Son

S
Lullaby by Bert Meyers
Bert Meyers
1963,
Cuban missile crisis Go to sleep my daughter
go to sleep my son
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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 —
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On Giving and Taking by Kahlil Gibran
Kahlil Gibran
Once there lived a man who had a valley-full of needles. And one
day the mother of Jesus came to him and said: “Friend, my son’s
garment is torn and I must needs mend it before he goeth to the
temple. Wouldst thou not give me a needle?”

And he gave her not a needle, but he gave her a learned discourse
on Giving and Taking to carry to her son before he should go to
the temple.
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The Other Language by Kahlil Gibran
Kahlil Gibran
Three days after I was born, as I lay in my silken cradle, gazing
with astonished dismay on the new world round about me, my mother
spoke to the wet-nurse, saying, “How does my child?”

And the wet-nurse answered, “He does well, Madame, I have fed him
three times; and never before have I seen a babe so young yet so
gay.”

And I was indignant; and I cried, “It is not true, mother; for
my bed is hard, and the milk I have sucked is bitter to my mouth,
and the odour of the breast is foul in my nostrils, and I am most
miserable.”

But my mother did not understand, nor did the nurse; for the language
I spoke was that of the world from which I came.

And on the twenty-first day of my life, as I was being christened,
the priest said to my mother, “You should indeed by happy, Madame,
that your son was born a Christian.”

And I was surprised,—and I said to the priest, “Then your mother
in Heaven should be unhappy, for you were not born a Christian.”

But the priest too did not understand my language.

And after seven moons, one day a soothsayer looked at me, and he
said to my mother, “Your son will be a statesman and a great leader
of men.”

But I cried out,—”That is a false prophet; for I shall be a
musician, and naught but a musician shall I be.”

But even at that age my language was not understood—and great was
my astonishment.

And after three and thirty years, during which my mother, and the
nurse, and the priest have all died, (the shadow of God be upon
their spirits) the soothsayer still lives. And yesterday I met him
near the gates of the temple; and while we were talking together
he said, “I have always known you would become a great musician.
Even in your infancy I prophesied and foretold your future.”

And I believed him—for now I too have forgotten the language of
that other world.
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My Father and Myself Facing the Sun by Lawson Fusao Inada
Lawson Fusao Inada
We are both strong, dark, bright men,
though perhaps you might not notice,
finding two figures flat against the landscape
like the shadowed backs of mountains.

Which would not be far from wrong,
for though we both have on Western clothes
and he is seated on a yellow spool
of emptied and forgotten telephone cable
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Two by Ted Kooser
Ted Kooser
On a parking lot staircase
I met two fine-looking men
descending, both in slacks
and dress shirts, neckties
much alike, one of the men
in his sixties, the other
a good twenty years older,
unsteady on his polished shoes,
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Governor’s Place by Stephen Sandy
Stephen Sandy
The great house birch with its girth he never quite
could get his arms around, long felled, at last
only its bark like a larva’s husk in grass
leaning neck-high, hollow below mansards.

He does not live in the peeling mansion, but
a more-than-ample keeper’s cottage beyond
rolled lawns and relics of Victorian elms
where he muses in his study alcove. Touches
the ancient coins, silver or bronze, their gleam
on the baize-topped writing table — proud Athena
helmeted; her owl agog beneath. Eternity
glimpsed in the boy ruler Gordian’s profile,
copper green.
Trees on guard in browed
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I Looked Up from My Writing by Thomas Hardy
Thomas Hardy
I looked up from my writing,
And gave a start to see,
As if rapt in my inditing,
The moon's full gaze on me.

Her meditative misty head
Was spectral in its air,
And I involuntarily said,
'What are you doing there?'

'Oh, I've been scanning pond and hole
And waterway hereabout
For the body of one with a sunken soul
Who has put his life-light out.

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Glory of Women by Siegfried Sassoon
Siegfried Sassoon
You love us when we're heroes, home on leave,

Or wounded in a mentionable place.

You worship decorations; you believe

That chivalry redeems the war's disgrace.

You make us shells. You listen with delight,

By tales of dirt and danger fondly thrilled.

You crown our distant ardours while we fight,

And mourn our laurelled memories when we're killed.

You can't believe that British troops “retire”

When hell's last horror breaks them, and they run,

Trampling the terrible corpses—blind with blood.

