Snake

S
These Beasts and the Benin Bronze by Margaret Danner
Margaret Danner
“Africans are beasts.”
—The Reverend Carroll Dave Garroway’s Mr. J. Fred Muggs often thumps
quite a rhythmical thump with his feet,
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45
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What the Dog Perhaps Hears by Lisel Mueller
Lisel Mueller
If an inaudible whistle
blown between our lips
can send him home to us,
then silence is perhaps
the sound of spiders breathing
and roots mining the earth;
it may be asparagus heaving,
headfirst, into the light
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39
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Snake by D. H. Lawrence
D. H. Lawrence
A snake came to my water-trough
On a hot, hot day, and I in pyjamas for the heat,
To drink there.

In the deep, strange-scented shade of the great dark carob tree
I came down the steps with my pitcher
And must wait, must stand and wait, for there he was at the trough
before me.

He reached down from a fissure in the earth-wall in the gloom
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Oh Great Spirit by Deena Metzger
Deena Metzger
In the name of Raven. In the name of Wolf. In the name of Whale. In
the name of Elephant. In the name of Snake.

Who have taught us. Who have guided us. Who have sustained us. Who
have healed us.

Please heal the animals.

In the name of Raven. In the name of Wolf. In the name of Whale. In
the name of Elephant. In the name of Snake.

Whom we have slaughtered. Whom we have feared. Whom we have
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Man Dog by Jim Harrison
Jim Harrison
I envied the dog lying in the yard
so I did it. But there was a pebble
under my flank so I got up and looked
for the pebble, brushed it away
and lay back down. My dog thus far
overlooked the pebble. I guess it's her thick
Lab fur. With my head downhill the blood gorged
me with ideas. Not good. Got up. Turned around. Now I
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Nighttrains by Jayne Cortez
Jayne Cortez
When i blow open green bottles
straight across hump of a frozen tongue

when i shove brown glass
through skull of a possum
and pass from my ears a baptism of red piss

when i cry from my butt like a jackal
and throw limbs of a dying mule into the river

when i spit venom from the head
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There It Is by Jayne Cortez
Jayne Cortez
My friend
they don't care
if you're an individualist
a leftist a rightist
a shithead or a snake
They will try to exploit you
absorb you confine you
disconnect you isolate you
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Crow’s-eye view: Poem number eleven by Yi Sang
Yi Sang
the porcelain cup is similar to my skull. when i grasp the cup firmly with my hand an arm out of nowhere sprouts on my arm like a graft and the hand on that arm raises the porcelain cup high and hurls it to the wooden floor. since that arm is safeguarding the porcelain cup the thing that is broken into pieces then is my skull that is similar to the porcelain cup. even if my arm had moved before the graft-arm slid into my arm like a snake the white paper that warded off flood would have ripped. yet my arm continues to safeguard the porcelain cup.Translated from the Korean
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The Thing Written by Stanley Moss
Stanley Moss
The thing written is a sexual thing,
may bite, tell a truth some have died for,
even the most casual initialing
is a touch of love and what love goes for.
A sometime thing, it smiles or has an ugly grin,
on the page or wall may be holy and a sin.
Writing wants, must have, must know,
is flesh, blood, and bone,
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40
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“What potion should I give the night so she’ll always wonder?” by Abraham Sutzkever
Abraham Sutzkever
What potion should I give the night so she’ll always wonder?
Her pounding heart’s a rider galloping from the burning wood.

Maybe my pharmacist is awake the next street over?
In a crucible of  bone, snake tears mixed with herbs.

Should I hurry? Call the doctor? A heart like hers is rare.
And to tell the truth, if it shattered, what would I do?

Translated from the Yiddish
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Songs of Sorrow by Kofi Awoonor
Kofi Awoonor
I.

Dzogbese Lisa has treated me thus
It has led me among the sharps of the forest
Returning is not possible
And going forward is a great difficulty
The affairs of this world are like the chameleon feces
Into which I have stepped
When I clean it cannot go.1
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from The Prodigal: 10 by Derek Walcott
Derek Walcott
I

The ground dove stuttered for a few steps then flew
up from his path to settle in the sun-browned
branches that were now barely twigs; in drought it coos
with its relentless valve, a tiring sound,
not like the sweet exchanges of turtles in the Song
of Solomon, or the flutes of Venus in frescoes
though all the mounds in the dove-calling drought
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Mexico Seen from the Moving Car by Michael McClure
Michael McClure

THERE ARE HILLS LIKE SHARKFINS
and clods of mud.
The mind drifts through
in the shape of a museum,
in the guise of a museum
dreaming dead friends:
Jim, Tom, Emmet, Bill.
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Hospital by John Unterecker
John Unterecker

I. PULSE

Light over the Hudson recovers a Caribbean I have
never seen.
We list islands: Molokai, Oahu, Kauai; St. Lucia,
Haiti….
The surf folds tunnels of light
while a hand folds over a wrist (tell-tale pulse),
counting. The long tunnel is a wrist of blown spume.

