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From where I stand by Pat Schneider
Pat Schneider
at the third floor window of the tenement,
the street looks shiny.
It has been washed and rinsed by rain.
Beyond the silver streaks of the streetcar tracks
a single streetlight stands
in a pool of wet light. It is night.
St. Louis. Nineteen forty-seven.
I have just come home from the orphanage
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Oakland Blues by Ishmael Reed
Ishmael Reed
Well it's six o'clock in Oakland
and the sun is full of wine
I say, it's six o'clock in Oakland
and the sun is red with wine
We buried you this morning, baby
in the shadow of a vine

Well, they told you of the sickness
almost eighteen months ago
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from d e l e t e, Part 12 by Richard O. Moore
Richard O. Moore
Welcome to your day of sanity! Come in and close the door it will likely lock behind you and you will be home alone waste disposal will take care of your needs : at long last undisturbed phenomena without the heavy metal background of the street will be yours for observation and response : do you have visions? do you think? Your mouth do you open it for more than medication? I should know I know that I should know : we’ve watched centuries erode the fortress drain the moat the poet’s clumsy beast has reached its home and prey we wither 
in the gridlock of our power only the guns remain and are in use pure accident is beauty to be glimpsed your trembling only further clouds your sight I in my home you in your other place harmonize 
the fading anthem of an age the cracked bell of our liberty keeps time a penny for the corpse you left behind keep on recycling all that you have heard before call it a double bind much like the dead bolt that locked the door that keeps you safe and sane : ho — hum — harry who? oh that’s just a phrase found in a time capsule capped and sealed and shot up in the air : no I cannot tell you where it fell to earth that page was torn out years ago it’s chance that we have a fragment of that language left : do your archaeology before a mirror the canyons and the barren plains are clear but where to dig for a ruined golden age a fiction we were served with breakfast flakes say have you forgot this day of sanity? No problem the heavy key was thrown away as soon as the door was closed and locked you’re safe : some day the asylum may be torn down to make way for a palace of the mad it does not follow that anything will change : choose your executioner by lot almost 
everyone is trained and competent there are different schools of course check out degrees fees can become an issue of your choice and some may be in service or abroad as usual nothing’s simple it’s all a part of the grand unraveling that must take place before the new line can be introduced : prepare now don’t be shocked when the music starts the year’s fashions may feature pins and nails.
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Defence of Fort M'Henry by Francis Scott Key
Francis Scott Key

O! say can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there —
O! say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
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"Tin Fish" by Rudyard Kipling
Rudyard Kipling
1914-18
(Sea Warfare) The ships destroy us above
And ensnare us beneath.
We arise, we lie down, and we move
In the belly of Death.
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Elegy in a Country Churchyard by G. K. Chesterton
G. K. Chesterton
The men that worked for England
They have their graves at home:
And birds and bees of England
About the cross can roam.

But they that fought for England,
Following a falling star,
Alas, alas for England
They have their graves afar.
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Before Marching and After by Thomas Hardy
Thomas Hardy
(inMemoriam F. W. G.) Orion swung southward aslant
Where the starved Egdon pine-trees had thinned,
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'Blighters' by Siegfried Sassoon
Siegfried Sassoon
The House is crammed: tier beyond tier they grin
And cackle at the Show, while prancing ranks
Of harlots shrill the chorus, drunk with din;
“We’re sure the Kaiser loves the dear old Tanks!”

I’d like to see a Tank come down the stalls,
Lurching to rag-time tunes, or “Home, sweet Home,”
And there'd be no more jokes in Music-halls
To mock the riddled corpses round Bapaume.

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Home “Fair was the morning, fair our tempers, and” by Edward Thomas
Edward Thomas
Fair was the morning, fair our tempers, and
We had seen nothing fairer than that land,
Though strange, and the untrodden snow that made
Wild of the tame, casting out all that was
Not wild and rustic and old; and we were glad.

Fair, too, was afternoon, and first to pass
Were we that league of snow, next the north wind.

