bonnet.

Amy Ruiz

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose
– e. e. cummings (somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond)

Melinda

“But our love it was it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we –
Of many far wiser than we –
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.”

Annabel Lee by Edgar Allen Poe – I have loved this poem ever since I discovered it as a teenager.

Maggie Campbell

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

– Robert Frost

jessica w

‘I’ll love you till the ocean
Is folded and hung up to dry
And the seven stars go squawking
Like geese about the sky

WH Auden

Jennifer Newsome

And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away.

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow “The Day is Done”

Lindsey

Beautiful covers!
“I’ll love you till the ocean
Is folded and hung up to dry
And the seven stars go squawking
Like geese about the sky.”
~W.H. Auden

Maria Efstathiou

Like a bird with broken wing
that had traveled through wind for years
like a bird unable to endure
tempest and wind
the evening falls.

George Seferis, Part 1, “Hampstead,” from “Five Poems by Mr. S. Thalassinos”

TGriffith

Heart, my heart, so battered with misfortune far beyond your strength,
up, and face the men who hate us. Bare your chest to the assault
of the enemy, and fight them off. Stand fast among the beamlike spears.
Give no ground; and if you beat them, do not brag in open show,
nor, if they beat you, run home and lie down on your bed and cry

– Archilochus

Nikki Smith

Ink runs from the corners of my mouth.
There is no happiness like mine.
I have been eating poetry.

-Mark Strand

Tasneem

She dwindled, as the fair full moon doth turn
To swift decay, and burn
Her fire away

~Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti

It is not the most uplifting thing but something about the cadence of these lines always gives me chills.

joanne

THE sun descending in the west,
The evening star does shine;
The birds are silent in their nest.
And I must seek for mine.
The moon, like a flower
In heaven’s high bower,
With silent delight
Sits and smiles on the night.
-William Blake

Sarah

Thou still unravish’d bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of silence and slow time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fring’d legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?
An exerpt from “Ode on a Grecian Urn” by Keats
A high school advanced Literature class assignment was to create a depiction of the urn as we saw it through Keats’ poetry…very Design Sponge ;)

Adrian

And I waterd it in fears,
Night & morning with my tears:
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.
– from A Poison Tree by William Blake

Jennifer

Not in vain the distance beacons. Forward, forward let us range.
Let the great world spin forever down the ringing grooves of change. (Tennyson)

Shelley

I love these dramatic, melancholic lines from the Byron poem “when we two parted”. It reminds me of all the angst of my first love, break up and long recovery. Ahhh.

In secret we met—
In silence I grieve,
That thy heart could forget,
Thy spirit deceive
If I should meet thee
After long years,
How should I greet thee?–
With silence and tears.

erlfisher

So many wonderful poems! But, I am going to have to go with the very first poem I learned as a child (and it always makes me giggle)…

“I never saw a purple cow.
I never hope to see one.
But I can tell you anyhow
I’d rather see than be one.”
-Gelett Burgess

Krista Carron

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?
-William Blake

Fiona

All the rest is silence
On the other side of the wall;
And the silence ripeness,
And the ripeness all.

Auden, ‘The Sea and the Mirror’

Julia

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

-Mary Oliver, “When Death Comes”

Teri

“He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.”

Funeral Blues by W.H. Auden

Emma

We wonder. But not well! not for a minute!
Since Number Five is out of the bathroom now,
We think of lukewarm water, hope to get in it. (Kitchenette Building, Gwendolyn Brooks) (Beautiful books help turn an apartment into a home, I think. Even when the water is cold.)

Sarah P

Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number,
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you –
Ye are many – they are few.
from “The Mask of Anarchy” by Shelley

suellyn scoon

Rainer Maria Rilke
“For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror
which we are barely able to endure, and it amazes us so,
because it serenely disdains to destroy us.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke, Duino Elegies

Brynne

I love those cover designs!
My current favorite poem is a short little thing I found in a vintage children’s poetry book, “A Rocket in My Pocket”. Unfortunately, no author was listed:

Mary had a little lamb
It’s fleece was white as snow
And everywhere that Mary went
She took a bus.

