June

J
Father`s voice by Sonia Sanchez
Sonia Sanchez
the day he traveled to my daughter's house
it was june. he cursed me with his morning nod
of anger as he filtered his callous
walk. skip. hop. feet slipshod
from 125th street bars, face curled with odd
reflections. the skin of a father is accented
in the sentence of the unaccented.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
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Solstice Litany by Jim Harrison
Jim Harrison
1
The Saturday morning meadowlark
came in from high up
with her song gliding into tall grass
still singing. How I'd like
to glide around singing in the summer
then to go south to where I already was
and find fields full of meadowlarks
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At The Zoo by Alfred Starr Hamilton
Alfred Starr Hamilton
On the back of an invoice
I wrote my name in large Capitalist June Blue Letters

And because money was involved
And so was my name ever in jeopardy

On the back of the same invoice
I rewrote my name in large Capitalist June Blue Letters

And in Leopardy and in Jeopardy
I resolved, dissolved upon a radical eradicator
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Too Young to Marry but Not Too Young to Die by Joyce Carol Oates
Joyce Carol Oates
Drowned together in his car in Lake Chippewa.
It was a bright cold starry night on Lake Chippewa.
Lake Chippewa was a “living” lake then,
though soon afterward it would choke and die.

In the bright cold morning after we could spy
them only through a patch of ice brushed clear of snow.
Scarcely three feet below,
they were oblivious of us.
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Novel by Arthur Rimbaud
Arthur Rimbaud

I

We aren't serious when we're seventeen.
—One fine evening, to hell with beer and lemonade,
Noisy cafés with their shining lamps!
We walk under the green linden trees of the park

The lindens smell good in the good June evenings!
At times the air is so scented that we close our eyes.
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The Unknown Bird by Edward Thomas
Edward Thomas
Three lovely notes he whistled, too soft to be heard
If others sang; but others never sang
In the great beech-wood all that May and June.
No one saw him: I alone could hear him
Though many listened. Was it but four years
Ago? or five? He never came again.

Oftenest when I heard him I was alone,
Nor could I ever make another hear.
La-la-la! he called, seeming far-off—
As if a cock crowed past the edge of the world,
As if the bird or I were in a dream.
Yet that he travelled through the trees and sometimes
Neared me, was plain, though somehow distant still
He sounded. All the proof is—I told men
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The Thrush by Edward Thomas
Edward Thomas
When Winter's ahead,
What can you read in November
That you read in April
When Winter's dead?

I hear the thrush, and I see
Him alone at the end of the lane
Near the bare poplar's tip,
Singing continuously.

Is it more that you know
Than that, even as in April,
So in November,
Winter is gone that must go?

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In Trust by Thom Gunn
Thom Gunn
You go from me
In June for months on end
To study equanimity
Among high trees alone;
I go out with a new boyfriend
And stay all summer in the city where
Home mostly on my own
I watch the sunflowers flare.
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“Dreams Are the Royal Road to the Unconscious” by Paul Goodman
Paul Goodman
“Dreams Are the Royal Road to the Unconscious”
—Freud The King’s Highway to the Dare-Not-Know
—but I beg my rides and oh I know
these boring roads where hundreds and hundreds
of cars fade by in hundred-hundreds
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Increment by Josephine Miles
Josephine Miles
So populous the region
That from the next region
The crowing of children, barking of cars could be heard,
So that a continuous linkage
Of sounds of living ran
In the limber air,
District to district, Woodlake to Montclair,
Freestone to Smithfield, and one child’s cry
Was not concealed from any trade route,
Or passer by,
Or upstairs island of thought withdrawn,
Or basement of submerged magnificence.
One crow
Welkened the evening sky,
Bark blasted the dark,
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Signature Song by Bill Berkson
Bill Berkson
Bunny Berigan first recorded “I Can’t Get Started”
with a small group that included Joe Bushkin, Cozy Cole
and Artie Shaw in 1936.
Earlier that same year, the song,
written by Ira Gershwin and Vernon Duke,
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From a Window by Charlotte Mew
Charlotte Mew
Up here, with June, the sycamore throws
Across the window a whispering screen;
I shall miss the sycamore more, I suppose,
Than anything else on this earth that is out in green.
But I mean to go through the door without fear,
Not caring much what happens here
When I’m away:—
How green the screen is across the panes
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Of What is Real by Richard Tagett
Richard Tagett
I like to lie with you wordless
on black cloud rooft beach
in late june 5 o’clock tempest
on clump weed bed with sand
fitting your contours like tailor made

