House

H
The Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross
St. John of the Cross
I.

In a dark night,
With anxious love inflamed,
O, happy lot!
Forth unobserved I went,
My house being now at rest.


II.

In darkness and in safety,
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The Slave and the Iron Lace by Margaret Danner
Margaret Danner
The craving of Samuel Rouse for clearance to create
was surely as hot as the iron that buffeted him. His passion
for freedom so strong that it molded the smouldering fashions
he laced, for how also could a slave plot
or counterplot such incomparable shapes,

form or reform, for house after house,
the intricate Patio pattern, the delicate
Rose and Lyre, the Debutante Settee,
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The Need of Being Versed in Country Things by Robert Frost
Robert Frost
The house had gone to bring again
To the midnight sky a sunset glow.
Now the chimney was all of the house that stood,
Like a pistil after the petals go.

The barn opposed across the way,
That would have joined the house in flame
Had it been the will of the wind, was left
To bear forsaken the place’s name.
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Death of a Dog by Ted Kooser
Ted Kooser
The next morning I felt that our house
had been lifted away from its foundation
during the night, and was now adrift,
though so heavy it drew a foot or more
of whatever was buoying it up, not water
but something cold and thin and clear,
silence riffling its surface as the house
began to turn on a strengthening current,
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A Bird in the House by Robin Blaser
Robin Blaser
the truth flies hungry, at least and otherous,
of which—though it may be one—Kafka said troublingly,
it has many faces

it’s
the faces one wants, tripping the light shadows of its
skin colours of its wordy swiftness, angry and solvent,
of its loud remarks

as of feeding flocks one
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A Variation on Machado by Jim Harrison
Jim Harrison
I worry much about the suffering
of Machado. I was only one when he carried
his mother across the border from Spain to France
in a rainstorm. She died and so did he
a few days later in a rooming house along a dry canal.
To carry Mother he abandoned a satchel
holding his last few years of poetry.
I've traveled to Collioure several times
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The New Pleasure by Kahlil Gibran
Kahlil Gibran
Last night I invented a new pleasure, and as I was giving it thefirst trial an angel and a devil came rushing toward my house. Theymet at my door and fought with each other over my newly createdpleasure; the one crying, “It is a sin!”—the other, “It is avirtue!”
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Ocean of Earth by Guillaume Apollinaire
Guillaume Apollinaire
To G. de Chirico I have built a house in the middle of the Ocean
Its windows are the rivers flowing from my eyes
Octopi are crawling all over where the walls are
Hear their triple hearts beat and their beaks peck against 
the windowpanes
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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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The House Was Quiet and The World Was Calm by Wallace Stevens
Wallace Stevens
The house was quiet and the world was calm.
The reader became the book; and summer night

Was like the conscious being of the book.
The house was quiet and the world was calm.

The words were spoken as if there was no book,
Except that the reader leaned above the page,

Wanted to lean, wanted much most to be
The scholar to whom his book is true, to whom
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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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The Weaver Bird by Kofi Awoonor
Kofi Awoonor
The weaver bird built in our house
And laid its eggs on our only tree.
We did not want to send it away.
We watched the building of the nest
And supervised the egg-laying.
And the weaver returned in the guise of the owner.
Preaching salvation to us that owned the house.
They say it came from the west
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Invocation by Denise Levertov
Denise Levertov
Silent, about-to-be-parted-from house.
Wood creaking, trying to sigh, impatient.
Clicking of squirrel-teeth in the attic.
Denuded beds, couches stripped of serapes.

Deep snow shall block all entrances
and oppress the roof and darken
the windows.O Lares,
don’t leave.
The house yawns like a bear.
Guard its profound dreams for us,
that it return to us when we return.


November 1969
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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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You've Ruined My Evening/You've Ruined My Life by Tom Raworth
Tom Raworth
i would be eight people and then the difficulties vanish
only as one i contain the complications
in a warm house roofed with the rib-cage of an elephant
i pass my grey mornings re-running the reels
and the images are the same but the emphasis shifts
the actors bow gently to me and i envy them
their repeated parts, their constant presence in that world

i would be eight people each inhabiting the others’ dreams
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spring song by Lucille Clifton
Lucille Clifton
the green of Jesus
is breaking the ground
and the sweet
smell of delicious Jesus
is opening the house and
the dance of Jesus music
has hold of the air and
the world is turning
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Like Holderlin by Rosmarie Waldrop
Rosmarie Waldrop
got up early
left the house immediately
tore out grass
bits of leather in his pockets
hit fences with his handkerchief
answered yes and no
to his own questions

lies under grass
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A Story About Chicken Soup by Louis Simpson
Louis Simpson
In my grandmother’s house there was always chicken soup
And talk of the old country—mud and boards,
Poverty,
The snow falling down the necks of lovers.

