Remember

R
Love Song No. 3 by Sonia Sanchez
Sonia Sanchez
1.
i'm crazy bout that chile but she gotta go.
she don't pay me no mind no mo. guess her
mama was right to put her out cuz she
couldn't do nothin wid her. but she been
mine so long. she been my heart so long
now she breakin it wid her bad habits.
always runnin like a machine out of control;
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That Other by Joyce Carol Oates
Joyce Carol Oates
They laughed, but no. You
don’t remember that.

What you think you remember—
it wasn’t that.

Yes—you remember
some things. And
some things did
happen. Except not
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Torn Coat by Gerald Stern
Gerald Stern
Look what it is to have forgotten
the torn coat of  “Vecchia Zimarra”
from Puccini’s  La bohème and to remember
the other coats from Mt. Horeb on down,
and look what it is to give your own coat away,
three times now, and to walk shivering
in three different countries, oh tears
for the opportunity and tears for a horse,
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"I, being born a woman and distressed" by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Edna St. Vincent Millay
I, being born a woman and distressed
By all the needs and notions of my kind,
Am urged by your propinquity to find
Your person fair, and feel a certain zest
To bear your body’s weight upon my breast:
So subtly is the fume of life designed,
To clarify the pulse and cloud the mind,
And leave me once again undone, possessed.
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My Voice Not Being Proud by Louise Bogan
Louise Bogan
My voice, not being proud
Like a strong woman’s, that cries
Imperiously aloud
That death disarm her, lull her—
Screams for no mourning color
Laid menacingly, like fire,
Over my long desire.
It will end, and leave no print.
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On Pleasure by Kahlil Gibran
Kahlil Gibran
Then a hermit, who visited the city once
a year, came forth and said, Speak to us of
Pleasure.
And he answered, saying:
Pleasure is a freedom-song,
But it is not freedom.
It is the blossoming of your desires,
But it is not their fruit.
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"When you, that at this moment are to me" by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Edna St. Vincent Millay
When you, that at this moment are to me
Dearer than words on paper, shall depart,
And be no more the warder of my heart,
Whereof again myself shall hold the key;
And be no more—what now you seem to be—
The sun, from which all excellences start
In a round nimbus, nor a broken dart
Of moonlight, even, splintered on the sea;
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Pantoum of the Great Depression by Donald Justice
Donald Justice
Our lives avoided tragedy
Simply by going on and on,
Without end and with little apparent meaning.
Oh, there were storms and small catastrophes.

Simply by going on and on
We managed. No need for the heroic.
Oh, there were storms and small catastrophes.
I don't remember all the particulars.
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Season of skinny candles by Marge Piercy
Marge Piercy
A row of tall skinny candles burns
quickly into the night
air, the shames raised
over the rest
for its hard work

Darkness rushes in
after the sun sinks
like a bright plug pulled.
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After the War by May Wedderburn Cannan
May Wedderburn Cannan
After the war perhaps I'll sit again
Out on the terrace where I sat with you,
And see the changeless sky and hills beat blue
And live an afternoon of summer through.

I shall remember then, and sad at heart
For the lost day of happiness we knew,
Wish only that some other man were you
And spoke my name as once you used to do.
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The Messages by Wilfrid Wilson Gibson
Wilfrid Wilson Gibson
“I cannot quite remember.... There were five
Dropt dead beside me in the trench—and three
Whispered their dying messages to me....”

Back from the trenches, more dead than alive,
Stone-deaf and dazed, and with a broken knee,
He hobbled slowly, muttering vacantly:

“I cannot quite remember.... There were five
Dropt dead beside me in the trench, and three
Whispered their dying messages to me....

“Their friends are waiting, wondering how they thrive—
Waiting a word in silence patiently....
But what they said, or who their friends may be
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To the Poet Before Battle by Ivor Gurney
Ivor Gurney
Now, youth, the hour of thy dread passion comes;
Thy lovely things must all be laid away;
And thou, as others, must face the riven day
Unstirred by rattle of the rolling drums,
Or bugles' strident cry. When mere noise numbs
The sense of being, the sick soul doth sway,
Remember thy great craft's honour, that they may say
Nothing in shame of poets. Then the crumbs
Of praise the little versemen joyed to take
Shall be forgotten; then they must know we are,
For all our skill in words, equal in might
And strong of mettle as those we honoured; make
The name of poet terrible in just war,
And like a crown of honour upon the fight.

