Sometimes

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A Psalm of Abraham of That Which Was Visited upon Him by A. M. Klein
A. M. Klein
A prowler in the mansion of my blood!
I have not seen him, but I know his signs.
Sometimes I hear him meddling with my food,
Or in the cellar, poisoning my wines, ⁠—

Yet face to face with him I never come;
But by a foot print, by a book misplaced,
Or by the imprint of an inky thumb,
Or by the next day’s meal, a strange new taste,
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Hope by Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes
Sometimes when I’m lonely,
Don’t know why,
Keep thinkin’ I won’t be lonely
By and by.
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Follower by Seamus Heaney
Seamus Heaney
My father worked with a horse-plough,
His shoulders globed like a full sail strung
Between the shafts and the furrow.
The horses strained at his clicking tongue.

An expert. He would set the wing
And fit the bright steel-pointed sock.
The sod rolled over without breaking.
At the headrig, with a single pluck
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the bigness of cannon by E. E. Cummings
E. E. Cummings
the bigness of cannon
is skilful,

but i have seen
death’s clever enormous voice
which hides in a fragility
of poppies. . . .

i say that sometimes
on these long talkative animals
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A blue anchor grains of grit in a tall sky sewing by John Ashbery
John Ashbery
A blue anchor grains of grit in a tall sky sewing

I inch and only sometimes as far as the twisted pole gone in spare colors

Too late the last express passes through the dust of gardens
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Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall by Margaret Fishback
Margaret Fishback
Sometimes I wish that I were dead
As dead can be, but then again
At times when I've been nicely fed
On caviar or guinea hen
And I am wearing something new
And reassuring, I decide
It might be better to eschew
My tendency to cyanide.
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Mean Particles by John Ashbery
John Ashbery
Sometimes something like a second
washes the base of this street.
The father and his two assistants
are given permission to go.
One of them, a woman, asks, “Why
did we come here in the first place,
to this citadel of dampness?”

Some days are worse than others,
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The Regal Eagle by Jane Yolen
Jane Yolen
The regal eagle sits alone
upon a tree that serves as throne.
But sometimes when the eagle flies
(though this might come as some surprise)
a mob of crows may—wing to wing—
together drive away that king.
Democracy in beak and claw
finds regal eagle's fatal flaw.
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The cup of Eliyahu by Marge Piercy
Marge Piercy
In life you had a temper.
Your sarcasm was a whetted knife.
Sometimes you shuddered with fear
but you made yourself act no matter
how few stood with you.
Open the door for Eliyahu
that he may come in.
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Blueprints and Others by John Ashbery
John Ashbery
The man across the street seems happy,
or pleased. Sometimes a porter evades the grounds.
After you play a lot with the military
you are my own best customer.

I’ve done five of that.
Make my halloween. Ask me not to say it.
The old man wants to see you — now.
That’s all right, but find your own.
Do you want to stop using these?

Last winning people told me to sit on the urinal.
Do not put on others what you can put on yourself.
How to be in the city my loved one.
Men in underwear    ...    A biography field
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"The Trade" by Rudyard Kipling
Rudyard Kipling
1914-18
(Sea Warfare) They bear, in place of classic names,
Letters and numbers on their skin.
They play their grisly blindfold games
In little boxes made of tin.
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Sonnet in Search of an Author by William Carlos Williams
William Carlos Williams
Nude bodies like peeled logs
sometimes give off a sweetest
odor, man and woman

under the trees in full excess
matching the cushion of

aromatic pine-drift fallen
threaded with trailing woodbine
a sonnet might be made of it
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Sonnet 2: Not that I always struck the proper mean  by Alan Seeger
Alan Seeger
Not that I always struck the proper mean
Of what mankind must give for what they gain,
But, when I think of those whom dull routine
And the pursuit of cheerless toil enchain,
Who from their desk-chairs seeing a summer cloud
Race through blue heaven on its joyful course
Sigh sometimes for a life less cramped and bowed,
I think I might have done a great deal worse;
For I have ever gone untied and free,
The stars and my high thoughts for company;
Wet with the salt-spray and the mountain showers,
I have had the sense of space and amplitude,
And love in many places, silver-shoed,
Has come and scattered all my path with flowers.
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The Unknown Bird by Edward Thomas
Edward Thomas
Three lovely notes he whistled, too soft to be heard
If others sang; but others never sang
In the great beech-wood all that May and June.
No one saw him: I alone could hear him
Though many listened. Was it but four years
Ago? or five? He never came again.