and I like to wash my summer brown face
in north cold hudson rapids
with octagon soap
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The Obvious Tradition by Bill Berkson
Bill Berkson
I haven’t remembered anything, only the names
and that their dates have been replaced by fees
toted up out of mischief:
a whopping yellow sun, finesse swallowed hard,
a scrapbook in pantyhose dawdling beside some Shreveport-like expanse.
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A Poem for Painters by John Wieners
John Wieners
Our age bereft of nobility
How can our faces show it?
I look for love.
My lips stand out
dry and cracked with want
of it.
Oh it is well.
My poem shall show the need for it.
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Beginning with 1914 by Lisel Mueller
Lisel Mueller
Since it always begins
in the unlikeliest place
we start in an obsolete country
on no current map. The camera
glides over flower beds,
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Symphony No.3, in D Minor by Jonathan Williams
Jonathan Williams
Thousands lavishing, thousands starving;
intrigues, war, flatteries, envyings,
hypocrisies, lying vanities, hollow amusements,
exhaustion, dissipation, death—and giddiness
and laughter, from the first scene to the last.
—Samuel Palmer, 1858
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A Time of Bees by Mona Van Duyn
Mona Van Duyn
Love is never strong enough to find the words befitting it.
CAMUS All day my husband pounds on the upstairs porch.
Screeches and grunts of wood as the wall is opened
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Poppies by Attilio Bertolucci
Attilio Bertolucci
This is a year of poppies: our land
was brimming with them as May burned
into June and I returned—
a sweet dark wine that made me drunk.

From clouds of mulberry to grains to grasses
ripeness was all, in the fitting
heat, in the slow drowsiness spreading
through the universe of green.
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To Frank Parker by Robert Lowell
Robert Lowell
Forty years ago we were here
where we are now,
the same erotic May-wind blew
the trees from there to here—

the same tang of metal in the mouth,
the dirt-pierced wood of Cambridge.

Sometimes
you are so much younger than your face,
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Sonnet: “Upon a day, came Sorrow in to me” by Dante Alighieri
Dante Alighieri
on the 9th of June 1290 Upon a day, came Sorrow in to me,
Saying, ‘I’ve come to stay with thee a while’;
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Gone, Gone Again by Edward Thomas
Edward Thomas
Gone, gone again,
May, June, July,
And August gone,
Again gone by,

Not memorable
Save that I saw them go,
As past the empty quays
The rivers flow.

And now again,
In the harvest rain,
The Blenheim oranges
Fall grubby from the trees,

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Limits by Eleanor Ross Taylor
Eleanor Ross Taylor
Only he
Remembered the day we met
And only I
The day we said goodbye:
“Last day of  June, our first blackberry pie,”
He always said.
A wood fire in the summer kitchen,
The hottest day.... A squall in the bedroom.
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Poem by Thomas McGrath
Thomas McGrath
I don’t belong in this century—who does?
In my time, summer came someplace in June—
The cutbanks blazing with roses, the birds brazen, and the astonished
Pastures frisking with young calves . . .
That was in the country—
I don’t mean another country, I mean in the country:
And the country is lost. I don’t mean just lost to me,
Nor in the way of metaphorical loss—it’s lost that way too—
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On the Great Atlantic Rainway by Kenneth Koch
Kenneth Koch
I set forth one misted white day of June
Beneath the great Atlantic rainway, and heard:
“Honestly you smite worlds of truth, but
Lose your own trains of thought, like a pigeon.
Did you once ride in Kenneth’s machine?”
“Yes, I rode there, an old man in shorts, blind,
Who had lost his way in the filling station; Kenneth was kind.”
“Did he fill your motionless ears with resonance and stain?”
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To the Nightingale by Countess of Winchilsea Anne Finch
Countess of Winchilsea Anne Finch
Exert thy voice, sweet harbinger of spring!
This moment is thy time to sing,
This moment I attend to praise,
And set my numbers to they lays.
Free as thine shall be my song;
As they music, short, or long.
Poets, wild as thee, were born,
Pleasing best when unconfined,
When to please is least designed,
Soothing but their cares to rest;
Cares do still their thoughts molest,
And still th' unhappy poet's breast,
Like thine, when best he sings, is placed against a thorn.
She begins, Let all be still!
Muse, they promise now fulfill!
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Autumn by Alice Cary
Alice Cary
Shorter and shorter now the twilight clips
The days, as though the sunset gates they crowd,
And Summer from her golden collar slips
And strays through stubble-fields, and moans aloud,

Save when by fits the warmer air deceives,
And, stealing hopeful to some sheltered bower,
She lies on pillows of the yellow leaves,
And tries the old tunes over for an hour.

The wind, whose tender whisper in the May
Set all the young blooms listening through th’ grove,
Sits rustling in the faded boughs to-day
And makes his cold and unsuccessful love.

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Charles Sumner by Charlotte L. Forten Grimké
Charlotte L. Forten Grimké
On seeing some pictures of the interior of his house, Washington, D.C. Only the casket left, the jewel gone
Whose noble presence filled these stately rooms,
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Mid-March by Lizette Woodworth Reese
Lizette Woodworth Reese
It is too early for white boughs, too late
For snows. From out the hedge the wind lets fall
A few last flakes, ragged and delicate.
Down the stripped roads the maples start their small,
Soft, ’wildering fires. Stained are the meadow stalks
A rich and deepening red. The willow tree
Is woolly. In deserted garden-walks
The lean bush crouching hints old royalty,
Feels some June stir in the sharp air and knows
Soon ’twill leap up and show the world a rose.

The days go out with shouting; nights are loud;
Wild, warring shapes the wood lifts in the cold;
The moon’s a sword of keen, barbaric gold,
Plunged to the hilt into a pitch black cloud.
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On Scratchbury Camp by Siegfried Sassoon
Siegfried Sassoon
Along the grave green downs, this idle afternoon,
Shadows of loitering silver clouds, becalmed in blue,
Bring, like unfoldment of a flower, the best of June.

Shadows outspread in spacious movement, always you
Have dappled the downs and valleys at this time of year,
While larks, ascending shrill, praised freedom as they flew.
Now, through that song, a fighter-squadron’s drone I hear
From Scratchbury Camp, whose turfed and cowslip’d rampart seems
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Six Sailors by Irving Feldman
Irving Feldman
to Pete Foss,
God give him good berth! Shipped deckhand June of ’fifty-one
aboard the freighter Willis Kerrigan,
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An Old Man on the River Bank by George Seferis
George Seferis
To Nani Panayíotopoulo And yet we should consider how we go forward.
To feel is not enough, nor to think, nor to move
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More Than Enough by Marge Piercy
Marge Piercy
The first lily of June opens its red mouth.
All over the sand road where we walk
multiflora rose climbs trees cascading
white or pink blossoms, simple, intense
the scene drifting like colored mist.

The arrowhead is spreading its creamy
clumps of flower and the blackberries
are blooming in the thickets. Season of
joy for the bee. The green will never
again be so green, so purely and lushly

new, grass lifting its wheaty seedheads
into the wind. Rich fresh wine
of June, we stagger into you smeared
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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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The Barefoot Boy by John Greenleaf Whittier
John Greenleaf Whittier
Blessings on thee, little man,
Barefoot boy, with cheek of tan!
With thy turned-up pantaloons,
And thy merry whistled tunes;
With thy red lip, redder still
Kissed by strawberries on the hill;
With the sunshine on thy face,
Through thy torn brim’s jaunty grace;
From my heart I give thee joy,—
I was once a barefoot boy!
Prince thou art,—the grown-up man
Only is republican.
Let the million-dollared ride!
Barefoot, trudging at his side,
Thou hast more than he can buy
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The Bell Buoy by Rudyard Kipling
Rudyard Kipling
1896 They christened my brother of old—
And a saintly name he bears—
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The Bridge by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I stood on the bridge at midnight,
As the clocks were striking the hour,
And the moon rose o'er the city,
Behind the dark church-tower.

I saw her bright reflection
In the waters under me,
Like a golden goblet falling
And sinking into the sea.

And far in the hazy distance
Of that lovely night in June,
The blaze of the flaming furnace
Gleamed redder than the moon.

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The Echo Elf Answers by Thomas Hardy
Thomas Hardy
How much shall I love her?
For life, or not long?
“Not long.”

Alas! When forget her?
In years, or by June?
“By June.”
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In the Orchard by Algernon Charles Swinburne
Algernon Charles Swinburne
Leave go my hands, let me catch breath and see;
Let the dew-fall drench either side of me;
Clear apple-leaves are soft upon that moon
Seen sidelong like a blossom in the tree;
And God, ah God, that day should be so soon.

The grass is thick and cool, it lets us lie.
Kissed upon either cheek and either eye,
I turn to thee as some green afternoon
Turns toward sunset, and is loth to die;
Ah God, ah God, that day should be so soon.

Lie closer, lean your face upon my side,
Feel where the dew fell that has hardly dried,
Hear how the blood beats that went nigh to swoon;
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The Indoors is Endless by Tomas Tranströmer
Tomas Tranströmer
It’s spring in 1827, Beethoven
hoists his death-mask and sails off.

The grindstones are turning in Europe’s windmills.
The wild geese are flying northwards.

Here is the north, here is Stockholm
swimming palaces and hovels.

The logs in the royal fireplace
collapse from Attention to At Ease.
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Love Song by Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker
My own dear love, he is strong and bold
And he cares not what comes after.
His words ring sweet as a chime of gold,
And his eyes are lit with laughter.
He is jubilant as a flag unfurled—
Oh, a girl, she’d not forget him.
My own dear love, he is all my world,—
And I wish I’d never met him.
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Relating to Robinson by Weldon Kees
Weldon Kees
Somewhere in Chelsea, early summer;
And, walking in the twilight toward the docks,
I thought I made out Robinson ahead of me.

From an uncurtained second-story room, a radio
Was playing There’s a Small Hotel; a kite
Twisted above dark rooftops and slow drifting birds.
We were alone there, he and I,
Inhabiting the empty street.
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Rivers and Mountains by John Ashbery
John Ashbery
On the secret map the assassins
Cloistered, the Moon River was marked
Near the eighteen peaks and the city
Of humiliation and defeat—wan ending
Of the trail among dry, papery leaves
Gray-brown quills like thoughts
In the melodious but vast mass of today’s
Writing through fields and swamps
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The Sleeper by Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe
At midnight, in the month of June,
I stand beneath the mystic moon.
An opiate vapor, dewy, dim,
Exhales from out her golden rim,
And softly dripping, drop by drop,
Upon the quiet mountain top,
Steals drowsily and musically
Into the universal valley.
The rosemary nods upon the grave;
The lily lolls upon the wave;
Wrapping the fog about its breast,
The ruin moulders into rest;
Looking like Lethe, see! the lake
A conscious slumber seems to take,
And would not, for the world, awake.
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A Song: Ask me no more where Jove bestows by Thomas Carew
Thomas Carew
Ask me no more where Jove bestows,
When June is past, the fading rose;
For in your beauty’s orient deep
These flowers, as in their causes, sleep.

Ask me no more whither do stray
The golden atoms of the day;
For in pure love heaven did prepare
Those powders to enrich your hair.

Ask me no more whither doth haste
The nightingale, when May is past;
For in your sweet dividing throat
She winters, and keeps warm her note.

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A Summer Shower by Henry Timrod
Henry Timrod
Welcome, rain or tempest
From yon airy powers,
We have languished for them
Many sultry hours,
And earth is sick and wan, and pines with all her flowers.

What have they been doing
In the burning June?
Riding with the genii?
Visiting the moon?
Or sleeping on the ice amid an arctic noon?