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To the Prussians of England by Ivor Gurney
Ivor Gurney
When I remember plain heroic strength
And shining virtue shown by Ypres pools,
Then read the blither written by knaves for fools
In praise of English soldiers lying at length,
Who purely dream what England shall be made
Gloriously new, free of the old stains
By us, who pay the price that must be paid,
Will freeze all winter over Ypres plains.
Our silly dreams of peace you put aside
And brotherhood of man, for you will see
An armed mistress, braggart of the tide,
Her children slaves, under your mastery.
We'll have a word there too, and forge a knife,
Will cut the cancer threatens England's life.
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Old Man by Edward Thomas
Edward Thomas
Old Man, or Lad's-love,—in the name there'snothing
To one that knows not Lad's-love, or Old Man,
The hoar-green feathery herb, almost a tree,
Growing with rosemary and lavender.
Even to one that knows it well, the names
Half decorate, half perplex, the thing it is:
At least, what that is clings not to the names
In spite of time. And yet I like the names.

The herb itself I like not, but for certain
I love it, as some day the child will love it
Who plucks a feather from the door-side bush
Whenever she goes in or out of the house.
Often she waits there, snipping the tips andshrivelling
The shreds at last on to the path, perhaps
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'When You See Millions of the Mouthless Dead' by Charles Hamilton Sorley
Charles Hamilton Sorley

When you see millions of the mouthless dead
Across your dreams in pale battalions go,
Say not soft things as other men have said,
That you'll remember. For you need not so.
Give them not praise. For, deaf, how should they know
It is not curses heaped on each gashed head?
Nor tears. Their blind eyes see not your tears flow.
Nor honour. It is easy to be dead.
Say only this, “They are dead.” Then add thereto,
“Yet many a better one has died before.”
Then, scanning all the o'ercrowded mass, should you
Perceive one face that you loved heretofore,
It is a spook. None wears the face you knew.
Great death has made all his for evermore.
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Now I knew I lost her — (1274) by Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickinson
Now I knew I lost her —
Not that she was gone —
But Remoteness travelled
On her Face and Tongue.

Alien, though adjoining
As a Foreign Race —
Traversed she though pausing
Latitudeless Place.
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From "The First, at the Last" by Marie Ponsot
Marie Ponsot
All he undertook
goes under, under
the undergrowth he rose from
fly-boy, lovely
in his day.
All his clothes
— spruce suit & tie —
are underclothes
against ungrounded gray.
All his studies understudy
an unstudied play.

Under the under
of what I remember
we are both twenty
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Fin de Fête by Charlotte Mew
Charlotte Mew
Sweetheart, for such a day
One mustn’t grudge the score;
Here, then, it’s all to pay,
It’s Good-night at the door.

Good-night and good dreams to you,—
Do you remember the picture-book thieves
Who left two children sleeping in a wood the long night through,
And how the birds came down and covered them with leaves?
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Rooms by Charlotte Mew
Charlotte Mew
I remember rooms that have had their part
In the steady slowing down of the heart.
The room in Paris, the room at Geneva,
The little damp room with the seaweed smell,
And that ceaseless maddening sound of the tide—
Rooms where for good or for ill—things died.
But there is the room where we (two) lie dead,
Though every morning we seem to wake and might just as well seem to sleep again
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An Exercise in Love by Diane di Prima
Diane di Prima
for Jackson Allen My friend wears my scarf at his waist
I give him moonstones
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Across the Bay by Donald Davie
Donald Davie
A queer thing about those waters: there are no Birds there, or hardly any.
I did not miss them, I do not remember
Missing them, or thinking it uncanny.

The beach so-called was a blinding splinter of limestone,
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On the Term of Exile by Bertolt Brecht
Bertolt Brecht
No need to drive a nail into the wall
To hang your hat on;
When you come in, just drop it on the chair
No guest has sat on.