Oftenest when I heard him I was alone,
Nor could I ever make another hear.
La-la-la! he called, seeming far-off—
As if a cock crowed past the edge of the world,
As if the bird or I were in a dream.
Yet that he travelled through the trees and sometimes
Neared me, was plain, though somehow distant still
He sounded. All the proof is—I told men
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The Sun Used to Shine by Edward Thomas
Edward Thomas
The sun used to shine while we two walked
Slowly together, paused and started
Again, and sometimes mused, sometimes talked
As either pleased, and cheerfully parted

Each night. We never disagreed
Which gate to rest on. The to be
And the late past we gave small heed.
We turned from men or poetry

To rumours of the war remote
Only till both stood disinclined
For aught but the yellow flavorous coat
Of an apple wasps had undermined;

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The Sonnets: III by Ted Berrigan
Ted Berrigan
Stronger than alcohol, more great than song,
deep in whose reeds great elephants decay,
I, an island, sail, and my shoes toss
on a fragrant evening, fraught with sadness
bristling hate.
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In Love, His Grammar Grew by Stephen Dunn
Stephen Dunn
In love, his grammar grew
rich with intensifiers, and adverbs fell
madly from the sky like pheasants
for the peasantry, and he, as sated
as they were, lolled under shade trees
until roused by moonlight
and the beautiful fraternal twins
and and but. Oh that was when
he knew he couldn’t resist
a conjunction of any kind.
One said accumulate, the other
was a doubter who loved the wind
and the mind that cleans up after it.
For love
he wanted to break all the rules,
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Sometimes, When the Light by Lisel Mueller
Lisel Mueller
Sometimes, when the light strikes at odd angles
and pulls you back into childhood

and you are passing a crumbling mansion
completely hidden behind old willows

or an empty convent guarded by hemlocks
and giant firs standing hip to hip,

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Goats by Eugénio de Andrade
Eugénio de Andrade
Wherever the earth is crag and scrub, the goats are there—the black ones, girlishly skipping, leaping their little leaps from rock to rock. I’ve loved their nerve and frisk since I was small.

Once my grandfather gave me one of my own. He showed me how I could serve myself when I got hungry, from the full-feeling bags there like warmish wineskins, where I’d let my hands linger some before bringing my mouth close, so the milk wouldn’t go to waste on my face, my neck, even my naked chest, which did happen sometimes, who knows if on purpose, my mind dwelling all the while on the savory-smelling vulvazinha. I called her Maltesa; she was my horse; I could almost say she was my first woman.
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Still Burning by Gerald Stern
Gerald Stern
Me trying to understand say whence
say whither, say what, say me with a pencil walking,
say reading the dictionary, say learning medieval
Latin, reading Spengler, reading Whitehead,
William James I loved him, swimming breaststroke
and thinking for an hour, how did I get here?
Or thinking in line, say the 69 streetcar
or 68 or 67 Swissvale,
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At the Altar by Eleanor Ross Taylor
Eleanor Ross Taylor
That bag you packed me
when you sent me
to the universe—
camp after camp I’ve opened it
debating whether to unpack—
Not yet, not yet—
Why did I feel so much in it
was dangerous on the playground,
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A Reason by Barbara Guest
Barbara Guest
That is why I am here
not among the ibises. Why
the permanent city parasol
covers even me.

It was the rains
in the occult season. It was the snows
on the lower slopes. It was water
and cold in my mouth.

A lack of shoes
on what appeared to be cobbles
which were still antique

Well wild wild whatever
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The Untamed by R. S. Thomas
R. S. Thomas
My garden is the wild
Sea of the grass. Her garden
Shelters between walls.
The tide could break in;
I should be sorry for this.

