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Flatted Fifths   by Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes
Little cullud boys with beards
re-bop be-bop mop and stop.

Little cullud boys with fears,
frantic, kick their CC years
into flatted fifths and flatter beers
that at a sudden change become
sparkling Oriental wines
rich and strange
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93
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If-ing by Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes
If I had some small change
I’d buy me a mule,
Get on that mule and
Ride like a fool.

If I had some greenbacks
I’d buy me a Packard,
Fill it up with gas and
Drive that baby backward.
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64
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Proem by Martin Carter
Martin Carter
Not, in the saying of you, are you
said. Baffled and like a root
stopped by a stone you turn back questioning
the tree you feed. But what the leaves hear
is not what the roots ask. Inexhaustibly,
being at one time what was to be said
and at another time what has been said
the saying of you remains the living of you
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36
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February 30th by Frederick Seidel
Frederick Seidel
The speckled pigeon standing on the ledge
Outside the window is Jack Kennedy—
Standing on one leg and looking jerkily around
And staring straight into the room at me.

Ask not what your country can do for you—
Ask what you can do for your country.
Here’s how.
That wouldn’t be the way I’d do it.
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49
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The Season of Phantasmal Peace by Derek Walcott
Derek Walcott
Then all the nations of birds lifted together
the huge net of the shadows of this earth
in multitudinous dialects, twittering tongues,
stitching and crossing it. They lifted up
the shadows of long pines down trackless slopes,
the shadows of glass-faced towers down evening streets,
the shadow of a frail plant on a city sill—
the net rising soundless as night, the birds' cries soundless, until
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36
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'According to the Mighty Working' by Thomas Hardy
Thomas Hardy

I

When moiling seems at cease
In the vague void of night-time,
And heaven's wide roomage stormless
Between the dusk and light-time,
And fear at last is formless,
We call the allurement Peace.

II

Peace, this hid riot, Change,
This revel of quick-cued mumming,
This never truly being,
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44
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Conduct by Samuel Greenberg
Samuel Greenberg
By a peninsula the painter sat and
Sketched the uneven valley groves.
The apostle gave alms to the
Meek. The volcano burst
In fusive sulphur and hurled
Rocks and ore into the air—
Heaven’s sudden change at
The drawing tempestuous,
Darkening shade of dense clouded hues.
The wanderer soon chose
His spot of rest; they bore the
Chosen hero upon their shoulders,
Whom they strangely admired, as
The beach-tide summer of people desired.
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43
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The Beginning of Speech by Adonis
Adonis
The child I was came to me
once,
a strange face
He said nothing We walked
each of us glancing at the other in silence, our steps
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34
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Things to Do in New York (City) by Ted Berrigan
Ted Berrigan
for Peter Schjeldahl
Wake up high up
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46
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Book 1, Epigram 5: Ad lectorem de subjecto operis sui. by Thomas Bastard
Thomas Bastard
The little world, the subject of my muse,
Is a huge task and labor infinite;
Like to a wilderness or mass confuse,
Or to an endless gulf, or to the night:
How many strangeMeandersdo I find?
How many paths do turn my straying pen?
How many doubtful twilights make me blind,
Which seek to limb out this strange All of men?
Easy it were the earth to portray out,
Or to draw forth the heavens’ purest frame,
Whose restless course, by order whirls about
Of change and place, and still remains the same.
But how shall man’s, or manner’s, form appear,
Which while I write, do change from what they were?