Don’t worry about watering the flowers—
In fact, don’t plant them.
You will have gone back home before they bloom,
And who will want them?
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The Midnite Show by Jonathan Williams
Jonathan Williams
Red-Wigglers, Night-Crawlers
& Other Worms
look out
into the crapulous moonlight:

figures of women cascading through the Sunday night;

no beer in sight.

I remember the Night-blooming
Cereus by Dr. Thornton, Engraver, Blake’s
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Dreams by Arthur Symons
Arthur Symons
I
To dream of love, and, waking, to remember you:
As though, being dead, one dreamed of heaven, and woke
in hell.
At night my lovely dreams forget the old farewell:
Ah! wake not by his side, lest you remember too!


II
I set all Rome between us: with what joy I set
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Adlestrop by Edward Thomas
Edward Thomas
Yes. I remember Adlestrop—
The name, because one afternoon
Of heat the express-train drew up there
Unwontedly. It was late June.

The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat.
No one left and no one came
On the bare platform. What I saw
Was Adlestrop—only the name

And willows, willow-herb, and grass,
And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry,
No whit less still and lonely fair
Than the high cloudlets in the sky.

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I have to tell you by Dorothea Grossman
Dorothea Grossman
I have to tell you,
there are times when
the sun strikes me
like a gong,
and I remember everything,
even your ears.
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50
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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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I Am the People, the Mob by Carl Sandburg
Carl Sandburg
I am the people—the mob—the crowd—the mass.
Do you know that all the great work of the world is done through me?
I am the workingman, the inventor, the maker of the world’s food and clothes.
I am the audience that witnesses history. The Napoleons come from me and the Lincolns. They die. And then I send forth more Napoleons and Lincolns.
I am the seed ground. I am a prairie that will stand for much plowing. Terrible storms pass over me. I forget. The best of me is sucked out and wasted. I forget. Everything but Death comes to me and makes me work and give up what I have. And I forget.
Sometimes I growl, shake myself and spatter a few red drops for history to remember. Then—I forget.
When I, the People, learn to remember, when I, the People, use the lessons of yesterday and no longer forget who robbed me last year, who played me for a fool—then there will be no speaker in all the world say the name: “The People,” with any fleck of a sneer in his voice or any far-off smile of derision.
The mob—the crowd—the mass—will arrive then.
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A Message from the Wanderer by William E. Stafford
William E. Stafford
Today outside your prison I stand
and rattle my walking stick: Prisoners, listen;
you have relatives outside. And there are
thousands of ways to escape.

Years ago I bent my skill to keep my
cell locked, had chains smuggled to me in pies,
and shouted my plans to jailers;
but always new plans occured to me,
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The Melon by Charles Simic
Charles Simic
There was a melon fresh from the garden
So ripe the knife slurped
As it cut it into six slices.
The children were going back to school.
Their mother, passing out paper plates,
Would not live to see the leaves fall.

I remember a hornet, too, that flew in
Through the open window
Mad to taste the sweet fruit
While we ducked and screamed,
Covered our heads and faces,
And sat laughing after it was gone.

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Aphrodite Metropolis (1) by Kenneth Fearing
Kenneth Fearing
"Myrtle loves Harry"—It is sometimes hard to remember a thing like that,
Hard to think about it, and no one knows what to do with it when he has it,
So write it out on a billboard that stands under the yellow light of an "L" platform among popcorn wrappers and crushed cigars,
A poster that says "Mama I Love Crispy Wafers So."
Leave it on a placard where somebody else gave the blonde lady a pencil moustache, and another perplexed citizen deposited:
"Jesus Saves. Jesus Saves."
One can lay this bundle down there with the others,
And never lose it, or forget it, or want it.
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The Presence by Odysseus Elytis
Odysseus Elytis
MARIA NEFELE:
I walk in thorns in the dark
of what’s to happen and what has
with my only weapon my only defense
my nails purple like cyclamens.

ANTIPHONIST:
I saw her everywhere. Holding a glass and staring in space. Lying down
listening to records. Walking the streets in wide trousers and an old
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I Remember, I Remember by Thomas Hood
Thomas Hood
I remember, I remember,
The house where I was born,
The little window where the sun
Came peeping in at morn;
He never came a wink too soon,
Nor brought too long a day,
But now, I often wish the night
Had borne my breath away!