Now and then, out of her savings
She sent them a dowry. Imagine
The rice-powdered faces!
And the smell of the bride, like chicken soup.
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House and Man by Edward Thomas
Edward Thomas
One hour: as dim he and his house now look
As a reflection in a rippling brook,
While I remember him; but first, his house.
Empty it sounded. It was dark with forest boughs
That brushed the walls and made the mossy tiles
Part of the squirrels’ track. In all those miles
Of forest silence and forest murmur, only
One house—“Lonely!” he said, “I wish it were lonely”—
Which the trees looked upon from every side,
And that was his.

He waved good-bye to hide
A sigh that he converted to a laugh.
He seemed to hang rather than stand there, half
Ghost-like, half like a beggar’s rag, clean wrung
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Pain in the House by Eleanor Ross Taylor
Eleanor Ross Taylor
Feeling her head pick up her body,
question mark,
blurred misstamped question mark
snakes out of   bed,
trying to  jiggle unhappiness
as little as possible,
not to wake pain,
not to raise a shade,
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Visits to St. Elizabeths by Elizabeth Bishop
Elizabeth Bishop
This is the house of Bedlam.

This is the man
that lies in the house of Bedlam.

This is the time
of the tragic man
that lies in the house of Bedlam.

This is a wristwatch
telling the time
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Abandoned Farmhouse by Ted Kooser
Ted Kooser
He was a big man, says the size of his shoes
on a pile of broken dishes by the house;
a tall man too, says the length of the bed
in an upstairs room; and a good, God-fearing man,
says the Bible with a broken back
on the floor below the window, dusty with sun;
but not a man for farming, say the fields
cluttered with boulders and the leaky barn.
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Ol’ Doc’ Hyar by James Edwin Campbell
James Edwin Campbell
Ur ol’ Hyar lib in ur house on de hill,
He hunner yurs ol’ an’ nebber wuz ill;
He yurs dee so long an’ he eyes so beeg,
An’ he laigs so spry dat he dawnce ur jeeg;
He lib so long dat he know ebbry tings
’Bout de beas’ses dat walks an’ de bu’ds dat sings—
Dis Ol’ Doc’ Hyar,
Whar lib up dar
Een ur mighty fine house on ur mighty high hill.

He doctah fur all de beas’ses an’ bu’ds—
He put on he specs an’ he use beeg wu’ds,
He feel dee pu’s’ den he look mighty wise,
He pull out he watch an’ he shet bofe eyes;
He grab up he hat an’ grab up he cane,
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The House of Rest by Julia Ward Howe
Julia Ward Howe
I will build a house of rest,
Square the corners every one:
At each angle on his breast
Shall a cherub take the sun;
Rising, risen, sinking, down,
Weaving day’s unequal crown.

In the chambers, light as air,
Shall responsive footsteps fall:
Brother, sister, art thou there?
Hush! we need not jar nor call;
Need not turn to seek the face
Shut in rapture’s hiding-place.

Heavy load and mocking care
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Gerontion by T. S. Eliot
T. S. Eliot
Thou hast nor youth nor age
But as it were an after dinner sleep
Dreaming of both. Here I am, an old man in a dry month,
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from Light: Winter by Inger Christensen
Inger Christensen
Winter is out for a lot this year
the beach already is stiff
all will be one will be one this year
wings and ice will be one in the world
all will be changed in the world:
the boat will hear its steps on the ice
the war will hear its war on the ice
the woman will hear her hour on the ice
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Deerfield:1703 by Charles Reznikoff
Charles Reznikoff
Before the break of day the minister was awakened
by the sound of hatchets
breaking open the door and windows.
He ran towards the door:
about twenty Indians with painted faces
were coming into the house
howling.

Three Indians took hold of him,
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The Fat Old Couple Whirling Around by Robert Bly
Robert Bly
The drum says that the night we die will be a long night.
It says the children have time to play. Tell the grownups
They can pull the curtains around the bed tonight.

The old man wants to know how the war ended.
The young girl wants her breasts to cause the sun to rise.
The thinker wants to keep misunderstanding alive.

