Sister

S
For Tupac Amaru Shakur by Sonia Sanchez
Sonia Sanchez
who goes there? who is this young man born lonely?
who walks there? who goes toward death
whistling through the water
without his chorus? without his posse? without his song?

it is autumn now
in me autumn grieves
in this carved gold of shifting faces
my eyes confess to the fatigue of living.
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The Princess on the Headland by George Sterling
George Sterling
My mother the queen is dead.
My father the king is old.
He fumbles his cirque of gold
And dreams of a year long fled.
The young men stare at my face,
But cannot meet my glance—
Cavan tall as a lance,
Orra swift in the race.
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35
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To the One of Fictive Music by Wallace Stevens
Wallace Stevens
Sister and mother and diviner love,
And of the sisterhood of the living dead
Most near, most clear, and of the clearest bloom,
And of the fragrant mothers the most dear
And queen, and of diviner love the day
And flame and summer and sweet fire, no thread
Of cloudy silver sprinkles in your gown
Its venom of renown, and on your head
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53
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The Violent Space (or when your sister sleeps around for money) by Etheridge Knight
Etheridge Knight
Exchange in greed the ungraceful signs. Thrust
The thick notes between green apple breasts.
Then the shadow of the devil descends,
The violent space cries and angel eyes,
Large and dark, retreat in innocence and in ice.
(Run sister run–the Bugga man comes!)

The violent space cries silently,
Like you cried wide years ago
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Post Office by Ted Kooser
Ted Kooser
The wall of identical boxes into which
our Aunt Sticky sorted the daily mail
was at the far end of her dining room,
and from the private side looked like
a fancy wallpaper upon which peonies
pushed through a white wooden trellis,
or sometimes like crates of chickens
stacked all the way to the ceiling.
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Poetry Is the Gnomic Utterance from Which the Soul Springs, Fluttering by Joyce Carol Oates
Joyce Carol Oates
At the podium
measured and grave as a metronome
the (white, male) poet with bald-
gleaming head broods in gnom-
ic syllables on the death
of 12-year-old (black, male) Tamir Rice
shot in a park
by a Cleveland police officer
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35
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Two Evening Moons by Federico García Lorca
Federico García Lorca

i

For Laurita, my sister’s friend

The moon is dead dead
— it will come back to life in the spring

when a south wind
ruffles the brow of the poplars

when our hearts yield their harvest of sighs
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The Great Longing by Kahlil Gibran
Kahlil Gibran
Here I sit between my brother the mountain and my sister the sea.

We three are one in loneliness, and the love that binds us together
is deep and strong and strange. Nay, it is deeper than my sister’s
depth and stronger than my brother’s strength, and stranger than
the strangeness of my madness.

Aeons upon aeons have passed since the first grey dawn made us
visible to one another; and though we have seen the birth and the
fullness and the death of many worlds, we are still eager and young.

We are young and eager and yet we are mateless and unvisited, and
though we lie in unbroken half embrace, we are uncomforted. And
what comfort is there for controlled desire and unspent passion?
Whence shall come the flaming god to warm my sister’s bed? And
what she-torrent shall quench my brother’s fire? And who is the
woman that shall command my heart?

In the stillness of the night my sister murmurs in her sleep the
fire-god’s unknown name, and my brother calls afar upon the cool
and distant goddess. But upon whom I call in my sleep I know not.

* * *

Here I sit between my brother the mountain and my sister the sea.
We three are one in loneliness, and the love that binds us together
is deep and strong and strange.
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The Kiss by Siegfried Sassoon
Siegfried Sassoon
To these I turn, in these I trust—
Brother Lead and Sister Steel.
To his blind power I make appeal,
I guard her beauty clean from rust.

He spins and burns and loves the air,
And splits a skull to win my praise;
But up the nobly marching days
She glitters naked, cold and fair.