There was nothing to return for, except need,
And yet we sang nor ever stopped for speed,
As we did often with the start behind.
Faster still strode we when we came in sight
Of the cold roofs where we must spend the night.

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In Memoriam (Easter, 1915) by Edward Thomas
Edward Thomas
The flowers left thick at nightfall in the wood
This Eastertide call into mind the men,
Now far from home, who, with their sweethearts, should
Have gathered them and will do never again.

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Sea Grapes by Derek Walcott
Derek Walcott
That sail which leans on light,
tired of islands,
a schooner beating up the Caribbean

for home, could be Odysseus,
home-bound on the Aegean;
that father and husband's

longing, under gnarled sour grapes, is
like the adulterer hearing Nausicaa's name
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A Shropshire Lad 19: The time you won your town the race by A. E. Housman
A. E. Housman
The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.

To-day, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.

Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields where glory does not stay
And early though the laurel grows
It withers quicker than the rose.

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Song (“The world is full of loss ... ”) by Muriel Rukeyser
Muriel Rukeyser
The world is full of loss; bring, wind, my love,
my home is where we make our meeting-place,
and love whatever I shall touch and read
within that face.

Lift, wind, my exile from my eyes;
peace to look, life to listen and confess,
freedom to find to find to find
that nakedness.
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Like Brothers We Meet by George Moses Horton
George Moses Horton
Dedicated to the Federal and Late Confederate Soldiers Like heart-loving brothers we meet,
And still the loud thunders of strife,
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Sonnet by George Henry Boker
George Henry Boker
Brave comrade, answer! When you joined the war,
What left you? “Wife and children, wealth and friends,
A storied home whose ancient roof-tree bends
Above such thoughts as love tells o’er and o’er.”
Had you no pang or struggle? “Yes; I bore
Such pain on parting as at hell’s gate rends
The entering soul, when from its grasp ascends
The last faint virtue which on earth it wore.”
You loved your home, your kindred, children, wife;
You loathed yet plunged into war’s bloody whirl!—
What urged you? “Duty! Something more than life.
That which made Abraham bare the priestly knife,
And Isaac kneel, or that young Hebrew girl
Who sought her father coming from the strife.”
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The Southern Refugee by George Moses Horton
George Moses Horton
What sudden ill the world await,
From my dear residence I roam;
I must deplore the bitter fate,
To straggle from my native home.

The verdant willow droops her head,
And seems to bid a fare thee well;
The flowers with tears their fragrance shed,
Alas! their parting tale to tell.

’Tis like the loss of Paradise,
Or Eden’s garden left in gloom,
Where grief affords us no device;
Such is thy lot, my native home.

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I was passionate by Lal Ded
Lal Ded
I was passionate,
filled with longing,
I searched
far and wide.

But the day
that the Truthful One
found me,
I was at home.
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Supplication by John Wieners
John Wieners
O poetry, visit this house often,
imbue my life with success,
leave me not alone,
give me a wife and home.

Take this curse off
of early death and drugs,
make me a friend among peers,
lend me love, and timeliness.
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Rodez by Donald Davie
Donald Davie
Northward I came, and knocked in the coated wall At the door of a low inn scaled like a urinal
With greenish tiles. The door gave, and I came

Home to the stone north, every wynd and snicket
Known to me wherever the flattened cat
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Ingathering by Carolyn Kizer
Carolyn Kizer
The poets are going home now,
After the years of exile,
After the northern climates
Where they worked, lectured, remembered,
Where they shivered at night
In an indifferent world.
Where God was the god of business,
And men would violate the poets’ moon,
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His death in Benares by Kabir
Kabir
For Geoff Dyer

his front yard
is the true Benares
— Devara Dasimayya,
tr. A.K. Ramanujan
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Bilbea by Carl Sandburg
Carl Sandburg
(From tablet writing, Babylonian excavations of the 4th millennium B.C.) Bilbea, I was in Babylon on Saturday night.
I saw nothing of you anywhere.
I was at the old place and the other girls were there,
But no Bilbea.
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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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The Farm on the Great Plain by William E. Stafford
William E. Stafford
A telephone line goes cold;
birds tread it wherever it goes.
A farm back of a great plain
tugs an end of the line.