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38
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Mechanism by A. R. Ammons
A. R. Ammons
Honor a going thing, goldfinch, corporation, tree,
morality: any working order,
animate or inanimate: it

has managed directed balance,
the incoming and outgoing energies are working right,
some energy left to the mechanism,

some ash, enough energy held
to maintain the order in repair,
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35
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Waterlily Fire by Muriel Rukeyser
Muriel Rukeyser
for Richard Griffith 1 THE BURNING

Girl grown woman fire mother of fire
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49
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To a Reason by Arthur Rimbaud
Arthur Rimbaud
A tap of your finger on the drum releases all sounds and initiates the new harmony.
A step of yours is the conscription of the new men and their marching orders.
You look away: the new love!
You look back,—the new love!
“Change our fates, shoot down the plagues, beginning with time,” the children sing to you. “Build wherever you can the substance of our fortunes and our wishes,” they beg you.
Arriving from always, you’ll go away everywhere.
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35
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from Canto CXV by Ezra Pound
Ezra Pound
The scientists are in terror
and the European mind stops
Wyndham Lewis chose blindness
rather than have his mind stop.
Night under wind mid garofani,
the petals are almost still
Mozart, Linnaeus, Sulmona,
When one’s friends hate each other
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32
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The Kingfishers by Charles Olson
Charles Olson
1

What does not change / is the will to change

He woke, fully clothed, in his bed. He
remembered only one thing, the birds, how
when he came in, he had gone around the rooms
and got them back in their cage, the green one first,
she with the bad leg, and then the blue,
the one they had hoped was a male
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45
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Teach Me by Donald (Grady) Davidson
Donald (Grady) Davidson
Teach me, old World, your passion of slow change,
Your calm of stars, watching the turn of earth,
Patient of man, and never thinking strange
The mad red crash of each new system’s birth.

Teach me, for I would know your beauty’s way
That waits and changes with each changing sun,
No dawn so fair but promises a day
Of other perfectness than men have won.

Teach me, old World, not as vain men have taught,
—Unpatient song, nor words of hollow brass,
Nor men’s dismay whose powerfullest thought
Is woe that they and worlds alike must pass.

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43
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Magnitudes by Howard Nemerov
Howard Nemerov
Earth’s Wrath at our assaults is slow to come
But relentless when it does. It has to do
With catastrophic change, and with the limit
At which one order more of Magnitude
Will bring us to a qualitative change
And disasters drastically different
From those we daily have to know about.

As with the speed of light, where speed itself
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33
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Wedding-Ring by Denise Levertov
Denise Levertov
My wedding-ring lies in a basket
as if at the bottom of a well.
Nothing will come to fish it back up
and onto my finger again.
It lies
among keys to abandoned houses,
nails waiting to be needed and hammered
into some wall,
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35
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The Man with Night Sweats by Thom Gunn
Thom Gunn
I wake up cold, I who
Prospered through dreams of heat
Wake to their residue,
Sweat, and a clinging sheet.

My flesh was its own shield:
Where it was gashed, it healed.

I grew as I explored
The body I could trust
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26
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Envy by Mary Lamb
Mary Lamb
This rose-tree is not made to bear
The violet blue, nor lily fair,
Nor the sweet mignionet:
And if this tree were discontent,
Or wished to change its natural bent,
It all in vain would fret.

And should it fret, you would suppose
It ne’er had seen its own red rose,
Nor after gentle shower
Had ever smelled its rose’s scent,
Or it could ne’er be discontent
With its own pretty flower.

Like such a blind and senseless tree
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29
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For a Girl I Know about to Be a Woman by Miller Williams
Miller Williams
Because you’ll find how hard it can be
to tell which part of your body sings,
you never should dally with any young man
who does any one of the following things:

tries to beat all the yellow lights;
says, “Big deal!” or “So what?”
more than seven times a day;
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34
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“And Change, with hurried hand, has swept these scenes” by Frederick Goddard Tuckerman
Frederick Goddard Tuckerman
from Sonnets, Second Series

XVIII

And Change, with hurried hand, has swept these scenes:
The woods have fallen; across the meadow-lot
The hunter’s trail and trap-path is forgot;
And fire has drunk the swamps of evergreens!
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33
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The Mother’s Return by Dorothy Wordsworth
Dorothy Wordsworth
A month, sweet Little-ones, is past
Since your dear Mother went away,
And she tomorrow will return;
Tomorrow is the happy day.

O blessed tidings! thoughts of joy!
The eldest heard with steady glee;
Silent he stood; then laughed amain,
And shouted, ‘Mother, come to me!’

