World

W
Contentment by Rüştü Onur
Rüştü Onur
No harm would I pose
To the bee in its hive
To the bird in its nest;
I live in my own world
Under my hat.
It is my contentment that makes
Me smile without reason on the streets;
It is my heart,
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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 Antique by Christina Rossetti
Christina Rossetti
It's a weary life, it is, she said:
Doubly blank in a woman's lot:
I wish and I wish I were a man:
Or, better then any being, were not:

Were nothing at all in all the world,
Not a body and not a soul:
Not so much as a grain of dust
Or a drop of water from pole to pole.
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An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum by Stephen Spender
Stephen Spender
Far far from gusty waves these children's faces.
Like rootless weeds, the hair torn round their pallor:
The tall girl with her weighed-down head. The paper-
seeming boy, with rat's eyes. The stunted, unlucky heir
Of twisted bones, reciting a father's gnarled disease,
His lesson, from his desk. At back of the dim class
One unnoted, sweet and young. His eyes live in a dream
Of squirrel's game, in tree room, other than this.
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Plurality by Louis MacNeice
Louis MacNeice
It is patent to the eye that cannot face the sun
The smug philosophers lie who say the world is one;
World is other and other, world is here and there,
Parmenides would smother life for lack of air
Precluding birth and death; his crystal never breaks—
No movement and no breath, no progress nor mistakes,
Nothing begins or ends, no one loves or fights,
All your foes are friends and all your days are nights
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Snow by Louis MacNeice
Louis MacNeice
The room was suddenly rich and the great bay-window was
Spawning snow and pink roses against it
Soundlessly collateral and incompatible:
World is suddener than we fancy it.

World is crazier and more of it than we think,
Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portion
A tangerine and spit the pips and feel
The drunkenness of things being various.
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In the Middle of This Century by Yehuda Amichai
Yehuda Amichai
In the middle of this century we turned to each other
With half faces and full eyes
like an ancient Egyptian picture
And for a short while.

I stroked your hair
In the opposite direction to your journey,
We called to each other,
Like calling out the names of towns
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Poem in the American Manner by Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker
I dunno yer highfalutin' words, but here's th' way it seems
When I'm peekin' out th' winder o' my little House o Dreams;
I've been lookin' 'roun' this big ol' world, as bizzy as a hive,
An' I want t' tell ye, neighbor mine, it's good t' be alive.
I've ben settin' here, a-thinkin' hard, an' say, it seems t' me
That this big ol' world is jest about as good as it kin be,
With its starvin' little babies, an' its battles, an' its strikes,
An' its profiteers, an' hold-up men—th' dawggone little tykes!
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Harold Arnett by Edgar Lee Masters
Edgar Lee Masters
I leaned against the mantel, sick, sick,
Thinking of my failure, looking into the abysm,
Weak from the noon-day heat.
A church bell sounded mournfully far away,
I heard the cry of a baby,
And the coughing of John Yarnell,
Bed-ridden, feverish, feverish, dying,
Then the violent voice of my wife:
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Visions at 74 by Frank Bidart
Frank Bidart
The planet turns there without you, beautiful.
Exiled by death you cannot
touch it. Weird joy to watch postulates

lived out and discarded, something crowded
inside us always craving to become something
glistening outside us, the relentless planet

showing itself the logic of what is
buried inside it. To love existence
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The House Was Quiet and The World Was Calm by Wallace Stevens
Wallace Stevens
The house was quiet and the world was calm.
The reader became the book; and summer night

Was like the conscious being of the book.
The house was quiet and the world was calm.

The words were spoken as if there was no book,
Except that the reader leaned above the page,

Wanted to lean, wanted much most to be
The scholar to whom his book is true, to whom
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Sonnet 9: On Returning to the Front after Leave by Alan Seeger
Alan Seeger
Apart sweet women (for whom Heaven be blessed),
Comrades, you cannot think how thin and blue
Look the leftovers of mankind that rest,
Now that the cream has been skimmed off in you.
War has its horrors, but has this of good—
That its sure processes sort out and bind
Brave hearts in one intrepid brotherhood
And leave the shams and imbeciles behind.
Now turn we joyful to the great attacks,
Not only that we face in a fair field
Our valiant foe and all his deadly tools,
But also that we turn disdainful backs
On that poor world we scorn yet die to shield—
That world of cowards, hypocrites, and fools.