I call that farm every year,
ringing it, listening, still;
no one is home at the farm,
the line gives only a hum.
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Lothar’s Wife by Colleen J. McElroy
Colleen J. McElroy
he’s only a smart-ass when he’s home
with Mandrake
he’s silent and obedient as a snail
his bald pate bowing into the cape’s
trail and dreaming
of tales he’ll bore me with
his one night home

once a month
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Ballad of the Salvation Army by Kenneth Fearing
Kenneth Fearing
On Fourteenth street the bugles blow,
Bugles blow, bugles blow.
The red, red, red, red banner floats
Where sweating angels split their throats,
Marching in burlap petticoats,
Blow, bugles, blow.

God is a ten car Bronx express,
Red eyes round, red eyes round.
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A Home by Sarah C. Woolsey
Sarah C. Woolsey
What is a home? A guarded space,
Wherein a few, unfairly blest,
Shall sit together, face to face,
And bask and purr and be at rest?

Where cushioned walls rise up between
Its inmates and the common air,
The common pain, and pad and screen
From blows of fate or winds of care?

Where Art may blossom strong and free,
And Pleasure furl her silken wing,
And every laden moment be
A precious and peculiar thing?

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The Widows’ House by Sarah Orne Jewett
Sarah Orne Jewett
[At Bethlehem, Pennsylvania] What of this house with massive walls
And small-paned windows, gay with blooms?
A quaint and ancient aspect falls
Like pallid sunshine through the rooms.
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Forever – is composed of Nows – (690) by Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickinson
Forever – is composed of Nows –
‘Tis not a different time –
Except for Infiniteness –
And Latitude of Home –

From this – experienced Here –
Remove the Dates – to These –
Let Months dissolve in further Months –
And Years – exhale in Years –
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Graceland by Carl Sandburg
Carl Sandburg
Tomb of a millionaire,
A multi-millionaire, ladies and gentlemen,
Place of the dead where they spend every year
The usury of twenty-five thousand dollars
For upkeep and flowers
To keep fresh the memory of the dead.
The merchant prince gone to dust
Commanded in his written will
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His mother stepped about her kitchen ... by Charles Reznikoff
Charles Reznikoff
His mother stepped about her kitchen, complaining in a low
voice;
all day his father sat stooped at a sewing machine.
When he went to high school Webber was in his class.
Webber lived in a neighborhood where the houses are set in
lawns with trees beside the gutters.
The boys who live there, after school, take their skates and
hockey sticks and play in the streets until nightfall.
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If You Said You Would Come With Me by John Ashbery
John Ashbery
In town it was very urban but in the country cows were covering the hills. The clouds were near and very moist. I was walking along the pavement with Anna, enjoying the scattered scenery. Suddenly a sound like a deep bell came from behind us. We both turned to look. “It’s the words you spoke in the past, coming back to haunt you,” Anna explained. “They always do, you know.”
Indeed I did. Many times this deep bell-like tone had intruded itself on my thoughts, scrambling them at first, then rearranging them in apple-pie order. “Two crows,” the voice seemed to say, “were sitting on a sundial in the God-given sunlight. Then one flew away.”
“Yes . . . and then?” I wanted to ask, but I kept silent. We turned into a courtyard and walked up several flights of stairs to the roof, where a party was in progress. “This is my friend Hans,” Anna said by way of introduction. No one paid much attention and several guests moved away to the balustrade to admire the view of orchards and vineyards, approaching their autumn glory. One of the women however came to greet us in a friendly manner. I was wondering if this was a “harvest home,” a phrase I had often heard but never understood.
“Welcome to my home . . . well, to our home,” the woman said gaily. “As you can see, the grapes are being harvested.” It seemed she could read my mind. “They say this year’s vintage will be a mediocre one, but the sight is lovely, nonetheless. Don’t you agree, Mr. . . .”
“Hans,” I replied curtly. The prospect was indeed a lovely one, but I wanted to leave. Making some excuse I guided Anna by the elbow toward the stairs and we left.
“That wasn’t polite of you,” she said dryly.
“Honey, I’ve had enough of people who can read your mind. When I want it done I’ll go to a mind reader.”
“I happen to be one and I can tell you what you’re thinking is false. Listen to what the big bell says: ‘We are all strangers on our own turf, in our own time.’ You should have paid attention. Now adjustments will have to be made.”
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Some keep the Sabbath going to Church – (236) by Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickinson
Some keep the Sabbath going to Church –
I keep it, staying at Home –
With a Bobolink for a Chorister –
And an Orchard, for a Dome –

