Sick

S
Pristine by Hilda Raz
Hilda Raz
I am sick with worry when you call.
You tell me a story about ears
How the doctor asked about your earaches
Peered in and pronounced “Pristine.
Clean as a whistle.” And you were cured.

Because I am a maker of poems
And you are a maker of music
You tell me the word pristine was perfect.
Read Poem
0
45
Rating:

Butchering by Rhina P. Espaillat
Rhina P. Espaillat
My mother’s mother, toughened by the farm,
hardened by infants’ burials, used a knife
and swung an axe as if her woman’s arm
wielded a man’s hard will. Inured to life
and death alike, “What ails you now?” she’d say
ungently to the sick. She fed them, too,
roughly but well, and took the blood away—
and washed the dead, if there was that to do.
Read Poem
0
38
Rating:

Sex, Night by Alejandra Pizarnik
Alejandra Pizarnik
Once again, someone falls in their first falling–fall of two bodies, of two eyes, of four green eyes or eight green eyes if we count those born in the mirror (at midnight, in the purest fear, in the loss), you haven’t been able to recognize the voice of your dull silence, to see the earthly messages scrawled in the middle of one mad state, when the body is a glass and from ourselves and from the other we drink some kind of impossible water.
Desire needlessly spills on me a cursed liqueur. For my thirsty thirst, what can the promise of eyes do? I speak of something not in this world. I speak of someone whose purpose is elsewhere.
And I was naked in memory of the white night. Drunk and I made love all night, just like a sick dog.
Sometimes we suffer too much reality in the space of a single night. We get undressed, we’re horrified. We’re aware the mirror sounds like a watch, the mirror from which your cry will pour out, your laceration.
Night opens itself only once. It’s enough. You see. You’ve seen. Fear of being two in the mirror, and suddenly we’re four. We cry, we moan, my fear, my joy more horrible than my fear, my visceral words, my words are keys that lock me into a mirror, with you, but ever alone. And I am well aware what night is made of. We’ve fallen so completely into jaws that didn’t expect this sacrifice, this condemnation of my eyes which have seen. I speak of a discovery: felt the I in sex, sex in the I. I speak of burying everyday fear to secure the fear of an instant. The purest loss. But who’ll say: you don’t cry anymore at night? Because madness is also a lie. Like night. Like death.
Read Poem
0
44
Rating:

from The Book of the Dead: Absalom by Muriel Rukeyser
Muriel Rukeyser
I first discovered what was killing these men.
I had three sons who worked with their father in the tunnel:
Cecil, aged 23, Owen, aged 21, Shirley, aged 17.
They used to work in a coal mine, not steady work
for the mines were not going much of the time.
A power Co. foreman learned that we made home brew,
he formed a habit of dropping in evenings to drink,
persuading the boys and my husband —
Read Poem
0
44
Rating:

What I Expected by Stephen Spender
Stephen Spender
What I expected, was
Thunder, fighting,
Long struggles with men
And climbing.
After continual straining
I should grow strong;
Then the rocks would shake
And I rest long.
Read Poem
0
36
Rating:

Harold Arnett by Edgar Lee Masters
Edgar Lee Masters
I leaned against the mantel, sick, sick,
Thinking of my failure, looking into the abysm,
Weak from the noon-day heat.
A church bell sounded mournfully far away,
I heard the cry of a baby,
And the coughing of John Yarnell,
Bed-ridden, feverish, feverish, dying,
Then the violent voice of my wife:
Read Poem
0
50
Rating:

The Complaints of the Poor by Robert Southey
Robert Southey
And wherefore do the Poor complain?
The rich man asked of me,—
Come walk abroad with me, I said
And I will answer thee.

Twas evening and the frozen streets
Were cheerless to behold,
And we were wrapt and coated well,
And yet we were a-cold.

We met an old bare-headed man,
His locks were few and white,
I ask'd him what he did abroad
In that cold winter's night:

Read Poem
0
38
Rating:

Sailing to Byzantium by William Butler Yeats
William Butler Yeats
I

That is no country for old men. The young
In one another's arms, birds in the trees,
—Those dying generations—at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Read Poem
0
48
Rating:

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.

