Red

R
Red Stilts by Ted Kooser
Ted Kooser
Seventy years ago I made a pair of stilts
from six-foot two-by-twos, with blocks
to stand on nailed a foot from the bottom.

If I was to learn to walk on stilts I wanted
them red and I had to wait almost forever
for the paint to dry, laid over the arms

of a saggy, ancient Adirondack chair
no longer good for much but holding hoes
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When the Red Goose Wakes by Marilyn Dorf
Marilyn Dorf
The sky a pure river of dawn
and the red goose wakes, the
breeze weaving, interweaving
leaves newly turned.
In the valley a song,
with no one to sing it,
some voice of the past
or the future. The red goose
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40
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Daybreak in Alabama by Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes
When I get to be a colored composer
I'm gonna write me some music about
Daybreak in Alabama
And I'm gonna put the purtiest songs in it
Rising out of the ground like a swamp mist
And falling out of heaven like soft dew
I'm gonna put some tall tall trees in it
And the scent of pine needles
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40
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All in green went my love riding by E. E. Cummings
E. E. Cummings
All in green went my love riding
on a great horse of gold
into the silver dawn.

four lean hounds crouched low and smiling
the merry deer ran before.

Fleeter be they than dappled dreams
the swift sweet deer
the red rare deer.
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Portrait in Georgia by Jean Toomer
Jean Toomer
Hair–braided chestnut,
coiled like a lyncher’s rope,
Eye–fagots,
Lips–old scars, or the first red blisters,
Breath–the last sweet scent of cane,
And her slim body, white as the ash
of black flesh after flame.

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40
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from Aurora Leigh, Third Book by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Why what a pettish, petty thing I grow,–
A mere, mere woman,–a mere flaccid nerve,-
A kerchief left out all night in the rain,
Turned soft so,–overtasked and overstrained
And overlived in this close London life!
And yet I should be stronger.
Never burn
Your letters, poor Aurora! for they stare
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Plena by Frank Lima
Frank Lima
During the day I play at drowning
looking for the smoke
of eyelashes and faded hair
the lilac shadows of blood
and the ruins of coffee
but a night
I dream of the last syllable
in my mother's heart
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Munich, Winter 1973 (for Y.S.) by James Baldwin
James Baldwin
In a strange house,
a strange bed
in a strange town,
a very strange me
is waiting for you.

Now
it is very early in the morning.
The silence is loud.
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The Traveller-Heart by Vachel Lindsay
Vachel Lindsay
(To a Man who maintained that the Mausoleum is the Stateliest Possible Manner of Interment) I would be one with the dark, dark earth:—
Follow the plough with a yokel tread.
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Psalm by Paul Celan
Paul Celan
No one kneads us again out of earth and clay,
no one incants our dust.
No one.

Blessèd art thou, No One.
In thy sight would
we bloom.
In thy
spite.
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Blackberry-Picking by Seamus Heaney
Seamus Heaney
for Philip Hobsbaum Late August, given heavy rain and sun
For a full week, the blackberries would ripen.
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Sickroom by Robert Winner
Robert Winner
I try to carry the gravestone
from the darkness of my mother's sickroom—
scratches of light around drawn shades—
outside, the gold and red of autumn.

She is like a queen in exile
scraping with her nails on silk walls
her message of anger, her weak
insatiable demands and regrets.
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A Boat by Richard Brautigan
Richard Brautigan
O beautiful
was the werewolf
in his evil forest.
We took him
to the carnival
and he started
crying
when he saw
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72
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Dinner at George & Katie Schneeman’s by Ted Berrigan
Ted Berrigan
She was pretty swacked by the time she
Put the spaghetti & meatballs into the orgy pasta
bowl—There was mixed salt & pepper in the
“Tittie-tweak” pasta bowl—We drank some dago red
from glazed girlie demi-tasse cups—after
which we engaged in heterosexual intercourse, mutual
masturbation, fellatio, & cunnilingus. For
dessert we stared at a cupboard full of art critic
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The Answer by Sara Teasdale
Sara Teasdale
When I go back to earth
And all my joyous body
Puts off the red and white
That once had been so proud,
If men should pass above
With false and feeble pity,
My dust will find a voice
To answer them aloud:

“Be still, I am content,
Take back your poor compassion—
Joy was a flame in me
Too steady to destroy.
Lithe as a bending reed
Loving the storm that sways her—
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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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Celebrating Childhood by Adonis
Adonis
Even the wind wants
to become a cart
pulled by butterflies.