Some keep the Sabbath in Surplice –
I, just wear my Wings –
And instead of tolling the Bell, for Church,
Our little Sexton – sings.
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The Potato Eaters by Leonard E. Nathan
Leonard E. Nathan
Sometimes, the naked taste of potato
reminds me of being poor.

The first bites are gratitude,
the rest, contented boredom.

The little kitchen still flickers
like a candle-lit room in a folktale.

Never again was my father so angry,
my mother so still as she set the table,
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All the Dead Soldiers by Thomas McGrath
Thomas McGrath
In the chill rains of the early winter I hear something—
A puling anger, a cold wind stiffened by flying bone—
Out of the north ...
and remember, then, what’s up there:
That ghost-bank: home: Amchitka: boot hill ....

They must be very tired, those ghosts; no flesh sustains them
And the bones rust in the rain.
Reluctant to go into the earth
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from America, America by Saadi Youssef
Saadi Youssef
God save America,
My home, sweet home!

We are not hostages, America,
and your soldiers are not God's soldiers...
We are the poor ones, ours is the earth of the drowned gods,
the gods of bulls,
the gods of fires,
the gods of sorrows that intertwine clay and blood in a song...
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The Bachelor’s Soliloquy by Edgar Albert Guest
Edgar Albert Guest
To wed, or not to wed; that is the question;
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The bills and house rent of a wedded fortune,
Or to say “nit” when she proposes,
And by declining cut her. To wed; to smoke
No more; And have a wife at home to mend
The holes in socks and shirts
And underwear and so forth. ’Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To wed for life;
To wed; perchance to fight; ay, there’s the rub;
For in that married life what fights may come,
When we have honeymooning ceased
Must give us pause; there’s the respect
That makes the joy of single life.
For who would bear her mother’s scornful tongue,
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Chapter Heading by Ernest M. Hemingway
Ernest M. Hemingway
For we have thought the longer thoughts
And gone the shorter way.
And we have danced to devils’ tunes,
Shivering home to pray;
To serve one master in the night,
Another in the day.
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The end of the world by Miroslav Holub
Miroslav Holub
The bird had come to the very end of its song
and the tree was dissolving under its claws.

And in the sky the clouds were twisting
and darkness flowed through all the cracks
into the sinking vessel of the landscape.

Only in the telegraph wires
a message still
crackled:
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Home by Edgar Albert Guest
Edgar Albert Guest
It takes a heap o’ livin’ in a house t’ make it home,
A heap o’ sun an’ shadder, an’ ye sometimes have t’ roam
Afore ye really ’preciate the things ye lef’ behind,
An’ hunger fer ’em somehow, with ’em allus on yer mind.
It don’t make any differunce how rich ye get t’ be,
How much yer chairs an’ tables cost, how great yer luxury;
It ain’t home t’ ye, though it be the palace of a king,
Until somehow yer soul is sort o’ wrapped round everything.