It is like a dance, I think, this silence full of questions.
Pulse-beat; pulse-beat. Pulse. Pulse.

I push my hair back into the memories of palm trees,
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Night Feeding by Muriel Rukeyser
Muriel Rukeyser
Deeper than sleep but not so deep as death
I lay there dreaming and my magic head
remembered and forgot. On first cry I
remembered and forgot and did believe.
I knew love and I knew evil:
woke to the burning song and the tree burning blind,
despair of our days and the calm milk-giver who
knows sleep, knows growth, the sex of fire and grass,
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XXXVI from The Arab Apocalypse by Etel Adnan
Etel Adnan
In the dark irritation of the eyes there is a snake hiding

In the exhalations of Americans there is a crumbling empire

In the foul waters of the rivers there are Palestinians

OUT OUT of its borders pain has a leash on its neck

In the wheat stalks there are insects vaccinated against bread

In the Arabian boats there are sharks shaken with laughter

In the camel’s belly there are blind highways

OUT OUT of TIME there is spring’s shattered hope
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The Shepheardes Calender: January by Edmund Spenser
Edmund Spenser
Januarie. Ægloga prima. ARGVMENT.

IN this fyrst Æglogue Colin clout a shepheardes boy complaineth him of his vnfortunate loue, being but newly (as semeth) enamoured of a countrie lasse called Rosalinde: with which strong affection being very sore traueled, he compareth his carefull case to the sadde season of the yeare, to the frostie ground, to the frosen trees, and to his owne winterbeaten flocke. And lastlye, fynding himselfe robbed of all former pleasaunce and delights, hee breaketh his Pipe in peeces, and casteth him selfe to the ground.


COLIN Cloute.


A Shepeheards boye (no better doe him call)
when Winters wastful spight was almost spent,
All in a sunneshine day, as did befall,
Led forth his flock, that had been long ypent.
So faynt they woxe, and feeble in the folde,
That now vnnethes their feete could them vphold.

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Cups: 8 by Robin Blaser
Robin Blaser
There is no salutation. The
harvesters with gunny sacks
bend picking up jade stones.

(Sure that Amor would appear
in sleep. Director. Guide.)

Secret borrowings fit into their hands.

Cold on the tongue.
White flecks on the water.
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Sophia Nichols, by Robin Blaser
Robin Blaser
the wind hits and returns it is easy to personify
a new place and language, but the new body stings

these men with green eyelids, drawing their worth,
it was rumoured, from Egypt, knew

the work is part of it a power arrived at the
same thirst

he borrowed a head for a day

but which head the phrases tremble in the other
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Auguries of Innocence by William Blake
William Blake
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour
A Robin Red breast in a Cage
Puts all Heaven in a Rage
A Dove house filld with Doves & Pigeons
Shudders Hell thr' all its regions
A dog starvd at his Masters Gate
Predicts the ruin of the State
A Horse misusd upon the Road
Calls to Heaven for Human blood
Each outcry of the hunted Hare
A fibre from the Brain does tear
A Skylark wounded in the wing
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brothers by Lucille Clifton
Lucille Clifton
(being a conversation in eight poems between an aged Lucifer and God, though only Lucifer is heard. The time is long after.) 1
invitation

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For a Girl I Know about to Be a Woman by Miller Williams
Miller Williams
Because you’ll find how hard it can be
to tell which part of your body sings,
you never should dally with any young man
who does any one of the following things:

tries to beat all the yellow lights;
says, “Big deal!” or “So what?”
more than seven times a day;
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Five Accounts of a Monogamous Man by William Meredith
William Meredith
I. He Thinks of the Chinese Snake Who Is the Beginning and the End
If you or I should die
That day desire would not renew
Itself in any bed.
The old snake of the world, eternity
That holds his tail in his mouth,
Would spit it out
And ease off through the grass
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Itinerary by James McMichael
James McMichael
The farmhouses north of Driggs,
silos for miles along the road saying
BUTLER or SIOUX. The light saying
rain coming on, the wind not up yet,
animals waiting as the front hits
everything on the high fiats, hailstones
bouncing like rabbits under the sage.
Nothing running off. Creeks clear.
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Paean to Place by Lorine Niedecker
Lorine Niedecker
And the place
was water