Read Poem
0
36
Rating:

Self-Portrait, 1969 by Frank Bidart
Frank Bidart
He's still young—; thirty, but looks younger—
or does he? . . . In the eyes and cheeks, tonight,
turning in the mirror, he saw his mother,—
puffy; angry; bewildered . . . Many nights
now, when he stares there, he gets angry:—
something unfulfilled there, something dead
to what he once thought he surely could be—
Now, just the glamour of habits . . .
Read Poem
0
30
Rating:

Mid-Term Break by Seamus Heaney
Seamus Heaney
I sat all morning in the college sick bay
Counting bells knelling classes to a close.
At two o'clock our neighbours drove me home.

In the porch I met my father crying—
He had always taken funerals in his stride—
And Big Jim Evans saying it was a hard blow.

The baby cooed and laughed and rocked the pram
When I came in, and I was embarrassed
Read Poem
0
37
Rating:

Army of Occupation by Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt
Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt
At Arlington, 1866 The summer blew its little drifts of sound—
Tangled with wet leaf-shadows and the light
Small breath of scattered morning buds—around
The yellow path through which our footsteps wound.
Read Poem
0
38
Rating:

In the Prison Pen by Herman Melville
Herman Melville
(1864) Listless he eyes the palisades
And sentries in the glare;
’Tis barren as a pelican-beach—
But his world is ended there.
Read Poem
0
38
Rating:

The Two Armies by Henry Timrod
Henry Timrod
Two armies stand enrolled beneath
The banner with the starry wreath;
One, facing battle, blight and blast,
Through twice a hundred fields has passed;
Its deeds against a ruffian foe,
Steam, valley, hill, and mountain know,
Till every wind that sweeps the land
Goes, glory laden, from the strand.

The other, with a narrower scope,
Yet led by not less grand a hope,
Hath won, perhaps, as proud a place,
And wears its fame with meeker grace.
Wives march beneath its glittering sign,
Fond mothers swell the lovely line,
Read Poem
0
45
Rating:

Believe, Believe by Bob Kaufman
Bob Kaufman
Believe in this. Young apple seeds,
In blue skies, radiating young breast,
Not in blue-suited insects,
Infesting society’s garments.

Believe in the swinging sounds of jazz,
Tearing the night into intricate shreds,
Putting it back together again,
In cool logical patterns,
Read Poem
0
36
Rating:

from “An Attempt at Jealousy” by Marina Tsvetaeva
Marina Tsvetaeva
How is your life with that other one?
Simpler, is it? A stroke of the oars
and a long coastline—
and the memory of me

is soon a drifting island
(not in the ocean—in the sky!)
Souls—you will be sisters—
sisters, not lovers.
Read Poem
0
32
Rating:

Martial 1.101 by David Ferry
David Ferry
He, who had been the one to whom I had
Recited my poems and then he wrote them down
With his faithful scribal hand for which already
He was well known and had been justly praised,
Demetrius has died. He lived to be
Fifteen years old, and after that four summers.
Even the Caesars had heard how good he was.

When he fell sick and I knew he was going to die,
I didn’t want him to descend to where
The Stygian shades are, still a slave, and so
I relinquished my ownership of him to his sickness.
Deserving by my deed to have gotten well,
He knew what I had done and was grateful for it,
Calling me his patron, falling free,
Read Poem
0
75
Rating:

Nursery Memories by Robert Graves
Robert Graves
I. – THE FIRST FUNERAL

(The first corpse I saw was on the
German wires, and couldn’t be buried)

The whole field was so smelly;
We smelt the poor dog first:
His horrid swollen belly
Looked just like going burst.

His fur was most untidy;
He hadn’t any eyes.
It happened on Good Friday
And there was lots of flies.

Read Poem
0
29
Rating:

The City of Sleep by Rudyard Kipling
Rudyard Kipling
Over the edge of the purple down,
Where the single lamplight gleams,
Know ye the road to the Merciful Town
That is hard by the Sea of Dreams –
Where the poor may lay their wrongs away,
And the sick may forget to weep?
But we – pity us! Oh, pity us!
We wakeful; ah, pity us! –
We must go back with Policeman Day –
Back from the City of Sleep!

