The soaring dust of the mortal realm by Fei Ming 废名
Fei Ming 废名
Not to speak of timely rain falling wondrously upon ethereal mountains,
Nor to dwell on footsteps echoing through hollow illusory valleys,
Here’s yet another predictable batch of grainy residue,
Still the mortal dust of the vast universe—
Beyond the eaves, the lone call of a sparrow.
Alas, pages of poetry, please become ashes taking flight.
The empty void is a speck of the heart that cherishes deeply.
The universe is a particle of unbroken dust drifting in the air.
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The Unfrocked Governess by Peter Davison
Peter Davison
(For Elizabeth Bishop)
Round of face, with dimpled chin and cheeks
framed by her plumage of white hair,
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Spring and All: XXV Somebody dies every four minutes by William Carlos Williams
William Carlos Williams
Somebody dies every four minutes
in New York State —

To hell with you and your poetry —
You will rot and be blown
through the next solar system
with the rest of the gases —

What the hell do you know about it ?

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The Ikons by James K. Baxter
James K. Baxter
Hard, heavy, slow, dark,
Or so I find them, the hands of Te Whaea

Teaching me to die. Some lightness will come later
When the heart has lost its unjust hope

For special treatment. Today I go with a bucket
Over the paddocks of young grass,

So delicate like fronds of maidenhair,
Looking for mushrooms. I find twelve of them,
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A Variation on Machado by Jim Harrison
Jim Harrison
I worry much about the suffering
of Machado. I was only one when he carried
his mother across the border from Spain to France
in a rainstorm. She died and so did he
a few days later in a rooming house along a dry canal.
To carry Mother he abandoned a satchel
holding his last few years of poetry.
I've traveled to Collioure several times
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Lines to a Budding Poet by Margaret Fishback
Margaret Fishback
Bear in mind, my little man:
Never let your verses scan.
And acceptance will be sparse
If, by any chance, they parse.
But whatever else you do,
Let it not be said of you
That your poetry makes sense!. . . .
That’s a criminal offense!
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Idling by Stanley Moss
Stanley Moss
There’s wondering, idle thoughts,
thinking over what was last said,
some poetry in my head
like traffic outside the window.
In my forgetful marrow, I consider
often lying words, like everything and all.
Nothing is another matter.
Nothing comes of everything and all.
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Orfeo by Frank Lima
Frank Lima
To my friends Each hair is a poem I gave my son
Each hair is my allowance from the universe
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Incidents of Travel in Poetry by Frank Lima
Frank Lima
Happy Birthday Kenneth Koch/Feb 27 We went to all those places where they restore sadness and joy
and call it art. We were piloted by Auden who became
Unbearably acrimonious when we dropped off Senghor into the
steamy skies of his beloved West Africa. The termites and ants
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Berryman by W. S. Merwin
W. S. Merwin
I will tell you what he told me
in the years just after the war
as we then called
the second world war

don't lose your arrogance yet he said
you can do that when you're older
lose it too soon and you may
merely replace it with vanity
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By Guess and by Gosh by John Ashbery
John Ashbery
O awaken with me
the inquiring goodbyes.
Ooh what a messy business
a tangle and a muddle
(and made it seem quite interesting).

He ticks them off:
leisure top,
a different ride home,
whispering, in a way,
whispered whiskers,
so many of the things you have to share.

But I was getting on,
and that’s what you don’t need.
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The Sun Used to Shine by Edward Thomas
Edward Thomas
The sun used to shine while we two walked
Slowly together, paused and started
Again, and sometimes mused, sometimes talked
As either pleased, and cheerfully parted

Each night. We never disagreed
Which gate to rest on. The to be
And the late past we gave small heed.
We turned from men or poetry

To rumours of the war remote
Only till both stood disinclined
For aught but the yellow flavorous coat
Of an apple wasps had undermined;

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It's been a long time by Joanne Kyger
Joanne Kyger
NOTES FROM THE REVOLUTION During the beat of this story you may find other beats. I mean
a beat, I mean Cantus, I mean Firm us, I mean paper, I mean in
the Kingdom which is coming, which is here in discovery.