Louder and louder did he shout,
With witless hope to bring her near!
‘Nay, patience! patience, little boy;
Your tender mother cannot hear.’

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41
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Strikers in Hyde Park by Louise Imogen Guiney
Louise Imogen Guiney
A woof reversed the fatal shuttles weave,
How slow! but never once they slip the thread.
Hither, upon the Georgian idler’s tread,
Up spacious ways the lindens interleave,
Clouding the royal air since yester-eve,
Come men bereft of time and scant of bread,
Loud, who were dumb, immortal, who were dead,
Thro’ the cowed world their kingdom to retrieve.

What ails thee, England? Altar, mart, and grange
Dream of the knife by night; not so, not so
The clear Republic waits the general throe,
Along her noonday mountains’ open range.
God be with both! for one is young to know
The other’s rote of evil and of change.
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A Substance in a Cushion by Gertrude Stein
Gertrude Stein
The change of color is likely and a difference a very little difference is prepared. Sugar is not a vegetable.

Callous is something that hardening leaves behind what will be soft if there is a genuine interest in there being present as many girls as men. Does this change. It shows that dirt is clean when there is a volume.

A cushion has that cover. Supposing you do not like to change, supposing it is very clean that there is no change in appearance, supposing that there is regularity and a costume is that any the worse than an oyster and an exchange. Come to season that is there any extreme use in feather and cotton. Is there not much more joy in a table and more chairs and very likely roundness and a place to put them.

A circle of fine card board and a chance to see a tassel.

What is the use of a violent kind of delightfulness if there is no pleasure in not getting tired of it. The question does not come before there is a quotation. In any kind of place there is a top to covering and it is a pleasure at any rate there is some venturing in refusing to believe nonsense. It shows what use there is in a whole piece if one uses it and it is extreme and very likely the little things could be dearer but in any case there is a bargain and if there is the best thing to do is to take it away and wear it and then be reckless be reckless and resolved on returning gratitude.

Light blue and the same red with purple makes a change. It shows that there is no mistake. Any pink shows that and very likely it is reasonable. Very likely there should not be a finer fancy present. Some increase means a calamity and this is the best preparation for three and more being together. A little calm is so ordinary and in any case there is sweetness and some of that.

A seal and matches and a swan and ivy and a suit.

A closet, a closet does not connect under the bed. The band if it is white and black, the band has a green string. A sight a whole sight and a little groan grinding makes a trimming such a sweet singing trimming and a red thing not a round thing but a white thing, a red thing and a white thing.

The disgrace is not in carelessness nor even in sewing it comes out out of the way.

What is the sash like. The sash is not like anything mustard it is not like a same thing that has stripes, it is not even more hurt than that, it has a little top.

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36
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1492 by Emma Lazarus
Emma Lazarus
Thou two-faced year, Mother of Change and Fate,
Didst weep when Spain cast forth with flaming sword,
The children of the prophets of the Lord,
Prince, priest, and people, spurned by zealot hate.
Hounded from sea to sea, from state to state,
The West refused them, and the East abhorred.
No anchorage the known world could afford,
Close-locked was every port, barred every gate.
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35
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Before Parting by Algernon Charles Swinburne
Algernon Charles Swinburne
A month or twain to live on honeycomb
Is pleasant; but one tires of scented time,
Cold sweet recurrence of accepted rhyme,
And that strong purple under juice and foam
Where the wine’s heart has burst;
Nor feel the latter kisses like the first.

Once yet, this poor one time; I will not pray
Even to change the bitterness of it,
The bitter taste ensuing on the sweet,
To make your tears fall where your soft hair lay
All blurred and heavy in some perfumed wise
Over my face and eyes.

And yet who knows what end the scythèd wheat
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56
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Caelica 22: I, with whose colours Myra dress’d her head by Baron Brooke Fulke Greville
Baron Brooke Fulke Greville
I, with whose colours Myra dress’d her head,
I, that ware posies of her own hand-making,
I, that mine own name in the chimneys read
By Myra finely wrought ere I was waking:
Must I look on, in hope time coming may
With change bring back my turn again to play?