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Winter Solstice by Hilda Morley
Hilda Morley
A cold night crosses
our path
The world appears
very large, very
round now extending
far as the moon does
It is from
the moon this cold travels
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Archibald Higbie by Edgar Lee Masters
Edgar Lee Masters
I loathed you, Spoon River. I tried to rise above you,
I was ashamed of you. I despised you
As the place of my nativity.
And there in Rome, among the artists,
Speaking Italian, speaking French,
I seemed to myself at times to be free
Of every trace of my origin.
I seemed to be reaching the heights of art
And to breathe the air that the masters breathed,
And to see the world with their eyes.
But still they’d pass my work and say:
"What are you driving at, my friend?
Sometimes the face looks like Apollo’s,
At others it has a trace of Lincoln’s."
There was no culture, you know, in Spoon River,
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Coffee Lips by David Ferry
David Ferry
The guest who came in to the street people’s suppers last night,
An elderly man with a lost smart little boy’s face and a look

As if he might turn against you anytime soon,
As if he’d just come into this world and he was extremely

Wary about what the world was going to be, and he said,
“If I ask you a question will you give me a truthful answer?”

And I said, “That depends on what the question is,”
Thinking the little elderly boy looked sophisticated and

As if he’d in fact been a long time in the world
And would get the tone right, and maybe he did, or maybe he didn’t;

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He is pruning the privet by Joanne Kyger
Joanne Kyger

He is pruning the privet

of sickly sorrow desolation
in loose pieces of air he goes clip clip clip
the green blooming branches fall—‘they’re getting out
of hand’ delirious and adorable what a switch
we perceive multiple
identities when you sing so beautifully the shifting
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Book 4, Epigram 7: "Our fathers did but use the world before" by Thomas Bastard
Thomas Bastard
Our fathers did but use the world before,
And having used did leave the same to us.
We spill whatever resteth to their store.
What can our heirs inherit but our curse?
For we have sucked the sweet and sap away,
And sowed consumption in the fruitful ground;
The woods and forests clad in rich array
With nakedness and baldness we confound.
We have defaced the lasting monuments,
And caused all honour to have end with us;
The holy temples feel our ravishments.
What can our heirs inherit but our curse?
The world must end, for men are so accurst;
Unless God end it sooner, they will first.
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You've Ruined My Evening/You've Ruined My Life by Tom Raworth
Tom Raworth
i would be eight people and then the difficulties vanish
only as one i contain the complications
in a warm house roofed with the rib-cage of an elephant
i pass my grey mornings re-running the reels
and the images are the same but the emphasis shifts
the actors bow gently to me and i envy them
their repeated parts, their constant presence in that world

i would be eight people each inhabiting the others’ dreams
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Akiba by Muriel Rukeyser
Muriel Rukeyser
THE WAY OUT

The night is covered with signs. The body and face of man,
with signs, and his journeys. Where the rock is split
and speaks to the water; the flame speaks to the cloud;
the red splatter, abstraction, on the door
speaks to the angel and the constellations.
The grains of sand on the sea-floor speak at last to the noon.
And the loud hammering of the land behind
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Love Song by William Carlos Williams
William Carlos Williams
I lie here thinking of you:—

the stain of love
is upon the world!
Yellow, yellow, yellow
it eats into the leaves,
smears with saffron
the horned branches that lean
heavily
against a smooth purple sky!
There is no light
only a honey-thick stain
that drips from leaf to leaf
and limb to limb
spoiling the colors
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Bantams in Pine-Woods by Wallace Stevens
Wallace Stevens
Chieftain Iffucan of Azcan in caftan
Of tan with henna hackles, halt!

Damned universal cock, as if the sun
Was blackamoor to bear your blazing tail.

Fat! Fat! Fat! Fat! I am the personal.
Your world is you. I am my world.

You ten-foot poet among inchlings. Fat!
Begone! An inchling bristles in these pines,
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Teach Me by Donald (Grady) Davidson
Donald (Grady) Davidson
Teach me, old World, your passion of slow change,
Your calm of stars, watching the turn of earth,
Patient of man, and never thinking strange
The mad red crash of each new system’s birth.