Home ain’t a place that gold can buy or get up in a minute;
Afore it’s home there’s got t’ be a heap o’ livin’ in it;
Within the walls there’s got t’ be some babies born, and then
Right there ye’ve got t’ bring ‘em up t’ women good, an’ men;
And gradjerly, as time goes on, ye find ye wouldn’t part
With anything they ever used—they’ve grown into yer heart:
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Interview by Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker
The ladies men admire, I’ve heard,
Would shudder at a wicked word.
Their candle gives a single light;
They’d rather stay at home at night.
They do not keep awake till three,
Nor read erotic poetry.
They never sanction the impure,
Nor recognize an overture.
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The Little Match Girl by Knight of the White Elephant of Burmah William McGonagall
Knight of the White Elephant of Burmah William McGonagall
It was biting cold, and the falling snow,
Which filled a poor little match girl’s heart with woe,
Who was bareheaded and barefooted, as she went along the street,
Crying, “Who’ll buy my matches? for I want pennies to buy some meat!”

When she left home she had slippers on;
But, alas! poor child, now they were gone.
For she lost both of them while hurrying across the street,
Out of the way of two carriages which were near by her feet.

So the little girl went on, while the snow fell thick and fast;
And the child’s heart felt cold and downcast,
For nobody had bought any matches that day,
Which filled her little mind with grief and dismay.

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The Mothering Blackness by Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou
She came home running
back to the mothering blackness
deep in the smothering blackness
white tears icicle gold plains of her face
She came home running

She came down creeping
here to the black arms waiting
now to the warm heart waiting
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Only a Dad by Edgar Albert Guest
Edgar Albert Guest
Only a dad, with a tired face,
Coming home from the daily race,
Bringing little of gold or fame,
To show how well he has played the game,
But glad in his heart that his own rejoice
To see him come, and to hear his voice.

Only a dad, with a brood of four,
One of ten million men or more.
Plodding along in the daily strife,
Bearing the whips and the scorns of life,
With never a whimper of pain or hate,
For the sake of those who at home await.

Only a dad, neither rich nor proud,
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Our God, Our Help by Isaac Watts
Isaac Watts
Our God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home:

Under the shadow of thy throne
Thy saints have dwelt secure;
Sufficient is thine arm alone,
And our defense is sure.

Before the hills in order stood
Or earth received her frame,
From everlasting thou art God,
To endless years the same.

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The River Now by Richard Hugo
Richard Hugo
Hardly a ghost left to talk with. The slavs moved on
or changed their names to something green. Greeks gave up
old dishes and slid into repose. Runs of salmon thin
and thin until a ripple in October might mean carp.
Huge mills bang and smoke. Day hangs thick with commerce
and my favorite home, always overgrown with roses,
collapsed like moral advice. Tugs still pound against
the outtide pour but real, running on some definite fuel.
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Sad Wine (II) by Cesare Pavese
Cesare Pavese
The hard thing’s to sit without being noticed.
Everything else will come easy. Three sips
and the impulse returns to sit thinking alone.
Against the buzzing backdrop of noise
everything fades, and it’s suddenly a miracle
to be born and to stare at the glass. And work
(a man who’s alone can’t not think of work)
becomes again the old fate that suffering’s good
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The Soul of Spain With McAlmon and Bird the Publishers by Ernest M. Hemingway
Ernest M. Hemingway
In the rain in the rain in the rain in the rain in Spain.
Does it rain in Spain?
Oh yes my dear on the contrary and there are no bull fights.
The dancers dance in long white pants
It isn’t right to yence your aunts
Come Uncle, let’s go home.
Home is where the heart is, home is where the fart is.
Come let us fart in the home.
There is no art in a fart.
Still a fart may not be artless.
Let us fart an artless fart in the home.
Democracy.
Democracy.
Bill says democracy must go.
Go democracy.
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Thanksgiving by Edgar Albert Guest
Edgar Albert Guest
Gettin’ together to smile an’ rejoice,
An’ eatin’ an’ laughin’ with folks of your choice;
An’ kissin’ the girls an’ declarin’ that they
Are growin’ more beautiful day after day;
Chattin’ an’ braggin’ a bit with the men,
Buildin’ the old family circle again;
Livin’ the wholesome an’ old-fashioned cheer,
Just for awhile at the end of the year.