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My Ambition by James Laughlin
James Laughlin
For Wade Hall is to become a footnote
in a learned work of the

22nd centurynot just a
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Song by Adonis
from “Elegy for the First Century” Bells on our eyelashes
and the death throes of words,
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A Prayer for Rain by Lisel Mueller
Lisel Mueller
Let it come down: these thicknesses of air
have long enough walled love away from love;
stillness has hardened until words despair
of their high leaps and kisses shut themselves
back into wishing. Crippled lovers lie
against a weather which holds out on them,
waiting, awaiting some shrill sign, some cry,
some screaming cat that smells a sacrifice
and spells them thunder. Start the mumbling lips,
syllable by monotonous syllable,
that wash away the sullen griefs of love
and drown out knowledge of an ancient war—
o, ill-willed dark, give with the sound of rain,
let love be brought to ignorance again.

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“I Broke the Spell That Held Me Long” by William Cullen Bryant
William Cullen Bryant
I broke the spell that held me long,
The dear, dear witchery of song.
I said, the poet’s idle lore
Shall waste my prime of years no more,
For Poetry, though heavenly born,
Consorts with poverty and scorn.

I broke the spell–nor deemed its power
Could fetter me another hour.
Ah, thoughtless! how could I forget
Its causes were around me yet?
For wheresoe’er I looked, the while,
Was Nature’s everlasting smile.

Still came and lingered on my sight
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Supplication by John Wieners
John Wieners
O poetry, visit this house often,
imbue my life with success,
leave me not alone,
give me a wife and home.

Take this curse off
of early death and drugs,
make me a friend among peers,
lend me love, and timeliness.
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Book 1, Epigram 39: Ad librum suum. by Thomas Bastard
Thomas Bastard
My little book: who will thou please, tell me?
All which shall read thee? No that cannot be.
Whom then, the best? But few of these are known.
How shall thou know to please, thou know'st not whom?
The meaner sort commend not poetry;
And sure the worst should please themselves for thee:
But let them pass, and set by most no store,
Please thou one well, thou shall not need please more.

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Book 2, Epigram 4: Ad Henricum Wottonum.   by Thomas Bastard
Thomas Bastard
Wotton,the country and the country swain,
How can they yield a Poet any sense?
How can they stir him up, or heat his vein?
How can they feed him with intelligence?
You have that fire which can a wit enflame,
In happy London England’s fairest eye:
Well may you Poets’ have of worthy name,
Which have the food and life of Poetry.
And yet the country or the town may sway,
Or bear a part, as clowns do in a play.

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Book 3, Epigram 36 by Thomas Bastard
Thomas Bastard
The peasant Corus of his wealth does boast,
Yet he’s scarce worth twice twenty pounds at most.
I chanc’d to word once with this lowly swain,
He called me base, and beggar in disdain.
To try the truth hereof I rate myself,
And cast the little count of all my wealth.
See how much Hebrew, Greek, and Poetry,
Latin Rhetoric, and Philosophy,
Reading, and sense in sciences profound,
All valued, are not worth forty pounds.

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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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Gaslight by Tom Raworth
Tom Raworth
a line of faces borders the strangler’s work
heavy european women
mist blows over dusty tropical plants
lit from beneath the leaves by a spotlight
mist in my mind a riffled deck

of cards or eccentrics
was i
a waterton animal my head
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To an Ungentle Critic by Robert Graves
Robert Graves
The great sun sinks behind the town
Through a red mist of Volnay wine . . . .
But what’s the use of setting down
That glorious blaze behind the town?
You’ll only skip the page, you’ll look
For newer pictures in this book;
You’ve read of sunsets rich as mine.

A fresh wind fills the evening air
With horrid crying of night birds . . . .
But what reads new or curious there
When cold winds fly across the air?
You’ll only frown; you’ll turn the page,
But find no glimpse of your ‘New Age
Of Poetry’ in my worn-out words.
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A Renascence by Robert Graves
Robert Graves
White flabbiness goes brown and lean,
Dumpling arms are now brass bars,
They’ve learnt to suffer and live clean,
And to think below the stars.

They’ve steeled a tender, girlish heart,
Tempered it with a man’s pride,
Learning to play the butcher’s part
Though the woman screams inside—

Learning to leap the parapet,
Face the open rush, and then
To stab with the stark bayonet,
Side by side with fighting men.

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Power by Audre Lorde
Audre Lorde
The difference between poetry and rhetoric
is being ready to kill
instead of your children.