I remember madness
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Paracelsus: by Diane di Prima
Diane di Prima
Extract the juice which is itself a Light.

Pulp, manna, gentle
Theriasin, ergot
like mold on flame, these red leaves
bursting
from mesquite by the side
of dry creekbed. Extract


the tar, the sticky
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40
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He is pruning the privet by Joanne Kyger
Joanne Kyger

He is pruning the privet

of sickly sorrow desolation
in loose pieces of air he goes clip clip clip
the green blooming branches fall—‘they’re getting out
of hand’ delirious and adorable what a switch
we perceive multiple
identities when you sing so beautifully the shifting
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Book 2, Epigram 40: De libro suo. by Thomas Bastard
Thomas Bastard
One said my book was like unto a coat,
Of diverse colours black and red and white.
I, bent to cross him, said he spoke by rote.
For they in making rather are unlike.
A coat, one garment made of many fleeces:
My book, one meaning cut into many pieces.

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Gracious Living ‘Tara’ by Tom Raworth
Tom Raworth
lonely as four cherries on a tree
at night, new moon, wet roads
a moth or a snowflake
whipping past glass

lonely as the red noses of four clowns
thrust up through snow
their shine four whitened panes
drawn from imagined memory
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Soften and Melt by Alicia Ostriker
Alicia Ostriker
the man made me soften and melt
said the old woman

the bee made me shiver like a rag
said the dark red tulip

the bitch made me push
said the dog


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The Sun Came by Etheridge Knight
Etheridge Knight
And if sun comes
How shall we greet him?
—Gwen Brooks The sun came, Miss Brooks,—
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By Candlelight by Edith Sitwell
Edith Sitwell
Houses red as flower of bean,
Flickering leaves and shadows lean!
Pantalone, like a parrot,
Sat and grumbled in the garret—
Sat and growled and grumbled till
Moon upon the window-sill
Like a red geranium
Scented his bald cranium.
Said Brighella, meaning well:
“Pack your box and—go to Hell!
Heat will cure your rheumatism!” . . .
Silence crowned this optimism—
Not a sound and not a wail:
But the fire (lush leafy vales)
Watched the angry feathers fly.
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Towns in Colour by Amy Lowell
Amy Lowell
I Red Slippers

Red slippers in a shop-window, and outside in the street, flaws of grey, windy sleet!

Behind the polished glass, the slippers hang in long threads of red, festooning from the ceiling like stalactites of blood, flooding the eyes of passers-by with dripping colour, jamming their crimson reflections against the windows of cabs and tram-cars, screaming their claret and salmon into the teeth of the sleet, plopping their little round maroon lights upon the tops of umbrellas.

The row of white, sparkling shop fronts is gashed and bleeding, it bleeds red slippers. They spout under the electric light, fluid and fluctuating, a hot rain—and freeze again to red slippers, myriadly multiplied in the mirror side of the window.

They balance upon arched insteps like springing bridges of crimson lacquer; they swing up over curved heels like whirling tanagers sucked in a wind-pocket; they flatten out, heelless, like July ponds, flared and burnished by red rockets.

Snap, snap, they are cracker-sparks of scarlet in the white, monotonous block of shops.

They plunge the clangour of billions of vermilion trumpets into the crowd outside, and echo in faint rose over the pavement.

People hurry by, for these are only shoes, and in a window, farther down, is a big lotus bud of cardboard whose petals open every few minutes and reveal a wax doll, with staring bead eyes and flaxen hair, lolling awkwardly in its flower chair.