I remember, I remember,
The roses, red and white,
The vi'lets, and the lily-cups,
Those flowers made of light!
The lilacs where the robin built,
And where my brother set
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Mid-August at Sourdough Mountain Lookout by Gary Snyder
Gary Snyder
Down valley a smoke haze
Three days heat, after five days rain
Pitch glows on the fir-cones
Across rocks and meadows
Swarms of new flies.

I cannot remember things I once read
A few friends, but they are in cities.
Drinking cold snow-water from a tin cup
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Primer For Blacks by Gwendolyn Brooks
Gwendolyn Brooks
Blackness
is a title,
is a preoccupation,
is a commitment Blacks
are to comprehend—
and in which you are
to perceive your Glory.

The conscious shout
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Rhode Island by William Meredith
William Meredith
Here at the seashore they use the clouds over & over
again, like the rented animals in Aïda.
In the late morning the land breeze
turns and now the extras are driving
all the white elephants the other way.
What language are these children shouting in?
He is lying on the beach listening.

The sand knocks like glass, struck by bare heels.
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The Trees are Down by Charlotte Mew
Charlotte Mew
—and he cried with a loud voice:
Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees—
(Revelation) They are cutting down the great plane-trees at the end of the gardens.
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from War is Kind “I explain the silvered passing of a ship at night” by Stephen Crane
Stephen Crane
I explain the silvered passing of a ship at night
The sweep of each sad lost wave
The dwindling boom of the steel thing's striving
The little cry of a man to a man
A shadow falling across the greyer night
And the sinking of the small star.

Then the waste, the far waste of waters
And the soft lashing of black waves
For long and in loneliness.

Remember, thou, oh ship of love
Thou leavest a far waste of waters
And the soft lashing of black waves
For long and in loneliness.
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Another Feeling by Ruth Stone
Ruth Stone
Once you saw a drove of young pigs
crossing the highway. One of them
pulling his body by the front feet,
the hind legs dragging flat.
Without thinking,
you called the Humane Society.
They came with a net and went for him.
They were matter of fact, uniformed;
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There Is Another Way by Pat Schneider
Pat Schneider
There is another way to enter an apple:
a worm’s way.
The small, round door
closes behind her. The world
and all its necessities
ripen around her like a room.

In the sweet marrow of a bone,
the maggot does not remember
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Remember by Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes
Remember
The days of bondage—
And remembering—
Do not stand still.
Go to the highest hill
And look down upon the town
Where you are yet a slave.
Look down upon any town in Carolina
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Our Valley by Philip Levine
Philip Levine
We don't see the ocean, not ever, but in July and August
when the worst heat seems to rise from the hard clay
of this valley, you could be walking through a fig orchard
when suddenly the wind cools and for a moment
you get a whiff of salt, and in that moment you can almost
believe something is waiting beyond the Pacheco Pass,
something massive, irrational, and so powerful even
the mountains that rise east of here have no word for it.

You probably think I'm nuts saying the mountains
have no word for ocean, but if you live here
you begin to believe they know everything.
They maintain that huge silence we think of as divine,
a silence that grows in autumn when snow falls
slowly between the pines and the wind dies
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Abundance by John Ciardi
John Ciardi
I

Once I had 1000 roses.
Literally 1000 roses.
I was working for a florist
back in the shambling ‘Thirties
when iced skids of 250 roses
sold for $2 at Faneuil Hall.
So for $8 I bought
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Do you Remember me? or are you Proud? by Walter Savage Landor
Walter Savage Landor
“Do you remember me? or are you proud?”
Lightly advancing thro’ her star-trimm’d crowd,
Ianthe said, and lookt into my eyes,
“A yes, a yes, to both: for Memory
Where you but once have been must ever be,
And at your voice Pride from his throne must rise.”
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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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No Moon Floods the Memory of That Night by Etheridge Knight
Etheridge Knight
No moon floods the memory of that night
only the rain I remember the cold rain
against our faces and mixing with your tears
only the rain I remember the cold rain
and your mouth soft and warm
no moon no stars no jagged pain
of lightning only my impotent tongue
and the red rage within my brain
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Oft, in the Stilly Night (Scotch Air) by Thomas Moore
Thomas Moore
Oft, in the stilly night,
Ere slumber’s chain has bound me,
Fond memory brings the light
Of other days around me;
The smiles, the tears,
Of boyhood’s years,
The words of love then spoken;
The eyes that shone,
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Poem for My Twentieth Birthday by Kenneth Koch
Kenneth Koch
Passing the American graveyard, for my birthday
the crosses stuttering, white on tropical green,
the years’ quick focus of faces I do not remember . . .