It’s all right if the earthly monk is buried near the altar.
It’s all right if the singer fails to turn up for her concert.
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I dwell in Possibility – (466) by Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickinson
I dwell in Possibility –
A fairer House than Prose –
More numerous of Windows –
Superior – for Doors –

Of Chambers as the Cedars –
Impregnable of eye –
And for an everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky –
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Of Glory not a Beam is left (1685) by Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickinson
Of Glory not a Beam is left
But her Eternal House –
The Asterisk is for the Dead,
The Living, for the Stars –
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The Wind Chimes by Shirley Buettner
Shirley Buettner
Two wind chimes,
one brass and prone to anger,
one with the throat of an angel,
swing from my porch eave,
sing with the storm.
Last year I lived five months
under that shrill choir,
boxing your house, crowding books
into crates, from some pages
your own voice crying.
Some days the chimes raged.
Some days they hung still.
They fretted when I dug up
the lily I gave you in April,
blooming, strangely, in fall.
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The Adventures of a Turtle by Russell Edson
Russell Edson
The turtle carries his house on his back. He is both the house and the person of that house.
But actually, under the shell is a little room where the true turtle, wearing long underwear, sits at a little table. At one end of the room a series of levers sticks out of slots in the floor, like the controls of a steam shovel. It is with these that the turtle controls the legs of his house.
Most of the time the turtle sits under the sloping ceiling of his turtle room reading catalogues at the little table where a candle burns. He leans on one elbow, and then the other. He crosses one leg, and then the other. Finally he yawns and buries his head in his arms and sleeps.
If he feels a child picking up his house he quickly douses the candle and runs to the control levers and activates the legs of his house and tries to escape.
If he cannot escape he retracts the legs and withdraws the so-called head and waits. He knows that children are careless, and that there will come a time when he will be free to move his house to some secluded place, where he will relight his candle, take out his catalogues and read until at last he yawns. Then he’ll bury his head in his arms and sleep....That is, until another child picks up his house....
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“Although the wind ...” by Izumi Shikibu
Izumi Shikibu
Although the wind
blows terribly here,
the moonlight also leaks
between the roof planks
of this ruined house.
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Blue Juniata by Malcolm Cowley
Malcolm Cowley
Farmhouses curl like horns of plenty, hide
scrawny bare shanks against a barn, or crouch
empty in the shadow of a mountain. Here
there is no house at all—

only the bones of a house,
lilacs growing beside them,
roses in clumps between them,
honeysuckle over;
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Booker T. and W.E.B. by Dudley Randall
Dudley Randall
“It seems to me,” said Booker T.,
“It shows a mighty lot of cheek
To study chemistry and Greek
When Mister Charlie needs a hand
To hoe the cotton on his land,
And when Miss Ann looks for a cook,
Why stick your nose inside a book?”

“I don’t agree,” said W.E.B.,
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Deola Thinking by Cesare Pavese
Cesare Pavese
Deola passes her mornings sitting in a cafe,
and nobody looks at her. Everyone’s rushing to work,
under a sun still fresh with the dawn. Even Deola
isn’t looking for anyone: she smokes serenely, breathing
the morning. In years past, she slept at this hour
to recover her strength: the throw on her bed
was black with the boot-prints of soldiers and workers,
the backbreaking clients. But now, on her own,
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Divine Epigrams: On the Baptized Ethiopian by Richard Crashaw
Richard Crashaw
Let it no longer be a forlorn hope
To wash an Ethiope;
He’s wash’d, his gloomy skin a peaceful shade,
For his white soul is made;
And now, I doubt not, the Eternal Dove
A black-fac’d house will love.
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Her House by Constance Urdang
Constance Urdang
If I am in the house
beams posts planks siding slate
protect us
Wall
guard us against the night-terrors

Floor shore us up above the void below
cover us roof
enclose us from the void above
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The house was just twinkling in the moon light by Gertrude Stein
Gertrude Stein
Highlight Actions Enable or disable annotations
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I Feel Horrible. She Doesn’t by Richard Brautigan
Richard Brautigan
I feel horrible. She doesn’t
love me and I wander around
the house like a sewing machine
that’s just finished sewing
a turd to a garbage can lid.
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In Celebration by Mark Strand
Mark Strand
You sit in a chair, touched by nothing, feeling
the old self become the older self, imagining
only the patience of water, the boredom of stone.
You think that silence is the extra page,
you think that nothing is good or bad, not even
the darkness that fills the house while you sit watching
it happen. You’ve seen it happen before. Your friends
move past the window, their faces soiled with regret.
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Low Barometer by Robert Bridges
Robert Bridges
The south-wind strengthens to a gale,
Across the moon the clouds fly fast,
The house is smitten as with a flail,
The chimney shudders to the blast.