Teach me, for I would know your beauty’s way
That waits and changes with each changing sun,
No dawn so fair but promises a day
Of other perfectness than men have won.

Teach me, old World, not as vain men have taught,
—Unpatient song, nor words of hollow brass,
Nor men’s dismay whose powerfullest thought
Is woe that they and worlds alike must pass.

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Tuning by Keith Waldrop
Keith Waldrop
Herr Stimmung—purblind—moves in corporeal time.

Think how many, by now, have escaped the world’s memory.

Think, how all his wandering is only thought. Having once tried to
live in the quasi-stupor of sensation, now he picks his way through
areas of spilth, seeking the least among infinite evils.

His hope: intermittent.

To a person so little conscious, what would it mean to die? Though
he feels, true enough, death’s wither-clench. Thinking always of
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Five Poems about Poetry by George Oppen
George Oppen
1

THE GESTURE

The question is: how does one hold an apple
Who likes apples

And how does one handle
Filth? The question is

How does one hold something
In the mind which he intends
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The Progress of the Soul by Thomas McGrath
Thomas McGrath
Where once I loved my flesh,
That social fellow,
Now I want security of bone
And cherish the silence of my skeleton.

Where once I walked the world
Hunting the devil,
Now I find the darkness and the void
Within my side.
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George Moses Horton, Myself by George Moses Horton
George Moses Horton
I feel myself in need
Of the inspiring strains of ancient lore,
My heart to lift, my empty mind to feed,
And all the world explore.

I know that I am old
And never can recover what is past,
But for the future may some light unfold
And soar from ages blast.
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Homes by Charlotte Anna Perkins Gilman
Charlotte Anna Perkins Gilman
A Sestina We are the smiling comfortable homes
With happy families enthroned therein,
Where baby souls are brought to meet the world,
Where women end their duties and desires,
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from Light: Winter by Inger Christensen
Inger Christensen
Winter is out for a lot this year
the beach already is stiff
all will be one will be one this year
wings and ice will be one in the world
all will be changed in the world:
the boat will hear its steps on the ice
the war will hear its war on the ice
the woman will hear her hour on the ice
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God's World by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Edna St. Vincent Millay
O world, I cannot hold thee close enough!
Thy winds, thy wide grey skies!
Thy mists, that roll and rise!
Thy woods, this autumn day, that ache and sag
And all but cry with colour!That gaunt crag
To crush!To lift the lean of that black bluff!
World, World, I cannot get thee close enough!

Long have I known a glory in it all,
But never knew I this;
Here such a passion is
As stretcheth me apart,—Lord, I do fear
Thou’st made the world too beautiful this year;
My soul is all but out of me,—let fall
No burning leaf; prithee, let no bird call.
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My Grave by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
If, when I die, I must be buried, let
No cemetery engulph me — no lone grot,
Where the great palpitating world comes not,
Save when, with heart bowed down and eyelids wet,
It pays its last sad melancholy debt
To some outjourneying pilgrim. May my lot
Be rather to lie in some much-used spot,
Where human life, with all its noise and fret,
Throbs on about me. Let the roll of wheels,
With all earth’s sounds of pleasure, commerce, love,
And rush of hurrying feet surge o’er my head.
Even in my grave I shall be one who feels
Close kinship with the pulsing world above;
And too deep silence would distress me, dead.

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Shepherd John by Mary Mapes Dodge
Mary Mapes Dodge
Oh! Shepherd John is good and kind,
Oh! Shepherd John is brave;
He loves the weakest of his flock,
His arm is quick to save.

But Shepherd John to little John
Says: ‘Learn, my laddie, learn!
In grassy nooks still read your books,
And aye for knowledge burn.

Read while you tend the grazing flock:
Had I but loved my book,
I’d not be still in shepherd’s frock,
Nor bearing shepherd’s crook.

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I look at the world by Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes
I look at the world
From awakening eyes in a black face—
And this is what I see:
This fenced-off narrow space
Assigned to me.