Fish
fowl
flood
Water lily mud
My life

in the leaves and on water
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Paradise Lost: Book  9 (1674 version) by John Milton
John Milton
NO more of talk where God or Angel Guest
With Man, as with his Friend, familiar us'd
To sit indulgent, and with him partake
Rural repast, permitting him the while
Venial discourse unblam'd: I now must change
Those Notes to Tragic; foul distrust, and breach
Disloyal on the part of Man, revolt,
And disobedience: On the part of Heav'n
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100
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Allegory of Evil in Italy by Stanley Moss
Stanley Moss
The Visconti put you on their flag: a snake
devouring a child, or are you throwing up a man
feet first? Some snakes hunt frogs, some freedom of will.
There’s good in you: a man can count years on your skin.
Generously, you mother and father a stolen boy,
to the chosen you offer your cake of figs.
A goiter on my neck, you lick my ear with lies,
yet I must listen, smile and kiss your cheek
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The American Way by Gregory Corso
Gregory Corso
1

I am a great American
I am almost nationalistic about it!
I love America like a madness!
But I am afraid to return to America
I’m even afraid to go into the American Express—


2

They are frankensteining Christ in America
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41
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Counselors by Robert Fitzgerald
Robert Fitzgerald
Whom should I consult? Philosophers
Are happy in their homes and seminars.
See this one with the mischievous bright childlike
Gaze going out through walls and air,
A tangent to the bent rays of the star.
Hear the chalk splutter, hear the groping voice:
Conceive the demiurge in his perpetual
Strife with the chaos of the universe,
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Damon the Mower by Andrew Marvell
Andrew Marvell
Hark how the Mower Damon sung,
With love of Juliana stung!
While everything did seem to paint
The scene more fit for his complaint.
Like her fair eyes the day was fair,
But scorching like his am’rous care.
Sharp like his scythe his sorrow was,
And withered like his hopes the grass.

‘Oh what unusual heats are here,
Which thus our sunburned meadows sear!
The grasshopper its pipe gives o’er;
And hamstringed frogs can dance no more.
But in the brook the green frog wades;
And grasshoppers seek out the shades.
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Early Morning, Left-Handed by Hilda Raz
Hilda Raz
Lear's five nevers over
the fool hanged, and Cordelia
and Lear dead at last, Edmund
reported and yes he was loved
by both evil sisters, so what.
I'm awake in the dawn. Cold
stone floors. The cat. His
father loved him too, I tell
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The Girl Who Buried Snakes in a Jar by John Haines
John Haines
She came to see the bones
whiten in a summer,
and one year later a narrow
mummy with a dusty skin
and flaking scales
would break apart in her hand.

She wanted to see if sunlight
still glinted in those eyes,
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The Long Trail by Rudyard Kipling
Rudyard Kipling
There’s a whisper down the field where the year has shot her yield,
And the ricks stand grey to the sun,
Singing: ‘Over then, come over, for the bee has quit the clover,
‘And your English summer's done.’
You have heard the beat of the off-shore wind,
And the thresh of the deep-sea rain;
You have heard the song—how long? how long?
Pull out on the trail again!
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Looking into History by Richard Wilbur
Richard Wilbur
I.

Five soldiers fixed by Mathew Brady’s eye
Stand in a land subdued beyond belief.
Belief might lend them life again. I try
Like orphaned Hamlet working up his grief

To see my spellbound fathers in these men
Who, breathless in their amber atmosphere,
Show but the postures men affected then
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On the Loss of Energy (and Other Things) by June Jordan
June Jordan
no more the chicken and the egg come

one of them
before the other
both
be fadin (steady)
from the supersafeway/a&p/giant
circus

uh-huh
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Passages from Virgil’s First Georgic by Robert Fitzgerald
Robert Fitzgerald
I. Until Jove let it be, no colonist
Mastered the wild earth; no land was marked,
None parceled out or shared; but everyone
Looked for his living in the common world.

