Food

F
Going Wrong by Jack Gilbert
Jack Gilbert
The fish are dreadful. They are brought up
the mountain in the dawn most days, beautiful
and alien and cold from night under the sea,
the grand rooms fading from their flat eyes.
Soft machinery of the dark, the man thinks,
washing them. "What can you know of my machinery!"
demands the Lord. Sure, the man says quietly
and cuts into them, laying back the dozen struts,
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A Psalm of Abraham of That Which Was Visited upon Him by A. M. Klein
A. M. Klein
A prowler in the mansion of my blood!
I have not seen him, but I know his signs.
Sometimes I hear him meddling with my food,
Or in the cellar, poisoning my wines, ⁠—

Yet face to face with him I never come;
But by a foot print, by a book misplaced,
Or by the imprint of an inky thumb,
Or by the next day’s meal, a strange new taste,
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What Shall I Tell My Children Who Are Black (Reflections of an African-American Mother) by Margaret Burroughs
Margaret Burroughs
1963 What shall I tell my children who are black
Of what it means to be a captive in this dark skin
What shall I tell my dear one, fruit of my womb,
Of how beautiful they are when everywhere they turn
They are faced with abhorrence of everything that is black.
Villains are black with black hearts.
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The Day by Peter Everwine
Peter Everwine
We walked at the edge of the sea, the dog,
still young then, running ahead of us.

Few people. Gulls. A flock of pelicans
circled beyond the swells, then closed
their wings and dropped head-long
into the dazzle of light and sea. You clapped
your hands; the day grew brilliant.

Later we sat at a small table
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Women Whose Lives are Food, Men Whose Lives are Money by Joyce Carol Oates
Joyce Carol Oates
Mid-morning Monday she is staring
peaceful as the rain in that shallow back yard
she wears flannel bedroom slippers
she is sipping coffee
she is thinking—
—gazing at the weedy bumpy yard
at the faces beginning to take shape
in the wavy mud
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Of Molluscs by May Sarton
May Sarton
As the tide rises, the closed mollusc
Opens a fraction to the ocean's food,
Bathed in its riches. Do not ask
What force would do, or if force could.

A knife is of no use against a fortress.
You might break it to pieces as gulls do.
No, only the rising tide and its slow progress
Opens the shell. Lovers, I tell you true.
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Oh, Fly by Jane Yolen
Jane Yolen
Oh, fly,
you flew
onto
my leaf
and not
my food.
What a relief!
For on my food
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Thanks by W. S. Merwin
W. S. Merwin
Listen
with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water thanking it
standing by the windows looking out
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To be of use by Marge Piercy
Marge Piercy
The people I love the best
jump into work head first
without dallying in the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element,
the black sleek heads of seals
bouncing like half-submerged balls.

I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
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Joining the Colours by Katharine Tynan
Katharine Tynan
There they go marching all in step so gay!
Smooth-cheeked and golden, food for shells and guns.
Blithely they go as to a wedding day,
The mothers' sons.

The drab street stares to see them row on row
On the high tram-tops, singing like the lark.
Too careless-gay for courage, singing they go
Into the dark.

With tin whistles, mouth-organs, any noise,
They pipe the way to glory and the grave;
Foolish and young, the gay and golden boys
Love cannot save.

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Not to Live by John Berryman
John Berryman
(Jamestown 1957) It kissed us, soft, to cut our throats, this coast,
like a malice of the lazy King. I hunt,
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The Café Filtre by Paul Blackburn
Paul Blackburn
Slowly and with persistence
he eats away at the big steak,
gobbles up the asparagus, its
butter & salt & root taste,
drinks at a glass of red wine, and carefully
taking his time, mops up
the gravy with bread—
The top of the café filtre is
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from “The Desk” by Marina Tsvetaeva
Marina Tsvetaeva

Fair enough: you people have eaten me,
I—wrote you down.
They’ll lay you out on a dinner table,
me—on this desk.

I’ve been happy with little.
There are dishes I’ve never tried.
But you, you people eat slowly, and often;
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Book 2, Epigram 4: Ad Henricum Wottonum.   by Thomas Bastard
Thomas Bastard
Wotton,the country and the country swain,
How can they yield a Poet any sense?
How can they stir him up, or heat his vein?
How can they feed him with intelligence?
You have that fire which can a wit enflame,
In happy London England’s fairest eye:
Well may you Poets’ have of worthy name,
Which have the food and life of Poetry.
And yet the country or the town may sway,
Or bear a part, as clowns do in a play.