Sweet Sister, grant your soldier this:
That in good fury he may feel
The body where he sets his heel
Quail from your downward darting kiss.
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Had Death Not Had Me in Tears by Kofi Awoonor
Kofi Awoonor
Had death not had me in tears
I would have seen the barges
on life's stream sail.
I would have heard sorrow songs
in groves where the road was lost
long
where men foot prints mix with other men foot prints
By the road I wait
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The Wish, By a Young Lady by Laetitia Pilkington
Laetitia Pilkington
I ask not wit, nor beauty do I crave,
Nor wealth, nor pompous titles wish to have;
But since, 'tis doomed through all degrees of life,
Whether a daughter, sister, or a wife;
That females should the stronger males obey,
And yield implicit to their lordly sway;
Since this, I say, is ev'ry woman's fate,
Give me a mind to suit my slavish state.
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Murderer Part IV by Curzio Malaparte
Curzio Malaparte
IV

So it did not come as a surprise—a relief, almost—when we heard the tac-tac-tac of machine guns and the thud of grenades rising up from the woods below. The Germans were advancing again through the tangle of bomb-shattered branches, clearing a path with axe-blows, foreheads crushed beneath the overhang of great steel helmets, gleaming eyes fixed dead ahead.
The rest of that day was bitter, and many of us fell forever headlong in the grass. But toward evening the voice of battle began to diminish, and then from the depths of the forest we could hear the song of the wounded: the serene, monotonous, sad-hopeful song of the wounded, joining the chorus of birds hidden in the foliage as they welcomed the return of the moon.
It was still daylight, but the moon was rising sweetly from behind the forested mountains of Reims.

It was green against a white and tender sky…

A moon from the forest of Ardennes,
a moon from the country of Rimbaud, of Verlaine,
a delicate green moon, round and light,
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Lucky by Dorothea Tanning
Dorothea Tanning
Ever imagining the dire, the sudden
the menace with no thought of the
gradual, the lingering itch of whatever.
That was my sister.
A stomach ache had to be diagnosed.
“Oh, come on, it’s no big deal.”
“How do you know? You aren’t me.”

At the doctor’s office she waited.
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To her Sister Mistress A. B. by Isabella Whitney
Isabella Whitney
Because I to my brethern wrote
and to my sisters two:
Good sister Anne, you this might wote,
if so I should not do
To you, or ere I parted hence,
You vainly had bestowed expence.

Yet is it not for that I write,
for nature did you bind
To do me good, and to requite
hath nature me inclined:
Wherefore good sister take in gree
These simple lines that come from me.

Wherein I wish you Nestor's days,
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Listen. Put on Morning by W. S. Graham
W. S. Graham
Listen. Put on morning.
Waken into falling light.
A man’s imagining
Suddenly may inherit
The handclapping centuries
Of his one minute on earth.
And hear the virgin juries
Talk with his own breath
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Beginning with 1914 by Lisel Mueller
Lisel Mueller
Since it always begins
in the unlikeliest place
we start in an obsolete country
on no current map. The camera
glides over flower beds,
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Tomato Pies, 25 Cents by Grace Cavalieri
Grace Cavalieri
Tomato pies are what we called them, those days,
before Pizza came in,
at my Grandmother’s restaurant,
in Trenton New Jersey.
My grandfather is rolling meatballs
in the back. He studied to be a priest in Sicily but
saved his sister Maggie from marrying a bad guy
by coming to America.
Uncle Joey is rolling dough and spooning sauce.
Uncle Joey, is always scrubbed clean,
sobered up, in a white starched shirt, after
cops delivered him home just hours before.
The waitresses are helping
themselves to handfuls of cash out of the drawer,
playing the numbers with Moon Mullin
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40
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Six Prayers by Ralph Salisbury
Ralph Salisbury
Thunderer God of the turbulent sky may
my turbulent mind shape
for my people
rain clouds
beans
pumpkins
and yams.

East Spirit
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‘Out, Out—’ by Robert Frost
Robert Frost
The buzz saw snarled and rattled in the yard
And made dust and dropped stove-length sticks of wood,
Sweet-scented stuff when the breeze drew across it.
And from there those that lifted eyes could count
Five mountain ranges one behind the other
Under the sunset far into Vermont.
And the saw snarled and rattled, snarled and rattled,
As it ran light, or had to bear a load.
And nothing happened: day was all but done.
Call it a day, I wish they might have said
To please the boy by giving him the half hour
That a boy counts so much when saved from work.
His sister stood beside him in her apron
To tell them ‘Supper.’ At the word, the saw,
As if to prove saws knew what supper meant,
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Apprehension by Hannah F. Gould
Hannah F. Gould
‘Oh! sister, he is so swift and tall,
Though I want the ride, he will spoil it all,
For, when he sets out, he will let me fall,
And give me a bump, I know!
Mamma, what was it I heard you say,
About the world’s hobbies, the other day,
How some would get on and gallop away,
To end with an overthrow?’