There is peace there of a kind,
Though not the deep peace
Of wild places. Her care
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Day and Night in Virginia and Boston by Anne Winters
Anne Winters
After three months, Virginia is still a frontier.
Late at night, I close the door
on my husband practicing Mozart, the dishpan fills
and the network affiliates sign off one by one.
Now the country stations, tuning up like crickets
on radios in scattered valley kitchens:
Har yall this evenin folks!
(Wanting to say ‘I’m real fine’ I whisper ‘Wow.’)
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Aphrodite Metropolis (1) by Kenneth Fearing
Kenneth Fearing
"Myrtle loves Harry"—It is sometimes hard to remember a thing like that,
Hard to think about it, and no one knows what to do with it when he has it,
So write it out on a billboard that stands under the yellow light of an "L" platform among popcorn wrappers and crushed cigars,
A poster that says "Mama I Love Crispy Wafers So."
Leave it on a placard where somebody else gave the blonde lady a pencil moustache, and another perplexed citizen deposited:
"Jesus Saves. Jesus Saves."
One can lay this bundle down there with the others,
And never lose it, or forget it, or want it.
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Consequences by William Meredith
William Meredith
I. Of Choice
Despair is big with friends I love,
Hydrogen and burning jews.
I give them all the grief I have
But I tell them, friends, I choose, I choose,

Don’t make me say against my glands
Or how the world has treated me.
Though gay and modest give offense
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The Gaffe by C. K. Williams
C. K. Williams
1.

If that someone who’s me yet not me yet who judges me is always with me,
as he is, shouldn’t he have been there when I said so long ago that thing I said?

If he who rakes me with such not trivial shame for minor sins now were there then,
shouldn’t he have warned me he’d even now devastate me for my unpardonable affront?

I’m a child then, yet already I’ve composed this conscience-beast, who harries me:
is there anything else I can say with certainty about who I was, except that I, that he,

could already draw from infinitesimal transgressions complex chords of remorse,
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Scrambled Eggs and Whiskey by Hayden Carruth
Hayden Carruth
Scrambled eggs and whiskey
in the false-dawn light. Chicago,
a sweet town, bleak, God knows,
but sweet. Sometimes. And
weren’t we fine tonight?
When Hank set up that limping
treble roll behind me
my horn just growled and I
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The Potato Eaters by Leonard E. Nathan
Leonard E. Nathan
Sometimes, the naked taste of potato
reminds me of being poor.

The first bites are gratitude,
the rest, contented boredom.

The little kitchen still flickers
like a candle-lit room in a folktale.

Never again was my father so angry,
my mother so still as she set the table,
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a 340 dollar horse and a hundred dollar whore by Charles Bukowski
Charles Bukowski
don’t ever get the idea I am a poet; you can see me
at the racetrack any day half drunk
betting quarters, sidewheelers and straight thoroughs,
but let me tell you, there are some women there
who go where the money goes, and sometimes when you
look at these whores these onehundreddollar whores
you wonder sometimes if nature isn’t playing a joke
dealing out so much breast and ass and the way
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Amoretti I: Happy ye leaves when as those lilly hands by Edmund Spenser
Edmund Spenser
Happy ye leaves when as those lilly hands,
Which hold my life in their dead doing might
Shall handle you and hold in loves soft bands,
Lyke captives trembling at the victors sight.
And happy lines, on which with starry light,
Those lamping eyes will deigne sometimes to look
And reade the sorrowes of my dying spright,
Written with teares in harts close bleeding book.
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Autumn by Grace Paley
Grace Paley
1

What is sometimes called a
tongue of flame
or an arm extended burning
is only the long
red and orange branch of
a green maple
in early Septemberreaching
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Bereavement by William Lisle Bowles
William Lisle Bowles
Whose was that gentle voice, that, whispering sweet,
Promised methought long days of bliss sincere!
Soothing it stole on my deluded ear,
Most like soft music, that might sometimes cheat
Thoughts dark and drooping! ’Twas the voice of Hope.
Of love and social scenes, it seemed to speak,
Of truth, of friendship, of affection meek;
That, oh! poor friend, might to life’s downward slope
Lead us in peace, and bless our latest hours.
Ah me! the prospect saddened as she sung;
Loud on my startled ear the death-bell rung;
Chill darkness wrapt the pleasurable bowers,
Whilst Horror, pointing to yon breathless clay,
“No peace be thine,” exclaimed, “away, away!”