One has often seen shoes, but whoever saw a cardboard lotus bud before?

The flaws of grey, windy sleet beat on the shop-window where there are only red slippers.

II Thompson’s Lunch Room—Grand Central Station

Study in Whites

Wax-white—
Floor, ceiling, walls.
Ivory shadows
Over the pavement
Polished to cream surfaces
By constant sweeping.
The big room is coloured like the petals
Of a great magnolia,
And has a patina
Of flower bloom
Which makes it shine dimly
Under the electric lamps.
Chairs are ranged in rows
Like sepia seeds
Waiting fulfilment.
The chalk-white spot of a cook’s cap
Moves unglossily against the vaguely bright wall—
Dull chalk-white striking the retina like a blow
Through the wavering uncertainty of steam.
Vitreous-white of glasses with green reflections,
Ice-green carboys, shifting—greener, bluer—with the jar of moving water.
Jagged green-white bowls of pressed glass
Rearing snow-peaks of chipped sugar
Above the lighthouse-shaped castors
Of grey pepper and grey-white salt.
Grey-white placards: “Oyster Stew, Cornbeef Hash, Frankfurters”:
Marble slabs veined with words in meandering lines.
Dropping on the white counter like horn notes
Through a web of violins,
The flat yellow lights of oranges,
The cube-red splashes of apples,
In high plated épergnes.
The electric clock jerks every half-minute:
“Coming!—Past!”
“Three beef-steaks and a chicken-pie,”
Bawled through a slide while the clock jerks heavily.
A man carries a china mug of coffee to a distant chair.
Two rice puddings and a salmon salad
Are pushed over the counter;
The unfulfilled chairs open to receive them.
A spoon falls upon the floor with the impact of metal striking stone,
And the sound throws across the room
Sharp, invisible zigzags
Of silver.


III An Opera House

Within the gold square of the proscenium arch,
A curtain of orange velvet hangs in stiff folds,
Its tassels jarring slightly when someone crosses the stage behind.
Gold carving edges the balconies,
Rims the boxes,
Runs up and down fluted pillars.
Little knife-stabs of gold
Shine out whenever a box door is opened.
Gold clusters
Flash in soft explosions
On the blue darkness,
Suck back to a point,
And disappear.
Hoops of gold
Circle necks, wrists, fingers,
Pierce ears,
Poise on heads
And fly up above them in coloured sparkles.
Gold!
Gold!
The opera house is a treasure-box of gold.
Gold in a broad smear across the orchestra pit:
Gold of horns, trumpets, tubas;
Gold—spun-gold, twittering-gold, snapping-gold
Of harps.
The conductor raises his baton,
The brass blares out
Crass, crude,
Parvenu, fat, powerful,
Golden.
Rich as the fat, clapping hands in the boxes.
Cymbals, gigantic, coin-shaped,
Crash.
The orange curtain parts
And the prima-donna steps forward.
One note,
A drop: transparent, iridescent,
A gold bubble,
It floats . . . floats . . .
And bursts against the lips of a bank president
In the grand tier.


IV Afternoon Rain in State Street

Cross-hatchings of rain against grey walls,
Slant lines of black rain
In front of the up and down, wet stone sides of buildings.
Below,
Greasy, shiny, black, horizontal,
The street.
And over it, umbrellas,
Black polished dots
Struck to white
An instant,
Stream in two flat lines
Slipping past each other with the smoothness of oil.
Like a four-sided wedge
The Custom House Tower
Pokes at the low, flat sky,
Pushing it farther and farther up,
Lifting it away from the house-tops,
Lifting it in one piece as though it were a sheet of tin,
With the lever of its apex.
The cross-hatchings of rain cut the Tower obliquely,
Scratching lines of black wire across it,
Mutilating its perpendicular grey surface
With the sharp precision of tools.
The city is rigid with straight lines and angles,
A chequered table of blacks and greys.
Oblong blocks of flatness
Crawl by with low-geared engines,
And pass to short upright squares
Shrinking with distance.
A steamer in the basin blows its whistle,
And the sound shoots across the rain hatchings,
A narrow, level bar of steel.
Hard cubes of lemon
Superimpose themselves upon the fronts of buildings
As the windows light up.
But the lemon cubes are edged with angles
Upon which they cannot impinge.
Up, straight, down, straight—square.
Crumpled grey-white papers
Blow along the side-walks,
Contorted, horrible,
Without curves.
A horse steps in a puddle,
A white, glaring water spurts up
In stiff, outflaring lines,
Like the rattling stems of reeds.
The city is heraldic with angles,
A sombre escutcheon of argent and sable
And countercoloured bends of rain
Hung over a four-square civilization.
When a street lamp comes out,
I gaze at it for full thirty seconds
To rest my brain with the suffusing, round brilliance of its globe.