I am trapped on a desert of raw gunshot wounds
and a dead child dragging his shattered black
face off the edge of my sleep
blood from his punctured cheeks and shoulders
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Seder-Night by Israel Zangwill
Israel Zangwill
Prosaic miles of streets stretch all round,
Astir with restless, hurried life and spanned
By arches that with thund’rous trains resound,
And throbbing wires that galvanize the land;
Gin-palaces in tawdry splendor stand;
The newsboys shriek of mangled bodies found;
The last burlesque is playing in the Strand—
In modern prose all poetry seems drowned.
Yet in ten thousand homes this April night
An ancient People celebrates its birth
To Freedom, with a reverential mirth,
With customs quaint and many a hoary rite,
Waiting until, its tarnished glories bright,
Its God shall be the God of all the earth.
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from My Emily Dickinson by Susan Howe
Susan Howe
When I love a thing I want it and I try to get it. Abstraction of the particular from
the universal is the entrance into evil. Love, a binding force, is both envy and
emulation. HE (the Puritan God) is a realm of mystery and will always remain
unknowable, authoritarian, unpredictable. Between revealed will and secret will
Love has been torn in two.

DUALISM: Pythagoras said that all things were divisible into two genera,
good and evil; in the genus of good things he classified all perfect things
such as light, males, repose, and so forth, whereas in the genus of evil
he classified darkness, females, and so forth.
(Thomas Aquinas, “On the Power of God,” p. 84)

Promethean aspiration: To be a woman and a Pythagorean. What is the communal
vision of poetry if you are curved, odd, indefinite, irregular, feminine. I go in
disguise. Soul under stress, thread of connection broken, fusion of love and
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A Perfect Market by Clive James
Clive James
ou plutôt les chanter
Recite your lines aloud, Ronsard advised,
Or, even better, sing them. Common speech
Held all the rhythmic measures that he prized
In poetry. He had much more to teach,
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little report of the day by Jack Collom
Jack Collom
9:13 p.m., Lucky Bock in hand,
I inscribe: walked the lovely
33 blocks to school today, streets clear and
thick melting snow all around.
taught my 4 hours of poetry; the afternoon
class was hard; kid named Schweikert
kept on fucking up. took typed-up
poems of yesterday to Platt and put up
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Consulting an Elder Poet on an Anti-War Poem by Duane Niatum
Duane Niatum
(for Elizabeth Bishop) One day you said to me,
“there’s nothing you can do,”
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On the Grasshopper and Cricket by John Keats
John Keats
The Poetry of earth is never dead:
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,
And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead;
That is the Grasshopper’s—he takes the lead
In summer luxury,—he has never done
With his delights; for when tired out with fun
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.
The poetry of earth is ceasing never:
On a lone winter evening, when the frost
Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills
The Cricket’s song, in warmth increasing ever,
And seems to one in drowsiness half lost,
The Grasshopper’s among some grassy hills.
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Structure of Rime XXVIII: In Memoriam Wallace Stevens by Robert Duncan
Robert Duncan
“That God is colouring Newton doth shew”—William Blake Erecting beyond the boundaries of all government his grand Station and Customs, I find what I have made there a Gate, a staking out of his art in Inconsequence. I have in mind a poetry that will frame the willingness of the heart and deliver it over to the arrest of Time, a sentence as if there could stand some solidity most spacial in its intent against the drifts and appearances that arise and fall away in time from the crude events of physical space. The Mind alone holds the consequence of the erection to be true, so that Desire and Imagination usurp the place of the Invisible Throne.

It is an angel then, weeping and yet ever attending the betrayal of the Word I mean to come to in the end. For my sake, the blood must be somewhere in time and in its own naming of place actual, and death must be as my own awaits me immediate to undo from its reality the physical body, all there is of the matter of me that is mine from me. The would-be dialecticians—Inquisitors of the New Dispensation in Poetry and Historians of Opprobrium, the Realists and Materialists—come forward to hold the party line against his ideality. There are too many listeners. There are too many voices in the one line. They must enter the Ideal to do so, for he has changed his mind, as if the Eternal existed only momentarily and went out with him. The Chairman of the Politbureau gets his number and moves to isolate his heresy. The number is no longer the same. He has gone back into the exchange of numbers. The phone continues ringing in the pattern of the message they strive to listen to report to the Bureau of Poetic Numbers and Approved Measures.