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Damp Rot by John Engels
John Engels
Water sheets on the old stone of the cellar walls,
trickles out over the floor into little deltas of mud,
worse every year, so that now I can see daylight
at the footings, and upstairs the floors sometimes
tremble and the clothes go damp in the closets. And sometimes
I think the whole place is about to come down, and have begun

to dream at night of moving, unaccountably sad
to think of leaving this house which has possessed me now
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The Dogs at Live Oak Beach, Santa Cruz by Alicia Ostriker
Alicia Ostriker
As if there could be a world
Of absolute innocence
In which we forget ourselves

The owners throw sticks
And half-bald tennis balls
Toward the surf
And the happy dogs leap after them
As if catapulted—
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Epilogue by Robert Lowell
Robert Lowell
Those blessèd structures, plot and rhyme—
why are they no help to me now
I want to make
something imagined, not recalled?
I hear the noise of my own voice:
The painter’s vision is not a lens,
it trembles to caress the light.
But sometimes everything I write
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I Fail As a Celibate by Jerome Rothenberg
Jerome Rothenberg
Despair leaves
a dry spot
the passage of light
through my veins.
I fail as a celibate.
The smell of honey
fills my throat.
I lose touch with
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If Ever There Was One by Miller Williams
Miller Williams
She could tell he loved her. He wanted her there
sitting in the front pew when he preached.
He liked to watch her putting up her hair
and ate whatever she cooked and never broached

the subject of the years before they met.
He was thoughtful always. He let her say
whether or not they did anything in bed
and tried to learn the games she tried to play.
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Love's Growth by John Donne
John Donne
I scarce believe my love to be so pure
As I had thought it was,
Because it doth endure
Vicissitude, and season, as the grass;
Methinks I lied all winter, when I swore
My love was infinite, if spring make’ it more.

But if medicine, love, which cures all sorrow
With more, not only be no quintessence,
But mixed of all stuffs paining soul or sense,
And of the sun his working vigor borrow,
Love’s not so pure, and abstract, as they use
To say, which have no mistress but their muse,
But as all else, being elemented too,
Love sometimes would contemplate, sometimes do.
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The Messenger by Eleanor Wilner
Eleanor Wilner
The messenger runs, not carrying the news
of victory, or defeat; the messenger, unresting,
has always been running, the wind before and behind him,
across the turning back of earth, leaving
his tracks across the plains, his ropes
hanging from the ledges of mountains;
for centuries, millennia, he has been running
carrying whatever it is that cannot be
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Mother to Son by Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes
Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
Bare.
But all the time
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Never Love Unless by Thomas Campion
Thomas Campion
Never love unless you can
Bear with all the faults of man:
Men sometimes will jealous be
Though but little cause they see;
And hang the head, as discontent,
And speak what straight they will repent.

Men that but one saint adore
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Prisoners by Denise Levertov
Denise Levertov
Though the road turn at last
to death’s ordinary door,
and we knock there, ready
to enter and it opens
easily for us,
yet
all the long journey
we shall have gone in chains,
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Relating to Robinson by Weldon Kees
Weldon Kees
Somewhere in Chelsea, early summer;
And, walking in the twilight toward the docks,
I thought I made out Robinson ahead of me.

From an uncurtained second-story room, a radio
Was playing There’s a Small Hotel; a kite
Twisted above dark rooftops and slow drifting birds.
We were alone there, he and I,
Inhabiting the empty street.
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Remarks on Poetry and the Physical World by Mary Barnard
Mary Barnard
After reading Ash Wednesday
she looked once at the baked beans
and fled. Luncheonless, poor girl,
she observed a kind of poetic Lent—
and I had thought I liked poetry
better than she did.