O German mother dreaming by the fire,

While you are knitting socks to send your son

His face is trodden deeper in the mud.
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Delia 45: Care-charmer Sleep, son of the sable Night by Samuel Daniel
Samuel Daniel
Care-charmer Sleep, son of the sable Night,
Brother to Death, in silent darkness born:
Relieve my languish, and restore the light,
With dark forgetting of my cares, return;
And let the day be time enough to mourn
The shipwreck of my ill-adventur'd youth:
Let waking eyes suffice to wail their scorn,
Without the torment of the night's untruth.
Cease dreams, th' imagery of our day-desires,
To model forth the passions of the morrow;
Never let rising sun approve you liars,
To add more grief to aggravate my sorrow.
Still let me sleep, embracing clouds in vain;
And never wake to feel the day's disdain.
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By the Well of Living and Seeing, Part II, Section 28: “During the Second World War” by Charles Reznikoff
Charles Reznikoff
During the Second World War, I was going home one night
along a street I seldom used. All the stores were closed
except one—a small fruit store.
An old Italian was inside to wait on customers.
As I was paying him I saw that he was sad.
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Back from the Fields by Peter Everwine
Peter Everwine
Until nightfall my son ran in the fields,
looking for God knows what.
Flowers, perhaps. Odd birds on the wing.
Something to fill an empty spot.
Maybe a luminous angel
or a country girl with a secret dark.
He came back empty-handed,
or so I thought.
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Brother, I’ve seen some by Kabir
Kabir
Brother, I’ve seen some
Astonishing sights:
A lion keeping watch
Over pasturing cows;
A mother delivered
After her son was;
A guru prostrated
Before his disciple;
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Wildpeace by Yehuda Amichai
Yehuda Amichai
Not the peace of a cease-fire,
not even the vision of the wolf and the lamb,
but rather
as in the heart when the excitement is over
and you can talk only about a great weariness.
I know that I know how to kill,
that makes me an adult.
And my son plays with a toy gun that knows
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The Mysterious Arrival of an Unusual Letter by Mark Strand
Mark Strand
It had been a long day at the office and a long ride back to the small apartment where I lived. When I got there I flicked on the light and saw on the table an envelope with my name on it. Where was the clock? Where was the calendar? The handwriting was my father’s, but he had been dead for forty years. As one might, I began to think that maybe, just maybe, he was alive, living a secret life somewhere nearby. How else to explain the envelope? To steady myself, I sat down, opened it, and pulled out the letter. “Dear Son,” was the way it began. “Dear Son” and then nothing.
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The Spoilsport by Robert Graves
Robert Graves
My familiar ghost again
Comes to see what he can see,
Critic, son of Conscious Brain,
Spying on our privacy.

Slam the window, bolt the door,
Yet he’ll enter in and stay;
In to-morrow’s book he’ll score
Indiscretions of to-day.

Whispered love and muttered fears,
How their echoes fly about!
None escape his watchful ears,
Every sigh might be a shout.

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St. Patrick’s Day by Jean Blewett
Jean Blewett
There’s an Isle, a green Isle, set in the sea,
Here’s to the Saint that blessed it!
And here’s to the billows wild and free
That for centuries have caressed it!

Here’s to the day when the men that roam
Send longing eyes o’er the water!
Here’s to the land that still spells home
To each loyal son and daughter!

Here’s to old Ireland—fair, I ween,
With the blue skies stretched above her!
Here’s to her shamrock warm and green,
And here’s to the hearts that love her!

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Song of the Son by Jean Toomer
Jean Toomer
Pour O pour that parting soul in song,
O pour it in the sawdust glow of night,
Into the velvet pine-smoke air tonight,
And let the valley carry it along.
And let the valley carry it along.

O land and soil, red soil and sweet-gum tree,
So scant of grass, so profligate of pines,
Now just before an epoch’s sun declines
Thy son, in time, I have returned to thee.
Thy son, I have in time returned to thee.

In time, for though the sun is setting on
A song-lit race of slaves, it has not set;
Though late, O soil, it is not too late yet
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The Child on the Cliffs by Edward Thomas
Edward Thomas
Mother, the root of this little yellow flower
Among the stones has the taste of quinine.
Things are strange to-day on the cliff. The sun shines so bright,
And the grasshopper works at his sewing-machine
So hard. Here’s one on my hand, mother, look;
I lie so still. There’s one on your book.