Greetings fly fast as we crowd through the door
And under the old roof we gather once more
Just as we did when the youngsters were small;
Mother’s a little bit grayer, that’s all.
Father’s a little bit older, but still
Ready to romp an’ to laugh with a will.
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They Feed They Lion by Philip Levine
Philip Levine
Out of burlap sacks, out of bearing butter,
Out of black bean and wet slate bread,
Out of the acids of rage, the candor of tar,
Out of creosote, gasoline, drive shafts, wooden dollies,
They Lion grow.
Out of the gray hills
Of industrial barns, out of rain, out of bus ride,
West Virginia to Kiss My Ass, out of buried aunties,
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To an Athlete Dying Young by A. E. Housman
A. E. Housman
The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.

Today, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.
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The Unforgiven by Russell Edson
Russell Edson
After a series of indiscretions a man stumbled homeward, thinking, now that I am going down from my misbehavior I am to be forgiven, because how I acted was not the true self, which I am now returning to. And I am not to be blamed for the past, because I’m to be seen as one redeemed in the present...
But when he got to the threshold of his house his house said, go away, I am not at home.
Not at home? A house is always at home; where else can it be? said the man.
I am not at home to you, said his house.

And so the man stumbled away into another series of indiscretions...
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40
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The Yellowhammer's Nest by John Clare
John Clare
Just by the wooden brig a bird flew up,
Frit by the cowboy as he scrambled down
To reach the misty dewberry—let us stoop
And seek its nest—the brook we need not dread,
'Tis scarcely deep enough a bee to drown,
So it sings harmless o'er its pebbly bed
—Ay here it is, stuck close beside the bank
Beneath the bunch of grass that spindles rank
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Palestine by Navakanta Barua
Navakanta Barua
We housed them in prisons
For they wanted a home,
We killed them for they wanted eternal life
Then bulldozed their prisons into fields of corn.

What's that hand sticking out from the earth?
Other hands will sprout from it—
And tickle us to death.
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331
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Advice to a Young Prophet by Thomas Merton
Thomas Merton
Keep away, son, these lakes are salt. These flowers
Eat insects. Here private lunatics
Yell and skip in a very dry country.

Or where some haywire monument
Some badfaced daddy of fear
Commands an unintelligent rite.

To dance on the unlucky mountain,
To dance they go, and shake the sin
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The Bad Old Days by Kenneth Rexroth
Kenneth Rexroth
The summer of nineteen eighteen
I read The Jungle and The
Research Magnificent. That fall
My father died and my aunt
Took me to Chicago to live.
The first thing I did was to take
A streetcar to the stockyards.
In the winter afternoon,
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Believe It by John Logan
John Logan
There is a two-headed goat, a four-winged chicken
and a sad lamb with seven legs
whose complicated little life was spent in Hopland,
California. I saw the man with doubled eyes
who seemed to watch in me my doubts about my spirit.
Will it snag upon this aging flesh?

There is a strawberry that grew
out of a carrot plant, a blade
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Cadmus and Harmonia by Matthew Arnold
Matthew Arnold
Far, far from here,
The Adriatic breaks in a warm bay
Among the green Illyrian hills; and there
The sunshine in the happy glens is fair,
And by the sea, and in the brakes.
The grass is cool, the sea-side air
Buoyant and fresh, the mountain flowers
More virginal and sweet than ours.