And Jove gave poison to the blacksnakes, and
Made the wolves ravage, made the ocean roll,
Knocked honey from the leaves, took fire away—
So man might beat out various inventions
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Poem by Carl Rakosi
Carl Rakosi
The ants came
to investigate
the dead
bull snake,
nibbled
at the viscera
and hurried off
with full mouths
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33
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Prairie Houses by Barbara Guest
Barbara Guest
Unreasonable lenses refract the
sensitive rabbit holes, mole dwellings and snake
climes where twist burrow and sneeze
a native species

into houses

corresponding to hemispheric requests
of flatness

euphemistically, sentimentally
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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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Snake by Dannie Abse
Dannie Abse
When the snake bit
Rabbi Hanina ben Dosa
while he was praying

the snake died. (Each day
is attended by surprises
or it is nothing.)

Question: was the bare-footed,
smelly Rabbi more poisonous
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A Song on the End of the World by Czeslaw Milosz
Czeslaw Milosz
On the day the world ends
A bee circles a clover,
A fisherman mends a glimmering net.
Happy porpoises jump in the sea,
By the rainspout young sparrows are playing
And the snake is gold-skinned as it should always be.

On the day the world ends
Women walk through the fields under their umbrellas,
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from Stops Along the Western Bank of the Missouri River: Of the River Itself by Michael Anania
Michael Anania
This is my advice to foreigners:
call it simply—the river;
never say old muddy
or even Missouri,
and except when it is necessary
ignore the fact that it moves.
It is the river, a singular,
stationary figure of division.
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The Things by Conrad Aiken
Conrad Aiken
The house in Broad Street, red brick, with nine rooms
the weedgrown graveyard with its rows of tombs
the jail from which imprisoned faces grinned
at stiff palmettos flashing in the wind

the engine-house, with engines, and a tank
in which young alligators swam and stank,
the bell-tower, of red iron, where the bell
gonged of the fires in a tone from hell
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To the Fair Clorinda by Aphra Behn
Aphra Behn
WHO MADE LOVE TO ME,
IMAGIN’D MORE THAN WOMAN Fair lovely Maid, or if that Title be
Too weak, too Feminine for Nobler thee,
Permit a Name that more Approaches Truth:
And let me call thee, Lovely Charming Youth.
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Adonais: An Elegy on the Death of John Keats by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Percy Bysshe Shelley
I
I weep for Adonais—he is dead!
Oh, weep for Adonais! though our tears
Thaw not the frost which binds so dear a head!
And thou, sad Hour, selected from all years
To mourn our loss, rouse thy obscure compeers,
And teach them thine own sorrow, say: "With me
Died Adonais; till the Future dares
Forget the Past, his fate and fame shall be
An echo and a light unto eternity!"

II
Where wert thou, mighty Mother, when he lay,
When thy Son lay, pierc'd by the shaft which flies
In darkness? where was lorn Urania
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Almond Blossom by D. H. Lawrence
D. H. Lawrence
Even iron can put forth,
Even iron.

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

The almond-tree,
December's bare iron hooks sticking out of earth.
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An Essay on Criticism: Part 2 by Alexander Pope
Alexander Pope
Of all the causes which conspire to blind
Man's erring judgment, and misguide the mind,
What the weak head with strongest bias rules,
Is pride, the never-failing vice of fools.
Whatever Nature has in worth denied,
She gives in large recruits of needful pride;
For as in bodies, thus in souls, we find
What wants in blood and spirits, swell'd with wind;
Pride, where wit fails, steps in to our defence,
And fills up all the mighty void of sense!
If once right reason drives that cloud away,
Truth breaks upon us with resistless day;
Trust not yourself; but your defects to know,
Make use of ev'ry friend—and ev'ry foe.

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Autumn Shade by Edgar Bowers
Edgar Bowers
1

The autumn shade is thin. Grey leaves lie faint
Where they will lie, and, where the thick green was,
Light stands up, like a presence, to the sky.
The trees seem merely shadows of its age.
From off the hill, I hear the logging crew,
The furious and indifferent saw, the slow
Response of heavy pine; and I recall
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Belly Dancer by Diane Wakoski
Diane Wakoski
Can these movements which move themselves
be the substance of my attraction?
Where does this thin green silk come from that covers my body?
Surely any woman wearing such fabrics
would move her body just to feel them touching every part of her.