I do. But to me its most endearing
quality is its unsuitableness;
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The Sea Shell by Marin Sorescu
Marin Sorescu
I have hidden inside a sea shell
but forgotten in which.

Now daily I dive,
filtering the sea through my fingers,
to find myself.
Sometimes I think
a giant fish has swallowed me.
Looking for it everywhere I want to make sure
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Sometimes with One I Love by Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
Sometimes with one I love I fill myself with rage for fear I effuse unreturn’d love,
But now I think there is no unreturn’d love, the pay is certain one way or another
(I loved a certain person ardently and my love was not return’d,
Yet out of that I have written these songs).

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Song by John Fuller
John Fuller
You don’t listen to what I say.
When I lean towards you in the car
You simply smile and turn away.

It’s been like this most of the day,
sitting and sipping, bar after bar:
You don’t listen to what I say.

You squeeze a lemon from a tray,
And if you guess how dear you are
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Triptych by Samuel Menashe
Samuel Menashe
When my mother She who is not All at once
Was a young girl Who she was I could see
Before the War Waits to be My mother
Reading sad books Yet she is In eternity
By the river Already I told her
Sometimes, she Mother She always
Looked up, wisely Whose child Would be
But did not dream Though not yet The one
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The Water Diviner by Dannie Abse
Dannie Abse
Late, I have come to a parched land
doubting my gift, if gift I have,
the inspiration of water
spilt, swallowed in the sand.

To hear once more water trickle,
to stand in a stretch of silence
the divining pen twisting in the hand:
sign of depths alluvial.
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sorrows by Lucille Clifton
Lucille Clifton
who would believe them winged
who would believe they could be

beautifulwho would believe
they could fall so in love with mortals

that they would attach themselves
as scars attach and ride the skin


sometimes we hear them in our dreams
rattling their skullsclicking their bony fingers

envying our crackling hair
our spice filled flesh
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Song of the Little Cripple at the Street Corner by Rainer Maria Rilke
Rainer Maria Rilke
Maybe my soul’s all right.
But my body’s all wrong,
All bent and twisted,
All this that hurts me so.

My soul keeps trying, trying
To straighten my body up.
It hangs on my skeleton, frantic,
Flapping its terrified wings.
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Bi-Focal by William E. Stafford
William E. Stafford
Sometimes up out of this land
a legend begins to move.
Is it a coming near
of something under love?

Love is of the earth only,
the surface, a map of roads
leading wherever go miles
or little bushes nod.
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the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls by E. E. Cummings
E. E. Cummings
the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls
are unbeautiful and have comfortable minds
(also, with the church's protestant blessings
daughters,unscented shapeless spirited)
they believe in Christ and Longfellow, both dead,
are invariably interested in so many things—
at the present writing one still finds
delighted fingers knitting for the is it Poles?
perhaps. While permanent faces coyly bandy
scandal of Mrs. N and Professor D
.... the Cambridge ladies do not care, above
Cambridge if sometimes in its box of
sky lavender and cornerless, the
moon rattles like a fragment of angry candy

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Evening by Gail Mazur
Gail Mazur
Sometimes she’s Confucian—
resolute in privation. . . .

Each day, more immobile,
hip not mending, legs swollen;

still she carries her grief
with a hard steadiness.

Twelve years uncompanioned,
there’s no point longing for
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The Face by Stevie Smith
Stevie Smith
There is a face I know too well,
A face I dread to see,
So vain it is, so eloquent
Of all futility.