Weary they turn from the scroll and crown,
Fetter and prayer and plough –
They that go up to the Merciful Town,
For her gates are closing now.
Read Poem
0
30
Rating:

Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen
Wilfred Owen
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.
Read Poem
0
36
Rating:

Kef 12 by Henry Dumas
Henry Dumas
Take up the blood from the grass, sun.
Take it up.
These people do not thirst for it.
Take up the insect children that play in
the grass, sun.
Take them away.
These people are sick of them.
Take down the long slender reeds, sun.
Read Poem
0
34
Rating:

Kef 21 by Henry Dumas
Henry Dumas
First there was the earth in my mouth. It was there like a running stream, the July fever sweating the delirium of August, and the green buckling under the sun. The taste of sick dust ran in the currents of saliva which I heaved up and tried to picture when all the people would curse their own stinking guts and die. No. I am not wishing that everyone should die. Nor am I wishing that everyone should be still. Only I am squeezing out the steam in me.
Read Poem
0
37
Rating:

A Winter Song by Jean Ingelow
Jean Ingelow
Came the dread Archer up yonder lawn —
Night is the time for the old to die —
But woe for an arrow that smote the fawn,
When the hind that was sick unscathed went by.

Father lay moaning, Her fault was sore
(Night is the time when the old must die),
Yet, ah to bless her, my child, once more,
For heart is failing: the end is nigh.

Daughter, my daughter, my girl, I cried
(Night is the time for the old to die)
Woe for the wish if till morn ye bide —
Dark was the welkin and wild the sky.

Read Poem
0
30
Rating:

Such Simple Love by Thomas McGrath
Thomas McGrath
All night long I hear the sleepers toss
Between the darkened window and the wall.
The madman’s whimper and the lover’s voice,
The worker’s whisper and the sick child’s call—
Knowing them all

I’d walk a mile, maybe, hearing some cat
Crying its guts out, to throttle it by hand,
Such simple love I had. I wished I might—
Read Poem
0
36
Rating:

Subway Wind by Claude McKay
Claude McKay
Far down, down through the city’s great gaunt gut
The gray train rushing bears the weary wind;
In the packed cars the fans the crowd’s breath cut,
Leaving the sick and heavy air behind.
And pale-cheeked children seek the upper door
To give their summer jackets to the breeze;
Their laugh is swallowed in the deafening roar
Of captive wind that moans for fields and seas;
Read Poem
0
37
Rating:

Evans by R. S. Thomas
R. S. Thomas
Evans? Yes, many a time
I came down his bare flight
Of stairs into the gaunt kitchen
With its wood fire, where crickets sang
Accompaniment to the black kettle’s
Whine, and so into the cold
Dark to smother in the thick tide
Of night that drifted about the walls
Read Poem
0
30
Rating:

During Wind and Rain by Thomas Hardy
Thomas Hardy
They sing their dearest songs—
He, she, all of them—yea,
Treble and tenor and bass,
And one to play;
With the candles mooning each face. . . .
Ah, no; the years O!
How the sick leaves reel down in throngs!

They clear the creeping moss—
Elders and juniors—aye,
Making the pathways neat
And the garden gay;
And they build a shady seat. . . .
Ah, no; the years, the years,
See, the white storm-birds wing across.
Read Poem
0
43
Rating:

On Seeing the Elgin Marbles by John Keats
John Keats
My spirit is too weak—mortality
Weighs heavily on me like unwilling sleep,
And each imagined pinnacle and steep
Of godlike hardship tells me I must die
Like a sick eagle looking at the sky.
Yet ’tis a gentle luxury to weep
That I have not the cloudy winds to keep
Fresh for the opening of the morning’s eye.
Read Poem
0
26
Rating:

Do Not Make Things Too Easy by Martha Baird
Martha Baird
Do not make things too easy.
There are rocks and abysses in the mind
As well as meadows.
There are things knotty and hard: intractable.
Do not talk to me of love and understanding.
I am sick of blandishments.
I want the rock to be met by a rock.
If I am vile, and behave hideously,
Do not tell me it was just a misunderstanding.