But I have something to tell more strange. So leave
Your book to the grasshopper, mother dear,—
Like a green knight in a dazzling market-place,—
And listen now. Can you hear what I hear
Far out? Now and then the foam there curls
And stretches a white arm out like a girl’s.

Fishes and gulls ring no bells. There cannot be
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A Declaration, Not of Independence by Ralph Salisbury
Ralph Salisbury
for my mother and father Apparently I’m Mom’s immaculately-conceived
Irish-American son, because,
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The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Edna St. Vincent Millay
“Son,” said my mother,
When I was knee-high,

“You’ve need of clothes to cover you,
And not a rag have I.

“There’s nothing in the house
To make a boy breeches,
Nor shears to cut a cloth with
Nor thread to take stitches.
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On Shakespeare. 1630 by John Milton
John Milton
What needs my Shakespeare for his honoured bones,
The labor of an age in pilèd stones,
Or that his hallowed relics should be hid
Under a star-ypointing pyramid?
Dear son of Memory, great heir of fame,
What need’st thou such weak witness of thy name?
Thou in our wonder and astonishment
Hast built thyself a live-long monument.
For whilst to th’ shame of slow-endeavouring art,
Thy easy numbers flow, and that each heart
Hath from the leaves of thy unvalued book
Those Delphic lines with deep impression took,
Then thou, our fancy of itself bereaving,
Dost make us marble with too much conceiving;
And so sepúlchred in such pomp dost lie,
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Lawyer and Child by James Whitcomb Riley
James Whitcomb Riley
How large was Alexander, father,
That parties designate
The historic gentleman as rather
Inordinately great?

Why, son, to speak with conscientious
Regard for history,
Waiving all claims, of course, to heights pretentious,—
About the size of me.
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The Toys by Coventry Patmore
Coventry Patmore

My little Son, who look'd from thoughtful eyes
And moved and spoke in quiet grown-up wise,
Having my law the seventh time disobey'd,
I struck him, and dismiss'd
With hard words and unkiss'd,
His Mother, who was patient, being dead.
Then, fearing lest his grief should hinder sleep,
I visited his bed,
But found him slumbering deep,
With darken'd eyelids, and their lashes yet
From his late sobbing wet.
And I, with moan,
Kissing away his tears, left others of my own;
For, on a table drawn beside his head,
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Let Us Consider by Russell Edson
Russell Edson
Let us consider the farmer who makes his straw hat his
sweetheart; or the old woman who makes a floor lamp her son;
or the young woman who has set herself the task of scraping
her shadow off a wall....

Let us consider the old woman who wore smoked cows’
tongues for shoes and walked a meadow gathering cow chips
in her apron; or a mirror grown dark with age that was given
to a blind man who spent his nights looking into it, which
saddened his mother, that her son should be so lost in
vanity....

Let us consider the man who fried roses for his dinner,
whose kitchen smelled like a burning rose garden; or the man
who disguised himself as a moth and ate his overcoat, and for
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from War is Kind "Do not weep, maiden, for war is kind" by Stephen Crane
Stephen Crane
Do not weep, maiden, for war is kind.
Because your lover threw wild hands toward the sky
And the affrighted steed ran on alone,
Do not weep.
War is kind.

Hoarse, booming drums of the regiment,
Little souls who thirst for fight,
These men were born to drill and die.
The unexplained glory flies above them,
Great is the battle-god, great, and his kingdom—
A field where a thousand corpses lie.

Do not weep, babe, for war is kind.
Because your father tumbled in the yellow trenches,
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An Evening Thought: Salvation by Christ, with Penetential Cries by Jupiter Hammon
Jupiter Hammon
Salvation comes by Jesus Christ alone,
The only Son of God;
Redemption now to every one,
That love his holy Word.
Dear Jesus we would fly to Thee,
And leave off every Sin,
Thy Tender Mercy well agree;
Salvation from our King.
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The Alphabet by Karl Shapiro
Karl Shapiro
The letters of the Jews as strict as flames
Or little terrible flowers lean
Stubbornly upwards through the perfect ages,
Singing through solid stone the sacred names.
The letters of the Jews are black and clean
And lie in chain-line over Christian pages.
The chosen letters bristle like barbed wire
That hedge the flesh of man,
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from By the Well of Living and Seeing, Part II, Section 1: “Leaving the beach on a Sunday in a streetcar” by Charles Reznikoff
Charles Reznikoff
Leaving the beach on a Sunday in a streetcar
a family of three—mother, son and daughter:
the mother, well on in the thirties, blond hair, worried face;
the son, twelve years of age or so, seated opposite,
and the daughter, about eight or nine, beside her.
The boy was blond, too; a good-looking little fellow
with dreamy eyes. The little girl was quite plain;
mouth pulled down at the corners,
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No Classes! by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
No classes here! Why, that is idle talk.
The village beau sneers at the country boor;
The importuning mendicants who walk
Our cites’ streets despise the parish poor.

The daily toiler at some noisy loom
Holds back her garments from the kitchen aid.
Meanwhile the latter leans upon her broom,
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Slave Sale: New Orleans by Charles Reznikoff
Charles Reznikoff
To begin with, the slaves had to wash themselves well,
and the men who had beards had to shave them off;
the men were then given a new suit each,
cheap but clean, and a hat, shirt, and shoes;
and the women were each given a frock of calico
and a handkerchief to tie about their heads.
They were then led by the man selling them into a large room;
the men placed on one side, the women at the other;
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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
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Some Boys are Born to Wander by Walter McDonald
Walter McDonald
From Michigan our son writes, How many elk?
How many big horn sheep? It's spring,
and soon they'll be gone above timberline,

climbing to tundra by summer. Some boys
are born to wander, my wife says, but rocky slopes
with spruce and Douglas fir are home.

He tried the navy, the marines, but even the army
wouldn't take him, not with a foot like that.
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Come Up from the Fields Father by Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
Come up from the fields father, here’s a letter from our Pete,
And come to the front door mother, here’s a letter from thy dear son.

Lo, ’tis autumn,
Lo, where the trees, deeper green, yellower and redder,
Cool and sweeten Ohio’s villages with leaves fluttering in the moderate wind,
Where apples ripe in the orchards hang and grapes on the trellis’d vines,
(Smell you the smell of the grapes on the vines?
Smell you the buckwheat where the bees were lately buzzing?)

Above all, lo, the sky so calm, so transparent after the rain, and with wondrous clouds,
Below too, all calm, all vital and beautiful, and the farm prospers well.

Down in the fields all prospers well,
But now from the fields come father, come at the daughter’s call,
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Canicule Macaronique by John Fuller
John Fuller
Heureux ceux qui ont la clim—Corse-Matin (6.8.94) Heureux ceux qui ont la clim
Pendant la grande canicule.
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Commemoration by Samuel Menashe
Samuel Menashe
Old as I am
This candle I light
For you today
May be the last one
Of your afterlife
With me, your son—
With me you die twice.
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Dockery and Son by Philip Larkin
Philip Larkin
‘Dockery was junior to you,
Wasn’t he?’ said the Dean. ‘His son’s here now.’
Death-suited, visitant, I nod. ‘And do
You keep in touch with—’ Or remember how
Black-gowned, unbreakfasted, and still half-tight
We used to stand before that desk, to give
‘Our version’ of ‘these incidents last night’?
I try the door of where I used to live:
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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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Epitaph by Katherine Philips
Katherine Philips
On her Son H.P. at St. Syth’s Church where her body also lies interred What on Earth deserves our trust?
Youth and Beauty both are dust.
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Father and Son by Delmore Schwartz
Delmore Schwartz
“From a certain point onward there is no longer any turning back. That is the point that must be reached.”FRANZ KAFKA Father:
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Here Where Coltrane Is by Michael S. Harper
Michael S. Harper
Soul and race
are private dominions,
memories and modal
songs, a tenor blossoming,
which would paint suffering
a clear color but is not in
this Victorian house
without oil in zero degree
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July 4, 1974 by June Jordan
June Jordan
Washington, D.C. At least it helps me to think about my son
a Leo/born to us
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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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Negroes by Charles Reznikoff
Charles Reznikoff
1