V An Aquarium

Streaks of green and yellow iridescence,
Silver shiftings,
Rings veering out of rings,
Silver—gold—
Grey-green opaqueness sliding down,
With sharp white bubbles
Shooting and dancing,
Flinging quickly outward.
Nosing the bubbles,
Swallowing them,
Fish.
Blue shadows against silver-saffron water,
The light rippling over them
In steel-bright tremors.
Outspread translucent fins
Flute, fold, and relapse;
The threaded light prints through them on the pebbles
In scarcely tarnished twinklings.
Curving of spotted spines,
Slow up-shifts,
Lazy convolutions:
Then a sudden swift straightening
And darting below:
Oblique grey shadows
Athwart a pale casement.
Roped and curled,
Green man-eating eels
Slumber in undulate rhythms,
With crests laid horizontal on their backs.
Barred fish,
Striped fish,
Uneven disks of fish,
Slip, slide, whirl, turn,
And never touch.
Metallic blue fish,
With fins wide and yellow and swaying
Like Oriental fans,
Hold the sun in their bellies
And glow with light:
Blue brilliance cut by black bars.
An oblong pane of straw-coloured shimmer,
Across it, in a tangent,
A smear of rose, black, silver.
Short twists and upstartings,
Rose-black, in a setting of bubbles:
Sunshine playing between red and black flowers
On a blue and gold lawn.
Shadows and polished surfaces,
Facets of mauve and purple,
A constant modulation of values.
Shaft-shaped,
With green bead eyes;
Thick-nosed,
Heliotrope-coloured;
Swift spots of chrysolite and coral;
In the midst of green, pearl, amethyst irradiations.

Outside,
A willow-tree flickers
With little white jerks,
And long blue waves
Rise steadily beyond the outer islands.
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The Blessing of the Old Woman, the Tulip, and the Dog by Alicia Ostriker
Alicia Ostriker
To be blessed
said the old woman
is to live and work
so hard
God’s love
washes right through you
like milk through a cow

To be blessed
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Conversation 23: On Cause by Rosmarie Waldrop
Rosmarie Waldrop
I step into my mother’s room, she says, and though a woman’s body is a calendar of births and injunctions to death, time disappears. Only dead enough to bury could prove sound to silence or the anxiety I know by heart and lung. In my mother’s room. The tie between us anticipates any move to sever it. Terror and lack of perspective. The river runs clear without imparting its clarity, whether we step into it or not.



Deep in the bones, he says. If a butterfly fluttering its wings in China can cause a storm in Rhode Island, how much more the residues of radiation, family resemblance and past rituals. The stove glows red. Thin apple trees line the road. You think you are taking a clean sheet of paper, and it’s already covered with signs, illegible, as by child’s hand.



The heart has its rhythm of exchange, she says, without surplus or deficit. Mine murmurs your name while conjugating precise explosions with valves onto the infinite. I take it down with me, in the body, to develop in a darkroom of my own. They way the current elongates our reflection in the river and seems to carry it off.



