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new: faber book covers + giveaway

by Grace Bonney


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!






Suggested For You

Comments

  • 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

  • «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

  • “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)

  • 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….”

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

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

  • 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.

  • 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!”

  • “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 :)

  • “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!!**

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

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

  • 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

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

  • 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

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

    (and oh, how true.)

  • 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

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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”

  • “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.

  • 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”

  • “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”

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

  • “…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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • ‘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

  • 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

  • ” …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”

  • “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

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

  • ” 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

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

  • “…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.

  • 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

  • `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

  • 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

  • “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!

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

  • 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

  • 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”

  • 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

  • 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)

  • “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.

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

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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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!)

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

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

    from Keats’ “Ode on Indolence”

  • 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

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

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

    – Marge Piercy

  • 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”

  • 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

  • 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

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

    Oscar Wilde

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.”

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • “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.

  • 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”

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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”

  • 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.

  • 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

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

  • 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

  • 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

  • “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

  • 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

  • “That inward eye
    Which is the bliss of solitude”

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

  • “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 :)

  • 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

  • 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)

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

  • 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”

  • 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.

  • 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”

  • 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

  • “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!

  • 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”

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

    –Pablo Neruda, Love Song (trans)

  • 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

  • “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.

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • IN A STATION OF THE METRO

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

    -Ezra Pound

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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)

  • “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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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!!

  • 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)

  • 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

  • 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

  • “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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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

  • ”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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • “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

  • “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

  • 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 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.

  • 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

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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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”

  • 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

  • “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

  • 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.”

  • ” 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

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

    ― Khalil Gibran

  • 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

  • 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

  • “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!

  • 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

  • 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

  • “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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

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

    -since feeling is first, ee cummings

  • “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!

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

    William Blake

  • 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

  • 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]

  • 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).

  • 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

  • “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

  • 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

  • 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!

  • 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”

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

  • 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

  • These are beautiful!

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

    Octavio Paz

  • so much depends
    upon

    a red wheel
    barrow

    glazed with rain
    water

    beside the white
    chickens.

    William Carlos Williams

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

    —Carol Frost, “All Summer Long”

  • 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

  • “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”

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

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

  • 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

  • “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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • “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

  • 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.

  • “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)

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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”

  • 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.

  • 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

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

  • “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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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

  • “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)

  • “…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

  • 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

  • …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

  • “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

  • 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”

  • 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

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

    –In the Station of the Metro by Ezra Pound

  • 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.”

  • 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

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

    Emily Dickinson

  • “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.

  • 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!

  • “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

  • “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.

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

  • 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

  • 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.

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

    James Wright (from A Blessing)

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

    mary oliver

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

  • 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

  • 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

  • …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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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”)

  • 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”

  • 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)

  • 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”

  • “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

  • “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

  • (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

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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)

  • 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!

  • 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…)

  • 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)

  • His beak is focussed; he is preoccupied,

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

    Elizabeth Bishop, Sandpiper

  • “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.

  • “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

  • “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

  • 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;

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • ooooh these are sooo beautiful.

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

  • “…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

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

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

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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 !

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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…

  • “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)

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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)

  • 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.

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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

    Pablo Neruda , White Bee

  • 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

  • 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)

  • Forgive me
    they were delicious
    so sweet
    and so cold

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

  • 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

  • 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!

  • 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,”

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

    Ode on a Grecian Urn, John Keats

  • “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

  • 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.”

  • “`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.

  • 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

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

  • 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

  • “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

  • 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

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

    Dean Young, “Scarecrow on Fire”

  • 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!).

  • 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’

  • 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)

  • 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

  • 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,

  • “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

  • 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.

  • 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”

  • 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

  • “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.

  • “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

  • 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

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

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

  • “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

  • 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

  • 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

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

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

    – Neil Gaiman

  • 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

  • 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”

  • 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

  • ‘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

  • 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

  • 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

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

  • 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)

  • —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

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

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

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

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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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,

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.”

  • 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

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

  • 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

  • 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

  • [?] 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

  • “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

  • 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

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

    Keats, Ode to Autumn

  • “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

  • 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

  • “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

  • 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

  • “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

  • “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

  • “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

  • “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.

  • “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

  • 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”

  • “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

  • 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.”

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

    Robert Frost

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

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

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

  • …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

  • 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

  • “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!

  • 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

  • “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

  • 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…”

  • 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!

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

  • “…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”

  • 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

  • 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.

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

    – John Keats, “To Autumn”

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

    – George Herbert, Love (III)

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

    -John Keats

  • “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

  • 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

  • “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

  • 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”)

  • 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)

  • “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?

  • 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

  • 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

  • “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”

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

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

  • Ode to the Book

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    When I close a book
    I open life.

    Ode to the Book – Pablo Neruda

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • “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

  • “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 :)

  • 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…

  • “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”

  • “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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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”

  • 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

  • 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”

  • 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

  • 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)

  • 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

  • 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!”

  • 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”

  • 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’

  • 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’

  • 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

  • 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.)

  • 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”)

  • ” 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.

  • “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.)

  • 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!

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

    From John Clare’s BADGER

  • 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”

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

    Charles Bukowski

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Love, love, love these!

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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • […] 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

  • “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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • ‘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

  • “…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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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??!?

  • 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.

  • “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.

  • 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!)

  • “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.

  • 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”

  • “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!

  • “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

  • 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

  • “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

  • 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

  • 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”

  • 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

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

  • 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!

  • 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 !

  • “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.

  • “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”

  • “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.

  • 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.

  • “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

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

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

    -Matthew Arnold from “Stanzas from the Grand Chartreuse”

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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”

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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • “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’”

  • 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

  • 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

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

  • “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”

  • “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

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

    Robert Frost

  • 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)

  • “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”

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

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

  • 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

  • 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

  • “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.

  • “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…

  • 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.

    :-)

  • 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

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

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

    – Leonard Cohen

  • 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

  • “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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • ‘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

  • 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

  • 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”

  • 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.

  • 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

  • “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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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)

  • 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

  • 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…

  • ‘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

  • “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

  • 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

  • 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)

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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

  • “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!

  • “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

  • “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

  • 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

  • “All things counter, original, spare, strange;
    Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)” -g.m. hopkins

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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”

  • 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

  • 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”

  • 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.

  • “Tell me, what is it you plan to do
    with your one wild and precious life?”
    ― Mary Oliver, New and Selected Poems

  • “I try to forget what happiness was, and when that don’t work, I study the stars.”
    william Shakespeare :)

  • 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.”

  • 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

  • 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”

  • 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.

  • 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)

  • If I were a cinnamon peeler
    I would ride your bed
    and leave the yellow bark dust
    on your pillow.

    Michael Ondaatje

  • 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

  • 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