It is a human face that hides
A monkey soul within,
That bangs about, that beats a gong,
That makes a horrid din.
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The Four Ages of Man by Anne Bradstreet
Anne Bradstreet
[Introduction]
Lo now! four other acts upon the stage,
Childhood, and Youth, the Manly, and Old-age.
The first: son unto Phlegm, grand-child to water,
Unstable, supple, moist, and cold’s his Nature.
The second: frolic claims his pedigree;
From blood and air, for hot and moist is he.
The third of fire and choler is compos’d,
Vindicative, and quarrelsome dispos’d.
The last, of earth and heavy melancholy,
Solid, hating all lightness, and all folly.
Childhood was cloth’d in white, and given to show,
His spring was intermixed with some snow.
Upon his head a Garland Nature set:
Of Daisy, Primrose, and the Violet.
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The House of Life: 22. Heart's Haven by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Sometimes she is a child within mine arms,
Cowering beneath dark wings that love must chase,—
With still tears showering and averted face,
Inexplicably fill'd with faint alarms:
And oft from mine own spirit's hurtling harms
I crave the refuge of her deep embrace,—
Against all ills the fortified strong place
And sweet reserve of sovereign counter-charms.
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In Memoriam A. H. H. OBIIT MDCCCXXXIII: 5 by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
I sometimes hold it half a sin
To put in words the grief I feel;
For words, like Nature, half reveal
And half conceal the Soul within.

But, for the unquiet heart and brain,
A use in measured language lies;
The sad mechanic exercise,
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In the Deep Channel by William E. Stafford
William E. Stafford
Setting a trotline after sundown
if we went far enough away in the night
sometimes up out of deep water
would come a secret-headed channel cat,

Eyes that were still eyes in the rush of darkness,
flowing feelers noncommittal and black,
and hidden in the fins those rasping bone daggers,
with one spiking upward on its back.
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Love by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
All thoughts, all passions, all delights,
Whatever stirs this mortal frame,
All are but ministers of Love,
And feed his sacred flame.

Oft in my waking dreams do I
Live o'er again that happy hour,
When midway on the mount I lay,
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My Shadow by Robert Louis Stevenson
Robert Louis Stevenson
I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow—
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes gets so little that there's none of him at all.

He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close beside me, he's a coward you can see;
I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

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Saturday Night by Alicia Ostriker
Alicia Ostriker
Music is most sovereign because more than anything
else, rhythm and harmony find their way to the inmost
soul and take strongest hold upon it, bringing with
them and imparting grace.
—Plato, The Republic

The cranes are flying ...
—Chekhov
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A Side Street by Louis Untermeyer
Louis Untermeyer
On the warm Sunday afternoons
And every evening in the Spring and Summer
When the night hurries the late home-corner
And the air grows softer, and scraps of tunes
Float from the open windows and jar
Against the voices of children and the hum of a car;
When the city noises commingle and melt
With a restless something half-seen, half-felt—
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Sonnet 10: Lawrence, of virtuous father virtuous son by John Milton
John Milton
To Mr. Lawrence Lawrence, of virtuous father virtuous son,
Now that the fields are dank, and ways are mire,
Where shall we sometimes meet, and by the fire
Help waste a sullen day; what may be won
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The Temper (I) by George Herbert
George Herbert
How should I praise thee, Lord! How should my rhymes
Gladly engrave thy love in steel,
If what my soul doth feel sometimes,
My soul might ever feel!

Although there were some forty heav'ns, or more,
Sometimes I peer above them all;
Sometimes I hardly reach a score;
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Walking on Tiptoe by Ted Kooser
Ted Kooser
Long ago we quit lifting our heels
like the others—horse, dog, and tiger—
though we thrill to their speed
as they flee. Even the mouse
bearing the great weight of a nugget
of dog food is enviably graceful.
There is little spring to our walk,
we are so burdened with responsibility,
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Who Said It Was Simple by Audre Lorde
Audre Lorde
There are so many roots to the tree of anger
that sometimes the branches shatter
before they bear.

Sitting in Nedicks
the women rally before they march
discussing the problematic girls
they hire to make them free.
An almost white counterman passes
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Music by George Scarbrough
George Scarbrough
Han-Shan sits on a flat stone
In his garden and plays the flute,
Mimicking the birds singing among
The gourd vines or from the top
Of the blue pine tree.

Or he constructs a new trellis
For the rambling rose over his front
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To the Blank Spaces by W. S. Merwin
W. S. Merwin
For longer than by now I can believe
I assumed that you had nothing to do
with each other I thought you had arrived
whenever that had been

more solitary than single snowflakes
with no acquaintance or understanding
running among you guiding your footsteps
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