One night in April or May,
his daughter saw someone's hand
make the curtain which was drawn tightly across her window bulge
and ran to the adjoining room in her night clothes
where he and his son were sitting.
He ran around the house one way
and his son ran the other way
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The Old Man Drew the Line by Carl Rakosi
Carl Rakosi
The old man
drew the line
for his son,
the executive:
“I don’t want you spending money on me!
(not as long as there are fathers)”,
the line ageless
as the independence of time.
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from Rites of Passage by Robert Duncan
Robert Duncan
II

Something is taking place.
Horns thrust upward from the brow.
Hooves beat impatient where feet once were.
My son, youth grows alarming in your face.
Your innocent regard is cruelly charming to me now.
You bristle where my fond hand would stir
to stroke your cheek. I do not dare.
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Ritual One by David Ignatow
David Ignatow
As I enter the theatre the play is going on.
I hear the father say to the son on stage,
You’ve taken the motor apart.
The son replies, The roof is leaking.
The father retorts, The tire is flat.
Tiptoeing down the aisle, I find my seat,
edge my way in across a dozen kneecaps
as I tremble for my sanity.
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Sonnet in the Shape of a Potted Christmas Tree by George Starbuck
George Starbuck
* O fury- bedecked! O glitter-torn! Let the wild wind erect bonbonbonanzas; junipers affect frostyfreeze turbans; iciclestuff adorn
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The Step Mother by Susanna Moodie
Susanna Moodie
Well I recall my Father’s wife,
The day he brought her home.
His children looked for years of strife,
And troubles sure to come—
Ungraciously we welcomed her,
A thing to scorn and blame;
And swore we never would confer
On her, a Mother’s name

I see her yet—a girl in years,
With eyes so blue and mild;
She greeted us with smiles and tears,
How sweetly too she smiled—
She bent to kiss my sullen brow,
With woman’s gentle grace;
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A Time Past by Denise Levertov
Denise Levertov
The old wooden steps to the front door
where I was sitting that fall morning
when you came downstairs, just awake,
and my joy at sight of you (emerging
into golden day—
the dew almost frost)
pulled me to my feet to tell you
how much I loved you:
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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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When I Was Fair and Young by Queen Elizabeth I
Queen Elizabeth I
When I was fair and young, then favor graced me.
Of many was I sought their mistress for to be.
But I did scorn them all and answered them therefore:
Go, go, go, seek some other where; importune me no more.

How many weeping eyes I made to pine in woe,
How many sighing hearts I have not skill to show,
But I the prouder grew and still this spake therefore:
Go, go, go, seek some other where, importune me no more.
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At Mass by Vachel Lindsay
Vachel Lindsay
No doubt to-morrow I will hide
My face from you, my King.
Let me rejoice this Sunday noon,
And kneel while gray priests sing.

It is not wisdom to forget.
But since it is my fate
Fill thou my soul with hidden wine
To make this white hour great.

My God, my God, this marvelous hour
I am your son I know.
Once in a thousand days your voice
Has laid temptation low.
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Carpentry by Carl Dennis
Carl Dennis
Carpenters whose wives have run off
Are sometimes discovered weeping on the job.
But even then they don’t complain of their work.

Whitman’s father was a carpenter.
He was so happy hammering houses
That he jumped with a shout from the roof beam
And rolled with a yawp in the timothy.
This led his son to conclude wrongly
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Dedication for a Plot of Ground by William Carlos Williams
William Carlos Williams
This plot of ground
facing the waters of this inlet
is dedicated to the living presence of
Emily Dickinson Wellcome
who was born in England; married;
lost her husband and with
her five year old son
sailed for New York in a two-master;
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George Washington’s Birthday: Wondering by Bobbi Katz
Bobbi Katz
I wonder what I would have said
if my dad asked me,
"Son, do you know who cut down
my pretty cherry tree?"
I think I might have closed my eyes
and thought a little bit
about the herds of elephants
I'd seen attacking it.
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Grain Field by Adelaide Crapsey
Adelaide Crapsey

Scarlet the poppies
Blue the corn-flowers,
Golden the wheat.
Gold for The Eternal:
Blue of Our Lady:
Red for the five
Wounds of her Son.

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Humanities Lecture by William E. Stafford
William E. Stafford
Aristotle was a little man with
eyes like a lizard, and he found a streak
down the midst of things, a smooth place for his feet
much more important than the carved handles
on the coffins of the great.