I, that on Sunday at the church-stile found
A garland sweet, with true-love knots in flowers,
Which I to wear about mine arm was bound,
That each of us might know that all was ours:
Must I now lead an idle life in wishes,
And follow Cupid for his loaves and fishes?

I, that did wear the ring her mother left,
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33
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Constancy by John Wilmot Earl of Rochester
John Wilmot Earl of Rochester
I cannot change, as others do,
Though you unjustly scorn;
Since that poor swain, that sighs for you
For you alone was born.
No, Phyllis, no, your heart to move
A surer way I’ll try:
And to revenge my slighted love,
Will still love on, will still love on, and die.
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30
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Corsons Inlet by A. R. Ammons
A. R. Ammons
I went for a walk over the dunes again this morning
to the sea,
then turned right along
the surf
rounded a naked headland
and returned

along the inlet shore:

it was muggy sunny, the wind from the sea steady and high,
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36
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Days by Janet Loxley Lewis
Janet Loxley Lewis
Swift and subtle
The flying shuttle
Crosses the web
And fills the loom,
Leaving for range
Of choice or change
No room, no room.
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30
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The Garden by Jones Very
Jones Very
I saw the spot where our first parents dwelt;
And yet it wore to me no face of change,
For while amid its fields and groves, I felt
As if I had not sinned, nor thought it strange;
My eye seemed but a part of every sight,
My ear heard music in each sound that rose;
Each sense forever found a new delight,
Such as the spirit’s vision only knows;
Each act some new and ever-varying joy
Did my Father’s love for me prepare;
To dress the spot my ever fresh employ,
And in the glorious whole with Him to share;
No more without the flaming gate to stray,
No more for sin’s dark stain the debt of death to pay.

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30
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Hangzhou, Lake of the Poets by Marie Ponsot
Marie Ponsot
MORNING

Reading the bones, wetting a fingertip
to trace archaic characters, I feel
a breeze of silence flow up past my wrist,
icy. Can I speak here? The bones say I must.
As the first light strikes across the lake, magpies
scream, and the cast bones say the work must come true,
it’s been true all along, we are what we do
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36
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Modern Love: XLIX by George Meredith
George Meredith
He found her by the ocean’s moaning verge,
Nor any wicked change in her discerned;
And she believed his old love had returned,
Which was her exultation, and her scourge.
She took his hand, and walked with him, and seemed
The wife he sought, though shadow-like and dry.
She had one terror, lest her heart should sigh,
And tell her loudly that she no longer dreamed.
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48
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Need by Babette Deutsch
Babette Deutsch
What do we need for love—a midnight fire
Flinging itself by fistfuls up the chimney
In soft bright snatches? Do we need the snow,
Gentle as silence, covering the scars
Of weeks of hunger, years of shabby having?
Summer or winter? A heaven of stars? A room?
The smiling mouth, the sadness of desire
Are everywhere the same. If lovers go
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38
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On Gut by Ben Jonson
Ben Jonson
Gut eats all day and lechers all the night;
So all his meat he tasteth over twice;
And, striving so to double his delight,
He makes himself a thoroughfare of vice.
Thus in his belly can he change a sin:
Lust it comes out, that gluttony went in.
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28
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Pied Booty by Dabney Stuart
Dabney Stuart
Glory be to God for sexy things—
For cries of coupled lovers as they bind and bow;
For moles that on her hip’ll make his dolphin swim,
Fresh and fired up; nutty balls; G-strings;
Lovescapes pulsing and flesh-shoaled—furrow and plow;
And all shapes, their leer and freckle and whim.