Yet most of the women frown, or look away, or laugh stiffly.
They are afraid of these materials and these movements
in some way.
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Caliban upon Setebos by Robert Browning
Robert Browning
"Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself."
(David, Psalms 50.21)
['Will sprawl, now that the heat of day is best,
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The Calm by John Donne
John Donne
Our storm is past, and that storm's tyrannous rage,
A stupid calm, but nothing it, doth 'suage.
The fable is inverted, and far more
A block afflicts, now, than a stork before.
Storms chafe, and soon wear out themselves, or us;
In calms, Heaven laughs to see us languish thus.
As steady'as I can wish that my thoughts were,
Smooth as thy mistress' glass, or what shines there,
The sea is now; and, as the isles which we
Seek, when we can move, our ships rooted be.
As water did in storms, now pitch runs out;
As lead, when a fir'd church becomes one spout.
And all our beauty, and our trim, decays,
Like courts removing, or like ended plays.
The fighting-place now seamen's rags supply;
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Christabel by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
PART I
'Tis the middle of night by the castle clock,
And the owls have awakened the crowing cock;
Tu—whit! Tu—whoo!
And hark, again! the crowing cock,
How drowsily it crew.
Sir Leoline, the Baron rich,
Hath a toothless mastiff bitch;
From her kennel beneath the rock
She maketh answer to the clock,
Four for the quarters, and twelve for the hour;
Ever and aye, by shine and shower,
Sixteen short howls, not over loud;
Some say, she sees my lady's shroud.

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Cleon by Robert Browning
Robert Browning
"As certain also of your own poets have said"—
(Acts 17.28)
Cleon the poet (from the sprinkled isles,
Lily on lily, that o'erlace the sea
And laugh their pride when the light wave lisps "Greece")—
To Protus in his Tyranny: much health!
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Cold Blooded Creatures by Elinor Wylie
Elinor Wylie
Man, the egregious egoist,
(In mystery the twig is bent,)
Imagines, by some mental twist,
That he alone is sentient

Of the intolerable load
Which on all living creatures lies,
Nor stoops to pity in the toad
The speechless sorrow of its eyes.
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60
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Concerning My Neighbors, the Hittites by Charles Simic
Charles Simic
Great are the Hittites.
Their ears have mice and mice have holes.
Their dogs bury themselves and leave the bones
To guard the house. A single weed holds all their storms
Until the spiderwebs spread over the heavens.
There are bits of straw in their lakes and rivers
Looking for drowned men. When a camel won’t pass
Through the eye of one of their needles,
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Crossing Brooklyn Ferry by Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
1
Flood-tide below me! I see you face to face!
Clouds of the west—sun there half an hour high—I see you also face to face.

Crowds of men and women attired in the usual costumes, how curious you are to me!
On the ferry-boats the hundreds and hundreds that cross, returning home, are more curious to me than you suppose,
And you that shall cross from shore to shore years hence are more to me, and more in my meditations, than you might suppose.

2
The impalpable sustenance of me from all things at all hours of the day,
The simple, compact, well-join’d scheme, myself disintegrated, every one disintegrated yet part of the scheme,
The similitudes of the past and those of the future,
The glories strung like beads on my smallest sights and hearings, on the walk in the street and the passage over the river,
The current rushing so swiftly and swimming with me far away,
The others that are to follow me, the ties between me and them,
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Fancy by John Keats
John Keats
Ever let the Fancy roam,
Pleasure never is at home:
At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth,
Like to bubbles when rain pelteth;
Then let winged Fancy wander
Through the thought still spread beyond her:
Open wide the mind's cage-door,
She'll dart forth, and cloudward soar.
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The Father of My Country by Diane Wakoski
Diane Wakoski
All fathers in Western civilization must have
a military origin. The
ruler,
governor,
yes,
he is
was the
general at one time or other.
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48
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Hellas: Chorus by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Percy Bysshe Shelley
CHORUS
The world's great age begins anew,
The golden years return,
The earth doth like a snake renew
Her winter weeds outworn:
Heaven smiles, and faiths and empires gleam
Like wrecks of a dissolving dream.

A brighter Hellas rears its mountains
From waves serener far;
A new Peneus rolls his fountains
Against the morning star.
Where fairer Tempes bloom, there sleep
Young Cyclads on a sunnier deep.