Alice

She tells her love while half asleep,
In the dark hours,
With half-words whispered low:
As Earth stirs in her winter sleep
And puts out grass and flowers
Despite the snow,
Despite the falling snow.
-Robert Graves

cmg

In praise of wild nakedness:::

License my roving hands, and let them go
Behind, before, above, between, below!
Oh my America, my new found land,
My kingdom, safeliest when with one man manned,
My mine of precious stones, my Empery,
How blessed am I in this discovering thee.
—-
Full nakedness, all joys are due to thee.
As souls unbodied, bodies unclothed must be
To taste whole joys.

From John Donne’s Elegy XIX: To His Mistress Going To Bed

Alice

I hold it true, whate’er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
-Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Claire Humphreys

I wanna be yours
Iwanna be your vacuum cleaner
breathing in your dust
I wanna be your ford cortina
I will never rust
-John Cooper Clarke

Maria Speidel

As another said above, my favorite poem is a shape-shifting kind of thing, but the one I quote the most to my children?

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings.”

From the Walrus and the Carpenter by Lewis Carroll

Emilie D.

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
-John Keats

Gloria Leung

The night
Hath been to me a more familiar face
Than that of man; and in her starry shade
Of dim and solitary loveliness
I learned the language of another world.

– Lord Byron from “Manfred”

Barbara

“The wild winds weep
And the night is a-cold;
Come hither, Sleep,
And my griefs enfold!…”
Mad Song by William Blake

Shella Biallas

Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

[From a Summer's Day by Mary Oliver]

Leigh

Little fires gnaw into a grassy field.
The haunting smell of smoke and dying plants
Wonders if ashes will ever be healed,
If life will be granted a second chance.
Ironic, how the scent lingers sweetly,
As if promising us a sure renewal
Or that life revives itself concretely,
Using yesterday’s spoils as today’s fuel.
Difficult to see how drabness and grey
Could ever once again embrace the sun.
Hard to understand that death won’t betray
That life and birth are never surely done.
Here, among the remnants of scarred, dry roots,
Lies an untainted enclave of pale shoots.

Written by my dear friend, Amanda Grell, poet and junior high English teacher extraordinaire. If I won the books, they would go to her.

Laura @ Casa del Hansen

I CAUGHT this morning morning’s minion, king-
dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy!
-Gerard Manley Hopkins, “The Windhover”

Rosita

["]The deepest feeling always shows itself in silence;
not in silence, but restraint.”

“Silence” by Marianne Moore

Katie

[English translation]
“My beloved wife, I suffered while I was writing these misnamed ‘sonnets'; they hurt me and caused me grief, but the happiness I feel in offering them to you is vast as a savanna. When I set this task for myself, I knew very well that down the right sides of sonnets, with elegant discriminating taste, poets of all times have arranged rhymes that sound like silver, or crystal, or cannonfire. But–with great humility–I made these sonnets out of wood; I gave them the sound of that opaque pure substance, and that is how they should reach your ears. Walking in forests or on beaches, along hidden lakes, in lattitude sprinkled with ashes, you and I have picked up pieces of pure bark , pieces of woodsubject to the comings and goings of water and the weather. Out of such softened relics, then, with hatchet and machete and pocket knife, I built up these lumber piles of love, and with fourteen boards each I built little houses, so that your eyes, which I adore and sing to, might live in them.”

–Pablo Neruda
(excerpt from “A Matilde Urruitia)

CSF

Sadness has it’s own beauty, of course. Toward dusk,
Let us say, the river darkens and looks bruised,
And we stand looking out at it through rain.
It is as if life itself were somehow bruised,
And tender at this hour; and a few tears commence.
Not that they are but that they feel immense.

– Donald Justice

Jade

I am the daughter of earth and water,
And the nursling of the sky.
I pass through the pores of the oceans and shores,
I change but I cannot die.

Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Cloud.

Beret Isaacson

“Tam tint his reason a’ thegither,
And roars out: ‘Weel done, Cutty-sark!’
And in an instant all was dark;
And scarcely had he Maggie rallied,
When out the hellish legion sallied.”