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Food of Love by Carolyn Kizer
Carolyn Kizer
Eating is touch carried to the bitter end.
Samuel Butler II  I’m going to murder you with love;
I’m going to suffocate you with embraces;
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Beautiful Habit by Tom Raworth
Tom Raworth
(for Ed and Jenny)  greetings
as the door opened
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The Owl by Edward Thomas
Edward Thomas
Downhill I came, hungry, and yet not starved;
Cold, yet had heat within me that was proof
Against the North wind; tired, yet so that rest
Had seemed the sweetest thing under a roof.

Then at the inn I had food, fire, and rest,
Knowing how hungry, cold, and tired was I.
All of the night was quite barred out except
An owl’s cry, a most melancholy cry

Shaken out long and clear upon the hill,
No merry note, nor cause of merriment,
But one telling me plain what I escaped
And others could not, that night, as in I went.

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Tuning by Keith Waldrop
Keith Waldrop
Herr Stimmung—purblind—moves in corporeal time.

Think how many, by now, have escaped the world’s memory.

Think, how all his wandering is only thought. Having once tried to
live in the quasi-stupor of sensation, now he picks his way through
areas of spilth, seeking the least among infinite evils.

His hope: intermittent.

To a person so little conscious, what would it mean to die? Though
he feels, true enough, death’s wither-clench. Thinking always of
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A Declaration, Not of Independence by Ralph Salisbury
Ralph Salisbury
for my mother and father Apparently I’m Mom’s immaculately-conceived
Irish-American son, because,
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“Majesty” by Keith Waldrop
Keith Waldrop
Among other economies, I’m of two
minds, one possessed, the other
a deep peace. Violent trembling
seizes me, launched in the interval.

Enemy of children, of quaint little
things, of jokes and pictures. Enemy
of comic papers and caricatures, of
water-drinking. Too short for tragedy.
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The Little Odyssey of Jason Quint, of Science, Doctor by Thomas McGrath
Thomas McGrath
1.

Betrayed by his five mechanic agents, falling
Captive to consciousness, he summons light
To all its duties, and assumes the world
Like a common penance. Rust on the green tongue burns
Like history’s corrosive on his living tree.
But all the monsters of his sleep’s dark sea
Are tame familiars in the morning sun.
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Hard-time blues by William Waring Cuney
William Waring Cuney
Went down home ’bout a year ago
things so bad, Lord, my heart was sore.
Folks had nothing was a sin and shame
every-body said hard time was the blame.
Great-God-a-mighty folks feeling bad
lost every thing they ever had.

Sun was shining fourteen days and no rain
hoeing and planting was all in vain.
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Sabbath lie by Yehuda Amichai
Yehuda Amichai
On Friday, at twilight of a summer day
While the smells of food and prayer rose from every house
And the sound of the Sabbath angels’ wings was in the air,
While still a child I started to lie to my father:
“I went to another synagogue.”

I don’t know if he believed me or not
But the taste of the lie was good and sweet on my tongue
And in all the houses that night
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I Am the People, the Mob by Carl Sandburg
Carl Sandburg
I am the people—the mob—the crowd—the mass.
Do you know that all the great work of the world is done through me?
I am the workingman, the inventor, the maker of the world’s food and clothes.
I am the audience that witnesses history. The Napoleons come from me and the Lincolns. They die. And then I send forth more Napoleons and Lincolns.
I am the seed ground. I am a prairie that will stand for much plowing. Terrible storms pass over me. I forget. The best of me is sucked out and wasted. I forget. Everything but Death comes to me and makes me work and give up what I have. And I forget.
Sometimes I growl, shake myself and spatter a few red drops for history to remember. Then—I forget.
When I, the People, learn to remember, when I, the People, use the lessons of yesterday and no longer forget who robbed me last year, who played me for a fool—then there will be no speaker in all the world say the name: “The People,” with any fleck of a sneer in his voice or any far-off smile of derision.
The mob—the crowd—the mass—will arrive then.
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Another Insane Devotion by Gerald Stern
Gerald Stern
This was gruesome—fighting over a ham sandwich
with one of the tiny cats of Rome, he leaped
on my arm and half hung on to the food and half
hung on to my shirt and coat. I tore it apart
and let him have his portion, I think I lifted him
down, sandwich and all, on the sidewalk and sat
with my own sandwich beside him, maybe I petted
his bony head and felt him shiver. I have
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Christian Virtues by Charlotte Anna Perkins Gilman
Charlotte Anna Perkins Gilman
Oh, dear!
The Christian virtues will disappear!
Nowhere on land or sea
Will be room for charity!
Nowhere, in field or city,
A person to help or pity!
Better for them, no doubt,
Not to need helping out
Of their old miry ditch.
But, alas for us, the rich!
For we shall lose, you see,
Our boasted charity!—
Lose all the pride and joy
Of giving the poor employ,
And money, and food, and love
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A Song: “Men of England” by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Men of England, wherefore plough
For the lords who lay ye low?
Wherefore weave with toil and care
The rich robes your tyrants wear?