On such a night, when Air has loosed
Its guardian grasp on blood and brain,
Old terrors then of god or ghost
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from Odes: 14. Gin the Goodwife Stint by Basil Bunting
Basil Bunting
The ploughland has gone to bent
and the pasture to heather;
gin the goodwife stint,
she’ll keep the house together.

Gin the goodwife stint
and the bairns hunger
the Duke can get his rent
one year longer.
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The Props assist the House (729) by Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickinson
The Props assist the House
Until the House is built
And then the Props withdraw
And adequate, erect,
The House support itself
And cease to recollect
The Augur and the Carpenter –
Just such a retrospect
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The Sleeper by Walter de La Mare
Walter de La Mare
As Ann came in one summer’s day,
She felt that she must creep,
So silent was the clear cool house,
It seemed a house of sleep.
And sure, when she pushed open the door,
Rapt in the stillness there,
Her mother sat, with stooping head,
Asleep upon a chair;
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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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Words by Barbara Guest
Barbara Guest
The simple contact with a wooden spoon and the word
recovered itself, began to spread as grass, forced
as it lay sprawling to consider the monument where
patience looked at grief, where warfare ceased
eyes curled outside themes to search the paper
now gleaming and potent, wise and resilient, word
entered its continent eager to find another as
capable as a thorn. The nearest possession would
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Street Dog by Amrita Pritam
Amrita Pritam
It's really something from the past—
when you and I split up
without any regrets—
just one thing that I don't quite understand . . .

When we were saying our farewells
and our house was up for sale
the empty pots and pans strewn across the courtyard—
perhaps they were gazing into our eyes
and others that were upside down—
perhaps they were hiding their faces from us.

A faded vine over the door,
perhaps it was confiding something to us
—or grumbling to the faucet.
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Brass Spittoons by Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes
Clean the spittoons, boy.
Detroit,
Chicago,
Atlantic City,
Palm Beach.
Clean the spittoons.
The steam in hotel kitchens,
And the smoke in hotel lobbies,
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The Bustle in a House (1108) by Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickinson
The Bustle in a House
The Morning after Death
Is solemnest of industries
Enacted opon Earth –

The Sweeping up the Heart
And putting Love away
We shall not want to use again
Until Eternity –
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Confessions by Robert Browning
Robert Browning
What is he buzzing in my ears?
"Now that I come to die,
Do I view the world as a vale of tears?"
Ah, reverend sir, not I!

What I viewed there once, what I view again
Where the physic bottles stand
On the table's edge,—is a suburb lane,
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Courtesy by David Ferry
David Ferry
It is an afternoon toward the end of August:
Autumnal weather, cool following on,
And riding in, after the heat of summer,
Into the empty afternoon shade and light,

The shade full of light without any thickness at all;
You can see right through and right down into the depth
Of the light and shade of the afternoon; there isn’t
Any weight of the summer pressing down.
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Departure by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Edna St. Vincent Millay
It's little I care what path I take,
And where it leads it's little I care,
But out of this house, lest my heart break,
I must go, and off somewhere!

It's little I know what's in my heart,
What's in my mind it's little I know,
But there's that in me must up and start,
And it's little I care where my feet go!

I wish I could walk for a day and a night,
And find me at dawn in a desolate place,
With never the rut of a road in sight,
Or the roof of a house, or the eyes of a face.

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Granny by James Whitcomb Riley
James Whitcomb Riley
Granny’s come to our house,
And ho! my lawzy-daisy!
All the childern round the place
Is ist a-runnin’ crazy!
Fetched a cake fer little Jake,
And fetched a pie fer Nanny,
And fetched a pear fer all the pack
That runs to kiss their Granny!

Lucy Ellen’s in her lap,
And Wade and Silas Walker
Both’s a-ridin’ on her foot,
And ’Pollos on the rocker;
And Marthy’s twins, from Aunt Marinn’s,
And little Orphant Annie,
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The House on the Hill by Edwin Arlington Robinson
Edwin Arlington Robinson
They are all gone away,
The House is shut and still,
There is nothing more to say.

Through broken walls and gray
The winds blow bleak and shrill:
They are all gone away.
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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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Ice by Gail Mazur
Gail Mazur
In the warming house, children lace their skates,
bending, choked, over their thick jackets.