And there, they say, two bright and aged snakes,
Who once were Cadmus and Harmonia,
Bask in the glens or on the warm sea-shore,
In breathless quiet, after all their ills;
Nor do they see their country, nor the place
Where the Sphinx lived among the frowning hills,
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Constancy to an Ideal Object by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Since all that beat about in Nature's range,
Or veer or vanish; why should'st thou remain
The only constant in a world of change,
O yearning Thought! that liv'st but in the brain?
Call to the Hours, that in the distance play,
The faery people of the future day—
Fond Thought! not one of all that shining swarm
Will breathe on thee with life-enkindling breath,
Till when, like strangers shelt'ring from a storm,
Hope and Despair meet in the porch of Death!
Yet still thou haunt'st me; and though well I see,
She is not thou, and only thou are she,
Still, still as though some dear embodied Good,
Some living Love before my eyes there stood
With answering look a ready ear to lend,
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Eternity Blues by Hayden Carruth
Hayden Carruth
I just had the old Dodge in the shop
with that same damned front-end problem,
and I was out, so to speak, for a test run,

loafing along, maybe 35 m.p.h.,
down the old Corvallis road,
holding her out of the ruts and potholes.

That’s out in Montana, the Bitterroot Valley.
Long ways from home is how they say it.
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The Homecoming by Barbara Howes
Barbara Howes
All the great voyagers return
Homeward as on an arc of thought;
Home like a ruby beacon burns
As they crest wind, scale wave, soar air;
All the great voyagers return,

Though we who wait never have done
Fearing the piteous accidents,
The coral reef sharp as the bones
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A Note Left in Jimmy Leonard’s Shack by James Wright
James Wright
Near the dry river’s water-mark we found
Your brother Minnegan,
Flopped like a fish against the muddy ground.
Beany, the kid whose yellow hair turns green,
Told me to find you, even in the rain,
And tell you he was drowned.

I hid behind the chassis on the bank,
The wreck of someone’s Ford:
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Obsessive by Marvin Bell
Marvin Bell
It could be a clip, it could be a comb;
it could be your mother, coming home.
It could be a rooster; perhaps it’s a comb;
it could be your father, coming home.
It could be a paper; it could be a pin.
It could be your childhood, sinking in.

The toys give off the nervousness of age.
It’s useless pretending they aren’t finished:
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Ox Cart Man by Donald Hall
Donald Hall
In October of the year,
he counts potatoes dug from the brown field,
counting the seed, counting
the cellar’s portion out,
and bags the rest on the cart’s floor.

He packs wool sheared in April, honey
in combs, linen, leather
tanned from deerhide,
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30
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Poem with One Fact by Donald Hall
Donald Hall
"At pet stores in Detroit, you can buy
frozen rats
for seventy-five cents apiece, to feed
your pet boa constrictor"
back home in Grosse Pointe,
or in Grosse Pointe Park,

while the free nation of rats
in Detroit emerges
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Sadie and Maud by Gwendolyn Brooks
Gwendolyn Brooks
Maud went to college.
Sadie stayed at home.
Sadie scraped life
With a fine-tooth comb.

She didn’t leave a tangle in.
Her comb found every strand.
Sadie was one of the livingest chits
In all the land.
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29
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Song: Your hay it is mow'd, and your corn is reap'd by John Dryden
John Dryden
From King Arthur COMUS
Your hay it is mow'd, and your corn is reap'd;
Your barns will be full, and your hovels heap'd:
Come, my boys, come;
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Tally by Josephine Miles
Josephine Miles
After her pills the girl slept and counted
Pellet on pellet the regress of life.
Dead to the world, the world's count yet counted
Pellet on pill the antinomies of life.

Refused to turn, the way's back, she counted
Her several stones across the mire of life.
And stones away and sticks away she counted
To keep herself out of the country of life.
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The Twins by Robert W. Service
Robert W. Service
There were two brothers, John and James,
And when the town went up in flames,
To save the house of James dashed John,
Then turned, and lo! his own was gone.

And when the great World War began,
To volunteer John promptly ran;
And while he learned live bombs to lob,
James stayed at home and—sneaked his job.
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Youth by James Wright
James Wright
Strange bird,
His song remains secret.
He worked too hard to read books.
He never heard how Sherwood Anderson
Got out of it, and fled to Chicago, furious to free himself
From his hatred of factories.
My father toiled fifty years
At Hazel-Atlas Glass,
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