‘I said, little prattler, the world was a race,
That many would mount with a smile on the face,
And ride to their ruin, or fall in disgrace:
That him, who was deaf to fear,
And did not look our for a rein or a guide,
His courser might cast on the highway side,
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The Child’s Address to the Kentucky Mummy by Hannah F. Gould
Hannah F. Gould
And now, Mistress Mummy, since thus you’ve been found
By the world, that has long done without you,
In your snug little hiding-place far under ground—
Be pleased to speak out, as we gather around,
And let us hear something about you!

By the style of your dress you are not Madam Eve—
You of course had a father and mother;
No more of your line have we power to conceive,
As you furnish us nothing by which to believe
You had husband, child, sister, or brother.

We know you have lived, though we cannot tell when,
And that too by eating and drinking,
To judge by your teeth, and the lips you had then
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The House of Rest by Julia Ward Howe
Julia Ward Howe
I will build a house of rest,
Square the corners every one:
At each angle on his breast
Shall a cherub take the sun;
Rising, risen, sinking, down,
Weaving day’s unequal crown.

In the chambers, light as air,
Shall responsive footsteps fall:
Brother, sister, art thou there?
Hush! we need not jar nor call;
Need not turn to seek the face
Shut in rapture’s hiding-place.

Heavy load and mocking care
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Infelix by Adah Isaacs Menken
Adah Isaacs Menken
Where is the promise of my years;
Once written on my brow?
Ere errors, agonies and fears
Brought with them all that speaks in tears,
Ere I had sunk beneath my peers;
Where sleeps that promise now?

Naught lingers to redeem those hours,
Still, still to memory sweet!
The flowers that bloomed in sunny bowers
Are withered all; and Evil towers
Supreme above her sister powers
Of Sorrow and Deceit.

I look along the columned years,
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Our Family Tree by Joseph Cephas Holly
Joseph Cephas Holly
On the death of my sister Cecilia—the last of five members of the family, who died successively. Our family tree is in the sear
And yellow leaf of life;
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40
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“How well do I recall that walk in state” by Frederick Goddard Tuckerman
Frederick Goddard Tuckerman
from Sonnets, Third Series

V

How well do I recall that walk in state
Across the Common, by the paths we knew:
Myself in silver badge and riband blue,
My little sister with her book and slate;
The elm tree by the Pond, the fence of wood,
The burial place that at the corner stood
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Mr. Van Ess bought 14 washcloths? by Lorine Niedecker
Lorine Niedecker
Mr. Van Ess bought 14 washcloths?
Fourteen washrags, Ed Van Ess?
Must be going to give em
to the church, I guess.

He drinks, you know. The day we moved
he came into the kitchen stewed,
mixed things up for my sister Grace—
put the spices in the wrong place.
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We Are Seven by William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth
———A simple Child,
That lightly draws its breath,
And feels its life in every limb,
What should it know of death?

I met a little cottage Girl:
She was eight years old, she said;
Her hair was thick with many a curl
That clustered round her head.

She had a rustic, woodland air,
And she was wildly clad:
Her eyes were fair, and very fair;
—Her beauty made me glad.

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44
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Scrim by David Ferry
David Ferry
I sit here in a shelter behind the words
Of what I’m writing, looking out as if
Through a dim curtain of rain, that keeps me in here.

The words are like a scrim upon a page,
Obscuring what might be there beyond the scrim.
I can dimly see there’s something or someone there.

But I can’t tell if it’s God, or one of his angels,
Or the past, or future, or who it is I love,
My mother or father lost, or my lost sister,

Or my wife lost when I was too late to get there,
I only know that there’s something, or somebody, there.
Tell me your name. How was it that I knew you?
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Ariel by Sylvia Plath
Sylvia Plath
Stasis in darkness.
Then the substanceless blue
Pour of tor and distances.