A Franklin stove keeps the place so cozy
it’s hard to imagine why anyone would leave,

clumping across the frozen beach to the river.
December’s always the same at Ware’s Cove,

the first sheer ice, black, then white
and deep until the city sends trucks of men
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The Icehouse in Summer by Howard Nemerov
Howard Nemerov
see Amos, 3:15 A door sunk in a hillside, with a bolt
thick as the boy’s arm, and behind that door
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Lambert Hutchins by Edgar Lee Masters
Edgar Lee Masters
I have two monuments besides this granite obelisk:
One, the house I built on the hill,
With its spires, bay windows, and roof of slate;
The other, the lake-front in Chicago,
Where the railroad keeps a switching yard,
With whistling engines and crunching wheels,
And smoke and soot thrown over the city,
And the crash of cars along the boulevard, i
A blot like a hog-pen on the harbor
Of a great metropolis, foul as a sty.
I helped to give this heritage
To generations yet unborn, with my vote
In the House of Representatives,
And the lure of the thing was to be at rest
From the never-ending fright of need,
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A Locked House by W. D. Snodgrass
W. D. Snodgrass
As we drove back, crossing the hill,
The house still
Hidden in the trees, I always thought—
A fool’s fear—that it might have caught
Fire, someone could have broken in.
As if things must have been
Too good here. Still, we always found
It locked tight, safe and sound.
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Love in a Life by Robert Browning
Robert Browning
I
Room after room,
I hunt the house through
We inhabit together.
Heart, fear nothing, for, heart, thou shalt find her—
Next time, herself!—not the trouble behind her
Left in the curtain, the couch's perfume!
As she brushed it, the cornice-wreath blossomed anew:
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mulberry fields by Lucille Clifton
Lucille Clifton
they thought the field was wasting
and so they gathered the marker rocks and stones and
piled them into a barn they say that the rocks were shaped
some of them scratched with triangles and other forms they
must have been trying to invent some new language they say
the rocks went to build that wall there guarding the manor and
some few were used for the state house
crops refused to grow
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Never the Time and the Place by Robert Browning
Robert Browning
Never the time and the place
And the loved one all together!
This path—how soft to pace!
This May—what magic weather!
Where is the loved one's face?
In a dream that loved one's face meets mine,
But the house is narrow, the place is bleak
Where, outside, rain and wind combine
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Penumbra by Amy Lowell
Amy Lowell
As I sit here in the quiet Summer night,
Suddenly, from the distant road, there comes
The grind and rush of an electric car.
And, from still farther off,
An engine puffs sharply,
Followed by the drawn-out shunting scrape of a freight train.
These are the sounds that men make
In the long business of living.
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Reflections on History in Missouri by Constance Urdang
Constance Urdang
This old house lodges no ghosts!
Those swaggering specters who found their way
Across the Atlantic
Were left behind
With their old European grudges
In the farmhouses of New England
And Pennsylvania
Like so much jettisoned baggage
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A Shropshire Lad 12: When I watch the living meet by A. E. Housman
A. E. Housman
When I watch the living meet,
And the moving pageant file
Warm and breathing through the street
Where I lodge a little while,

If the heats of hate and lust
In the house of flesh are strong,
Let me mind the house of dust
Where my sojourn shall be long.

In the nation that is not
Nothing stands that stood before;
There revenges are forgot,
And the hater hates no more;

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31
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Star by W. S. Merwin
W. S. Merwin
All the way north on the train the sun
followed me followed me without moving
still the sun of that other morning
when we had gone over Come on over
men at the screen door said to my father
You have to see this it’s an ape bring
the little boy bring the boy along

so he brought me along to the field
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47
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The Star-splitter by Robert Frost
Robert Frost
"You know Orion always comes up sideways.
Throwing a leg up over our fence of mountains,
And rising on his hands, he looks in on me
Busy outdoors by lantern-light with something
I should have done by daylight, and indeed,
After the ground is frozen, I should have done
Before it froze, and a gust flings a handful
Of waste leaves at my smoky lantern chimney
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41
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A Sunset of the City by Gwendolyn Brooks
Gwendolyn Brooks
Kathleen Eileen Already I am no longer looked at with lechery or love.
My daughters and sons have put me away with marbles and dolls,
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34
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Here by Samuel Menashe
Samuel Menashe
Ghost I house
In this old flat—
Your outpost—
My aftermath
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41
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