Wherefore feed and clothe and save
From the cradle to the grave
Those ungrateful drones who would
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Tall Ambrosia by Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau
Among the signs of autumn I perceive
The Roman wormwood (called by learned men
Ambrosia elatior, food for gods,—
For to impartial science the humblest weed
Is as immortal once as the proudest flower—)
Sprinkles its yellow dust over my shoes
As I cross the now neglected garden.
—We trample under foot the food of gods
And spill their nectar in each drop of dew—
My honest shoes, fast friends that never stray
Far from my couch, thus powdered, countryfied,
Bearing many a mile the marks of their adventure,
At the post-house disgrace the Gallic gloss
Of those well dressed ones who no morning dew
Nor Roman wormwood ever have been through,
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The Two Boys by Mary Lamb
Mary Lamb
I saw a boy with eager eye
Open a book upon a stall,
And read as he’d devour it all;
Which when the stall-man did espy,
Soon to the boy I heard him call,
‘You, Sir, you never buy a book,
Therefore in one you shall not look.’
The boy passed slowly on, and with a sigh
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from Letter in April: VII by Inger Christensen
Inger Christensen
On the street
with our money
clutched
in our hands,
buying bread
and scattering breadcrumbs
for the bluish
doves.
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from Beachy Head by Charlotte Smith
Charlotte Smith
On thy stupendous summit, rock sublime!
That o’er the channel reared, half way at sea
The mariner at early morning hails,
I would recline; while Fancy should go forth,
And represent the strange and awful hour
Of vast concussion; when the Omnipotent
Stretched forth his arm, and rent the solid hills,
Bidding the impetuous main flood rush between
The rifted shores, and from the continent
Eternally divided this green isle.
Imperial lord of the high southern coast!
From thy projecting head-land I would mark
Far in the east the shades of night disperse,
Melting and thinned, as from the dark blue wave
Emerging, brilliant rays of arrowy light
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Fame is a fickle food (1702) by Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickinson
Fame is a fickle food
Upon a shifting plate
Whose table once a
Guest but not
The second time is set
Whose crumbs the crows inspect
And with ironic caw
Flap past it to the
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Floating Island by Dorothy Wordsworth
Dorothy Wordsworth
Harmonious Powers with Nature work
On sky, earth, river, lake, and sea:
Sunshine and storm, whirlwind and breeze
All in one duteous task agree.

Once did I see a slip of earth,
By throbbing waves long undermined,
Loosed from its hold; — how no one knew
But all might see it float, obedient to the wind.

Might see it, from the mossy shore
Dissevered float upon the Lake,
Float, with its crest of trees adorned
On which the warbling birds their pastime take.

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Passing the shop after school... by Charles Reznikoff
Charles Reznikoff
Passing the shop after school, he would look up at the sign
and go on, glad that his own life had to do with books.
Now at night when he saw the grey in his parents’ hair and
heard their talk of that day’s worries and the next:
lack of orders, if orders, lack of workers, if workers, lack of
goods, if there were workers and goods, lack of orders
again,
for the tenth time he said, “I’m going in with you: there’s more
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1977: Poem for Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer by June Jordan
June Jordan
You used to say, “June?
Honey when you come down here you
supposed to stay with me. Where
else?”
Meanin home
against the beer the shotguns and the
point of view of whitemen don’
never see Black anybodies without
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Care for Thy Soul as Thing of Greatest Price by William Byrd
William Byrd
Care for thy soul as thing of greatest price,
Made to the end to taste of power divine,
Devoid of guilt, abhorring sin and vice,
Apt by God’s grace to virtue to incline.
Care for it so as by thy retchless train
It be not brought to taste eternal pain.