The palm trees stalking like deliberate giants
for my birthday, and all the hot adolescent memories
seen through a screen of water . . .

For my birthday thrust into the adult and actual:
expected to perform the action, not to ponder
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Recycling by Landis Everson
Landis Everson
How did the valentines age so fast?
Most of the names are forgotten.
Billy, Billy, Billy, Jill
I think strangers sent them out like advertising
hoping I'd surrender. But

Jill, Jill, Jill and Billy Bill,
shared memories aren't easily kept.
Secrets wash out of the ocean blank all over.
I am sitting on a beach chair
somewhere in the middle of the century, pretending

I remember a garden of broken banjos and
butterflies,
old movies. Valentines from Valentino,
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The River at Wolf by Jean Valentine
Jean Valentine
Coming east we left the animals
pelican beaver osprey muskrat and snake
their hair and skin and feathers
their eyes in the dark: red and green.
Your finger drawing my mouth.

Blessed are they who remember
that what they now have they once longed for.

A day a year ago last summer
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Romance by Robert Louis Stevenson
Robert Louis Stevenson
I will make you brooches and toys for your delight
Of bird-song at morning and star-shine at night.
I will make a palace fit for you and me
Of green days in forests and blue days at sea.

I will make my kitchen, and you shall keep your room,
Where white flows the river and bright blows the broom,
And you shall wash your linen and keep your body white
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September Midnight by Sara Teasdale
Sara Teasdale
Lyric night of the lingering Indian Summer,
Shadowy fields that are scentless but full of singing,
Never a bird, but the passionless chant of insects,
Ceaseless, insistent.

The grasshopper’s horn, and far-off, high in the maples,
The wheel of a locust leisurely grinding the silence
Under a moon waning and worn, broken,
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Their Bodies by David Wagoner
David Wagoner
To the students of anatomy
at Indiana University That gaunt old man came first, his hair as white
As your scoured tables. Maybe you’ll recollect him
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Tutto Sciolto by James Joyce
James Joyce
A birdless heaven, sea-dusk and a star
Sad in the west;
And thou, poor heart, love’s image, fond and far,
Rememberest:

Her silent eyes and her soft foam-white brow
And fragrant hair,
Falling as in the silence falleth now
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Ballad of John Cable and Three Gentlemen by W. S. Merwin
W. S. Merwin
He that had come that morning,
One after the other,
Over seven hills,
Each of a new color,

Came now by the last tree,
By the red-colored valley,
To a gray river
Wide as the sea.
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Holy Sonnets: If poisonous minerals, and if that tree by John Donne
John Donne
If poisonous minerals, and if that tree
Whose fruit threw death on else immortal us,
If lecherous goats, if serpents envious
Cannot be damn'd, alas, why should I be?
Why should intent or reason, born in me,
Make sins, else equal, in me more heinous?
And mercy being easy, and glorious
To God, in his stern wrath why threatens he?
But who am I, that dare dispute with thee,
O God? Oh, of thine only worthy blood
And my tears, make a heavenly Lethean flood,
And drown in it my sins' black memory.
That thou remember them, some claim as debt;
I think it mercy, if thou wilt forget.

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Incident by Countee Cullen
Countee Cullen
(For Eric Walrond) Once riding in old Baltimore,
Heart-filled, head-filled with glee,
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Internal Migration: On Being on Tour by Alan Dugan
Alan Dugan
As an American traveler I have
to remember not to get actionably mad
about the way things are around here.
Tomorrow I’ll be a thousand miles away
from the way it is around here. I will
keep my temper, I will not kill the dog
next door, nor will I kill the next-door wife,
both of whom are crazy and aggressive
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Itylus by Algernon Charles Swinburne
Algernon Charles Swinburne
Swallow, my sister, O sister swallow,
How can thine heart be full of the spring?
A thousand summers are over and dead.
What hast thou found in the spring to follow?
What hast thou found in thine heart to sing?
What wilt thou do when the summer is shed?