God’s lioness,
How one we grow,
Pivot of heels and knees!—The furrow

Splits and passes, sister to
The brown arc
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A Baroque Wall-Fountain in the Villa Sciarra by Richard Wilbur
Richard Wilbur
for Dore and Adja Under the bronze crown
Too big for the head of the stone cherub whose feet
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The Best Slow Dancer by David Wagoner
David Wagoner
Under the sagging clotheslines of crepe paper
By the second string of teachers and wallflowers
In the school gym across the key through the glitter
Of mirrored light three-second rule forever
Suspended you danced with her the best slow dancer
Who stood on tiptoe who almost wasn’t there
In your arms like music she knew just how to answer
The question mark of your spine your hand in hers
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Bungee Jumping by William H. Dickey
William H. Dickey
Aunt Mildred tied up her petticoats with binder’s
twine, and my great-uncle Ezekiel waxed and waxed
his moustaches into flexibility. It was the whole
family off then into the dangerous continent of air

and while the salesman with the one gold eyetooth told us
the cords at our ankles were guaranteed to stretch
to their utmost and then bring us safely back
to the fried chicken and scalloped potatoes of Sunday dinner
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The Envoy of Mr. Cogito by Zbigniew Herbert
Zbigniew Herbert
Go where those others went to the dark boundary
for the golden fleece of nothingness your last prize

go upright among those who are on their knees
among those with their backs turned and those toppled in the dust

you were saved not in order to live
you have little time you must give testimony

be courageous when the mind deceives you be courageous
in the final account only this is important
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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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In the Theatre by Dannie Abse
Dannie Abse
(A true incident)

‘Only a local anaesthetic was given because of the blood pressure problem. The patient, thus, was fully awake throughout the operation. But in those days—in 1938, in Cardiff, when I was Lambert Rogers’ dresser—they could not locate a brain tumour with precision. Too much normal brain tissue was destroyed as the surgeon searched for it, before he felt the resistance of it … all somewhat hit and miss. One operation I shall never forget … ’ (Dr Wilfred Abse)
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31
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In These Soft Trinities by Patricia Goedicke
Patricia Goedicke
Whenever I see two women
crowned, constellated friends

it is as if three birch trees wept together
in a field by a constant spring.

The third woman isn’t there

exactly, but just before them a flame
bursts out, then disappears

in a blurred, electric shining
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The Japanese Wife by Charles Bukowski
Charles Bukowski
O lord, he said, Japanese women,
real women, they have not forgotten,
bowing and smiling
closing the wounds men have made;
but American women will kill you like they
tear a lampshade,
American women care less than a dime,
they’ve gotten derailed,
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Kin by Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou
FOR BAILEY We were entwined in red rings
Of blood and loneliness before
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Maple Syrup by Donald Hall
Donald Hall
August, goldenrod blowing. We walk
into the graveyard, to find
my grandfather’s grave. Ten years ago
I came here last, bringing
marigolds from the round garden
outside the kitchen.
I didn’t know you then.
We walk
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35
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Mnemosyne by Trumbull Stickney
Trumbull Stickney
It’s autumn in the country I remember.

How warm a wind blew here about the ways!
And shadows on the hillside lay to slumber
During the long sun-sweetened summer-days.

It’s cold abroad the country I remember.
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39
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Planetarium by Adrienne Rich
Adrienne Rich
Thinking of Caroline Herschel (1750—1848)
astronomer, sister of William; and others. A woman in the shape of a monster
a monster in the shape of a woman
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Sonnet: I Thank You by Henry Timrod
Henry Timrod
I thank you, kind and best beloved friend,
With the same thanks one murmurs to a sister,
When, for some gentle favor, he hath kissed her,
Less for the gifts than for the love you send,
Less for the flowers, than what the flowers convey;
If I, indeed, divine their meaning truly,
And not unto myself ascribe, unduly,
Things which you neither meant nor wished to say,
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The Tear by Richard Crashaw
Richard Crashaw
What bright soft thing is this?
Sweet Mary, the fair eyes’ expense?
A moist spark it is,
A wat’ry diamond; from whence
The very term, I think, was found
The water of a diamond.

O ’tis not a tear,
’Tis a star about to drop
From thine eye its sphere;
The sun will stoop and take it up.
Proud will his sister be to wear
This thine eyes’ jewel in her ear.