Care for thy corse, but chiefly for soul’s sake;
Cut off excess, sustaining food is best;
To vanquish pride but comely clothing take;
Seek after skill, deep ignorance detest.
Care so, I say, the flesh to feed and clothe
That thou harm not thy soul and body both.

Care for the world to do thy body right;
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The Conqueror Worm by Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe
Lo! ’t is a gala night
Within the lonesome latter years!
An angel throng, bewinged, bedight
In veils, and drowned in tears,
Sit in a theatre, to see
A play of hopes and fears,
While the orchestra breathes fitfully
The music of the spheres.

Mimes, in the form of God on high,
Mutter and mumble low,
And hither and thither fly—
Mere puppets they, who come and go
At bidding of vast formless things
That shift the scenery to and fro,
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the difference between a bad poet and a good one is luck by Charles Bukowski
Charles Bukowski
I suppose so.
I was living in an attic in Philadelphia
It became very hot in the summer and so I stayed in the
bars. I didn’t have any money and so with what was almost left
I put a small ad in the paper and said I was a writer
looking for work . . .
which was a god damned lie; I was a writer
looking for a little time and a little food and some
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Divine Epigrams: On the Miracle of the Multiplied Loaves by Richard Crashaw
Richard Crashaw
See here an easy feast that knows no wound,
That under hunger’s teeth will needs be sound;
A subtle harvest of unbounded bread,
What would ye more? Here food itself is fed.

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Failing and Flying by Jack Gilbert
Jack Gilbert
Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.
It's the same when love comes to an end,
or the marriage fails and people say
they knew it was a mistake, that everybody
said it would never work. That she was
old enough to know better. But anything
worth doing is worth doing badly.
Like being there by that summer ocean
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A Few Rules for Beginners by Katherine Mansfield
Katherine Mansfield
Babies must not eat the coal
And they must not make grimaces,
Nor in party dresses roll
And must never black their faces.

They must learn that pointing’s rude,
They must sit quite still at table,
And must always eat the food
Put before them—if they’re able.
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Fragments: Mrs. Reuben Chandler writes to her husband during a cholera epidemic by Anne Stevenson
Anne Stevenson
note: Most of this journal, written on shipboard, seems to have been destroyed, probably by fire. What remains suggests that Mrs. Chandler journeyed to New Orleans without her husband's permission, thus becoming indirectly the cause of her baby's death. August, 1849 EN ROUTE FROM NEW YORK TO NEW ORLEANS
ABOARD THE 'GENERAL WAYNE'

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The friend by Marge Piercy
Marge Piercy
We sat across the table.
he said, cut off your hands.
they are always poking at things.
they might touch me.
I said yes.

Food grew cold on the table.
he said, burn your body.
it is not clean and smells like sex.
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Goodbye to Tolerance by Denise Levertov
Denise Levertov
Genial poets, pink-faced
earnest wits—
you have given the world
some choice morsels,
gobbets of language presented
as one presents T-bone steak
and Cherries Jubilee.
Goodbye, goodbye,
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The Ivy Green by Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens
Oh, a dainty plant is the Ivy green,
That creepeth o’er ruins old!
Of right choice food are his meals, I ween,
In his cell so lone and cold.
The wall must be crumbled, the stone decayed,
To pleasure his dainty whim:
And the mouldering dust that years have made
Is a merry meal for him.
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Lioness Asleep by Babette Deutsch
Babette Deutsch
Content that now the bleeding bone be swept
Out of her reach, she lay upon her side.
In a blonde void sunk deep, she slept, she slept
Bland as a child, slept, breathing like a bride.
Color of noons that shimmer as they sing
Above the dunes, her sandy flanks heaved slow.
Between her paws curled inward, billowing
Waves of desert silence seemed to flow.
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Nature, That Washed Her Hands in Milk by Sir Walter Ralegh
Sir Walter Ralegh
Nature, that washed her hands in milk,
And had forgot to dry them,
Instead of earth took snow and silk,
At love’s request to try them,
If she a mistress could compose
To please love’s fancy out of those.

Her eyes he would should be of light,
A violet breath, and lips of jelly;
Her hair not black, nor overbright,
And of the softest down her belly;
As for her inside he’d have it
Only of wantonness and wit.