He said you should put your hand out
at the time and place of need:
strength matters little, he said,
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A Hymn to God the Father by John Donne
John Donne
Wilt thou forgive that sin where I begun,
Which was my sin, though it were done before?
Wilt thou forgive that sin, through which I run,
And do run still, though still I do deplore?
When thou hast done, thou hast not done,
For I have more.

Wilt thou forgive that sin which I have won
Others to sin, and made my sin their door?
Wilt thou forgive that sin which I did shun
A year or two, but wallow'd in, a score?
When thou hast done, thou hast not done,
For I have more.

I have a sin of fear, that when I have spun
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Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll
Lewis Carroll
’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand;
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
And stood awhile in thought.

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The Leaf Pile by Alicia Ostriker
Alicia Ostriker
Now here is a typical children’s story
that happens in gorgeous October
when the mothers are coming
in the afternoon, wearing brisk boots
and windy skirts to pick up
the little children from the day care center

Frost in the air
the maples golden and crimson
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Menstruation at Forty by Anne Sexton
Anne Sexton
I was thinking of a son.
The womb is not a clock
nor a bell tolling,
but in the eleventh month of its life
I feel the November
of the body as well as of the calendar.
In two days it will be my birthday
and as always the earth is done with its harvest.
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Nightmare Begins Responsibility by Michael S. Harper
Michael S. Harper
I place these numbed wrists to the pane
watching white uniforms whisk over
him in the tube-kept
prison
fear what they will do in experiment
watch my gloved stickshifting gasolined hands
breathe boxcar-information-please infirmary tubes
distrusting white-pink mending paperthin
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40
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Song: “O Mistress mine where are you roaming?” by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
(from Twelfth Night) O Mistress mine where are you roaming?
O stay and hear, your true love's coming,
That can sing both high and low.
Trip no further pretty sweeting.
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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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175
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Sonnet 23: Methought I saw my late espoused saint by John Milton
John Milton
Methought I saw my late espoused saint
Brought to me, like Alcestis, from the grave,
Whom Jove's great son to her glad husband gave,
Rescu'd from death by force, though pale and faint.
Mine, as whom wash'd from spot of child-bed taint
Purification in the old Law did save,
And such as yet once more I trust to have
Full sight of her in Heaven without restraint,
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Veni, Creator Spiritus by John Dryden
John Dryden
Creator Spirit, by whose aid
The world's foundations first were laid,
Come, visit ev'ry pious mind;
Come, pour thy joys on human kind;
From sin, and sorrow set us free;
And make thy temples worthy Thee.

O, Source of uncreated Light,
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Vigil Strange I Kept on the Field one Night by Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
Vigil strange I kept on the field one night;
When you my son and my comrade dropt at my side that day,
One look I but gave which your dear eyes return’d with a look I shall never forget,
One touch of your hand to mine O boy, reach’d up as you lay on the ground,
Then onward I sped in the battle, the even-contested battle,
Till late in the night reliev’d to the place at last again I made my way,
Found you in death so cold dear comrade, found your body son of responding kisses, (never again on earth responding,)
Bared your face in the starlight, curious the scene, cool blew the moderate night-wind,
Long there and then in vigil I stood, dimly around me the battle-field spreading,
Vigil wondrous and vigil sweet there in the fragrant silent night,
But not a tear fell, not even a long-drawn sigh, long, long I gazed,
Then on the earth partially reclining sat by your side leaning my chin in my hands,
Passing sweet hours, immortal and mystic hours with you dearest comrade—not a tear, not a word,
Vigil of silence, love and death, vigil for you my son and my soldier,
As onward silently stars aloft, eastward new ones upward stole,
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Yee Bow by Edgar Lee Masters
Edgar Lee Masters
They got me into the Sunday-school
In Spoon River
And tried to get me to drop Confucius for Jesus.
I could have been no worse off
If I had tried to get them to drop Jesus for Confucius.
For, without any warning, as if it were a prank,
And sneaking up behind me, Harry Wiley,
The minister's son, caved my ribs into my lungs,
With a blow of his fist.
Now I shall never sleep with my ancestors in Pekin,
And no children shall worship at my grave.

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40
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Descent by Samuel Menashe
Samuel Menashe
My father drummed darkness
Through the underbrush
Until lightning struck

I take after him

Clouds crowd the sky
Around me as I run
Downhill on a high—
I am my mother's son
Born long ago
In the storm's eye
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