O ’tis a tear
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Thirty Years Later I Meet Your Seventeen-Year-Old Daughter the Poet by Sandra M. Gilbert
Sandra M. Gilbert
in memory of R.I.S. 1.

Would I know her anywhere, this child
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To Jane: The Invitation by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Best and brightest, come away!
Fairer far than this fair Day,
Which, like thee to those in sorrow,
Comes to bid a sweet good-morrow
To the rough Year just awake
In its cradle on the brake.
The Brightest hour of unborn Spring,
Through the winter wandering,
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Lamenting Widow by Ho Xuan Huong
Ho Xuan Huong
A woman wails, boo hoo, mourning her man
Shut up, shame on you, don't cry to the hills!
O little sister, I should have warned you
Don't eat the meat, if it makes you cough blood!
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36
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Wasps by Ho Xuan Huong
Ho Xuan Huong
Where are you wandering to, little fools
Come, big sister will teach you how to write verse
Itchy little wasps sucking rotting flowers
Horny baby lambkins butting gaps in the fence
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The Ballad of the Children of the Czar by Delmore Schwartz
Delmore Schwartz
1

The children of the Czar
Played with a bouncing ball

In the May morning, in the Czar’s garden,
Tossing it back and forth.

It fell among the flowerbeds
Or fled to the north gate.

A daylight moon hung up
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Break, Break, Break by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Break, break, break,
On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!
And I would that my tongue could utter
The thoughts that arise in me.

O, well for the fisherman's boy,
That he shouts with his sister at play!
O, well for the sailor lad,
That he sings in his boat on the bay!
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The Curse by J. M. Synge
J. M. Synge
To a sister of an enemy of the author's who disapproved of 'The Playboy' Lord, confound this surly sister,
Blight her brow with blotch and blister,
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Discrimination by Kenneth Rexroth
Kenneth Rexroth
I don’t mind the human race.
I’ve got pretty used to them
In these past twenty-five years.
I don’t mind if they sit next
To me on streetcars, or eat
In the same restaurants, if
It’s not at the same table.
However, I don’t approve
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Dogs Are Shakespearean, Children Are Strangers by Delmore Schwartz
Delmore Schwartz
Dogs are Shakespearean, children are strangers.
Let Freud and Wordsworth discuss the child,
Angels and Platonists shall judge the dog,
The running dog, who paused, distending nostrils,
Then barked and wailed; the boy who pinched his sister,
The little girl who sang the song from Twelfth Night,
As if she understood the wind and rain,
The dog who moaned, hearing the violins in concert.
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Epistle to Augusta by Lord Byron (George Gordon)
Lord Byron (George Gordon)
My sister! my sweet sister! if a name
Dearer and purer were, it should be thine.
Mountains and seas divide us, but I claim
No tears, but tenderness to answer mine:
Go where I will, to me thou art the same
A lov'd regret which I would not resign.
There yet are two things in my destiny—
A world to roam through, and a home with thee.
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far memory by Lucille Clifton
Lucille Clifton
a poem in seven parts 1
convent

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The Garden by Andrew Marvell
Andrew Marvell
How vainly men themselves amaze
To win the palm, the oak, or bays,
And their uncessant labours see
Crown’d from some single herb or tree,
Whose short and narrow verged shade
Does prudently their toils upbraid;
While all flow’rs and all trees do close
To weave the garlands of repose.
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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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little tree by E. E. Cummings
E. E. Cummings
little tree
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower

who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see i will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly

i will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don't be afraid

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40
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Love's Apparition and Evanishment: An Allegoric Romance by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Like a lone Arab, old and blind,
Some caravan had left behind,
Who sits beside a ruin'd well,
Where the shy sand-asps bask and swell;
And now he hangs his ag{'e}d head aslant,
And listens for a human sound—in vain!
And now the aid, which Heaven alone can grant,
Upturns his eyeless face from Heaven to gain;—
Even thus, in vacant mood, one sultry hour,
Resting my eye upon a drooping plant,
With brow low-bent, within my garden-bower,
I sate upon the couch of camomile;
And—whether 'twas a transient sleep, perchance,
Flitted across the idle brain, the while
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A Motor by Marvin Bell
Marvin Bell
The heavy, wet, guttural
small-plane engine
fights for air, and goes down in humid darkness
about where the airport should be.
I take a lot for granted,
not pleased to be living under the phlegm-
soaked, gaseous, foggy and irradiated
heavens whose angels wear collars in propjets
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My Shoes by Charles Simic
Charles Simic
Shoes, secret face of my inner life:
Two gaping toothless mouths,
Two partly decomposed animal skins
Smelling of mice nests.