At love’s entreaty such a one
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A New York Child’s Garden of Verses by Franklin Pierce Adams
Franklin Pierce Adams
(With the usual.) I

In winter I get up at night,
And dress by an electric light.
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O Tan-Faced Prairie-Boy by Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
O tan-faced prairie-boy,
Before you came to camp came many a welcome gift,
Praises and presents came and nourishing food, till at last among the recruits,
You came, taciturn, with nothing to give – we but look’d on each other,
When lo! more than all the gifts of the world you gave me.

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Prisoners by Denise Levertov
Denise Levertov
Though the road turn at last
to death’s ordinary door,
and we knock there, ready
to enter and it opens
easily for us,
yet
all the long journey
we shall have gone in chains,
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A Roundelay between Two Shepherds by Michael Drayton
Michael Drayton
1 Shep. Tell me, thou gentle shepherd swain,
Who’s yonder in the vale is set?
2 Shep. Oh, it is she, whose sweets do stain
The lily, rose, the violet!

1 Shep. Why doth the sun against his kind,
Fix his bright chariot in the skies?
2 Shep. Because the sun is stricken blind
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Statement with Rhymes by Weldon Kees
Weldon Kees
Plurality is all. I walk among the restaurants,
the theatres, the grocery stores; I ride the cars
and hear of Mrs. Bedford’s teeth and Albuquerque,
strikes unsettled, someone’s simply marvelous date,
news of the German Jews, the baseball scores,
storetalk and whoretalk, talk of wars. I turn
the pages of a thousand books to read
the names of Buddha, Malthus, Walker Evans, Stendhal, André Gide,
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When I Heard at the Close of the Day by Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
When I heard at the close of the day how my name had been receiv’d with plaudits in the capitol, still it was not a happy night for me that follow’d,
And else when I carous’d, or when my plans were accomplish’d, still I was not happy,
But the day when I rose at dawn from the bed of perfect health, refresh’d, singing, inhaling the ripe breath of autumn,
When I saw the full moon in the west grow pale and disappear in the morning light,
When I wander’d alone over the beach, and undressing bathed, laughing with the cool waters, and saw the sun rise,
And when I thought how my dear friend my lover was on his way coming, O then I was happy,
O then each breath tasted sweeter, and all that day my food nourish’d me more, and the beautiful day pass’d well,
And the next came with equal joy, and with the next at evening came my friend,
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If  See No End In Is by Frank Bidart
Frank Bidart
What none knows is when, not if.
Now that your life nears its end
when you turn back what you see
is ruin. You think, It is a prison. No,
it is a vast resonating chamber in
which each thing you say or do is

new, but the same. What none knows is
how to change. Each plateau you reach, if
single, limited, only itself, in-
cludes traces of  all the others, so that in the end
limitation frees you, there is no
end, if   you once see what is there to see.

You cannot see what is there to see —
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Astrophil and Stella 71: Who will in fairest book of nature know  by Sir Philip Sidney
Sir Philip Sidney
Who will in fairest book of nature know
How virtue may best lodg'd in beauty be,
Let him but learn of love to read in thee,
Stella, those fair lines which true goodness show.
There shall he find all vices' overthrow,
Not by rude force, but sweetest sovereignty
Of reason, from whose light those night-birds fly;
That inward sun in thine eyes shineth so.
And, not content to be perfection's heir
Thyself, dost strive all minds that way to move,
Who mark in thee what is in thee most fair.
So while thy beauty draws thy heart to love,
As fast thy virtue bends that love to good:
But "Ah," Desire still cries, "Give me some food!"
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Bess by William E. Stafford
William E. Stafford
Ours are the streets where Bess first met her
cancer. She went to work every day past the
secure houses. At her job in the library
she arranged better and better flowers, and when
students asked for books her hand went out
to help. In the last year of her life
she had to keep her friends from knowing
how happy they were. She listened while they
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FLIGHT TO LIMBO by John Updike
John Updike
(At What Used to Be Called Idlewild) The line didn’t move, though there were not
many people in it. In a half-hearted light
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The Housewife by Charlotte Anna Perkins Gilman
Charlotte Anna Perkins Gilman
Here is the House to hold me — cradle of all the race;
Here is my lord and my love, here are my children dear —
Here is the House enclosing, the dear-loved dwelling place;
Why should I ever weary for aught that I find not here?