Read Poem
0
29
Rating:

A Son with a Future by Charles Reznikoff
Charles Reznikoff
When he was four years old, he stood at the window during a
thunderstorm. His father, a tailor, sat on the table sewing.
He came up to his father and said, “I know what makes
thunder: two clouds knock together.”
When he was older, he recited well-known rants at parties.
They all said that he would be a lawyer.
At law school he won a prize for an essay. Afterwards, he
became the chum of an only son of rich people. They
Read Poem
0
38
Rating:

Against a Sickness: To the Female Double Principle God by Alan Dugan
Alan Dugan
She said: “I’m god and all
of this and that world and love
garbage and slaughter all the time
and spring once a year. Once a year
I like to love. You can adjust
to the discipline or not,
and your sacrificial act
called ‘Fruitfulness in Decay’
Read Poem
0
31
Rating:

As You Came from the Holy Land (attributed) by Sir Walter Ralegh
Sir Walter Ralegh
As you came from the holy land
Of Walsingham,
Met you not with my true love
By the way as you came?

“How shall I know your true love,
That have met many one,
I went to the holy land,
Read Poem
0
34
Rating:

Astrophil and Stella 101: Stella is sick, and in that sick-bed lies by Sir Philip Sidney
Sir Philip Sidney
Stella is sick, and in that sick-bed lies
Sweetness, that breathes and pants as oft as she;
And grace, sick too, such fine conclusions tries
That sickness brags itself best graced to be.
Beauty is sick, but sick in so fair guise
That in that paleness beauty’s white we see;
And joy, which is inseparate from these eyes,
Stella now learns (strange case!) to weep in thee.
Love moves thy pain, and like a faithful page,
As thy looks stir, runs up and down, to make
All folks prest at thy will thy pain to assuage;
Nature with care sweats for her darling’s sake,
Knowing worlds pass, ere she enough can find
Of such heaven stuff, to clothe so heavenly mind.
Read Poem
0
48
Rating:

Cape Cod by George Santayana
George Santayana
The low sandy beach and the thin scrub pine,
The wide reach of bay and the long sky line,—
O, I am sick for home!

The salt, salt smell of the thick sea air,
And the smooth round stones that the ebbtides wear,—
When will the good ship come?
Read Poem
0
46
Rating:

Chorus Sacerdotum by Baron Brooke Fulke Greville
Baron Brooke Fulke Greville
from Mustapha O wearisome condition of humanity!
Born under one law, to another bound;
Read Poem
0
37
Rating:

A Dialogue between Thyrsis and Dorinda by Andrew Marvell
Andrew Marvell
DORINDA
When death shall part us from these kids,
And shut up our divided lids,
Tell me, Thyrsis, prithee do,
Whither thou and I must go.

THYRSIS
To the Elysium.

DORINDA
Oh, where is’t?

THYRSIS
A chaste soul can never miss’t.

Read Poem
0
80
Rating:

Father by Edgar Albert Guest
Edgar Albert Guest
My father knows the proper way
The nation should be run;
He tells us children every day
Just what should now be done.
He knows the way to fix the trusts,
He has a simple plan;
But if the furnace needs repairs,
We have to hire a man.
Read Poem
0
34
Rating:

High Tension Lines across a Landscape by John Ciardi
John Ciardi
There are diagrams on stilts all wired together
Over the hill and the wind and out of sight.
There is a scar in the trees where they walk away
Beyond me. There are signs of something
Nearly God (or at least most curious)
About them. I think those diagrams are not
At rest.
I think they are a way of ciphering God:
Read Poem
0
38
Rating:

I Will Not Save the World by Jerome Rothenberg
Jerome Rothenberg
I like to cross
these borders. They take place
between the dead & dead.
I make my mind up
to be honest
only I fail to meet
their expectations.
I will not save the world.
Read Poem
0
35
Rating:

In Time of Plague Adieu, farewell, earth’s bliss by Thomas Nashe
Thomas Nashe
Adieu, farewell, earth’s bliss;
This world uncertain is;
Fond are life’s lustful joys;
Death proves them all but toys;
None from his darts can fly;
I am sick, I must die.
Lord, have mercy on us!