All people dumpy, bald, regressive, strange;
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32
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Riprap by Gary Snyder
Gary Snyder
Lay down these words
Before your mind like rocks.
placed solid, by hands
In choice of place, set
Before the body of the mind
in space and time:
Solidity of bark, leaf, or wall
riprap of things:
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29
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Sonnet 20: A woman’s face with nature’s own hand painted by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
A woman’s face with nature’s own hand painted
Hast thou, the master-mistress of my passion;
A woman’s gentle heart, but not acquainted
With shifting change as is false women’s fashion;
An eye more bright than theirs, less false in rolling,
Gilding the object whereupon it gazeth;
A man in hue, all hues in his controlling,
Which steals men’s eyes and women’s souls amazeth.
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Sonnet 76: Why is my verse so barren of new pride by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
Why is my verse so barren of new pride,
So far from variation or quick change?
Why with the time do I not glance aside
To new-found methods, and to compounds strange?
Why write I still all one, ever the same,
And keep invention in a noted weed,
That every word doth almost tell my name,
Showing their birth, and where they did proceed?
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43
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The Woman at the Washington Zoo by Randall Jarrell
Randall Jarrell
The saris go by me from the embassies.

Cloth from the moon. Cloth from another planet.
They look back at the leopard like the leopard.

And I....
this print of mine, that has kept its color
Alive through so many cleanings; this dull null
Navy I wear to work, and wear from work, and so
To my bed, so to my grave, with no
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32
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Woman's Constancy by John Donne
John Donne
Now thou has loved me one whole day,
Tomorrow when you leav’st, what wilt thou say?
Wilt thou then antedate some new-made vow?
Or say that now
We are not just those persons which we were?
Or, that oaths made in reverential fear
Of Love, and his wrath, any may forswear?
Or, as true deaths true marriages untie,
So lovers’ contracts, images of those,
Bind but till sleep, death’s image, them unloose?
Or, your own end to justify,
For having purposed change and falsehood, you
Can have no way but falsehood to be true?
Vain lunatic, against these ‘scapes I could
Dispute and conquer, if I would,
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41
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“Actuarial File” by Jean Valentine
Jean Valentine
Orange peels, burned letters, the car lights shining on the grass,
everything goes somewhere—and everything we do—nothing
ever disappears. But changes. The roar of the sun in photographs.
Inching shorelines. Ice lines. The cells of our skin; our meetings,
our solitudes. Our eyes.

A bee careens at the window here; flies out, released: a life
without harm, without shame. That woman, my friend,
circling against her life, a married life; that man, my friend,
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32
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After Midnight by Louis Simpson
Louis Simpson
The dark streets are deserted,
With only a drugstore glowing
Softly, like a sleeping body;

With one white, naked bulb
In the back, that shines
On suicides and abortions.

Who lives in these dark houses?
I am suddenly aware
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62
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An Afternoon at the Beach by Edgar Bowers
Edgar Bowers
I’ll go among the dead to see my friend.
The place I leave is beautiful: the sea
Repeats the winds’ far swell in its long sound,
And, there beside it, houses solemnly
Shine with the modest courage of the land,
While swimmers try the verge of what they see.

I cannot go, although I should pretend
Some final self whose phantom eye could see
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32
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Amor Vincit Omnia by Edgar Bowers
Edgar Bowers
Love is no more.
It died as the mind dies: the pure desire
Relinquishing the blissful form it wore,
The ample joy and clarity expire.

Regret is vain.
Then do not grieve for what you would efface,
The sudden failure of the past, the pain
Of its unwilling change, and the disgrace.
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38
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And Thou art Dead, as Young and Fair by Lord Byron (George Gordon)
Lord Byron (George Gordon)
And thou art dead, as young and fair
As aught of mortal birth;
And form so soft, and charms so rare,
Too soon return'd to Earth!
Though Earth receiv'd them in her bed,
And o'er the spot the crowd may tread
In carelessness or mirth,
There is an eye which could not brook
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33
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At the Bomb Testing Site by William E. Stafford
William E. Stafford
At noon in the desert a panting lizard
waited for history, its elbows tense,
watching the curve of a particular road
as if something might happen.

