Laughter

L
El Beso by Angelina Weld Grimké
Angelina Weld Grimké
Twilight—and you,
Quiet—the stars;
Snare of the shine of your teeth,
Your provocative laughter,
The gloom of your hair;
Lure of you, eye and lip ;
Yearning, yearning,
Languor, surrender;
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The Disappearance of the Duwamish Salmon by Duane Niatum
Duane Niatum
How long have they laid buried
in the sludge and grime of industry
erasing the river's breath

and almost erasing the Duwamish people
who once paddled their canoes down
its current swift as the wing of kingfisher?

Walking beside the river in 2009 you can
still hear the dreams and laughter
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Summer 1967 by James K. Baxter
James K. Baxter
Summer brings out the girls in their green dresses
Whom the foolish might compare to daffodils,
Not seeing how a dead grandmother in each one governs her limbs,
Darkening the bright corolla, using her lips to speak through,
Or that a silver torque was woven out of
The roots of wet speargrass.
The young are mastered by the Dead,
Lacking cunning. But on the beaches, under the clean wind
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Key to the Dollar Store by Al Young
Al Young
Just tell me who the hell am I?
What powers did I, do I hold?
What right have I to say “my”
or “mine” or “me” — all honey-
glazed, all bullet-proofed and
worshipful of any gangster “I”?

The key to the Dollar Store
hangs on my belt. Yes, “my”
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Didn't You Ever Search For Another Star? by Alfred Starr Hamilton
Alfred Starr Hamilton
I.
did you say
August ponds
ought to have
been surrounded
by September fences?

but did you say
September fences
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War and Peace by Edgell Rickword
Edgell Rickword
In sodden trenches I have heard men speak,
Though numb and wretched, wise and witty things;
And loved them for the stubbornness that clings
Longest to laughter when Death's pulleys creak;

And seeing cool nurses move on tireless feet
To do abominable things with grace,
Deemed them sweet sisters in that haunted place
Where, with child's voices, strong men howl or bleat.

Yet now those men lay stubborn courage by,
Riding dull-eyed and silent in the train
To old men's stools; or sell gay-coloured socks
And listen fearfully for Death; so I
Love the low-laughing girls, who now again
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The Dancing by Gerald Stern
Gerald Stern
In all these rotten shops, in all this broken furniture
and wrinkled ties and baseball trophies and coffee pots
I have never seen a postwar Philco
with the automatic eye
nor heard Ravel's "Bolero" the way I did
in 1945 in that tiny living room
on Beechwood Boulevard, nor danced as I did
then, my knives all flashing, my hair all streaming,
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After-Glow by Ivor Gurney
Ivor Gurney

(To F. W. Harvey) Out of the smoke and dust of the little room
With tea-talk loud and laughter of happy boys,
I passed into the dusk. Suddenly the noise
Ceased with a shock, left me alone in the gloom,
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Photographs by Ivor Gurney
Ivor Gurney

(To Two Scots Lads) Lying in dug-outs, joking idly, wearily;
Watching the candle guttering in the draught;
Hearing the great shells go high over us, eerily
Singing; how often have I turned over, and laughed
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Afternoon by Pierre Reverdy
Pierre Reverdy
In the morning that comes up behind the roof, in the shelter of the bridge, in the corner of  the cypresses that rise above the wall, a rooster 
has crowed. In the bell tower that rips the air with its shining point, the notes ring out and already the morning din can be heard in the street; the only street that goes from the river to the mountain 
dividing the woods. One looks for some other words but the ideas are always just as dark, just as simple and singularly painful. There is hardly more than the eyes, the open air, the grass and the water in the distance with, around every bend, a well or a cool basin. In the right-hand corner the last house with a larger head at the window. The trees are extremely alive and all those familiar companions walk along the demolished wall that is crushed into the thorns with bursts of laughter. Above the ravine the din augments, swells, and if the car passes on the upper road one no longer knows if it is the flowers or the little bells that are chiming. Under the blazing sun, when the landscape is on fire, the traveler crosses the stream on a very narrow bridge, before a dark hole where the trees line the water that falls asleep in the afternoon. And, against the trembling background of the woods, the motionless man.
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Sheridan at Cedar Creek by Herman Melville
Herman Melville
(October, 1864) Shoe the steed with silver
That bore him to the fray,
When he heard the guns at dawning—
Miles away;
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Ars Poetica by Paul Verlaine
Paul Verlaine
for Charles Morice Music first and foremost! In your verse,
Choose those meters odd of syllable,
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Morning of Drunkenness by Arthur Rimbaud
Arthur Rimbaud
O my good! O my beautiful! Atrocious fanfare where I won’t stumble! enchanted rack whereon I am stretched! Hurrah for the amazing work and the marvelous body, for the first time! It began amid the laughter of children, it will end with it. This poison will remain in all our veins even when, as the trumpets turn back, we’ll be restored to the old discord. O let us now, we who are so deserving of these torments! let us fervently gather up that superhuman promise made to our created body and soul: that promise, that madness! Elegance, knowledge, violence! They promised us to bury the tree of good and evil in the shade, to banish tyrannical honesties, so that we might bring forth our very pure love. It began with a certain disgust and ended—since we weren’t able to grasp this eternity all at once—in a panicked rout of perfumes.
Laughter of children, discretion of slaves, austerity of virgins, horror in the faces and objects of today, may you be consecrated by the memory of that wake. It began in all loutishness, now it’s ending among angels of flame and ice.
Little eve of drunkenness, holy! were it only for the mask with which you gratified us. We affirm you, method! We don’t forget that yesterday you glorified each one of our ages. We have faith in the poison. We know how to give our whole lives every day.
Behold the time of the Assassins.
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Ghost-Raddled by Robert Graves
Robert Graves
“Come, surly fellow, come! A song!
“What, madmen? Sing to you?
Choose from the clouded tales of wrong
And terror I bring to you.

Of a night so torn with cries,
Honest men sleeping
Start awake with glaring eyes,
Bone chilled, flesh creeping.

Of spirits in the web-hung room
Up above the stable,
Groans, knocking in the gloom
The dancing table.

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Prie-Dieu by Donald (Grady) Davidson
Donald (Grady) Davidson
Of what sins have you made confession here,
Ardent Cecile? Not passion’s intimacy,
Or tangles of desire that mutineer
A bold way through your maiden ecstasy.
Those are not blamed...the penance not severe!

Pray rather, with cool-lidded conscious eyes
For warm juvescence of those ichored limbs,
For laughter checked by no repentant cries,
For lips unstained by pattering of hymns.
Men’s glances have embraced you. They are wise.

They have seen you, cumbent by the ruddy fire,
Lending your curves to cushioned wantonness,
Or leaping to the stroke of an earthy lyre
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XXXVI from The Arab Apocalypse by Etel Adnan
Etel Adnan
In the dark irritation of the eyes there is a snake hiding

In the exhalations of Americans there is a crumbling empire

In the foul waters of the rivers there are Palestinians

OUT OUT of its borders pain has a leash on its neck

In the wheat stalks there are insects vaccinated against bread

In the Arabian boats there are sharks shaken with laughter

In the camel’s belly there are blind highways

OUT OUT of TIME there is spring’s shattered hope
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The Sign-Post by Edward Thomas
Edward Thomas
The dim sea glints chill. The white sun is shy,
And the skeleton weeds and the never-dry,
Rough, long grasses keep white with frost
At the hilltop by the finger-post;
The smoke of the traveller’s-joy is puffed
Over hawthorn berry and hazel tuft.
I read the sign. Which way shall I go?
A voice says: You would not have doubted so
At twenty. Another voice gentle with scorn
Says: At twenty you wished you had never been born.

One hazel lost a leaf of gold
From a tuft at the tip, when the first voice told
The other he wished to know what ’twould be
To be sixty by this same post. “You shall see,”
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The Long Shadow of Lincoln: A Litany by Carl Sandburg
Carl Sandburg
(We can succeed only by concert. . . . The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves. . . . December 1, 1862. The President’s Message to Congress.) Be sad, be cool, be kind,
remembering those now dreamdust
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Dirge Without Music by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Edna St. Vincent Millay
I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.

Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains,—but the best is lost.
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The Fair by R. S. Thomas
R. S. Thomas
The idiot goes round and around
With his brother in a bumping car
At the fair. The famous idiot
Smile hangs over the car’s edge,
Illuminating nothing. This is mankind
Being taken for a ride by a rich
Relation. The responses are fixed:
Bump, smile; bump, smile. And the current
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A Man by Louis Untermeyer
Louis Untermeyer
(For My Father) I listened to them talking, talking,
That tableful of keen and clever folk,
Sputtering . . . followed by a pale and balking
Sort of flash whenever some one spoke;
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Q & A by Kenneth Fearing
Kenneth Fearing
Where analgesia may be found to ease the infinite, minute scars of the day;
What final interlude will result, picked bit by bit from the morning's hurry, the lunch-hour boredom, the fevers of the night;
Why this one is cherished by the gods, and that one not;
How to win, and win again, and again, staking wit alone against a sea of time;
Which man to trust and, once found, how far—

Will not be found in Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John,
Nor Blackstone, nor Gray's, nor Dun & Bradstreet, nor Freud, nor Marx,
Nor the sage of the evening news, nor the corner astrologist, nor in any poet,
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X Minus X by Kenneth Fearing
Kenneth Fearing
Even when your friend, the radio, is still; even when her dream, the magazine, is finished; even when his life, the ticker, is silent; even when their destiny, the boulevard, is bare;
And after that paradise, the dance-hall, is closed; after that theater, the clinic, is dark,

Still there will be your desire, and hers, and his hopes and theirs,
Your laughter, their laughter,
Your curse and his curse, her reward and their reward, their dismay and his dismay and her dismay and yours—

Even when your enemy, the collector, is dead; even when your counsellor, the salesman, is sleeping; even when your sweetheart, the movie queen, has spoken; even when your friend, the magnate, is gone.
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Long Island Sound by Emma Lazarus
Emma Lazarus
I see it as it looked one afternoon
In August,— by a fresh soft breeze o’erblown.
The swiftness of the tide, the light thereon,
A far-off sail, white as a crescent moon.
The shining waters with pale currents strewn,
The quiet fishing-smacks, the Eastern cove,
The semi-circle of its dark, green grove.
The luminous grasses, and the merry sun
In the grave sky; the sparkle far and wide,
Laughter of unseen children, cheerful chirp
Of crickets, and low lisp of rippling tide,
Light summer clouds fantastical as sleep
Changing unnoted while I gazed thereon.
All these fair sounds and sights I made my own.

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To Theodore by George Marion McClellan
George Marion McClellan
Such are the little memories of you;
They come and go, return and lie apart
From all main things of life; yet more than they,
With noiseless feet, they come and grip the heart.
Gay laughter leading quick and stormy tears,
Then smiles again and pulse of flying feet,
In breathless chase of fleeting gossamers,
Are memories so dear, so bitter-sweet.
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from Letter in April: IV by Inger Christensen
Inger Christensen
Already on the street
with our money clutched
in our hands,
and the world is a white laundry,
where we are boiled and wrung
and dried and ironed,
and smoothed down
and forsaken
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from Anactoria by Algernon Charles Swinburne
Algernon Charles Swinburne
after Sappho Yea, thou shalt be forgotten like spilt wine,
Except these kisses of my lips on thine
Brand them with immortality; but me –
Men shall not see bright fire nor hear the sea,
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Away above a Harborful . . . by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Away above a harborful
of caulkless houses
among the charley noble chimneypots
of a rooftop rigged with clotheslines
a woman pastes up sails
upon the wind
hanging out her morning sheets
with wooden pins
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Cherry-Ripe by Thomas Campion
Thomas Campion
There is a garden in her face
Where roses and white lilies blow;
A heavenly paradise is that place,
Wherein all pleasant fruits do flow:
There cherries grow which none may buy
Till “Cherry-ripe” themselves do cry.

Those cherries fairly do enclose
Of orient pearl a double row,
Which when her lovely laughter shows,
They look like rose-buds filled with snow;
Yet them no peer nor prince can buy
Till “Cherry-ripe” themselves do cry.

Her eyes like angels watch them still;
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The Children of Stare by Walter de La Mare
Walter de La Mare
Winter is fallen early
On the house of Stare;
Birds in reverberating flocks
Haunt its ancestral box;
Bright are the plenteous berries
In clusters in the air.

Still is the fountain’s music,
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The Dead by Rupert Brooke
Rupert Brooke
These hearts were woven of human joys and cares,
Washed marvellously with sorrow, swift to mirth.
The years had given them kindness. Dawn was theirs,
And sunset, and the colours of the earth.
These had seen movement, and heard music; known
Slumber and waking; loved; gone proudly friended;
Felt the quick stir of wonder; sat alone;
Touched flowers and furs and cheeks. All this is ended.

There are waters blown by changing winds to laughter
And lit by the rich skies, all day. And after,
Frost, with a gesture, stays the waves that dance
And wandering loveliness. He leaves a white
Unbroken glory, a gathered radiance,
A width, a shining peace, under the night.
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Epitaph for a Romantic Woman by Louise Bogan
Louise Bogan
She has attained the permanence
She dreamed of, where old stones lie sunning.
Untended stalks blow over her
Even and swift, like young men running.

Always in the heart she loved
Others had lived,—she heard their laughter.
She lies where none has lain before,
Where certainly none will follow after.
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Feeling Fucked Up by Etheridge Knight
Etheridge Knight
Lord she’s gone done left me done packed / up and split
and I with no way to make her
come back and everywhere the world is bare
bright bone white crystal sand glistens
dope death dead dying and jiving drove
her away made her take her laughter and her smiles
and her softness and her midnight sighs—

Fuck Coltrane and music and clouds drifting in the sky
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Fourth of July at Santa Ynez by John Haines
John Haines
I
Under the makeshift arbor of leaves
a hot wind blowing smoke and laughter.
Music out of the renegade west,
too harsh and loud, many dark faces
moved among the sweating whites.

II
Wandering apart from the others,
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Happy as a Dog’s Tail by Anna Swir
Anna Swir
Happy as something unimportant
and free as a thing unimportant.
As something no one prizes
and which does not prize itself.
As something mocked by all
and which mocks at their mockery.
As laughter without serious reason.
As a yell able to outyell itself.
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Kin by Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou
FOR BAILEY We were entwined in red rings
Of blood and loneliness before
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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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Marriage by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge
Mary Elizabeth Coleridge
No more alone sleeping, no more alone waking,
Thy dreams divided, thy prayers in twain;
Thy merry sisters tonight forsaking,
Never shall we see, maiden, again.

Never shall we see thee, thine eyes glancing.
Flashing with laughter and wild in glee,
Under the mistletoe kissing and dancing,
Wantonly free.
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The Miller's Daughter by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
It is the miller’s daughter,
And she is grown so dear, so dear,
That I would be the jewel
That trembles at her ear:
For hid in ringlets day and night,
I’d touch her neck so warm and white.

And I would be the girdle
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Nurture by Maxine Kumin
Maxine Kumin
From a documentary on marsupials I learn
that a pillowcase makes a fine
substitute pouch for an orphaned kangaroo.

I am drawn to such dramas of animal rescue.
They are warm in the throat. I suffer, the critic proclaims,
from an overabundance of maternal genes.

Bring me your fallen fledgling, your bummer lamb,

lead the abused, the starvelings, into my barn.
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The Obligation to Be Happy by Linda Pastan
Linda Pastan
It is more onerous
than the rites of beauty
or housework, harder than love.
But you expect it of me casually,
the way you expect the sun
to come up, not in spite of rain
or clouds but because of them.

And so I smile, as if my own fidelity
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Ode 44 by Hafez
Hafez
Last night, as half asleep I dreaming lay,
Half naked came she in her little shift,
With tilted glass, and verses on her lips;
Narcissus-eyes all shining for the fray,
Filled full of frolic to her wine-red lips,
Warm as a dewy rose, sudden she slips
Into my bed – just in her little shift.

Said she, half naked, half asleep, half heard,
With a soft sigh betwixt each lazy word,
‘Oh my old lover, do you sleep or wake!’
And instant I sat upright for her sake,
And drank whatever wine she poured for me –
Wine of the tavern, or vintage it might be
Of Heaven’s own vine: he surely were a churl
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Romans in Dorset: A.D. MDCCCXCV by Louise Imogen Guiney
Louise Imogen Guiney
A stupor on the heath,
And wrath along the sky;
Space everywhere; beneath
A flat and treeless wold for us, and darkest noon on high.

Sullen quiet below,
But storm in upper air!
A wind from long ago,
In mouldy chambers of the cloud had ripped an arras there,

And singed the triple gloom,
And let through, in a flame,
Crowned faces of old Rome:
Regnant o’er Rome’s abandoned ground, processional they came.

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A Slow Fuse by Theodore Weiss
Theodore Weiss
Some seventy years later
your father, sitting at your table
over wine he savors, last rays mellow-
ing in it, recalls his favorite aunt,
Rifka.
“Just naming her shoots
rifles off again inside the morning
square, rifles she aimed into the air
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The Soldier by Rupert Brooke
Rupert Brooke
If I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam;
A body of England’s, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.
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Speed the Parting— by Elinor Wylie
Elinor Wylie
I shall not sprinkle with dust
A creature so clearly lunar;
You must die—but of course you must—
And better later than sooner.
But if it should be in a year
That year itself must perish;
How dingy a thing is fear,
And sorrow, how dull to cherish!
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Tiare Tahiti by Rupert Brooke
Rupert Brooke
Mamua, when our laughter ends,
And hearts and bodies, brown as white,
Are dust about the doors of friends,
Or scent ablowing down the night,
Then, oh! then, the wise agree,
Comes our immortality.
Mamua, there waits a land
Hard for us to understand.
Out of time, beyond the sun,
All are one in Paradise,
You and Pupure are one,
And Taü, and the ungainly wise.
There the Eternals are, and there
The Good, the Lovely, and the True,
And Types, whose earthly copies were
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A Wicker Basket by Robert Creeley
Robert Creeley
Comes the time when it’s later
and onto your table the headwaiter
puts the bill, and very soon after
rings out the sound of lively laughter—

Picking up change, hands like a walrus,
and a face like a barndoor’s,
and a head without any apparent size,
nothing but two eyes—
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You Who Wronged by Czeslaw Milosz
Czeslaw Milosz
You who wronged a simple man
Bursting into laughter at the crime,
And kept a pack of fools around you
To mix good and evil, to blur the line,

Though everyone bowed down before you,
Saying virtue and wisdom lit your way,
Striking gold medals in your honor,
Glad to have survived another day,
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Poems by Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore
VII

Sing the song of the moment in careless carols, in the transient light of the day;
Sing of the fleeting smiles that vanish and never look back;
Sing of the flowers that bloom and fade without regret.
Weave not in memory’s thread the days that would glide into nights.
To the guests that must go bid God-speed, and wipe away all traces of their steps.
Let the moments end in moments with their cargo of fugitive songs.

With both hands snap the fetters you made with your own heart chords;
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After Arguing against the Contention That Art Must Come from Discontent by William E. Stafford
William E. Stafford
Whispering to each handhold, “I'll be back,”
I go up the cliff in the dark. One place
I loosen a rock and listen a long time
till it hits, faint in the gulf, but the rush
of the torrent almost drowns it out, and the wind—
I almost forgot the wind: it tears at your side
or it waits and then buffets; you sag outward. . . .

I remember they said it would be hard. I scramble
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A Celebration of Charis: I. His Excuse for Loving by Ben Jonson
Ben Jonson
Let it not your wonder move,
Less your laughter, that I love.
Though I now write fifty years,
I have had, and have, my peers;
Poets, though divine, are men,
Some have lov'd as old again.
And it is not always face,
Clothes, or fortune, gives the grace;
Or the feature, or the youth.
But the language and the truth,
With the ardour and the passion,
Gives the lover weight and fashion.
If you then will read the story,
First prepare you to be sorry
That you never knew till now
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Chaplinesque by Hart Crane
Hart Crane
We make our meek adjustments,
Contented with such random consolations
As the wind deposits
In slithered and too ample pockets.

For we can still love the world, who find
A famished kitten on the step, and know
Recesses for it from the fury of the street,
Or warm torn elbow coverts.
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Evening News II by David Ferry
David Ferry
The face looking into the room;
Behind it light, shaking, like heat
Lightning; the face calm and knowing;
Seeing, but not seeing who I am;
The mouth may be telling something.

Something about our helplessness;
Something about the confusions of beasts;
The consequence of error; systems
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The Giant Slide by Ted Kooser
Ted Kooser
Beside the highway, the Giant Slide
with its rusty undulations lifts
out of the weeds. It hasn’t been used
for a generation. The ticket booth
tilts to that side where the nickels shifted
over the years. A chain link fence keeps out
the children and drunks. Blue morning glories
climb halfway up the stairs, bright clusters
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A Gothic Tale by Theodore Weiss
Theodore Weiss
Framed by our window, skaters, winding
in and out the wind, as water reeling
so kept in motion, on a well-honed
edge spin out a gilded ceiling.

Fish, reflecting glow for glow,
saints around the sun, are frozen
with amazement just one pane below.

Skates flash like stars, so madly
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Hysteria by T. S. Eliot
T. S. Eliot
As she laughed I was aware of becoming involved in her laughter and being part of it, until her teeth were only accidental stars with a talent for squad-drill. I was drawn in by short gasps, inhaled at each momentary recovery, lost finally in the dark caverns of her throat, bruised by the ripple of unseen muscles. An elderly waiter with trembling hands was hurriedly spreading a pink and white checked cloth over the rusty green iron table, saying: 'If the lady and gentleman wish to take their tea in the garden, if the lady and gentleman wish to take their tea in the garden ...' I decided that if the shaking of her breasts could be stopped, some of the fragments of the afternoon might be collected, and I concentrated my attention with careful subtlety to this end.
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March: An Ode by Algernon Charles Swinburne
Algernon Charles Swinburne
I
Ere frost-flower and snow-blossom faded and fell, and the splendour of winter had passed out of sight,
The ways of the woodlands were fairer and stranger than dreams that fulfil us in sleep with delight;
The breath of the mouths of the winds had hardened on tree-tops and branches that glittered and swayed
Such wonders and glories of blossomlike snow or of frost that outlightens all flowers till it fade
That the sea was not lovelier than here was the land, nor the night than the day, nor the day than the night,
Nor the winter sublimer with storm than the spring: such mirth had the madness and might in thee made,
March, master of winds, bright minstrel and marshal of storms that enkindle the season they smite.

II
And now that the rage of thy rapture is satiate with revel and ravin and spoil of the snow,
And the branches it brightened are broken, and shattered the tree-tops that only thy wrath could lay low,
How should not thy lovers rejoice in thee, leader and lord of the year that exults to be born
So strong in thy strength and so glad of thy gladness whose laughter puts winter and sorrow to scorn?
Thou hast shaken the snows from thy wings, and the frost on thy forehead is molten: thy lips are aglow
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Memorabilia by Robert Browning
Robert Browning
Ah, did you once see Shelley plain,
And did he stop and speak to you?
And did you speak to him again?
How strange it seems, and new!

But you were living before that,
And you are living after,
And the memory I started at—
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50
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An Old Road by Edwin Markham
Edwin Markham
A host of poppies, a flight of swallows;
A flurry of rain, and a wind that follows
Shepherds the leaves in the sheltered hollows
For the forest is shaken and thinned.

Over my head are the firs for rafter;
The crows blow south, and my heart goes after;
I kiss my hands to the world with laughter—
Is it Aidenn or mystical Ind?
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40
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On the Seashore by Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore
On the seashore of endless worlds children meet.
The infinite sky is motionless overhead and the restless water is boisterous. On the seashore of endless worlds the children meet with shouts and dances.
They build their houses with sand, and they play with empty shells. With withered leaves they weave their boats and smilingly float them on the vast deep. Children have their play on the seashore of worlds.
They know not how to swim, they know not how to cast nets. Pearl-fishers dive for pearls, merchants sail in their ships, while children gather pebbles and scatter them again. They seek not for hidden treasures, they know not how to cast nets.
The sea surges up with laughter, and pale gleams the smile of the sea-beach. Death-dealing waves sing meaningless ballads to the children, even like a mother while rocking her baby's cradle. The sea plays with children, and pale gleams the smile of the sea-beach.
On the seashore of endless worlds children meet. Tempest roams in the pathless sky, ships are wrecked in the trackless water, death is abroad and children play. On the seashore of endless worlds is the great meeting of children.

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Patroling Barnegat by Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
Wild, wild the storm, and the sea high running,
Steady the roar of the gale, with incessant undertone muttering,
Shouts of demoniac laughter fitfully piercing and pealing,
Waves, air, midnight, their savagest trinity lashing,
Out in the shadows there milk-white combs careering,
On beachy slush and sand spirts of snow fierce slanting,
Where through the murk the easterly death-wind breasting,
Through cutting swirl and spray watchful and firm advancing,
(That in the distance! is that a wreck? is the red signal flaring?)

Slush and sand of the beach tireless till daylight wending,
Steadily, slowly, through hoarse roar never remitting,
Along the midnight edge by those milk-white combs careering,
A group of dim, weird forms, struggling, the night confronting,
That savage trinity warily watching.
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The Roundel by Algernon Charles Swinburne
Algernon Charles Swinburne
A roundel is wrought as a ring or a starbright sphere,
With craft of delight and with cunning of sound unsought,
That the heart of the hearer may smile if to pleasure his ear
A roundel is wrought.

Its jewel of music is carven of all or of aught—
Love, laughter, or mourning—remembrance of rapture or fear—
That fancy may fashion to hang in the ear of thought.

As a bird's quick song runs round, and the hearts in us hear
Pause answer to pause, and again the same strain caught,
So moves the device whence, round as a pearl or tear,
A roundel is wrought.

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Similar Cases by Charlotte Anna Perkins Gilman
Charlotte Anna Perkins Gilman
There was once a little animal,
No bigger than a fox,
And on five toes he scampered
Over Tertiary rocks.
They called him Eohippus,
And they called him very small,
And they thought him of no value --
When they thought of him at all;
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35
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Song: “O Mistress mine where are you roaming?” by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
(from Twelfth Night) O Mistress mine where are you roaming?
O stay and hear, your true love's coming,
That can sing both high and low.
Trip no further pretty sweeting.
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There Is A Garden In Her Face by Thomas Campion
Thomas Campion
There is a garden in her face
Where roses and white lilies grow;
A heav'nly paradise is that place
Wherein all pleasant fruits do flow.
There cherries grow which none may buy,
Till "Cherry ripe" themselves do cry.

Those cherries fairly do enclose
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The Trickle-down Theory of Happiness by Philip Appleman
Philip Appleman
Out of heaven, to bless the high places,
it falls on the penthouses, drizzling
at first, then a pelting allegro,
and Dick and Jane skip to the terrace
and go boogieing through the azaleas,
while mommy and daddy come running
with pots and pans, glasses, and basins
and try to hold all of it up there,
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28
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Momus by Carl Sandburg
Carl Sandburg
Momus is the name men give your face,
The brag of its tone, like a long low steamboat whistle
Finding a way mid mist on a shoreland,
Where gray rocks let the salt water shatter spray Against horizons purple, silent.

Yes, Momus,
Men have flung your face in bronze
To gaze in gargoyle downward on a street-whirl of folk.
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The Beggars by Margaret Widdemer
Margaret Widdemer
The little pitiful, worn, laughing faces,
Begging of Life for Joy!

I saw the little daughters of the poor,
Tense from the long day's working, strident, gay,
Hurrying to the picture-place. There curled
A hideous flushed beggar at the door,
Trading upon his horror, eyeless, maimed,
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For Laurel and Hardy on My Workroom Wall by David Wagoner
David Wagoner
They’re tipping their battered derbies and striding forward
In step for a change, chipper, self-assured,
Their cardboard suitcases labeled
Guest of Steerage. They’ve just arrived at the boot camp
Of the good old French Foreign Legion
Which they’ve chosen as their slice of life
Instead of drowning themselves. Once again
They’re about to become their own mothers and fathers
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