Rich men, trust not in wealth,
Gold cannot buy you health;
Physic himself must fade.
All things to end are made,
The plague full swift goes by;
I am sick, I must die.
Lord, have mercy on us!
Read Poem
0
36
Rating:

Peace by Rupert Brooke
Rupert Brooke
Now, God be thanked who has matched us with his hour,
And caught our youth, and wakened us from sleeping!
With hand made sure, clear eye, and sharpened power,
To turn, as swimmers into cleanness leaping,
Glad from a world grown old and cold and weary;
Leave the sick hearts that honor could not move,
And half-men, and their dirty songs and dreary,
And all the little emptiness of love!
Oh! we, who have known shame, we have found release there,
Where there’s no ill, no grief, but sleep has mending,
Naught broken save this body, lost but breath;
Nothing to shake the laughing heart’s long peace there,
But only agony, and that has ending;
And the worst friend and enemy is but Death.
Read Poem
0
34
Rating:

A Summer Shower by Henry Timrod
Henry Timrod
Welcome, rain or tempest
From yon airy powers,
We have languished for them
Many sultry hours,
And earth is sick and wan, and pines with all her flowers.

What have they been doing
In the burning June?
Riding with the genii?
Visiting the moon?
Or sleeping on the ice amid an arctic noon?

Bring they with them jewels
From the sunset lands?
What are these they scatter
Read Poem
0
30
Rating:

A Toast to the Men by Edgar Albert Guest
Edgar Albert Guest
Dedicated to the Women Here’s to the men! Since Adam’s time
They’ve always been the same;
Whenever anything goes wrong,
The woman is to blame.
Read Poem
0
38
Rating:

A True Maid by Matthew Prior
Matthew Prior
No, no; for my virginity,
When I lose that, says Rose, I’ll die:
Behind the elms, last night, cried Dick,
Rose, were you not extremely sick?

Read Poem
0
36
Rating:

Walsinghame by Sir Walter Ralegh
Sir Walter Ralegh
As you came from the holy land
of Walsinghame
Met you not with my true love
By the way as you came?

How shall I know your true love
That have met many one
As I went to the holy land
Read Poem
0
30
Rating:

Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight by Vachel Lindsay
Vachel Lindsay
(In Springfield, Illinois) It is portentous, and a thing of state
That here at midnight, in our little town
Read Poem
0
35
Rating:

The Apparition by John Donne
John Donne
When by thy scorn, O murd'ress, I am dead
And that thou think'st thee free
From all solicitation from me,
Then shall my ghost come to thy bed,
And thee, feign'd vestal, in worse arms shall see;
Then thy sick taper will begin to wink,
And he, whose thou art then, being tir'd before,
Will, if thou stir, or pinch to wake him, think
Thou call'st for more,
And in false sleep will from thee shrink;
And then, poor aspen wretch, neglected thou
Bath'd in a cold quicksilver sweat wilt lie
A verier ghost than I.
What I will say, I will not tell thee now,
Lest that preserve thee; and since my love is spent,
Read Poem
0
41
Rating:

At the Executed Murderer's Grave by James Wright
James Wright
for J. L. D.

Why should we do this? What good is it to us? Above all, how can we do such a thing? How can it possibly be done?—Freud
Read Poem
0
35
Rating:

The Bad Old Days by Kenneth Rexroth
Kenneth Rexroth
The summer of nineteen eighteen
I read The Jungle and The
Research Magnificent. That fall
My father died and my aunt
Took me to Chicago to live.
The first thing I did was to take
A streetcar to the stockyards.
In the winter afternoon,
Read Poem
0
42
Rating:

Baudelaire by Delmore Schwartz
Delmore Schwartz
When I fall asleep, and even during sleep,
I hear, quite distinctly, voices speaking
Whole phrases, commonplace and trivial,
Having no relation to my affairs.

Dear Mother, is any time left to us
In which to be happy? My debts are immense.
My bank account is subject to the court’s judgment.
I know nothing. I cannot know anything.
Read Poem
0
37
Rating:

Belief by Josephine Miles
Josephine Miles
Mother said to call her if the H-bomb exploded
And I said I would, and it about did
When Louis my brother robbed a service station
And lay cursing on the oily cement in handcuffs.