It was looking at something farther off
than people could see, an important scene
acted in stone for little selves
at the flute end of consequences.
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25
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Brother by Mary Ann Hoberman
Mary Ann Hoberman
I had a little brother
And I brought him to my mother
And I said I want another
Little brother for a change.
But she said don’t be a bother
So I took him to my father
And I said this little bother
Of a brother’s very strange.
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49
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A Complaint by William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth
There is a change—and I am poor;
Your love hath been, nor long ago,
A fountain at my fond heart's door,
Whose only business was to flow;
And flow it did; not taking heed
Of its own bounty, or my need.

What happy moments did I count!
Blest was I then all bliss above!
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50
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Conrad Siever by Edgar Lee Masters
Edgar Lee Masters
Not in that wasted garden
Where bodies are drawn into grass
That feeds no flocks, and into evergreens
That bear no fruit —
There where along the shaded walks
Vain sighs are heard,
And vainer dreams are dreamed
Of close communion with departed souls —
But here under the apple tree
I loved and watched and pruned
With gnarled hands
In the long, long years;
Here under the roots of this northern-spy
To move in the chemic change and circle of life,
Into the soil and into the flesh of the tree,
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50
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from Doctor Drink, #1 by J. V. Cunningham
J. V. Cunningham
In the thirtieth year of life
I took my heart to be my wife,

And as I turn in bed by night
I have my heart for my delight.

No other heart may mine estrange
For my heart changes as I change,

And it is bound, and I am free,
And with my death it dies with me.
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30
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Dust of Snow by Robert Frost
Robert Frost
The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree

Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.
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40
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Eleventh Song by Sir Philip Sidney
Sir Philip Sidney
"Who is it that this dark night
Underneath my window plaineth?"
It is one who from thy sight
Being, ah, exil'd, disdaineth
Every other vulgar light.

"Why, alas, and are you he?
Be not yet those fancies changed?"
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93
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The House of Life: 36. Life-in-Love by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Not in thy body is thy life at all
But in this lady's lips and hands and eyes;
Through these she yields thee life that vivifies
What else were sorrow's servant and death's thrall.
Look on thyself without her, and recall
The waste remembrance and forlorn surmise
That liv'd but in a dead-drawn breath of sighs
O'er vanish'd hours and hours eventual.
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31
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The House of Life: 66. The Heart of the Night by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
From child to youth; from youth to arduous man;
From lethargy to fever of the heart;
From faithful life to dream-dower'd days apart;
From trust to doubt; from doubt to brink of ban;—
Thus much of change in one swift cycle ran
Till now. Alas, the soul!—how soon must she
Accept her primal immortality,—
The flesh resume its dust whence it began?
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48
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In Memoriam A. H. H. OBIIT MDCCCXXXIII: 30 by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
With trembling fingers did we weave
The holly round the Christmas hearth;
A rainy cloud possess'd the earth,
And sadly fell our Christmas-eve.

At our old pastimes in the hall
We gambol'd, making vain pretence
Of gladness, with an awful sense
Of one mute Shadow watching all.

We paused: the winds were in the beech:
We heard them sweep the winter land;
And in a circle hand-in-hand
Sat silent, looking each at each.

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41
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Is it Possible by Sir Thomas Wyatt
Sir Thomas Wyatt
Is it possible
That so high debate,
So sharp, so sore, and of such rate,
Should end so soon and was begun so late?
Is it possible?

Is it possible
So cruel intent,
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41
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Mutability "The flower that smiles to-day" by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Percy Bysshe Shelley
The flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow dies;
All that we wish to stay
Tempts and then flies.
What is this world's delight?
Lightning that mocks the night,
Brief even as bright.