A death without corruption is the promise of photography, he says. Focus and light meter translating a cut of flesh into a tense past laughing its red off. But the film’s too clear. Even if smudged with fingerprints. Even if the light falls into the arms of love.
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Amelia’s First Ski Run by Nora Marks Dauenhauer
Nora Marks Dauenhauer
Eaglecrest, Juneau, February 24, 1989 Amelia, space-age girl
at top of Sourdough
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For Allen Ginsberg by Dorothea Grossman
Dorothea Grossman
Among other things,
thanks for explaining
how the generous death
of old trees
forms
the red powdered floor
of the forest.
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39
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The History of Jazz by Kenneth Koch
Kenneth Koch
I

The leaves of blue came drifting down.
In the corner Madeleine Reierbacher was reading Lorna Doone.
The bay’s water helped to implement the structuring of the garden hose.
The envelope fell. Was it pink or was it red? Consult Lorna Doone.
There, voyager, you will find your answer. The savant grapeade stands
Remember Madeleine Reierbacher. Madeleine Reierbacher says,
“If you are happy, there is no one to keep you from being happy;
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Childhood by Margaret Walker
Margaret Walker
When I was a child I knew red miners
dressed raggedly and wearing carbide lamps.
I saw them come down red hills to their camps
dyed with red dust from old Ishkooda mines.
Night after night I met them on the roads,
or on the streets in town I caught their glance;
the swing of dinner buckets in their hands,
and grumbling undermining all their words.
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The Lights at Carney’s Point by Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson
Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson
O white little lights at Carney’s Point,
You shine so clear o’er the Delaware;
When the moon rides high in the silver sky,
Then you gleam, white gems on the Delaware.
Diamond circlet on a full white throat,
You laugh your rays on a questioning boat;
Is it peace you dream in your flashing gleam,
O’er the quiet flow of the Delaware?

And the lights grew dim at the water’s brim,
For the smoke of the mills shredded slow between;
And the smoke was red, as is new bloodshed,
And the lights went lurid ’neath the livid screen.

O red little lights at Carney’s Point,
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Ballad of the Salvation Army by Kenneth Fearing
Kenneth Fearing
On Fourteenth street the bugles blow,
Bugles blow, bugles blow.
The red, red, red, red banner floats
Where sweating angels split their throats,
Marching in burlap petticoats,
Blow, bugles, blow.

God is a ten car Bronx express,
Red eyes round, red eyes round.
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Female Fashions for 1799 by Mary Robinson
Mary Robinson
A FORM, as any taper, fine ;
A head like half-pint bason ;
Where golden cords, and bands entwine,
As rich as fleece of JASON.

A pair of shoulders strong and wide,
Like country clown enlisting ;
Bare arms long dangling by the side,
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30
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A Toast for Men Yun-Ch’ing by Du Fu
Du Fu
Illimitable happiness,
But grief for our white heads.
We love the long watches of the night, the red candle.
It would be difficult to have too much of meeting,
Let us not be in hurry to talk of separation.
But because the Heaven River will sink,
We had better empty the wine-cups.
To-morrow, at bright dawn, the world’s business will entangle us.
We brush away our tears,
We go—East and West.

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Dissonance Royal Traveller by Barbara Guest
Barbara Guest
sound opens sound


shank of globe strings floating out



something like images are here

opening up avenues to view a dome


a distant clang reaches the edifice.





understanding what it means
to understand music

cloudless movementbeyond the neck’s reach
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The English in Virginia, April 1607 by Charles Reznikoff
Charles Reznikoff
They landed and could
see nothing but
meadows and tall
trees—
cypress, nearly three
fathoms about at the
roots,
rising straight for
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28
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Ghetto Funeral by Charles Reznikoff
Charles Reznikoff
Followed by his lodge, shabby men stumbling over the
cobblestones,
and his children, faces red and ugly with tears, eyes and
eyelids red,
in the black coffin in the black hearse the old man.

No longer secretly grieving
that his children are not strong enough to go the way he
wanted to go
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The Great Figure by William Carlos Williams
William Carlos Williams
Among the rain
and lights
I saw the figure 5
in gold
on a red
firetruck
moving
tense
unheeded
to gong clangs
siren howls
and wheels rumbling
through the dark city.