-Robert Burns, “Tam O’ Shanter

Kim O

I think the light
appearing, then
disappearing

across the trunk of the live oak
is the boss of everything

Not You

– Michael Dickman, from “Good Friday”

Cindi

“As with a dream interpreted by one still sleeping,
The interpretation is only the next room of the dream.”
– Howard Nemerov

Frank

“They hear no sound; the swell is strong;
Though the wind hath fallen,
they drift along;
Till the vessel strikes with a shivering shock-
O Christ! it is the Inchcape rock!”

“The Inchcape Rock” by Robert Southey

Meaghan

‘…because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.’

-John Donne, “Meditation XVII”

Isabel

Thanks for the chance and all the great lines!

Seamus Heaney, #8 from “Glanmore Sonnets” (so desperate, so urgent; so uncharacteristic!)

Come to me quick, I am upstairs shaking.
My all of you birchwood in lightning.

Lauren

Tonight, in the infinitesimal light of the stars,
The trees and flowers have been strewing their cool odors.
I walk among them, but none of them are noticing.
Sometimes I think that when I am sleeping
I must most perfectly resemble them–
Thoughts gone dim.
It is more natural to me, lying down.
Then the sky and I are in open conversation,
And I shall be useful when I lie down finally:
Then the trees may touch me for once, and the flowers have time for me.
-“I am Vertical” Excerpt, Sylvia Plath

Steven

I would love to live like a river flows,
carried by the surprise of its own unfolding.
-John O’Donohue

Alisa

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more.

-Lord Byron, from “Childe Harolde”

Jenn

Haste thee, Nymph, and bring with thee
Jest, and youthful Jollity,
Quips, and Cranks, and wanton Wiles,
Nods, and Becks, and wreathed Smiles…
Sport that wrinkled Care derides,
And Laughter holding both his sides.
(Milton, excerpt from L’Allegro)

Liz

Whenever we talk, I feel
like I’m trapped
in a Beckett play.

–“Don’t Be Absurd” by Erin Beamear

Sarah

Be thou, Spirit fierce,
My spirit! Be thou me, impetuous one!
-“Ode to the West Wind,” Percy Bysshe Shelley

Amber Long

. . . I ate the day
Deliberately, that its tang
Might quicken me all into verb, pure verb.

– Seamus Heaney, “Oysters”

April Lundberg

SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun…

Heldine

you bring out the pinay in me
the sass in me smartass badass in me
the proud walker shit talker
third world girl the majority in me

by Maiana Minahal

Sarah

“If this be error and upon me proved
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.”

-Shakespeare

Kathleen

Ces malédictions, ces blasphèmes, ces plaintes,
Ces extases, ces cris, ces pleurs, ces Te Deum,
Sont un écho redit par mille labyrinthes;
C’est pour les coeurs mortels un divin opium!

It’s a stanza from one of my favorite Baudelaire poems I studied during a French poetry course, titled Les Phares. :)

Aubree

LOVE. it’s a wonderful thing, like these covers..

My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears,
And true plain hearts do in the faces rest ;
Where can we find two better hemispheres
Without sharp north, without declining west ?
Whatever dies, was not mix’d equally ;
If our two loves be one, or thou and I
Love so alike that none can slacken, none can die.

-John Donne, The Good-Morrow

Josephine

I shall but love thee better after death.
How Do I Love Thee? by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

(A very special poem my father left for me. That line says it all.)

Magnus

“Does he beat his wife with a gold-topped pipe,
when she lets the gooseberries grow too ride, or ROT,
The Akond of Swat?”
‘The Akond of Swat” by Edward Lear

M

I salute you!

There is nothing I can give you which you have not;
but there is much, that, while I cannot give, you can take.

No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today.
Take Heaven.

No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present instant.
Take Peace.

The gloom of the world is but a shadow; behind it, yet, within our reach, is joy.
Take Joy.

And so . . . I greet you, with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day breaks and the shadows flee away.