Here for the hours of the day and the hours of the night;
Bound with the bands of Duty, rivetted tight;
Duty older than Adam — Duty that saw
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I am the Living Bread: Meditation Eight: John 6:51 by Edward Taylor
Edward Taylor
I kening through Astronomy Divine
The Worlds bright Battlement, wherein I spy
A Golden Path my Pensill cannot line,
From that bright Throne unto my Threshold ly.
And while my puzzled thoughts about it pore
I finde the Bread of Life in't at my doore.

When that this Bird of Paradise put in
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I Believe by Robert W. Service
Robert W. Service
It’s my belief that every man
Should do his share of work,
And in our economic plan
No citizen should shirk.
That in return each one should get
His meed of fold and food,
And feel that all his toil and sweat
Is for the common good.
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Iambicum Trimetrum by Edmund Spenser
Edmund Spenser
Unhappy verse, the witness of my unhappy state,
Make thy self flutt'ring wings of thy fast flying
Thought, and fly forth unto my love, wheresoever she be:
Whether lying restless in heavy bed, or else
Sitting so cheerless at the cheerful board, or else
Playing alone careless on her heavenly virginals.
If in bed, tell her, that my eyes can take no rest:
If at board, tell her, that my mouth can eat no meat:
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Internal Migration: On Being on Tour by Alan Dugan
Alan Dugan
As an American traveler I have
to remember not to get actionably mad
about the way things are around here.
Tomorrow I’ll be a thousand miles away
from the way it is around here. I will
keep my temper, I will not kill the dog
next door, nor will I kill the next-door wife,
both of whom are crazy and aggressive
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Koheleth by Louis Untermeyer
Louis Untermeyer
I waited and worked
To win myself leisure,
Till loneliness irked
And I turned to raw pleasure.

I drank and I gamed,
I feasted and wasted,
Till, sick and ashamed,
The food stood untasted.
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A Shropshire Lad 35: On the idle hill of summer by A. E. Housman
A. E. Housman
On the idle hill of summer,
Sleepy with the flow of streams,
Far I hear the steady drummer
Drumming like a noise in dreams.

Far and near and low and louder
On the roads of earth go by,
Dear to friends and food for powder,
Soldiers marching, all to die.

East and west on fields forgotten
Bleach the bones of comrades slain,
Lovely lads and dead and rotten;
None that go return again.

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Song: “Under the greenwood tree” by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
(fromAs You Like It) Under the greenwood tree
Who loves to lie with me,
And turn his merry note
Unto the sweet bird's throat,
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Stella's Birthday March 13, 1727 by Jonathan Swift
Jonathan Swift
This day, whate'er the Fates decree,
Shall still be kept with joy by me:
This day then let us not be told,
That you are sick, and I grown old;
Nor think on our approaching ills,
And talk of spectacles and pills.
To-morrow will be time enough
To hear such mortifying stuff.
Yet, since from reason may be brought
A better and more pleasing thought,
Which can, in spite of all decays,
Support a few remaining days:
From not the gravest of divines
Accept for once some serious lines.

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Thoughtless Cruelty by Charles Lamb
Charles Lamb
There, Robert, you have kill'd that fly — ,
And should you thousand ages try
The life you've taken to supply,
You could not do it.

You surely must have been devoid
Of thought and sense, to have destroy'd
A thing which no way you annoy'd —
You'll one day rue it.
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Walking on Tiptoe by Ted Kooser
Ted Kooser
Long ago we quit lifting our heels
like the others—horse, dog, and tiger—
though we thrill to their speed
as they flee. Even the mouse
bearing the great weight of a nugget
of dog food is enviably graceful.
There is little spring to our walk,
we are so burdened with responsibility,
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Your Shakespeare by Marvin Bell
Marvin Bell
If I am sentenced not to talk to you,
and you are sentenced not to talk to me,
then we wear the clothes of the desert
serving that sentence, we are the leaves
trampled underfoot, not even fit to be
ground in for food, then we are the snow.

If you are not what I take you to be,
and I am not what you take me to be,
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Bedtime Story by Charles Wright
Charles Wright
The generator hums like a distant ding an sich.
It's early evening, and time, like the dog it is,
is hungry for food,
And will be fed, don't doubt it, will be fed, my small one.
The forest begins to gather its silences in.
The meadow regroups and hunkers down
for its cleft feet.

Something is wringing the rag of sunlight
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