Poem

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Silence for My Father by Deena Metzger
Deena Metzger
This is the silence around the poem of the death of my father.
This is the silence before the poem.

While my father was dying, the Challenger was exploding on TV
Again and again. I watched it happen. In his hospital room,
I followed his breath. Then it stopped.

This is the silence in a poem about the dying of the father.


We’re burning the earth. We’re burning the sky.

Here is another silence in the middle of the poem about the immolation of the Fathers.
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Something in the Belly by Deena Metzger
Deena Metzger
I wanted to have a poem and I was pregnant. I was very thin. As if I’d lived on air. A poet must be able to live on air, but a mother must not attempt it. My mother wanted me to buy a set of matching pots, Wearever aluminum, like the ones she had. They were heavy and had well fitting lids so my suppers wouldn’t burn. My husband wanted me to give dinner parties. John F. Kennedy was running for office.

I sensed danger. Kennedy wasn’t against the Bomb or for nuclear disarmament. I joined SANE at its inception. Also Concerned Scientists. I spoke with Linus Pauling and encouraged my husband to help his partner organize Physicians for Social Responsibility.

There was a baby in my belly. I wanted to write poems. I had a crazy idea that a woman could write a real novel, the kind that shook the world. I hallucinated that a woman could be a poet, but she would have to be free. I couldn’t imagine that freedom for myself even though I could see it in Isla Negra when I followed Pablo Neruda. I could see it in the way he walked. Even if he were walking inside a dictatorship, among guns, soldiers and spies, there was nothing between him and his vision. Anything he saw, he was able to take into himself–there was no sight, no image, no vision to which he didn’t feel entitled. In his heart, everything–everything–belonged to him. Pablo Neruda was–more than anything–a poet, and so he was an entitled man.

I was a woman and entitled to nothing. I had nothing except a husband, a rented house, a set of pots, living room furniture, a frenzy of obligations, credit cards, anxious relatives, too many acquaintances, a gift of future diaper service, two telephones, no time to read, a plastic wrapped cookbook of recipes gleaned from the pages of the New York Times, and a hunger, a terrible hunger for the unimaginable, unlimited freedom of being a poet, and a baby in my belly.

I would have called Pablo long distance if I had the courage, if I had the ability to speak Spanish fluently, if we had ever talked about real things. But, what would a man know about a baby in the belly? And what did it matter if there were to be one poet more or less in the world when so many in his country were dying?

I woke up one morning and thought–I can’t have this child. My husband said, “You’ll have to get a job after it’s born so we can buy a house. You’ll need an advanced degree so you can do something.” I thought, I can’t. I have to write poems. My mother found a crib. Someone painted it white. A friend sent a pastel mobile with tame wood animals. I thought about blue curtains, making bedspreads, and abortions.

Pablo was silent. He was walking so far from me, I couldn’t hear him. My husband objected to donating more free medical care to the Black Panthers. I tried to make dolmades from scratch and located grape leaves preserved in brine at the Boys’ Market twenty miles away. I organized a write-in campaign for peace to challenge JFK. My husband thought it would be nice to have teatime with the children and romantic dinners by ourselves. The new formula bottles lined up on the sink like tiny bombs. The U.S. was pursuing over ground testing; I was afraid the radiation would cross the milk barrier. I had a poem in me howling for real life but no language to write in. The fog came in thick, flapping about my feet like blankets unraveling. I became afraid to have a daughter.

I called Pablo Neruda in the middle of the night as he walked underwater by Isla Negra. He moved like a dream porpoise. He seemed pregnant with words. They came out of his penis in long miraculous strings. The sea creatures quivered with joy. I said, “Pablo, I want to know how to bear the child in my belly onto this bed of uranium and I want to know if a woman can a be a poet.” He was large as a whale. He drank the sea and spouted it in glistening odes, black and shiny. I said, “I can’t have this child,” and he laughed as if he had never done anything but carry and birth children.
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What I Expected by Stephen Spender
Stephen Spender
What I expected, was
Thunder, fighting,
Long struggles with men
And climbing.
After continual straining
I should grow strong;
Then the rocks would shake
And I rest long.
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A Poem Called Day by Stanley Moss
Stanley Moss
Day is carved in marble, a man reclining,
a naked giant suffering.
Preoccupied Day faces Night, who is a woman,
huge, naked, Herculean, both pillowed
on their uncarved rough marble bed.
They need light to be seen, neither
has anything to do with the sun or moon.
Art is not astronomy,
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This Is a Poem About My Life by Frank Lima
Frank Lima
the grapes
remind me of the whales
gathering salt for the ocean

this is a poem about my life

you've interrupted
my life and death schedule
which gives me that poetic look each day

this is a poem about my life
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Poem “This poem is not addressed to you” by Donald Justice
Donald Justice
This poem is not addressed to you.
You may come into it briefly,
But no one will find you here, no one.
You will have changed before the poem will.

Even while you sit there, unmovable,
You have begun to vanish. And it does not matter.
The poem will go on without you.
It has the spurious glamor of certain voids.
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The Poem that Took the Place of a Mountain by Wallace Stevens
Wallace Stevens
There it was, word for word,
The poem that took the place of a mountain.

He breathed its oxygen,
Even when the book lay turned in the dust of his table.

It reminded him how he had needed
A place to go to in his own direction,

How he had recomposed the pines,
Shifted the rocks and picked his way among clouds,
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Modest Proposals by Stephen Sandy
Stephen Sandy
A longish poem about wallpaper.
A short lyric about discouragement in white.
A medium-length thesis of uncertain importance.
Another sonnet, about scholarship.
A couplet of olives.

A long narrative about the exaggeration of your absence.
Several quatrains about candle stubs.
That old sestina on Isaiah.
Palindromes about Scots presbyters of the 18th century.
Some rock lyrics from Benares.

A nature poem about committees.
Seven heroic couplets about Art Murphy.
Several more heroic couplets on Murphy’s Law.
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A Paradise of Poets by Jerome Rothenberg
Jerome Rothenberg
1
He takes a book down from his shelf & scribbles across a
page of text: I am the final one. This means the world will
end when he does.

2
In the Inferno, Dante conceives a Paradise of Poets & calls
it Limbo.

Foolishly he thinks his place is elsewhere.
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44th Birthday Evening, at Harris’s by Ted Berrigan
Ted Berrigan
Nine stories high Second Avenue
On the roof there’s a party
All the friends are there watching
By the light of the moon the blazing sun
Go down over the side of the planet
To light up the underside of Earth
There are long bent telescopes for the friends
To watch this through. The friends are all in shadow.
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from Don Juan: Canto 1, Stanzas 41-42 by Lord Byron (George Gordon)
Lord Byron (George Gordon)
41
His classic studies made a little puzzle,
Because of filthy loves of gods and goddesses,
Who in the earlier ages raised a bustle,
But never put on pantaloons or bodices;
His reverend tutors had at times a tussle,
And for their Aeneids, Iliads, and Odysseys,
Were forced to make an odd sort of apology,
For Donna Inez dreaded the mythology.

42
Ovid's a rake, as half his verses show him,
Anacreon's morals are a still worse sample,
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Circle Poems by Lew Welch
Lew Welch
Whenever I have a day off, I write a new poem.
Does this mean you shouldn’t work, or that you
write best on your day off?

For example, this is the poem I wrote today.


*


When he was 20, he understood some of the secrets of
life, and undertook to write them down so simply that
even an idiot could understand.
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A Terror is More Certain . . . by Bob Kaufman
Bob Kaufman
A terror is more certain than all the rare desirable popular songs I
know, than even now when all of my myths have become . . . , & walk
around in black shiny galoshes & carry dirty laundry to & fro, & read
great books & don’t know criminals intimately, & publish fat books of
the month & have wifeys that are lousy in bed & never realize how
bad my writing is because i am poor & symbolize myself.

A certain desirable is more terror to me than all that’s rare. How
come they don’t give an academic award to all the movie stars that
die? they’re still acting, ain’t they? even if they are dead, it should
not be held against them, after all they still have the public on their
side, how would you like to be a dead movie star & have people sit-
ting on your grave?

A rare me is more certain than desirable, that’s all the terror, there
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The Sonnets: III by Ted Berrigan
Ted Berrigan
Stronger than alcohol, more great than song,
deep in whose reeds great elephants decay,
I, an island, sail, and my shoes toss
on a fragrant evening, fraught with sadness
bristling hate.
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The Sonnets: L by Ted Berrigan
Ted Berrigan
I like to beat people up
absence of passion, principles, love. She murmurs
What just popped into my eye was a fiend’s umbrella
and if you should come and pinch me now
as I go out for coffee
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Trees by Joyce Kilmer
Joyce Kilmer
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
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Ancestral Lines by David Ferry
David Ferry
It’s as when following the others’ lines,
Which are the tracks of somebody gone before,
Leaving me mischievous clues, telling me who

They were and who it was they weren’t,
And who it is I am because of them,
Or, just for the moment, reading them, I am,

Although the next moment I’m back in myself, and lost.
My father at the piano saying to me,
“Listen to this, he called the piece Warum?”

And the nearest my father could come to saying what
He made of that was lamely to say he didn’t,
Schumann didn’t, my father didn’t, know why.
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Approaches to How They Behave by W. S. Graham
W. S. Graham
1

What does it matter if the words
I choose, in the order I choose them in,
Go out into a silence I know
Nothing about, there to be let
In and entertained and charmed
Out of their master’s orders? And yet
I would like to see where they go
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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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A poem for vipers by John Wieners
John Wieners
I sit in Lees. At 11:40 PM with
Jimmy the pusher. He teaches me
Ju Ju. Hot on the table before us
shrimp foo yong, rice and mushroom
chow yuke. Up the street under the wheels
of a strange car is his stash—The ritual.
We make it. And have made it.
For months now together after midnight.
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The Crippled Girl, The Rose by David Ferry
David Ferry
It was as if a flower bloomed as if
Its muttering root and stem had suddenly spoken,

Uttering on the air a poem of summer,
The rose the utterance of its root and stem.

Thus her beautiful face, the crippled girl’s,
Was like the poem spoken by her body—

The richness of that face!—most generous
In what it keeps, giving in its having.

The rose reserves the sweetness that it yields,
Petal on petal, telling its own silence,

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What It Does by David Ferry
David Ferry
The sea bit,
As they said it would,
And the hill slid,
As they said it would,
And the poor dead
Nodded agog
The poor head.

O topmost lofty
Tower of Troy,
The poem apparently
Speaks with joy
Of terrible things.
Where is the pleasure
The poetry brings?
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Afternoon Happiness by Carolyn Kizer
Carolyn Kizer
for John At a party I spy a handsome psychiatrist,
And wish, as we all do, to get her advice for free.
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Chickamauga by Charles Wright
Charles Wright
Dove-twirl in the tall grass.
End-of-summer glaze next door
On the gloves and split ends of the conked magnolia tree.
Work sounds: truck back-up beep, wood tin-hammer, cicada, fire horn.


History handles our past like spoiled fruit.
Mid-morning, late-century light
calicoed under the peach trees.
Fingers us here. Fingers us here and here.
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Making Peace by Denise Levertov
Denise Levertov
A voice from the dark called out,
‘The poets must give us
imagination of peace, to oust the intense, familiar
imagination of disaster. Peace, not only
the absence of war.’
But peace, like a poem,
is not there ahead of itself,
can’t be imagined before it is made,
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Figure by Josephine Miles
Josephine Miles
A poem I keep forgetting to write
Is about the stars,
How I see them in their order
Even without the chair and bear and the sisters,
In their astronomic presence of great space,
And how beyond and behind my eyes they are moving,
Exploding to spirals under extremest pressure.
Having not mathematics, my head
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Some San Francisco Poems: Sections 5-10 by George Oppen
George Oppen
5

THE TRANSLUCENT MECHANICS

Combed thru the piers the wind
Moves in the clever city
Not in the doors but the hinges
Finds the secret of motion
As tho the hollow ships moved in their voices, murmurs
Flaws
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Song, the Winds of Downhill by George Oppen
George Oppen
‘out of poverty
to begin

again’ impoverished

of tone of pose that common
wealth

of parlance Who
so poor the words

would with and take on substantial
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Convergences by Donald Hall
Donald Hall
At sixteen he dismisses his mother with contempt.
She hears with dread the repulsive wave’s approach
and her fifty-year-old body smothers under water.

An old man loses half his weight, as if by stealth,
but finds in his shed his great-grandfather’s knobbly cane,
and hobbles toward youth beside the pond’s swart water.

She listens to the dun-colored whippoorwill’s
three-beat before dawn, and again when dusk
enters the cornfield parched and wanting water.

He imagines but cannot bring himself to believe
that the dead woman enters his house disguised
or that the young rabbi made vin rouge from water.
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The Circus by Kenneth Koch
Kenneth Koch
I remember when I wrote The Circus
I was living in Paris, or rather we were living in Paris
Janice, Frank was alive, the Whitney Museum
Was still on 8th Street, or was it still something else?
Fernand Léger lived in our building
Well it wasn’t really our building it was the building we lived in
Next to a Grand Guignol troupe who made a lot of noise
So that one day I yelled through a hole in the wall
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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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A Diamond by Jack Spicer
Jack Spicer
A Translation for Robert Jones A diamond
Is there
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Kosmos by Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
Who includes diversity and is Nature,
Who is the amplitude of the earth, and the coarseness and sexuality of the earth, and the great charity of the earth and the equilibrium also,
Who has not look’d forth from the windows the eyes for nothing, or whose brain held audience with messengers for nothing,
Who contains believers and disbelievers, who is the most majestic lover,
Who holds duly his or her triune proportion of realism, spiritualism, and of the æsthetic or intellectual,
Who having consider’d the body finds all its organs and parts good,
Who, out of the theory of the earth and of his or her body understands by subtle analogies all other theories,
The theory of a city, a poem, and of the large politics of these States;
Who believes not only in our globe with its sun and moon, but in other globes with their suns and moons,
Who, constructing the house of himself or herself, not for a day but for all time, sees races, eras, dates, generations,
The past, the future, dwelling there, like space, inseparable together.
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Psychoanalysis: An Elegy by Jack Spicer
Jack Spicer
What are you thinking about?

I am thinking of an early summer.
I am thinking of wet hills in the rain
Pouring water. Shedding it
Down empty acres of oak and manzanita
Down to the old green brush tangled in the sun,
Greasewood, sage, and spring mustard.
Or the hot wind coming down from Santa Ana
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How to Be a Poet by Wendell Berry
Wendell Berry
(to remind myself) i

Make a place to sit down.
Sit down. Be quiet.
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La Belle Dame sans Merci: A Ballad by John Keats
John Keats
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The Answer by Countess of Winchilsea Anne Finch
Countess of Winchilsea Anne Finch
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The Bluet by James Schuyler
James Schuyler
And is it stamina
that unseasonably freaks
forth a bluet, a
Quaker lady, by
the lake? So small,
a drop of sky that
splashed and held,
four-petaled, creamy
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Dancing on the Grave of a Son of a Bitch by Diane Wakoski
Diane Wakoski
Foreword to “Dancing on the Grave of a Son of a Bitch”
This poem is more properly a “dance poem” than a song or chant because the element of repetition is created by movements of language rather than duplicating words and sounds. However, it is in the spirit of ritual recitation that I wrote it/ a performance to drive away bad spirits perhaps.

The story behind the poem is this: a man and woman who have been living together for some time separate. Part of the pain of separation involves possessions which they had shared. They both angrily believe they should have what they want. She asks for some possession and he denies her the right to it. She replies that she gave him money for a possession which he has and therefore should have what she wants now. He replies that she has forgotten that for the number of years they lived together he never charged her rent and if he had she would now owe him $7,000.

She is appalled that he equates their history with a sum of money. She is even more furious to realize that this sum of money represents the entire rent on the apartment and implies that he should not have paid anything at all. She is furious. She kills him mentally. Once and for all she decides she is well rid of this man and that she shouldn’t feel sad at their parting. She decides to prove to herself that she’s glad he’s gone from her life. With joy she will dance on all the bad memories of their life together.
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here rests by Lucille Clifton
Lucille Clifton
my sister Josephine
born july in '29
and dead these 15 years
who carried a book
on every stroll.

when daddy was dying
she left the streets
and moved back home
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Of Modern Poetry by Wallace Stevens
Wallace Stevens
The poem of the mind in the act of finding
What will suffice. It has not always had
To find: the scene was set; it repeated what
Was in the script.
Then the theatre was changed
To something else. Its past was a souvenir.

It has to be living, to learn the speech of the place.
It has to face the men of the time and to meet
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Paradoxes and Oxymorons by John Ashbery
John Ashbery
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Poetry, a Natural Thing by Robert Duncan
Robert Duncan
Neither our vices nor our virtues
further the poem. “They came up
and died
just like they do every year
on the rocks.”

The poem
feeds upon thought, feeling, impulse,
to breed itself,
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The Prediction by Mark Strand
Mark Strand
That night the moon drifted over the pond,
turning the water to milk, and under
the boughs of the trees, the blue trees,
a young woman walked, and for an instant

the future came to her:
rain falling on her husband’s grave, rain falling
on the lawns of her children, her own mouth
filling with cold air, strangers moving into her house,
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San Francisco by Richard Brautigan
Richard Brautigan
This poem was found written on a paper bag by Richard Brautigan in a laundromat in San Francisco. The author is unknown. By accident, you put
Your money in my
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The Screen of Distance by Barbara Guest
Barbara Guest
1

On a wall shadowed by lights from the distance
is the screen. Icons come to it dressed in capes
and their eyes reflect the journeys their nomadic
eyes reach from level earth. Narratives are in
the room where the screen waits suspended like
the frame of a girder the worker will place upon
an axis and thus make a frame which he fills with
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The Secret by Denise Levertov
Denise Levertov
Two girls discover
the secret of life
in a sudden line of
poetry.

I who don’t know the
secret wrote
the line. They
told me
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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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What Kind of Times Are These by Adrienne Rich
Adrienne Rich
There's a place between two stands of trees where the grass grows uphill
and the old revolutionary road breaks off into shadows
near a meeting-house abandoned by the persecuted
who disappeared into those shadows.

I've walked there picking mushrooms at the edge of dread, but don't be fooled
this isn't a Russian poem, this is not somewhere else but here,
our country moving closer to its own truth and dread,
its own ways of making people disappear.
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“Any fool can get into an ocean . . .” by Jack Spicer
Jack Spicer
Any fool can get into an ocean
But it takes a Goddess
To get out of one.
What’s true of oceans is true, of course,
Of labyrinths and poems. When you start swimming
Through riptide of rhythms and the metaphor’s seaweed
You need to be a good swimmer or a born Goddess
To get back out of them
Look at the sea otters bobbing wildly
Out in the middle of the poem
They look so eager and peaceful playing out there where the
water hardly moves
You might get out through all the waves and rocks
Into the middle of the poem to touch them
But when you’ve tried the blessed water long
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“Imagine Lucifer . . .” by Jack Spicer
Jack Spicer
Imagine Lucifer
An angel without angelness
An apple
Plucked clear by will of taste, color,
Strength, beauty, roundness, seed
Absent of all God painted, present everything
An apple is.
Imagine Lucifer
An angel without angelness
A poem
That has revised itself out of sound
Imagine, rhyme, concordance
Absent of all God spoke of, present everything
A poem is.
The law I say, the Law
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A Poem For Dada Day At The Place April 1, 1958 by Jack Spicer
Jack Spicer
I
The bartender
Has eyes the color of ripe apricots
Easy to please as a cash register he
Enjoys art and good jokes.
Squish
Goes the painting
Squirt
Goes the poem
He
We
Laugh.

II
It is not easy to remember that other people died
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Time to Play by Landis Everson
Landis Everson
Now it's time to play. Nobody says,
like they used to, but in my bones
the desire overwhelms me. "Write!
Make a poem," say the bones.

The inlet will come first. It always does.
Water calls urgently, "egret." The waterbird
that moves elastically over the surface
making everything focus soon or late.

Now my hand enters. It always does.
It gives the bones reason to observe.
It makes the egret the finest thing in sight
and the water intelligent north of here.

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Ars Poetica by Archibald MacLeish
Archibald MacLeish
A poem should be palpable and mute
As a globed fruit,

Dumb
As old medallions to the thumb,

Silent as the sleeve-worn stone
Of casement ledges where the moss has grown—

A poem should be wordless
As the flight of birds.
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The Correspondence-School Instructor Says Goodbye to His Poetry Students by Galway Kinnell
Galway Kinnell
Goodbye, lady in Bangor, who sent me
snapshots of yourself, after definitely hinting
you were beautiful; goodbye,
Miami Beach urologist, who enclosed plain
brown envelopes for the return of your very
“Clinical Sonnets”; goodbye, manufacturer
of brassieres on the Coast, whose eclogues
give the fullest treatment in literature yet
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The Day is Done by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The day is done, and the darkness
Falls from the wings of Night,
As a feather is wafted downward
From an eagle in his flight.

I see the lights of the village
Gleam through the rain and the mist,
And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me
That my soul cannot resist:

A feeling of sadness and longing,
That is not akin to pain,
And resembles sorrow only
As the mist resembles the rain.

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Follow Thy Fair Sun by Thomas Campion
Thomas Campion
Follow thy fair sun, unhappy shadow,
Though thou be black as night
And she made all of light,
Yet follow thy fair sun unhappy shadow.

Follow her whose light thy light depriveth,
Though here thou liv’st disgraced,
And she in heaven is placed,
Yet follow her whose light the world reviveth.

Follow those pure beams whose beauty burneth,
That so have scorched thee,
As thou still black must be,
Till Her kind beams thy black to brightness turneth.

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Love (III) by George Herbert
George Herbert
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Lunar Baedeker by Mina Loy
Mina Loy
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On Teaching the Young by Yvor Winters
Yvor Winters
The young are quick of speech.
Grown middle-aged, I teach
Corrosion and distrust,
Exacting what I must.

A poem is what stands
When imperceptive hands,
Feeling, have gone astray.
It is what one should say.
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On the Lawn at the Villa by Louis Simpson
Louis Simpson
On the lawn at the villa—
That’s the way to start, eh, reader?
We know where we stand—somewhere expensive—
You and I imperturbes, as Walt would say,
Before the diversions of wealth, you and I engagés.

On the lawn at the villa
Sat a manufacturer of explosives,
His wife from Paris,
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40
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Poem for Christian, My Student by Gail Mazur
Gail Mazur
He reminds me of someone I used to know,
but who? Before class,
he comes to my office to shmooze,
a thousand thousand pointless interesting
speculations. Irrepressible boy,
his assignments are rarely completed,
or actually started. This week, instead
of research in the stacks, he’s performing
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36
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Recreation by Audre Lorde
Audre Lorde
Coming together
it is easier to work
after our bodies
meet
paper and pen
neither care nor profit
whether we write or not
but as your body moves
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34
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Romance by Claude McKay
Claude McKay
To clasp you now and feel your head close-pressed,
Scented and warm against my beating breast;

To whisper soft and quivering your name,
And drink the passion burning in your frame;

To lie at full length, taut, with cheek to cheek,
And tease your mouth with kisses till you speak

Love words, mad words, dream words, sweet senseless words,
Melodious like notes of mating birds;
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41
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Snow-flakes by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Out of the bosom of the Air,
Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
Over the woodlands brown and bare,
Over the harvest-fields forsaken,
Silent, and soft, and slow
Descends the snow.

Even as our cloudy fancies take
Suddenly shape in some divine expression,
Even as the troubled heart doth make
In the white countenance confession,
The troubled sky reveals
The grief it feels.

This is the poem of the air,
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44
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Song: Go and catch a falling star by John Donne
John Donne
Go and catch a falling star,
Get with child a mandrake root,
Tell me where all past years are,
Or who cleft the devil's foot,
Teach me to hear mermaids singing,
Or to keep off envy's stinging,
And find
What wind
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39
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Sonnets from the Portuguese 43: How do I love thee? Let me count the ways by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

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31
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Sunt Leones by Stevie Smith
Stevie Smith
The lions who ate the Christians on the sands of the arena
By indulging native appetites played what has now been seen a
Not entirely negligible part
In consolidating at the very start
The position of the Early Christian Church.
Initiatory rites are always bloody
And the lions, it appears
From contemporary art, made a study
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33
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Technical Notes by James Laughlin
James Laughlin
Catullus is my master and I mix
a little acid and a bit of honey
in his bowl love

is my subject & the lack of love
which lack is what makes evil a
poet must strike

Catullus could rub words so hard
together their friction burned a
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52
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Parmi beaucoup de poèmes / Among Many Poems by Jacques Roubaud
Jacques Roubaud
Parmi beaucoup de poèmes
Il y en avait un
Dont je ne parvenais pas à me souvenir
Sinon que je l'avais composé
Autrefois
En descendant cette rue
Du côté des numéros pairs de cette rue
Baignée d'une matinée limpide
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37
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