Bring they with them jewels
From the sunset lands?
What are these they scatter
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Sunday Morning by Wallace Stevens
Wallace Stevens

I

Complacencies of the peignoir, and late
Coffee and oranges in a sunny chair,
And the green freedom of a cockatoo
Upon a rug mingle to dissipate
The holy hush of ancient sacrifice.
She dreams a little, and she feels the dark
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Telling the Bees by John Greenleaf Whittier
John Greenleaf Whittier
Here is the place; right over the hill
Runs the path I took;
You can see the gap in the old wall still,
And the stepping-stones in the shallow brook.

There is the house, with the gate red-barred,
And the poplars tall;
And the barn’s brown length, and the cattle-yard,
And the white horns tossing above the wall.

There are the beehives ranged in the sun;
And down by the brink
Of the brook are her poor flowers, weed-o’errun,
Pansy and daffodil, rose and pink.

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When I Am Asked by Lisel Mueller
Lisel Mueller
When I am asked
how I began writing poems,
I talk about the indifference of nature.

It was soon after my mother died,
a brilliant June day,
everything blooming.

I sat on a gray stone bench
in a lovingly planted garden,
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The Argument of his Book by Robert Herrick
Robert Herrick
I sing of brooks, of blossoms, birds, and bowers,
Of April, May, of June, and July flowers.
I sing of May-poles, hock-carts, wassails, wakes,
Of bridegrooms, brides, and of their bridal-cakes.
I write of youth, of love, and have access
By these to sing of cleanly wantonness.
I sing of dews, of rains, and piece by piece
Of balm, of oil, of spice, and ambergris.
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Carentan O Carentan by Louis Simpson
Louis Simpson
Trees in the old days used to stand
And shape a shady lane
Where lovers wandered hand in hand
Who came from Carentan.

This was the shining green canal
Where we came two by two
Walking at combat-interval.
Such trees we never knew.
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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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Elegy IX: The Autumnal by John Donne
John Donne
No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace
As I have seen in one autumnal face.
Young beauties force our love, and that's a rape,
This doth but counsel, yet you cannot scape.
If 'twere a shame to love, here 'twere no shame;
Affection here takes reverence's name.
Were her first years the golden age? That's true,
But now she's gold oft tried and ever new.
That was her torrid and inflaming time,
This is her tolerable tropic clime.
Fair eyes, who asks more heat than comes from hence,
He in a fever wishes pestilence.
Call not these wrinkles, graves; if graves they were,
They were Love's graves, for else he is no where.
Yet lies not Love dead here, but here doth sit
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If Spirits Walk by Sophie Jewett
Sophie Jewett
“I have heard (but not believed) the spirits of the dead
May walk again.”
Winter’s Tale If spirits walk, Love, when the night climbs slow
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The Lovers of the Poor by Gwendolyn Brooks
Gwendolyn Brooks
arrive. The Ladies from the Ladies’ Betterment League
Arrive in the afternoon, the late light slanting
In diluted gold bars across the boulevard brag
Of proud, seamed faces with mercy and murder hinting
Here, there, interrupting, all deep and debonair,
The pink paint on the innocence of fear;
Walk in a gingerly manner up the hall.
Cutting with knives served by their softest care,
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Lucinda Matlock by Edgar Lee Masters
Edgar Lee Masters
I went to the dances at Chandlerville,
And played snap-out at Winchester.
One time we changed partners,
Driving home in the moonlight of middle June,
And then I found Davis.
We were married and lived together for seventy years,
Enjoying, working, raising the twelve children,
Eight of whom we lost
Ere I had reached the age of sixty.
I spun, I wove, I kept the house, I nursed the sick,
I made the garden, and for holiday
Rambled over the fields where sang the larks,
And by Spoon River gathering many a shell,
And many a flower and medicinal weed —
Shouting to the wooded hills, singing to the green valleys.
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A Red, Red Rose by Robert Burns
Robert Burns
O my Luve is like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve is like the melody
That’s sweetly played in tune.

So fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry.

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
I will love thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

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Robin Hood by John Keats
John Keats
TO A FRIEND No! those days are gone away
And their hours are old and gray,
And their minutes buried all
Under the down-trodden pall
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A Song: When June is past, the fading rose by Thomas Carew
Thomas Carew
Ask me no more where Jove bestows,
When June is past, the fading rose;
For in your beauty's orient deep
These flowers as in their causes, sleep.