~ Fra Giovanni, early Italian Renaissance painter of religious subjects (A.D. 1513)

Michelle

the best gesture of my brain is less than your eyelid’s flutter – which says we are for each other.

ee cummings

Molly

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.
-T.S. Elliot The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Sonja Halvorson

“You can have the other words-chance, luck, coincidence, serendipity. I’ll take grace. I don’t know what it is exactly, but I’ll take it. ” -Mary Oliver

Chloe

Music I heard with you was more than music,
And bread I broke with you was more than bread.
Now that I am without you, all is desolate,
All that was once so beautiful is dead.

Your hands once touched this table and this silver,
And I have seen your fingers hold this glass.
These things do not remember you, beloved:
And yet your touch upon them will not pass.

For it was in my heart you moved among them,
And blessed them with your hands and with your eyes.
And in my heart they will remember always:
They knew you once, O beautiful and wise!
– Conrad Aiken

Charlotte D.

Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call’d him soft names in many a musèd rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die, 55
To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
In such an ecstasy!
Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain—
To thy high requiem become a sod.

– John Keats from “Ode to a Nightingale”

Kacy

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on. -Carl Sandburg, “Fog”

Margo Duke

TREES
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree

A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray,

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair

Upon whose blossom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems were made by fools like me
But only God can make a tree.
­Joyce Kilmer

Haley

“No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
out of a love poem that you used to know by heart. ”

“Forgetfulness”
Billy Collins

Kate

The imperfect is our paradise.
Note that in this bitterness, delight,
Since the imperfect is so hot in us
Lies in flawed words and stubborn sounds.

Wallace Stevens

christine dietz

you see, i want a lot.
maybe i want it all:
the darkness of each endless fall,
the shimmering light of each ascent.

Ranier Maria Rilke

CATE

I know this is too late for entering the competition, but I thought I’d leave a comment to say how delightful I think this artwork is- a fitting tribute to such beautiful poetry!

‘His words. How they tone up, then polarize or identify certain pleasures. Activate some as yet unexercised part. But the beautiful surface is always involved with seduction.’
–Kathleen Fraser

Sarah King Head

Yet Nature is the builder, and contrives
Homes for her children’s comfort, even here ;
Where Solitude’s disciples spend their lives
Unseen, save when a wanderer passes near
That loves such pleasant places. Deep adown,
The nest is made a hermit’s mossy cell.
Snug lie her curious eggs in number five,
Of deadened green, or rather olive brown ;
And the old prickly thorn-bush guards them well.
So here we’ll leave them, still unknown to wrong,
As the old woodland’s legacy of song.

John Clare’s “The Nightingale’s Nest” (1832)

Elizabeth Fraser

I
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P
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d
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v
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d
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f
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c
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s
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m
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t
e
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m
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m
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d
a
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Il Pleut by Guillaume Appolinaire (1916)

Cameron

“I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.”
– John Masefield

Kaylise

So I love you because I know no other way
than this: Where I does not exist, nor you
So close that your hand on my chest is my hand
So close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

Pablo Neruda

Catherine

End of the year, of spring; wind, renouncing the world, leaves
The empty harvested fields with a farewell call to the bees –
Rabindranath Tagore

Ericka

no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
e.e cummings
i carry your heart

jo

Ode to a Nightingale

…and singing still dost soar and soaring ever singest.

PJB

Allison

The birds around me hopp’d and play’d,
Their thoughts I cannot measure,
But the least motion which they made
It seem’d a thrill of pleasure.

William Wordsworth (Words Written in Early Spring, 1875)

Donna Betty

This sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everthing, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. -Great God!
~Wordsworth
Donna Betty I love poetry and reading and always have. Now that I’m housebound it’s so wonderful to be able to “leave” in my mind
Thank You for this and I’ll read all the comments.
Very cool.

Donna Betty

This sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everthing, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. -Great God!
~Wordsworth

Phyllis

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too…
–John Keats

tracylee

when are we going to know who won?? the suspense is killin me here :)

Zivile Januleviciute

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;

Elizabeth Barrett Browning
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.

Ivy Esquero

Carnal Apple, Woman Filled, Burning Moon
-Pablo Neruda
“Love is a war of lightning,
and two bodies ruined by a single sweetness.”

Martha

Who won the books? Did Faber pick their favorites? Just curious.

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