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Eating Poetry by Mark Strand
Mark Strand
Ink runs from the corners of my mouth.
There is no happiness like mine.
I have been eating poetry.

The librarian does not believe what she sees.
Her eyes are sad
and she walks with her hands in her dress.

The poems are gone.
The light is dim.
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Fresh Air by Kenneth Koch
Kenneth Koch

At the Poem Society a black-haired man stands up to say
“You make me sick with all your talk about restraint and mature talent!
Haven’t you ever looked out the window at a painting by Matisse,
Or did you always stay in hotels where there were too many spiders crawling on your visages?
Did you ever glance inside a bottle of sparkling pop,
Or see a citizen split in two by the lightning?
I am afraid you have never smiled at the hibernation
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vocabulary I by Robin Blaser
Robin Blaser
let me get the vocabulary of this song
right—the curious happiness of poetry—
the word materialism dropped by the way
side—its mereness of the other face of
spiritualism—just two notes to sing—
repetitious dualism—do—do—once in a while
one squawks louder than the other, baby
crows being weaned before the next batch—
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Cups: 1 by Robin Blaser
Robin Blaser
Inside I brought
willows, the tips
iris (I forget
the legend of long life
they represent)
and the branch of pepper tree
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Poetry by Lydia Huntley Sigourney
Lydia Huntley Sigourney
Morn on her rosy couch awoke,
Enchantment led the hour,
And mirth and music drank the dews
That freshen’d Beauty’s flower,
Then from her bower of deep delight,
I heard a young girl sing,
‘Oh, speak no ill of poetry,
For ’tis a holy thing.’
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Autumn by Alice Cary
Alice Cary
Shorter and shorter now the twilight clips
The days, as though the sunset gates they crowd,
And Summer from her golden collar slips
And strays through stubble-fields, and moans aloud,

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

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

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George Moore by Marianne Moore
Marianne Moore
In speaking of ‘aspiration,’
From the recesses of a pen more dolorous than blackness
Were you presenting us with one more form of imperturbable
French drollery,
Or was it self directed banter?
Habitual ennui
Took from you, your invisible, hot helmet of anaemia—
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There is no Frigate like a Book (1286) by Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickinson
There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry –
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll –
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears the Human Soul –
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Uptick by John Ashbery
John Ashbery
We were sitting there, and
I made a joke about how
it doesn’t dovetail: time,
one minute running out
faster than the one in front
it catches up to.
That way, I said,
there can be no waste.
Waste is virtually eliminated.

To come back for a few hours to
the present subject, a painting,
looking like it was seen,
half turning around, slightly apprehensive,
but it has to pay attention
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kommentar/comment by Ernst Jandl
Ernst Jandl
that never
would he write
his autobiography

because his life
seemed to him
just so much filth

that only a few
points, bloody ones
he still remembers

but that he would
never hesitate
to reach into the filth
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About My Very Tortured Friend, Peter by Charles Bukowski
Charles Bukowski
he lives in a house with a swimming pool
and says the job is
killing him.
he is 27. I am 44. I can’t seem to
get rid of
him. his novels keep coming
back. “what do you expect me to do?” he screams
“go to New York and pump the hands of the
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And Ut Pictura Poesis Is Her Name by John Ashbery
John Ashbery
You can’t say it that way any more.
Bothered about beauty you have to
Come out into the open, into a clearing,
And rest. Certainly whatever funny happens to you
Is OK. To demand more than this would be strange
Of you, you who have so many lovers,
People who look up to you and are willing
To do things for you, but you think
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Ars Poetica? by Czeslaw Milosz
Czeslaw Milosz
I have always aspired to a more spacious form
that would be free from the claims of poetry or prose
and would let us understand each other without exposing
the author or reader to sublime agonies.

In the very essence of poetry there is something indecent:
a thing is brought forth which we didn’t know we had in us,
so we blink our eyes, as if a tiger had sprung out
and stood in the light, lashing his tail.
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Daffodils by Alicia Ostriker
Alicia Ostriker
—for David Lehman

Ten thousand saw I at a glance
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
—William Wordsworth

Going to hell so many times tears it
Which explains poetry.
—Jack Spicer
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Dedication by Czeslaw Milosz
Czeslaw Milosz
You whom I could not save
Listen to me.
Try to understand this simple speech as I would be ashamed of another.
I swear, there is in me no wizardry of words.
I speak to you with silence like a cloud or a tree.