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40
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Bessie Dreaming Bear by Marnie Walsh
Marnie Walsh
Rosebud, So. Dak., 1960 we all went to town one day
went to a store
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30
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Planting the Sand Cherry by Ann Struthers
Ann Struthers
Today I planted the sand cherry with red leaves—
and hope that I can go on digging in this yard,
pruning the grape vine, twisting the silver lace
on its trellis, the one that bloomed
just before the frost flowered over all the garden.
Next spring I will plant more zinnias, marigolds,
straw flowers, pearly everlasting, and bleeding heart.
I plant that for you, old love, old friend,
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Affairs by Cesare Pavese
Cesare Pavese
Dawn on the black hill, and up on the roof
cats drowsing. Last night, there was a boy
who fell off this roof, breaking his back.
The wind riffles the cool leaves of the trees.
The red clouds above are warm and move slowly.
A stray dog appears in the alley below, sniffing
the boy on the cobblestones, and a raw wail
rises up among chimneys: someone’s unhappy.
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40
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“And then we cowards” by Cesare Pavese
Cesare Pavese
And then we cowards
who loved the whispering
evening, the houses,
the paths by the river,
the dirty red lights
of those places, the sweet
soundless sorrow—
we reached our hands out
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30
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Autumn by Grace Paley
Grace Paley
1

What is sometimes called a
tongue of flame
or an arm extended burning
is only the long
red and orange branch of
a green maple
in early Septemberreaching
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A Boat by Richard Brautigan
Richard Brautigan
O beautiful
was the werewolf
in his evil forest.
We took him
to the carnival
and he started
crying
when he saw
the Ferris wheel.
Electric
green and red tears
flowed down
his furry cheeks.
He looked
like a boat
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39
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The Cardinal by Henry Carlile
Henry Carlile
Not to conform to any other color
is the secret of being colorful.

He shocks us when he flies
like a red verb over the snow.

He sifts through the blue evenings
to his roost.

He is turning purple.
Soon he'll be black.
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Champs d’Honneur by Ernest M. Hemingway
Ernest M. Hemingway
Soldiers never do die well;
Crosses mark the places—
Wooden crosses where they fell,
Stuck above their faces.
Soldiers pitch and cough and twitch—
All the world roars red and black;
Soldiers smother in a ditch,
Choking through the whole attack.
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Countrywomen by Katherine Mansfield
Katherine Mansfield
These be two
Country women.
What a size!
Great big arms
And round red faces;
Big substantial
Sit down places;
Great big bosoms firm as cheese
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56
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Glazunoviana by John Ashbery
John Ashbery
The man with the red hat
And the polar bear, is he here too?
The window giving on shade,
Is that here too?
And all the little helps,
My initials in the sky,
The hay of an arctic summer night?

The bear
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Leda by H.D.
H.D.
Where the slow river
meets the tide,
a red swan lifts red wings
and darker beak,
and underneath the purple down
of his soft breast
uncurls his coral feet.

Through the deep purple
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The Red Wheelbarrow by William Carlos Williams
William Carlos Williams
so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens
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39
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A Strategem by Michael Anania
Michael Anania
(after Ehrich Weiss) I

Geography matters.
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A Tapestry for Bayeux by George Starbuck
George Starbuck
IRecto

Over the
seaworthy
cavalry
arches a
rocketry
wickerwork:
involute
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31
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"This living hand, now warm and capable" by John Keats
John Keats
This living hand, now warm and capable
Of earnest grasping, would, if it were cold
And in the icy silence of the tomb,
So haunt thy days and chill thy dreaming nights
That thou would wish thine own heart dry of blood
So in my veins red life might stream again,
And thou be conscience-calm’d–see here it is–
I hold it towards you.
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Floating Sweet Dumpling by Ho Xuan Huong
Ho Xuan Huong
My body is powdery white and round
I sink and bob like a mountain in a pond
The hand that kneads me is hard and rough
You can't destroy my true red heart
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31
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We Old Dudes by Joan Murray
Joan Murray
We old dudes. We
White shoes. We

Golf ball. We
Eat mall. We

Soak teeth. We
Palm Beach; We
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42
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Aesthetics of the Asylum by Constance Urdang
Constance Urdang
The sober reality
Was a double line of orphans in blue smocks
Marching above the blue river
Under the smoky eye of winter.
It is possible to envy them;
The picture of which they formed a part
Was so well composed,
In shades of blue and smoke
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37
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Almond Blossom by D. H. Lawrence
D. H. Lawrence
Even iron can put forth,
Even iron.