O swallow, sister, O fair swift swallow,
Why wilt thou fly after spring to the south,
The soft south whither thine heart is set?
Shall not the grief of the old time follow?
Shall not the song thereof cleave to thy mouth?
Hast thou forgotten ere I forget?

Sister, my sister, O fleet sweet swallow,
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The Land of Nod by Robert Louis Stevenson
Robert Louis Stevenson
From breakfast on through all the day
At home among my friends I stay,
But every night I go abroad
Afar into the land of Nod.

All by myself I have to go,
With none to tell me what to do —
All alone beside the streams
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Movement Song by Audre Lorde
Audre Lorde
I have studied the tight curls on the back of your neck
moving away from me
beyond anger or failure
your face in the evening schools of longing
through mornings of wish and ripen
we were always saying goodbye
in the blood in the bone over coffee
before dashing for elevators going
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My Lost Youth by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Often I think of the beautiful town
That is seated by the sea;
Often in thought go up and down
The pleasant streets of that dear old town,
And my youth comes back to me.
And a verse of a Lapland song
Is haunting my memory still:
"A boy's will is the wind's will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts."

I can see the shadowy lines of its trees,
And catch, in sudden gleams,
The sheen of the far-surrounding seas,
And islands that were the Hesperides
Of all my boyish dreams.
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Remember by Christina Rossetti
Christina Rossetti
Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you plann'd:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.
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33
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Time of the Missile by George Oppen
George Oppen
I remember a square of New York’s Hudson River glinting between warehouses.
Difficult to approach the water below the pier
Swirling, covered with oil the ship at the pier
A steel wall: tons in the water,

Width.
The hand for holding,
Legs for walking,
The eye sees! It floods in on us from here to Jersey tangled in the grey bright air!
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39
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Tortoise Shout by D. H. Lawrence
D. H. Lawrence
I thought he was dumb,
I said he was dumb,
Yet I've heard him cry.

First faint scream,
Out of life's unfathomable dawn,
Far off, so far, like a madness, under the horizon's dawning rim,
Far, far off, far scream.
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34
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The Uniform by Marvin Bell
Marvin Bell
Of the sleeves, I remember their weight, like wet wool,
on my arms, and the empty ends which hung past my hands.
Of the body of the shirt, I remember the large buttons
and larger buttonholes, which made a rack of wheels
down my chest and could not be quickly unbuttoned.
Of the collar, I remember its thickness without starch,
by which it lay against my clavicle without moving.
Of my trousers, the same—heavy, bulky, slow to give
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28
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When I am dead, my dearest by Christina Rossetti
Christina Rossetti
When I am dead, my dearest,
Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head,
Nor shady cypress tree:
Be the green grass above me
With showers and dewdrops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember,
And if thou wilt, forget.
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48
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In Rubble by David Wagoner
David Wagoner
Right after the bomb, even before the ceiling
And walls and floor are rearranging
You and themselves into a different world,
You must hold still, must wait for them
To settle down in unpredictable ways,
To bring their wars, shuddering,
To an end, and only then should you begin
Numbly to feel what freedom may be left
To your feet or knees, to your elbows
Or clenched fingers. Where you used to walk
Or lean or lie down or fix your attention
At a whim or stomp your foot
Or slump in a chair, you'll find a new
Architecturally unsound floor-plan
To contend with, if you can move
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37
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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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That Child by David Wagoner
David Wagoner
That child was dangerous. That just-born
Newly washed and silent baby
Wrapped in deerskin and held warm
Against the side of its mother could understand
The language of birds and animals
Even when asleep. It knew why Bluejay
Was scolding the bushes, what Hawk was explaining
To the wind on the cliffside, what Bittern had found out
While standing alone in marsh grass. It knew
What the screams of Fox and the whistling of Otter
Were telling the forest. That child knew
The language of Fire
As it gnawed at sticks like Beaver
And what Water said all day and all night
At the creek's mouth. As its small fingers
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40
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