Ask me no more whither doth stray
The golden atoms of the day;
For in pure love heaven did prepare
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55
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The Spring by Thomas Carew
Thomas Carew
Now that the winter's gone, the earth hath lost
Her snow-white robes, and now no more the frost
Candies the grass, or casts an icy cream
Upon the silver lake or crystal stream;
But the warm sun thaws the benumbed earth,
And makes it tender; gives a sacred birth
To the dead swallow; wakes in hollow tree
The drowsy cuckoo, and the humble-bee.
Now do a choir of chirping minstrels bring
In triumph to the world the youthful Spring.
The valleys, hills, and woods in rich array
Welcome the coming of the long'd-for May.
Now all things smile, only my love doth lour;
Nor hath the scalding noonday sun the power
To melt that marble ice, which still doth hold
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from Stanzas in Meditation: Stanza 14 by Gertrude Stein
Gertrude Stein
She need not be selfish but he may add
They like my way it is partly mine
In which case for them to foil or not please
Come which they may they may in June.
Not having all made plenty by their wish
In their array all which they plan
Should they be called covered by which
It is fortunately their stay that they may
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A Swimmer's Dream by Algernon Charles Swinburne
Algernon Charles Swinburne
NOVEMBER 4, 1889

Somno mollior unda I
Dawn is dim on the dark soft water,
Soft and passionate, dark and sweet.
Love's own self was the deep sea's daughter,
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Through a Glass Eye, Lightly by Carolyn Kizer
Carolyn Kizer
In the laboratory waiting room
containing
one television actor with a teary face
trying a contact lens;
two muscular victims of industrial accidents;
several vain women—I was one of them—
came Deborah, four, to pick up her glass eye.

It was a long day:
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Thyrsis: A Monody, to Commemorate the Author's Friend, Arthur Hugh Clough by Matthew Arnold
Matthew Arnold
How changed is here each spot man makes or fills!
In the two Hinkseys nothing keeps the same;
The village street its haunted mansion lacks,
And from the sign is gone Sibylla's name,
And from the roofs the twisted chimney-stacks—
Are ye too changed, ye hills?
See, 'tis no foot of unfamiliar men
To-night from Oxford up your pathway strays!
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The Truth the Dead Know by Anne Sexton
Anne Sexton
For my mother, born March 1902, died March 1959
and my father, born February 1900, died June 1959 Gone, I say and walk from church,
refusing the stiff procession to the grave,
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36
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Voyages by Hart Crane
Hart Crane
I

Above the fresh ruffles of the surf
Bright striped urchins flay each other with sand.
They have contrived a conquest for shell shucks,
And their fingers crumble fragments of baked weed
Gaily digging and scattering.

And in answer to their treble interjections
The sun beats lightning on the waves,
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We Real Cool by Gwendolyn Brooks
Gwendolyn Brooks
The Pool Players.
Seven at the Golden Shovel.
We real cool. We
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The Months by Linda Pastan
Linda Pastan
January

Contorted by wind,
mere armatures for ice or snow,
the trees resolve
to endure for now,

they will leaf out in April.
And I must be as patient
as the trees—
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40
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Nine-Panel Yaak River Screen by Charles Wright
Charles Wright
Midmorning like a deserted room, apparition
Of armoire and table weights,
Oblongs of flat light,
the rosy eyelids of lovers
Raised in their ghostly insurrection,
Decay in the compassed corners beating its black wings,
Late June and the lilac just ajar.

Where the deer trail sinks down through the shadows of blue spruce,
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Strength to War by Stephen Stepanchev
Stephen Stepanchev
Dear stranger, reading this small, true book
By a simple man who loved much and wasn't loved,
Merging your own life with the lines on this page,
Lines that remind you of some frightening shore,
Cold rains, shipwreck, and loud winds and waves,
Stirring your lonely mind with brutal images
That conjure loves forgotten, fears disclaimed,
Joining your pulse with mine, tasting my blood,
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