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The History of America by Alicia Ostriker
Alicia Ostriker
—for Paul Metcalf A linear projection: a route. It crosses
The ocean in many ships. Arriving in the new
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The Journey by Yvor Winters
Yvor Winters
Snake River Country I now remembered slowly how I came,
I, sometime living, sometime with a name,
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Laus Veneris by Algernon Charles Swinburne
Algernon Charles Swinburne
Lors dit en plourant; Hélas trop malheureux homme et mauldict pescheur, oncques ne verrai-je clémence et miséricorde de Dieu. Ores m'en irai-je d'icy et me cacherai dedans le mont Horsel, en requérant de faveur et d'amoureuse merci ma doulce dame Vénus, car pour son amour serai-je bien à tout jamais damné en enfer. Voicy la fin de tous mes faicts d'armes et de toutes mes belles chansons. Hélas, trop belle estoyt la face de ma dame et ses yeulx, et en mauvais jour je vis ces chouses-là . Lors s'en alla tout en gémissant et se retourna chez elle, et là vescut tristement en grand amour près de sa dame. Puis après advint que le pape vit un jour esclater sur son baston force belles fleurs rouges et blanches et maints boutons de feuilles, et ainsi vit-il reverdir toute l'escorce. Ce dont il eut grande crainte et moult s'en esmut, et grande pitié lui prit de ce chevalier qui s'en estoyt départi sans espoir comme un homme misérable et damné. Doncques envoya force messaigers devers luy pour le ramener, disant qu'il aurait de Dieu grace et bonne absolution de son grand pesché d'amour. Mais oncques plus ne le virent; car toujours demeura ce pauvre chevalier auprès de Vénus la haulte et forte déesse ès flancs de la montagne amoureuse.

Livre des grandes merveilles d'amour, escript en latin et en françoys par Maistre Antoine Gaget. 1530.
Asleep or waking is it? for her neck,
Kissed over close, wears yet a purple speck
Wherein the pained blood falters and goes out;
Soft, and stung softly — fairer for a fleck.
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The Night Piece, to Julia by Robert Herrick
Robert Herrick
Her eyes the glow-worm lend thee,
The shooting stars attend thee;
And the elves also,
Whose little eyes glow
Like the sparks of fire, befriend thee.

No Will-o'-th'-Wisp mis-light thee,
Nor snake or slow-worm bite thee;
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Ode, Inscribed to William H. Channing by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Though loath to grieve
The evil time's sole patriot,
I cannot leave
My honied thought
For the priest's cant,
Or statesman's rant.

If I refuse
My study for their politique,
Which at the best is trick,
The angry Muse
Puts confusion in my brain.

But who is he that prates
Of the culture of mankind,
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Oenone by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
There lies a vale in Ida, lovelier
Than all the valleys of Ionian hills.
The swimming vapour slopes athwart the glen,
Puts forth an arm, and creeps from pine to pine,
And loiters, slowly drawn. On either hand
The lawns and meadow-ledges midway down
Hang rich in flowers, and far below them roars
The long brook falling thro' the clov'n ravine
In cataract after cataract to the sea.
Behind the valley topmost Gargarus
Stands up and takes the morning: but in front
The gorges, opening wide apart, reveal
Troas and Ilion's column'd citadel,
The crown of Troas.

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Rat Song by Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood
When you hear me singing
you get the rifle down
and the flashlight, aiming for my brain,
but you always miss

and when you set out the poison
I piss on it
to warn the others.

You think: That one’s too clever,
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Sandra: At the Beaver Trap by Michael S. Harper
Michael S. Harper
1
Nose only above water;
an hour in the ice melt;
paw in a beaver trap,
northern leaping through—
the outlet sieving, setter-
retriever staked to her trip,
The stake of her young
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Song of the Witches: “Double, double toil and trouble” by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
(fromMacbeth) Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.
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Thoughts in a Zoo by Countee Cullen
Countee Cullen
They in their cruel traps, and we in ours,
Survey each other’s rage, and pass the hours
Commiserating each the other’s woe,
To mitigate his own pain’s fiery glow.
Man could but little proffer in exchange
Save that his cages have a larger range.
That lion with his lordly, untamed heart
Has in some man his human counterpart,
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To the Muse by James Wright
James Wright
It is all right. All they do
Is go in by dividing
One rib from another. I wouldn’t
Lie to you. It hurts
Like nothing I know. All they do
Is burn their way in with a wire.
It forks in and out a little like the tongue
Of that frightened garter snake we caught
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