What strengthened me, for you was lethal.
You mixed up farewell to an epoch with the beginning of a new one,
Inspiration of hatred with lyrical beauty;
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Incantation by Czeslaw Milosz
Czeslaw Milosz
Human reason is beautiful and invincible.
No bars, no barbed wire, no pulping of books,
No sentence of banishment can prevail against it.
It establishes the universal ideas in language,
And guides our hand so we write Truth and Justice
With capital letters, lie and oppression with small.
It puts what should be above things as they are,
Is an enemy of despair and a friend of hope.
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Interview by Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker
The ladies men admire, I’ve heard,
Would shudder at a wicked word.
Their candle gives a single light;
They’d rather stay at home at night.
They do not keep awake till three,
Nor read erotic poetry.
They never sanction the impure,
Nor recognize an overture.
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Mugging (I) by Allen Ginsberg
Allen Ginsberg

Tonite I walked out of my red apartment door on East tenth street’s dusk—
Walked out of my home ten years, walked out in my honking neighborhood
Tonite at seven walked out past garbage cans chained to concrete anchors
Walked under black painted fire escapes, giant castiron plate covering a hole in ground
—Crossed the street, traffic lite red, thirteen bus roaring by liquor store,
past corner pharmacy iron grated, past Coca Cola & Mylai posters fading scraped on brick
Past Chinese Laundry wood door’d, & broken cement stoop steps For Rent hall painted green & purple Puerto Rican style
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New Stanzas for Amazing Grace by Allen Ginsberg
Allen Ginsberg
I dreamed I dwelled in a homeless place
Where I was lost alone
Folk looked right through me into space
And passed with eyes of stone

O homeless hand on many a street
Accept this change from me
A friendly smile or word is sweet
As fearless charity
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Remarks on Poetry and the Physical World by Mary Barnard
Mary Barnard
After reading Ash Wednesday
she looked once at the baked beans
and fled. Luncheonless, poor girl,
she observed a kind of poetic Lent—
and I had thought I liked poetry
better than she did.

I do. But to me its most endearing
quality is its unsuitableness;
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Return to Rome by Stanley Moss
Stanley Moss
Today in Rome, heading down
Michelangelo’s Spanish Steps,
under an unchanging moon,
I held on to the balustrade,
grateful for his giving me a hand.
All for love, I stumbled over the past
as if it were my own feet. Here, in my twenties,
I was lost in love and poetry. Along the Tiber,
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from Second Book of Odes: 6. What the Chairman Told Tom by Basil Bunting
Basil Bunting
Poetry? It’s a hobby.
I run model trains.
Mr Shaw there breeds pigeons.

It’s not work. You dont sweat.
Nobody pays for it.
You could advertise soap.

Art, that’s opera; or repertory—
The Desert Song.
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The Secret by Denise Levertov
Denise Levertov
Two girls discover
the secret of life
in a sudden line of

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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Sonnet with a Different Letter at the End of Every Line by George Starbuck
George Starbuck
for Helen Vendler O for a muse of fire, a sack of dough,
Or both! O promissory notes of woe!
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Writ on the Eve of My 32nd Birthday by Gregory Corso
Gregory Corso
a slow thoughtful spontaneous poem I am 32 years old
and finally I look my age, if not more.

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Letter to Gary Bottone by Jack Spicer
Jack Spicer
Dear Gary,

Somehow your letter was no surprise (and I think you knew that it was no surprise or you would have tried to break the news more gently); somehow I think we understand what the other is going to say long before we say it—a proof of love and, I think, a protection against misunderstanding. So I've been expecting this letter for five weeks now—and I still don't know how to answer it.

Bohemia is a dreadful, wonderful place. It is full of hideous people and beautiful poetry. It is a hell full of windows into heaven. It would be wrong of me to drag a person I love into such a place against his will. Unless you walk into it freely, and with open despairing eyes, you can't even see the windows. And yet I can't leave Bohemia myself to come to you—Bohemia is inside of me, in a sense is me, was the price I paid, the oath I signed to write poetry.

I think that someday you'll enter Bohemia—not for me (I'm not worth the price, no human being is), but for poetry—to see the windows and maybe blast a few yourself through the rocks of hell. I'll be there waiting for you, my arms open to receive you.

But let's have these letters go on, whether it be days, years, or never before I see you. We can still love each other although we cannot see each other. We will be no farther apart when I'm in Berkeley than we were when I was in Minneapolis. And we can continue to love each other, by letter, from alien worlds.

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A Fit of Rhyme against Rhyme by Ben Jonson
Ben Jonson
Rhyme, the rack of finest wits,
That expresseth but by fits
True conceit,
Spoiling senses of their treasure,
Cozening judgment with a measure,
But false weight;
Wresting words from their true calling,
Propping verse for fear of falling
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The Foggy, Foggy Blue by Delmore Schwartz
Delmore Schwartz
When I was a young man, I loved to write poems
And I called a spade a spade
And the only only thing that made me sing
Was to lift the masks at the masquerade.
I took them off my own face,
I took them off others too
And the only only wrong in all my song
Was the view that I knew what was true.
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A High-Toned Old Christian Woman by Wallace Stevens
Wallace Stevens
Poetry is the supreme fiction, madame.
Take the moral law and make a nave of it
And from the nave build haunted heaven. Thus,
The conscience is converted into palms,
Like windy citherns hankering for hymns.
We agree in principle. That's clear. But take
The opposing law and make a peristyle,
And from the peristyle project a masque
Beyond the planets. Thus, our bawdiness,
Unpurged by epitaph, indulged at last,
Is equally converted into palms,
Squiggling like saxophones. And palm for palm,
Madame, we are where we began. Allow,
Therefore, that in the planetary scene
Your disaffected flagellants, well-stuffed,
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Humanities Lecture by William E. Stafford
William E. Stafford
Aristotle was a little man with
eyes like a lizard, and he found a streak
down the midst of things, a smooth place for his feet
much more important than the carved handles
on the coffins of the great.

He said you should put your hand out
at the time and place of need:
strength matters little, he said,
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The Lonely Pipefish by Barbara Howes
Barbara Howes
Up, up, slender
As an eel’s
Child, weaving
Through water, our lonely
Pipefish seeks out his dinner,

Scanty at best; he blinks
Cut-diamond eyes—snap—he
Grabs morsels so small
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On my First Son by Ben Jonson
Ben Jonson
Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy;
My sin was too much hope of thee, lov'd boy.
Seven years tho' wert lent to me, and I thee pay,
Exacted by thy fate, on the just day.
O, could I lose all father now! For why
Will man lament the state he should envy?
To have so soon 'scap'd world's and flesh's rage,
And if no other misery, yet age?
Rest in soft peace, and, ask'd, say, "Here doth lie
Ben Jonson his best piece of poetry."
For whose sake henceforth all his vows be such,
As what he loves may never like too much.
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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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To a Real Standup Piece of Painted Crockery by George Starbuck
George Starbuck
I wonder what the Greeks kept in these comicstrip canisters.
Plums, milletseed, incense, henna, oregano.
Speak to me, trove. Tell me you contained dried smoked tongue once.
Or a sorcerer or a cosmetologist’s powders and unguents.
And when John Keats looked at you in a collection of pots
it was poetry at first sight: quotable beautiful
teleological concatenations of thoughts.

It’s the proverbial dog of a poem, though:
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To the Muses by William Blake
William Blake
Whether on Ida's shady brow,
Or in the chambers of the East,
The chambers of the sun, that now
From ancient melody have ceas'd;

Whether in Heav'n ye wander fair,
Or the green corners of the earth,
Or the blue regions of the air,
Where the melodious winds have birth;

Whether on crystal rocks ye rove,
Beneath the bosom of the sea
Wand'ring in many a coral grove,
Fair Nine, forsaking Poetry!

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The Triple Fool by John Donne
John Donne
I am two fools, I know,
For loving, and for saying so
In whining poetry;
But where's that wiseman, that would not be I,
If she would not deny?
Then as th' earth's inward narrow crooked lanes
Do purge sea water's fretful salt away,
I thought, if I could draw my pains
Through rhyme's vexation, I should them allay.
Grief brought to numbers cannot be so fierce,
For he tames it, that fetters it in verse.

But when I have done so,
Some man, his art and voice to show,
Doth set and sing my pain;
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