Virtue, how frail it is!
Friendship how rare!
Love, how it sells poor bliss
For proud despair!
But we, though soon they fall,
Survive their joy, and all
Which ours we call.
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41
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October, 1803 by William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth

These times strike monied worldlings with dismay:
Even rich men, brave by nature, taint the air
With words of apprehension and despair:
While tens of thousands, thinking on the affray,
Men unto whom sufficient for the day
And minds not stinted or untilled are given,
Sound, healthy, children of the God of heaven,
Are cheerful as the rising sun in May.
What do we gather hence but firmer faith
That every gift of noble origin
Is breathed upon by Hope's perpetual breath;
That virtue and the faculties within
Are vital,—and that riches are akin
To fear, to change, to cowardice, and death?
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38
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Pied Beauty by Gerard Manley Hopkins
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 áll trádes, 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.
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41
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Song from Arcadia: “My True Love Hath My Heart” by Sir Philip Sidney
Sir Philip Sidney
My true-love hath my heart and I have his,
By just exchange one for the other given:
I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss;
There never was a bargain better driven.
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.
His heart his wound received from my sight;
My heart was wounded with his wounded heart;
For as from me on him his hurt did light,
So still, methought, in me his hurt did smart:
Both equal hurt, in this change sought our bliss,
My true love hath my heart and I have his.

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31
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Song: to Celia “Drink to me only with thine eyes” by Ben Jonson
Ben Jonson
Drink to me only with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss but in the cup,
And I’ll not look for wine.
The thirst that from the soul doth rise
Doth ask a drink divine;
But might I of Jove’s nectar sup,
I would not change for thine.

I sent thee late a rosy wreath,
Not so much honouring thee
As giving it a hope, that there
It could not withered be.
But thou thereon didst only breathe,
And sent’st it back to me;
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28
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Sonnet 15: When I consider everything that grows by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
When I consider everything that grows
Holds in perfection but a little moment,
That this huge stage presenteth nought but shows
Whereon the stars in secret influence comment;
When I perceive that men as plants increase,
Cheered and check'd even by the selfsame sky,
Vaunt in their youthful sap, at height decrease,
And wear their brave state out of memory;
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46
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Sonnet 29: When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
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42
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Sonnets from the Portuguese 14: If thou must love me, let it be for nought by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Except for love's sake only. Do not say
I love her for her smile ... her look ... her way
Of speaking gently, ... for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day'—
For these things in themselves, Belovèd, may
Be changed, or change for thee,—and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity's wiping my cheeks dry,—
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!
But love me for love's sake, that evermore
Thou may'st love on, through love's eternity.
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34
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Sonnets from the Portuguese 35: If I leave all for thee, wilt thou exchange by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
If I leave all for thee, wilt thou exchange
And be all to me? Shall I never miss
Home-talk and blessing and the common kiss
That comes to each in turn, nor count it strange,
When I look up, to drop on a new range
Of walls and floors ... another home than this?
Nay, wilt thou fill that place by me which is
Filled by dead eyes too tender to know change?
That's hardest. If to conquer love, has tried,
To conquer grief, tries more ... as all things prove;
For grief indeed is love and grief beside.
Alas, I have grieved so I am hard to love.
Yet love me—wilt thou? Open thine heart wide,
And fold within, the wet wings of thy dove.
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30
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The World Below the Brine by Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
The world below the brine,
Forests at the bottom of the sea, the branches and leaves,
Sea-lettuce, vast lichens, strange flowers and seeds, the thick tangle, openings, and pink turf,
Different colors, pale gray and green, purple, white, and gold, the play of light through the water,
Dumb swimmers there among the rocks, coral, gluten, grass, rushes, and the aliment of the swimmers,
Sluggish existences grazing there suspended, or slowly crawling close to the bottom,
The sperm-whale at the surface blowing air and spray, or disporting with his flukes,
The leaden-eyed shark, the walrus, the turtle, the hairy sea-leopard, and the sting-ray,
Passions there, wars, pursuits, tribes, sight in those ocean-depths, breathing that thick-breathing air, as so many do,
The change thence to the sight here, and to the subtle air breathed by beings like us who walk this sphere,
The change onward from ours to that of beings who walk other spheres.
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42
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Young Woman by Howard Nemerov
Howard Nemerov
Naked before the glass she said,
“I see my body as no man has,
Nor any shall unless I wed
And naked in a stranger’s house
Stand timid beside his bed.
There is no pity in the flesh.”

“Or else I shall grow old,” she said,
“Alone, and change my likeliness
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31
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