But by that time it was too late to tell Mother,
She was too sick to worry the life out of her
Over why why. Causation is sequence
And everything is one thing after another.
Read Poem
0
39
Rating:

Dear John, Dear Coltrane by Michael S. Harper
Michael S. Harper
a love supreme, a love supreme
a love supreme, a love supreme Sex fingers toes
in the marketplace
Read Poem
0
36
Rating:

Duncan Gray by Robert Burns
Robert Burns
Duncan Gray came here to woo,
Ha, ha, the wooin o't!
On blythe Yule night when we were fou,
Ha, ha, the wooin o't!
Maggie coost her head fu high,
Look'd asklent and unco skeigh,
Gart poor Duncan stand abeigh;
Ha, ha, the wooin o't!

Duncan fleech'd, and Duncan pray'd,
Ha, ha, the wooin o't!
Meg was deaf as Ailsa Craig,
Ha, ha, the wooin o't!
Duncan sigh'd baith out and in,
Grat his een baith bleer't and blin',
Read Poem
0
40
Rating:

Felix Randal by Gerard Manley Hopkins
Gerard Manley Hopkins
Felix Randal the farrier, O is he dead then? my duty all ended,
Who have watched his mould of man, big-boned and hardy-handsome
Pining, pining, till time when reason rambled in it, and some
Fatal four disorders, fleshed there, all contended?

Sickness broke him. Impatient, he cursed at first, but mended
Being anointed and all; though a heavenlier heart began some
Months earlier, since I had our sweet reprieve and ransom
Tendered to him. Ah well, God rest him all road ever he offended!

This seeing the sick endears them to us, us too it endears.
My tongue had taught thee comfort, touch had quenched thy tears,
Thy tears that touched my heart, child, Felix, poor Felix Randal;

How far from then forethought of, all thy more boisterous years,
Read Poem
0
36
Rating:

In Memoriam A. H. H. OBIIT MDCCCXXXIII: 2 by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Old Yew, which graspest at the stones
That name the under-lying dead,
Thy fibres net the dreamless head,
Thy roots are wrapt about the bones.

The seasons bring the flower again,
And bring the firstling to the flock;
And in the dusk of thee, the clock
Beats out the little lives of men.

O not for thee the glow, the bloom,
Who changest not in any gale,
Nor branding summer suns avail
To touch thy thousand years of gloom:

Read Poem
0
38
Rating:

Koheleth by Louis Untermeyer
Louis Untermeyer
I waited and worked
To win myself leisure,
Till loneliness irked
And I turned to raw pleasure.

I drank and I gamed,
I feasted and wasted,
Till, sick and ashamed,
The food stood untasted.
Read Poem
0
55
Rating:

Lucinda Matlock by Edgar Lee Masters
Edgar Lee Masters
I went to the dances at Chandlerville,
And played snap-out at Winchester.
One time we changed partners,
Driving home in the moonlight of middle June,
And then I found Davis.
We were married and lived together for seventy years,
Enjoying, working, raising the twelve children,
Eight of whom we lost
Ere I had reached the age of sixty.
I spun, I wove, I kept the house, I nursed the sick,
I made the garden, and for holiday
Rambled over the fields where sang the larks,
And by Spoon River gathering many a shell,
And many a flower and medicinal weed —
Shouting to the wooded hills, singing to the green valleys.
Read Poem
0
38
Rating:

The Marché aux Puces and the Jardin des Plantes by Daryl Hine
Daryl Hine
The sight of beauty simply makes us sick:
There are too many hours in the day,
Too many wicked faces built like flowers
And far too many bargains for a song.
Jade and paste, cashmere and ormolu—
Who said that all the arts aspire to music?
It’s obvious, for time is obvious,
That all that art aspires to is junk.
Read Poem
0
32
Rating:

Mementos, 1 by W. D. Snodgrass
W. D. Snodgrass
Sorting out letters and piles of my old
Canceled checks, old clippings, and yellow note cards
That meant something once, I happened to find
Your picture. That picture. I stopped there cold,
Like a man raking piles of dead leaves in his yard
Who has turned up a severed hand.