My brother and sister who died at birth
Continuing their existence in you,
Guiding my life
Toward their incomprehensible innocence.
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My Sister's Sleep by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
She fell asleep on Christmas Eve:
At length the long-ungranted shade
Of weary eyelids overweigh'd
The pain nought else might yet relieve.

Our mother, who had lean'd all day
Over the bed from chime to chime,
Then rais'd herself for the first time,
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Of the Mean and Sure Estate by Sir Thomas Wyatt
Sir Thomas Wyatt
My mother's maids, when they did sew and spin,
They sang sometime a song of the field mouse,
That, for because her livelood was but thin,

Would needs go seek her townish sister's house.
She thought herself endurèd too much pain;
The stormy blasts her cave so sore did souse
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The Old Maid Factory by Constance Urdang
Constance Urdang
This is the factory
Where they manufacture old maids
At one end of the assembly line
The women are jostled into their places
They wonder where they are going
What will happen to them
One says, “Where is my sister?”
But the foreman is not permitted to answer
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The Photos by Diane Wakoski
Diane Wakoski
My sister in her well-tailored silk blouse hands me
the photo of my father
in naval uniform and white hat.
I say, “Oh, this is the one which Mama used to have on her dresser.”

My sister controls her face and furtively looks at my mother,
a sad rag bag of a woman, lumpy and sagging everywhere,
like a mattress at the Salvation Army, though with no holes or tears,
and says, “No.”
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The Pilgrims by Algernon Charles Swinburne
Algernon Charles Swinburne
Who is your lady of love, O ye that pass
Singing? and is it for sorrow of that which was
That ye sing sadly, or dream of what shall be?
For gladly at once and sadly it seems ye sing.
— Our lady of love by you is unbeholden;
For hands she hath none, nor eyes, nor lips, nor golden
Treasure of hair, nor face nor form; but we
That love, we know her more fair than anything.

— Is she a queen, having great gifts to give?
— Yea, these; that whoso hath seen her shall not live
Except he serve her sorrowing, with strange pain,
Travail and bloodshedding and bitterer tears;
And when she bids die he shall surely die.
And he shall leave all things under the sky
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Sarah Byng, Who Could Not Read and Was Tossed into a Thorny Hedge by a Bull by Hilaire Belloc
Hilaire Belloc
Some years ago you heard me sing
My doubts on Alexander Byng.
His sister Sarah now inspires
My jaded Muse, my failing fires.
Of Sarah Byng the tale is told
How when the child was twelve years old
She could not read or write a line.
Her sister Jane, though barely nine,
Could spout the Catechism through
And parts of Matthew Arnold too,
While little Bill who came between
Was quite unnaturally keen
On 'Athalie', by Jean Racine.
But not so Sarah! Not so Sal!
She was a most uncultured girl
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Sister Helen by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
"Why did you melt your waxen man
Sister Helen?
To-day is the third since you began."
"The time was long, yet the time ran,
Little brother."
(O Mother, Mary Mother,
Three days to-day, between Hell and Heaven!)
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To a Gentleman and Lady on the Death of the Lady's Brother and Sister, and a Child of the Name Avis, Aged One Year by Phillis Wheatley
Phillis Wheatley
On Death's domain intent I fix my eyes,
Where human nature in vast ruin lies,
With pensive mind I search the drear abode,
Where the great conqu'ror has his spoils bestow'd;
There there the offspring of six thousand years
In endless numbers to my view appears:
Whole kingdoms in his gloomy den are thrust,
And nations mix with their primeval dust:
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To the Moon by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Percy Bysshe Shelley
I
Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven and gazing on the earth,
Wandering companionless
Among the stars that have a different birth, —
And ever changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?
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