This is the iron age,
But let us take heart
Seeing iron break and bud,
Seeing rusty iron puff with clouds of blossom.

The almond-tree,
December's bare iron hooks sticking out of earth.
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35
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The Cap and Bells by William Butler Yeats
William Butler Yeats
The jester walked in the garden:
The garden had fallen still;
He bade his soul rise upward
And stand on her window-sill.

It rose in a straight blue garment,
When owls began to call:
It had grown wise-tongued by thinking
Of a quiet and light footfall;
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45
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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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29
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Disillusionment of Ten O’Clock by Wallace Stevens
Wallace Stevens
The houses are haunted
By white night-gowns.
None are green,
Or purple with green rings,
Or green with yellow rings,
Or yellow with blue rings.
None of them are strange,
With socks of lace
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46
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Job’s Question on Nevis by Grace Schulman
Grace Schulman
“Turn back!” was all she snapped out as she passed
in a red dress that caught sunrays through mist.
I saw her lurch upwind, kick off spiked heels,
climb out to the edge of a knife-sharp rockpile,

and, arms outstretched, lead the sea’s tympani,
lure the din, guiding the steamy waves
to shore. Will the Almighty answer me?
she sang out to the ocean’s rising octaves,
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32
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My Star by Robert Browning
Robert Browning
All that I know
Of a certain star,
Is, it can throw
(Like the angled spar)
Now a dart of red,
Now a dart of blue,
Till my friends have said
They would fain see, too,
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40
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Nuit Blanche by Amy Lowell
Amy Lowell
I want no horns to rouse me up to-night,
And trumpets make too clamorous a ring
To fit my mood, it is so weary white
I have no wish for doing any thing.

A music coaxed from humming strings would please;
Not plucked, but drawn in creeping cadences
Across a sunset wall where some Marquise
Picks a pale rose amid strange silences.
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35
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A Rabbit as King of the Ghosts by Wallace Stevens
Wallace Stevens
The difficulty to think at the end of day,
When the shapeless shadow covers the sun
And nothing is left except light on your fur—

There was the cat slopping its milk all day,
Fat cat, red tongue, green mind, white milk
And August the most peaceful month.

To be, in the grass, in the peacefullest time,
Without that monument of cat,
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43
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A Red, Red Rose by Robert Burns
Robert Burns
O my Luve is like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve is like the melody
That’s sweetly played in tune.

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

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

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31
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Sonnet 130: My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground.
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.
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43
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The Springtime by Denise Levertov
Denise Levertov
The red eyes of rabbits
aren't sad. No one passes
the sad golden village in a barge
any more. The sunset
will leave it alone. If the
curtains hang askew
it is no one's fault.
Around and around and around
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33
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To the Rose upon the Rood of Time by William Butler Yeats
William Butler Yeats
Red Rose, proud Rose, sad Rose of all my days!
Come near me, while I sing the ancient ways:
Cuchulain battling with the bitter tide;
The Druid, grey, wood-nurtured, quiet-eyed,
Who cast round Fergus dreams, and ruin untold;
And thine own sadness, whereof stars, grown old
In dancing silver-sandalled on the sea,
Sing in their high and lonely melody.
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41
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Poem by Dylan Thomas
Dylan Thomas
Her tombstone told when she died.
Her two surnames stopped me still.
A virgin married at rest.
She married in this pouring place,
That I struck one day by luck,
Before I heard in my mother's side
Or saw in the looking-glass shell
The rain through her cold heart speak
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38
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