Still, that first second, I was glad: you stand
Just as you stood—shy, delicate, slender,
Read Poem
0
45
Rating:

Morning After by Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes
I was so sick last night I
Didn’t hardly know my mind.
So sick last night I
Didn’t know my mind.
I drunk some bad licker that
Almost made me blind.

Had a dream last night I
Thought I was in hell.
Read Poem
0
46
Rating:

A Note Left in Jimmy Leonard’s Shack by James Wright
James Wright
Near the dry river’s water-mark we found
Your brother Minnegan,
Flopped like a fish against the muddy ground.
Beany, the kid whose yellow hair turns green,
Told me to find you, even in the rain,
And tell you he was drowned.

I hid behind the chassis on the bank,
The wreck of someone’s Ford:
Read Poem
0
27
Rating:

Populist by George Oppen
George Oppen
I dreamed myself of their people, I am of their people,
I thought they watched me that I watched them
that they

watched the sun and the clouds for the cities
are no longer mine image images

of existence (or song

of myself?) and the roads for the light
in the rear-view mirror is not
Read Poem
0
29
Rating:

Self-Dependence by Matthew Arnold
Matthew Arnold
Weary of myself, and sick of asking
What I am, and what I ought to be,
At this vessel's prow I stand, which bears me
Forwards, forwards, o'er the starlit sea.

And a look of passionate desire
O'er the sea and to the stars I send:
"Ye who from my childhood up have calm'd me,
Calm me, ah, compose me to the end!

"Ah, once more," I cried, "ye stars, ye waters,
On my heart your mighty charm renew;
Still, still let me, as I gaze upon you,
Feel my soul becoming vast like you!"

Read Poem
0
38
Rating:

The Simplon Pass by William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth

—Brook and road
Were fellow-travellers in this gloomy Pass,
And with them did we journey several hours
At a slow step. The immeasurable height
Of woods decaying, never to be decayed,
The stationary blasts of waterfalls,
And in the narrow rent, at every turn,
Winds thwarting winds bewildered and forlorn,
The torrents shooting from the clear blue sky,
The rocks that muttered close upon our ears,
Black drizzling crags that spake by the wayside
As if a voice were in them, the sick sight
And giddy prospect of the raving stream,
The unfettered clouds and region of the heavens,
Read Poem
0
39
Rating:

a song in the front yard by Gwendolyn Brooks
Gwendolyn Brooks
I’ve stayed in the front yard all my life.
I want a peek at the back
Where it’s rough and untended and hungry weed grows.
A girl gets sick of a rose.

I want to go in the back yard now
And maybe down the alley,
To where the charity children play.
I want a good time today.
Read Poem
0
33
Rating:

State's Attorney Fallas by Edgar Lee Masters
Edgar Lee Masters
I, the scourge-wielder, balance-wrecker,
Smiter with whips and swords;
I, hater of the breakers of the law;
I, legalist, inexorable and bitter,
Driving the jury to hang the madman, Barry Holden,
Was made as one dead by light too bright for eyes,
And woke to face a Truth with bloody brow:
Steel forceps fumbled by a doctor's hand
Against my boy's head as he entered life
Made him an idiot.
I turned to books of science
To care for him.
That's how the world of those whose minds are sick
Became my work in life, and all my world.
Poor ruined boy! You were, at last, the potter
Read Poem
0
39
Rating:

Time by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Unfathomable Sea! whose waves are years,
Ocean of Time, whose waters of deep woe
Are brackish with the salt of human tears!
Thou shoreless flood, which in thy ebb and flow
Claspest the limits of mortality!

And sick of prey, yet howling on for more,
Vomitest thy wrecks on its inhospitable shore;
Read Poem
0
47
Rating:

The Victory of the Beet-Fields by Louis Untermeyer
Louis Untermeyer
Green miles of leafy peace are spread
Over these ranks, unseen and serried;
Screening the trenches with their dead
And living men already buried.
The rains beat down, the torrents flow
Into each cold and huddling cave;
And over them the beet-fields grow,
A fortress gentle as a grave.
Read Poem
0
35
Rating:

When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer by Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
When I heard the learn’d astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.
Read Poem
0
35
Rating: