Pink

P
The Visit of the Professor of Aesthetics by Margaret Danner
Margaret Danner
To see you standing in the sagging bookstore door
So filled me with chagrin that suddenly you seemed as
Pink and white to me as newborn, hairless mouse. For

I had hoped to delight you at home. Be a furl
Of faint perfume and Vienna’s cord like lace,
To shine my piano till a shimmer of mother-of-pearl

Embraced it. To pleasantly surprise you with the grace
That transcends my imitation and much worn
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Any by George Bowering
George Bowering
Fresh out of the icebox, this brain looks
the wrong way from time to time, and misses
the cat stepping by, Gerry on the screen
laboring to tell the nuances his pink matter
almost notices, he’s not my brother, not really
my close friend, just my necessary neighbor
on a bicycle going by like a whistle from
the lips of someone I trust. He has a peculiar
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Snow by Louis MacNeice
Louis MacNeice
The room was suddenly rich and the great bay-window was
Spawning snow and pink roses against it
Soundlessly collateral and incompatible:
World is suddener than we fancy it.

World is crazier and more of it than we think,
Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portion
A tangerine and spit the pips and feel
The drunkenness of things being various.
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Two Evening Moons by Federico García Lorca
Federico García Lorca

i

For Laurita, my sister’s friend

The moon is dead dead
— it will come back to life in the spring

when a south wind
ruffles the brow of the poplars

when our hearts yield their harvest of sighs
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A Dancer’s Life by Donald Justice
Donald Justice
The lights in the theater fail. The long racks
Of costumes abandoned by the other dancers
Trouble Celeste. The conductor asks
If she is sad because autumn is coming on,

But when autumn comes she is merely pregnant and bored.
On her way back from the holidays, a man
Who appears to have no face rattles the door
To her compartment. How disgusting, she thinks;
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Arrival at Santos by Elizabeth Bishop
Elizabeth Bishop
Here is a coast; here is a harbor;
here, after a meager diet of horizon, is some scenery;
impractically shaped and—who knows?—self-pitying mountains,
sad and harsh beneath their frivolous greenery,

with a little church on top of one. And warehouses,
some of them painted a feeble pink, or blue,
and some tall, uncertain palms. Oh, tourist,
is this how this country is going to answer you
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Ballad of Orange and Grape by Muriel Rukeyser
Muriel Rukeyser
After you finish your work
after you do your day
after you've read your reading
after you've written your say –
you go down the street to the hot dog stand,
one block down and across the way.
On a blistering afternoon in East Harlem in the twentieth
century.
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The Armadillo by Elizabeth Bishop
Elizabeth Bishop
for Robert Lowell This is the time of year
when almost every night
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Effort at Speech Between Two People by Muriel Rukeyser
Muriel Rukeyser

: Speak to me. Take my hand. What are you now?
I will tell you all. I will conceal nothing.
When I was three, a little child read a story about a rabbit
who died, in the story, and I crawled under a chair :
a pink rabbit : it was my birthday, and a candle
burnt a sore spot on my finger, and I was told to be happy.

: Oh, grow to know me. I am not happy. I will be open:
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Mount Street Gardens by Frederick Seidel
Frederick Seidel
I’m talking about Mount Street.
Jackhammers give it the staggers.
They’re tearing up dear Mount Street.
It’s got a torn-up face like Mick Jagger’s.

I mean, this is Mount Street!
Scott’s restaurant, the choicest oysters, brilliant fish;
Purdey, the great shotgun maker—the street is complete
Posh plush and (except for Marc Jacobs) so English.

Remember the old Mount Street,
The quiet that perfumed the air
Like a flowering tree and smelled sweet
As only money can smell, because after all this was Mayfair?

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Journal: April 19 : The Southern Tier by Paul Blackburn
Paul Blackburn
I

look out the window in upstate New York, see

the Mediterranean stretching out below me

down the rocky hillside at Faro, three

years, two months, fourteen days earlier .

8:25 A. M.

Rosemary gone back to sleep, pink & white . I

stand at the livingroom window drinking coffee, open
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A Blind Fisherman by Stanley Moss
Stanley Moss
I teach my friend, a fisherman gone blind, to cast
true left, right or center and how far
between lily pads and the fallen cedar.
Darkness is precious, how long will darkness last?
Our bait, worms, have no professors, they live
in darkness, can be taught fear of light.
Cut into threes even sixes they live
separate lives, recoil from light.
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Farewell to Poetry by Théophile Gautier
Théophile Gautier
Come, fallen angel, and your pink wings close;
Doff your white robe, your rays that gild the skies;
You must—from heaven, where once you used to rise—
Streak, like a shooting star, fall into prose.

Your bird’s feet now must strike an earthly pose.
It is no time to fly: walk! Lock your prize—
Your harp’s fair harmonies—in resting wise,
Within your heart: vain, worthless treasures those!
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Last Wish by Théophile Gautier
Théophile Gautier
A long time have I known you... Why,
Full eighteen years, I must confess!
All pink are you; pale, blear am I.
Winters, mine; yours, spring’s comeliness!

White cemetery lilacs sprout
Over my temples; but soon, now,
The grove entire will bloom about
My head, to shade my withered brow.
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Phrases by Arthur Rimbaud
Arthur Rimbaud
When the world is reduced to a single dark wood for our two pairs of dazzled eyes—to a beach for two faithful children—to a musical house for our clear understanding—then I shall find you. When there is only one old man on earth, lonely, peaceful, handsome, living in unsurpassed luxury, then I am at your feet. When I have realized all your memories, —when I am the girl who can tie your hands,—then I will stifle you. When we are very strong, who draws back? or very happy, who collapses from ridicule? When we are very bad, what can they do to us.
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One’s Ship Comes In by Joe Paddock
Joe Paddock
I swear
my way now will be
to continue without
plan or hope, to accept
the drift of things, to shift
from endless effort
to joy in, say,
that robin, plunging
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Waterlily Fire by Muriel Rukeyser
Muriel Rukeyser
for Richard Griffith 1 THE BURNING

Girl grown woman fire mother of fire
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...Within, Into, Inside, Under, Within... by John Unterecker
John Unterecker
I

Beginnings: a chrysalis improvisation
in the wings, roles
taking on flesh before a role begins…

as light begins in the elm,
pushing the long elm branches into night,
a ghost light pressing sky…

or actors, swollen with strange selves,
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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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Kashmiri Song by Laurence Hope
Laurence Hope
Pale hands I loved beside the Shalimar,
Where are you now? Who lies beneath your spell?
Whom do you lead on Rapture's roadway, far,
Before you agonise them in farewell?

Oh, pale dispensers of my Joys and Pains,
Holding the doors of Heaven and of Hell,
How the hot blood rushed wildly through the veins,
Beneath your touch, until you waved farewell.

Pale hands, pink tipped, like Lotus buds that float
On those cool waters where we used to dwell,
I would have rather felt you round my throat,
Crushing out life, than waving me farewell!
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Kef 24 by Henry Dumas
Henry Dumas
lay sixteen bales down in front on the plank
let me set and bay at the houndog moon
lay sixteen bales down of the cotton flank
pray with me brothers that the pink
boss dont sweat me too soon
beat my leg in a round nigger peg
lord have mercy on my black pole
lay sixteen bales in the even row
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Son of Msippi by Henry Dumas
Henry Dumas
Up
from Msippi I grew.
(Bare walk and cane stalk
make a hungry belly talk.)
Up
from the river of death.
(Walk bare and stalk cane
make a hungry belly talk.)
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Eating Chocolate Ice Cream: Reading Mayakovsky by Barbara Guest
Barbara Guest
Since I’ve decided to revolutionize my life
since

decided

revolutionize

life
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Freely Espousing by James Schuyler
James Schuyler
a commingling sky

a semi-tropic night
that cast the blackest shadow
of the easily torn, untrembling banana leaf

or Quebec! what a horrible city
so Steubenville is better?
the sinking sensation
when someone drowns thinking, “This can’t be happening to me!”
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Cups: 1 by Robin Blaser
Robin Blaser
Inside I brought
willows, the tips
bursting,
blue
iris (I forget
the legend of long life
they represent)
and the branch of pepper tree
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Coming and Going by Pierre Martory
Pierre Martory
As long as you believe in miracles
You watch the sun fall into the sea
Every evening
Then you turn your back and sink
Among the ferns sparkling from a moon or from the other
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A Substance in a Cushion by Gertrude Stein
Gertrude Stein
The change of color is likely and a difference a very little difference is prepared. Sugar is not a vegetable.

Callous is something that hardening leaves behind what will be soft if there is a genuine interest in there being present as many girls as men. Does this change. It shows that dirt is clean when there is a volume.

A cushion has that cover. Supposing you do not like to change, supposing it is very clean that there is no change in appearance, supposing that there is regularity and a costume is that any the worse than an oyster and an exchange. Come to season that is there any extreme use in feather and cotton. Is there not much more joy in a table and more chairs and very likely roundness and a place to put them.

A circle of fine card board and a chance to see a tassel.

What is the use of a violent kind of delightfulness if there is no pleasure in not getting tired of it. The question does not come before there is a quotation. In any kind of place there is a top to covering and it is a pleasure at any rate there is some venturing in refusing to believe nonsense. It shows what use there is in a whole piece if one uses it and it is extreme and very likely the little things could be dearer but in any case there is a bargain and if there is the best thing to do is to take it away and wear it and then be reckless be reckless and resolved on returning gratitude.

Light blue and the same red with purple makes a change. It shows that there is no mistake. Any pink shows that and very likely it is reasonable. Very likely there should not be a finer fancy present. Some increase means a calamity and this is the best preparation for three and more being together. A little calm is so ordinary and in any case there is sweetness and some of that.

A seal and matches and a swan and ivy and a suit.

A closet, a closet does not connect under the bed. The band if it is white and black, the band has a green string. A sight a whole sight and a little groan grinding makes a trimming such a sweet singing trimming and a red thing not a round thing but a white thing, a red thing and a white thing.

The disgrace is not in carelessness nor even in sewing it comes out out of the way.

What is the sash like. The sash is not like anything mustard it is not like a same thing that has stripes, it is not even more hurt than that, it has a little top.

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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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Afternoons by Michael Anania
Michael Anania
Quick passage into
memory and behind
only blank spaces,

blue stain on pink
litmus or merely
known so closely

something falls away
receding from touch,
caught in the air

your fingers move,
agile water-fly
padding the surface
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Der Gilgul (The Possessed) by Jerome Rothenberg
Jerome Rothenberg
1

he picks a coin up
from the ground

it burns his hand
like ashes it is red

& marks him as it marks
the othershidden

he is hidden in the forest
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Fever 103° by Sylvia Plath
Sylvia Plath
Highlight Actions Enable or disable annotations
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Goose by Richard Emil Braun
Richard Emil Braun
Trailing her father, bearing his hand axe,
the girl thought she had never
guessed what earthly majesty
was before

then, as he strode unconcernedly
holding a vicious gander
by the horny mitts and let
the big wings
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The Instruction Manual by John Ashbery
John Ashbery
As I sit looking out of a window of the building
I wish I did not have to write the instruction manual on the uses of a new metal.
I look down into the street and see people, each walking with an inner peace,
And envy them—they are so far away from me!
Not one of them has to worry about getting out this manual on schedule.
And, as my way is, I begin to dream, resting my elbows on the desk and leaning out of the window a little,
Of dim Guadalajara! City of rose-colored flowers!
City I wanted most to see, and most did not see, in Mexico!
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The James Bond Movie by May Swenson
May Swenson
The popcorn is greasy, and I forgot to bring a Kleenex.
A pill that’s a bomb inside the stomach of a man inside

The Embassy blows up. Eructations of flame, luxurious
cauliflowers giganticize into motion. The entire 29-ft.

screen is orange, is crackling flesh and brick bursting,
blackening, smithereened. I unwrap a Dentyne and, while

jouncing my teeth in rubber tongue-smarting clove, try
with the 2-inch-wide paper to blot butter off my fingers.
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Last Words by “Slick” by Etheridge Knight
Etheridge Knight
(or a self / sung eulogy) Now, when I / die, dont you bury me
On no lone prairie;
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Morning Song by Sylvia Plath
Sylvia Plath
Love set you going like a fat gold watch.
The midwife slapped your footsoles, and your bald cry
Took its place among the elements.

Our voices echo, magnifying your arrival. New statue.
In a drafty museum, your nakedness
Shadows our safety. We stand round blankly as walls.

I’m no more your mother
Than the cloud that distills a mirror to reflect its own slow
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The Mower against Gardens by Andrew Marvell
Andrew Marvell
Luxurious man, to bring his vice in use,
Did after him the world seduce,
And from the fields the flowers and plants allure,
Where nature was most plain and pure.
He first enclosed within the gardens square
A dead and standing pool of air,
And a more luscious earth for them did knead,
Which stupified them while it fed.
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No One Goes to Paris in August by Clarence Major
Clarence Major
A Montparnasse August
with view of the Cimetière. A yard of bones.

We wake to it. Close curtains to it.
Wake to its lanes. Rows of coffin-stones in varying light.

Walking here. Late with shade low, low, long.
We’re passing through, just passing through
neat aisles of gray mausoleums.

(From Paris. Send this postcard. This one.
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San Diego and Matisse by Clarence Major
Clarence Major
1. INSIDE FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF A TREE

Beautiful women in smoky blue culottes
lying around on fluffy pink pillows
beneath windows onto charming views,
sea views, seasonal leaves and trees.
Inside is outside and outside inside.
Smell of saltwater swimming in the room.


2. OUTSIDE FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF A ROCKING CHAIR
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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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The Tennis Court Oath by John Ashbery
John Ashbery
What had you been thinking about
the face studiously bloodied
heaven blotted region
I go on loving you like water but
there is a terrible breath in the way all of this
You were not elected president, yet won the race
All the way through fog and drizzle
When you read it was sincere the coasts
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To a Child in Heaven by Richard Emil Braun
Richard Emil Braun
You perished, in a toyland, of surprise;
and only I am here to bury you
in dessicated tulip tips and eyes
of broken diadie-dolls. Poor pink, poor blue!

Will you be grown when I’m in Heaven too?
Will length of death have turned you Classical
like old Bisque faces, keen and sainted view,
pearl on your breast, pearl-pointed linen shawl?
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vegas by Charles Bukowski
Charles Bukowski
there was a frozen tree that I wanted to paint
but the shells came down
and in Vegas looking across at a green sunshade
at 3:30 in the morning,
I died without nails, without a copy of the Atlantic Monthly,
the windows screamed like doves moaning the bombing of Milan
and I went out to live with the rats
but the lights were too bright
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Vetiver by John Ashbery
John Ashbery
Ages passed slowly, like a load of hay,
As the flowers recited their lines
And pike stirred at the bottom of the pond.
The pen was cool to the touch.
The staircase swept upward
Through fragmented garlands, keeping the melancholy
Already distilled in letters of the alphabet.

It would be time for winter now, its spun-sugar
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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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Colonoscopy Sonnet by Sandra M. Gilbert
Sandra M. Gilbert
On the news tonight, a presidential
colonoscopy — a tale ofhow
for three whole hours the chief  exec of   trouble
handed trouble to his vice (although
no double trouble came), but then no more
details revealed: no bacterial armies
multiplying in a flare of  war
among kingly polyps & no kinky creases.

Welcome to the presidential gut,
bubble gum pink, not a spot of  shit
(after a quick administrative cleanout)
where global decisions stir & sit in state,
and the first physician’s mighty pointer traces
only microdrops of   blood in secret places.
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All My Pretty Ones by Anne Sexton
Anne Sexton
Father, this year’s jinx rides us apart
where you followed our mother to her cold slumber;
a second shock boiling its stone to your heart,
leaving me here to shuffle and disencumber
you from the residence you could not afford:
a gold key, your half of a woolen mill,
twenty suits from Dunne’s, an English Ford,
the love and legal verbiage of another will,
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Burning Island by Gary Snyder
Gary Snyder
O Wave Godwho broke through me today
Sea Bream
massive pink and silver
cool swimming down with me watching
staying away from the spear

Volcano belly Keeper who lifted this island
for our own beaded bodies adornment
and sprinkles us all with his laugh—
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The China Painters by Ted Kooser
Ted Kooser
They have set aside their black tin boxes,
scratched and dented,
spattered with drops of pink and blue;
and their dried-up, rolled-up tubes
of alizarin crimson, chrome green,
zinc white, and ultramarine;
their vials half full of gold powder;
stubs of wax pencils;
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Color by Christina Rossetti
Christina Rossetti
What is pink? a rose is pink
By a fountain's brink.
What is red? a poppy's red
In its barley bed.
What is blue? the sky is blue
Where the clouds float thro'.
What is white? a swan is white
Sailing in the light.
What is yellow? pears are yellow,
Rich and ripe and mellow.
What is green? the grass is green,
With small flowers between.
What is violet? clouds are violet
In the summer twilight.
What is orange? Why, an orange,
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Étude Réaliste by Algernon Charles Swinburne
Algernon Charles Swinburne
(excerpt) I
A baby's feet, like sea-shells pink,
Might tempt, should heaven see meet,
An angel's lips to kiss, we think,
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Farewell to Bath by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
To all you ladies now at Bath,
And eke, ye beaux, to you,
With aching heart, and wat'ry eyes,
I bid my last adieu.

Farewell ye nymphs, who waters sip
Hot reeking from the pumps,
While music lends her friendly aid,
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February by Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood
Winter. Time to eat fat
and watch hockey. In the pewter mornings, the cat,
a black fur sausage with yellow
Houdini eyes, jumps up on the bed and tries
to get onto my head. It’s his
way of telling whether or not I’m dead.
If I’m not, he wants to be scratched; if I am
He’ll think of something. He settles
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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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In Houston by Gail Mazur
Gail Mazur
I’d dislocated my life, so I went to the zoo.
It was December but it wasn’t December. Pansies
just planted were blooming in well-groomed beds.
Lovers embraced under the sky’s Sunday blue.
Children rode around and around on pastel trains.
I read the labels stuck on every cage the way
people at museums do, art being less interesting
than information. Each fenced-in plot had a map,
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It Is Later Than You Think by Robert W. Service
Robert W. Service
Lone amid the café’s cheer,
Sad of heart am I to-night;
Dolefully I drink my beer,
But no single line I write.
There’s the wretched rent to pay,
Yet I glower at pen and ink:
Oh, inspire me, Muse, I pray,
It is later than you think!
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Letter Written on a Ferry While Crossing Long Island Sound by Anne Sexton
Anne Sexton
I am surprised to see
that the ocean is still going on.
Now I am going back
and I have ripped my hand
from your hand as I said I would
and I have made it this far
as I said I would
and I am on the top deck now
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30
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The Mower by Andrew Marvell
Andrew Marvell
Luxurious man, to bring his vice in use,
Did after him the world seduce;
And from the fields the flow’rs and plants allure,
Where nature was most plain and pure.
He first enclos’d within the garden’s square
A dead and standing pool of air;
And a more luscious earth for them did knead,
Which stupefied them while it fed.
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44
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Nephelidia by Algernon Charles Swinburne
Algernon Charles Swinburne
From the depth of the dreamy decline of the dawn through a notable nimbus of nebulous noonshine,
Pallid and pink as the palm of the flag-flower that flickers with fear of the flies as they float,
Are they looks of our lovers that lustrously lean from a marvel of mystic miraculous moonshine,
These that we feel in the blood of our blushes that thicken and threaten with throbs through the throat?
Thicken and thrill as a theatre thronged at appeal of an actor's appalled agitation,
Fainter with fear of the fires of the future than pale with the promise of pride in the past;
Flushed with the famishing fullness of fever that reddens with radiance of rathe recreation,
Gaunt as the ghastliest of glimpses that gleam through the gloom of the gloaming when ghosts go aghast?
Nay, for the nick of the tick of the time is a tremulous touch on the temples of terror,
Strained as the sinews yet strenuous with strife of the dead who is dumb as the dust-heaps of death:
Surely no soul is it, sweet as the spasm of erotic emotional exquisite error,
Bathed in the balms of beatified bliss, beatific itself by beatitude's breath.
Surely no spirit or sense of a soul that was soft to the spirit and soul of our senses
Sweetens the stress of suspiring suspicion that sobs in the semblance and sound of a sigh;
Only this oracle opens Olympian, in mystical moods and triangular tenses—
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Patterns by Amy Lowell
Amy Lowell
I walk down the garden paths,
And all the daffodils
Are blowing, and the bright blue squills.
I walk down the patterned garden paths
In my stiff, brocaded gown.
With my powdered hair and jewelled fan,
I too am a rare
Pattern. As I wander down
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Penumbrae by John Updike
John Updike
The shadows have their seasons, too.
The feathery web the budding maples
cast down upon the sullen lawn

bears but a faint relation to
high summer's umbrageous weight
and tunnellike continuum—

black leached from green, deep pools
wherein a globe of gnats revolves
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40
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Rapture by Galway Kinnell
Galway Kinnell
I can feel she has got out of bed.
That means it is seven a.m.
I have been lying with eyes shut,
thinking, or possibly dreaming,
of how she might look if, at breakfast,
I spoke about the hidden place in her
which, to me, is like a soprano’s tremolo,
and right then, over toast and bramble jelly,
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from Stanzas in Meditation: Stanza 13 by Gertrude Stein
Gertrude Stein
There may be pink with white or white with rose
Or there may be white with rose and pink with mauve
Or even there may be white with yellow and yellow with blue
Or even if even it is rose with white and blue
And so there is no yellow there but by accident.
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Stone Canyon Nocturne by Charles Wright
Charles Wright
Ancient of Days, old friend, no one believes you’ll come back.
No one believes in his own life anymore.

The moon, like a dead heart, cold and unstartable, hangs by a thread
At the earth’s edge,
Unfaithful at last, splotching the ferns and the pink shrubs.

In the other world, children undo the knots in their tally strings.
They sing songs, and their fingers blear.

And here, where the swan hums in his socket, where bloodroot
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Troop Train by Karl Shapiro
Karl Shapiro
It stops the town we come through. Workers raise
Their oily arms in good salute and grin.
Kids scream as at a circus. Business men
Glance hopefully and go their measured way.
And women standing at their dumbstruck door
More slowly wave and seem to warn us back,
As if a tear blinding the course of war
Might once dissolve our iron in their sweet wish.
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Vasectomy by Philip Appleman
Philip Appleman
After the steaming bodies swept
through the hungry streets of swollen cities;
after the vast pink spawning of family
poisoned the rivers and ravaged the prairies;
after the gamble of latex and
diaphragms and pills;
I invoked the white robes, gleaming blades
ready for blood, and, feeling the scourge
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The World Below the Brine by Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
The world below the brine,
Forests at the bottom of the sea, the branches and leaves,
Sea-lettuce, vast lichens, strange flowers and seeds, the thick tangle, openings, and pink turf,
Different colors, pale gray and green, purple, white, and gold, the play of light through the water,
Dumb swimmers there among the rocks, coral, gluten, grass, rushes, and the aliment of the swimmers,
Sluggish existences grazing there suspended, or slowly crawling close to the bottom,
The sperm-whale at the surface blowing air and spray, or disporting with his flukes,
The leaden-eyed shark, the walrus, the turtle, the hairy sea-leopard, and the sting-ray,
Passions there, wars, pursuits, tribes, sight in those ocean-depths, breathing that thick-breathing air, as so many do,
The change thence to the sight here, and to the subtle air breathed by beings like us who walk this sphere,
The change onward from ours to that of beings who walk other spheres.
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Breakage by Mary Oliver
Mary Oliver
I go down to the edge of the sea.
How everything shines in the morning light!
The cusp of the whelk,
the broken cupboard of the clam,
the opened, blue mussels,
moon snails, pale pink and barnacle scarred—
and nothing at all whole or shut, but tattered, split,
dropped by the gulls onto the gray rocks and all the moisture gone.
It's like a schoolhouse
of little words,
thousands of words.
First you figure out what each one means by itself,
the jingle, the periwinkle, the scallop
full of moonlight.

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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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