I look then at the silly walls
Through dark eyes in a dark face—
And this is what I know:
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1492 by Emma Lazarus
Emma Lazarus
Thou two-faced year, Mother of Change and Fate,
Didst weep when Spain cast forth with flaming sword,
The children of the prophets of the Lord,
Prince, priest, and people, spurned by zealot hate.
Hounded from sea to sea, from state to state,
The West refused them, and the East abhorred.
No anchorage the known world could afford,
Close-locked was every port, barred every gate.
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Amoretti VIII: More then most faire, full of the living fire by Edmund Spenser
Edmund Spenser
More then most faire, full of the living fire,
Kindled above unto the maker neere:
No eies but joyes, in which al powers conspire,
That to the world naught else be counted deare.
Thrugh your bright beams doth not the blinded guest
Shoot out his darts to base affections wound?
But Angels come to lead fraile mindes to rest
In chast desires on heavenly beauty bound.
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Fortuna by Thomas Carlyle
Thomas Carlyle
The wind blows east, the wind blows west,
And the frost falls and the rain:
A weary heart went thankful to rest,
And must rise to toil again, ’gain,
And must rise to toil again.

The wind blows east, the wind blows west,
And there comes good luck and bad;
The thriftiest man is the cheerfulest;
’Tis a thriftless thing to be sad, sad,
’Tis a thriftless thing to be sad.

The wind blows east, the wind blows west;
Ye shall know a tree by its fruit:
This world, they say, is worst to the best;—
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Height Is the Distance Down by Mary Barnard
Mary Barnard
What’s geography? What difference what mountain
it is? In the intimacy of this altitude
its discolored snowfields overhang half the world.

On a knife rim edge-up into whirlpools of sky,
feet are no anchor. Gravity sucks at the mind
spinning the blood-weighted body head downward.

The mountain that had become a known profile
on the day’s horizon is a gesture of earth
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I Am Learning to Abandon the World by Linda Pastan
Linda Pastan
I am learning to abandon the world
before it can abandon me.
Already I have given up the moon
and snow, closing my shades
against the claims of white.
And the world has taken
my father, my friends.
I have given up melodic lines of hills,
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Modern Love: XLVII by George Meredith
George Meredith
Their sense is with their senses all mixed in,
Destroyed by subtleties these women are!
More brain, O Lord, more brain! or we shall mar
Utterly this fair garden we might win.
Behold! I looked for peace, and thought it near.
Our inmost hearts had opened, each to each.
We drank the pure daylight of honest speech.
Alas! that was the fatal draught, I fear.
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On Looking East to the Sea with a Sunset behind Me by John Ciardi
John Ciardi
I

In a detachment cool as the glint of light
on wet roads through wet spruce, or iced mountains
hailed from the sea in moonfill, or the sea
when one horizon’s black and the other burning;

the gulls are kissing time in its own flowing
over the shell-scraped rocka coming and going
as of glass bees with a bubble of light in each
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Poetry, a Natural Thing by Robert Duncan
Robert Duncan
Neither our vices nor our virtues
further the poem. “They came up
and died
just like they do every year
on the rocks.”

The poem
feeds upon thought, feeling, impulse,
to breed itself,
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A Serious and Pathetical Contemplation of the Mercies of God by Thomas Traherne
Thomas Traherne
For all the mysteries, engines, instruments, wherewith the world is filled, which we are able to frame and use to thy glory.

For all the trades, variety of operations, cities, temples, streets, bridges, mariner's compass, admirable picture, sculpture, writing, printing, songs and music; wherewith the world is beautified and adorned. Much more for the regent life,
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Sestina of the Tramp-Royal by Rudyard Kipling
Rudyard Kipling
1896 Speakin’ in general, I ’ave tried ’em all—
The ’appy roads that take you o’er the world.
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Shadows in the Water by Thomas Traherne
Thomas Traherne
In unexperienced infancy
Many a sweet mistake doth lie:
Mistake though false, intending true;
A seeming somewhat more than view;
That doth instruct the mind
In things that lie behind,
And many secrets to us show
Which afterwards we come to know.

Thus did I by the water’s brink
Another world beneath me think;
And while the lofty spacious skies
Reversèd there, abused mine eyes,
I fancied other feet
Came mine to touch or meet;
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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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Then and Now by Babette Deutsch
Babette Deutsch
Then was the grown-up world of tall decision,
Its beauty of late nights denied a child;
World of bewildering gifts, and strange derision,
Alien alike whether it frowned or smiled,
Yet your least wish was governed by its laws.
The landscape and the weather both were odd,
Exploding with effects that hid a cause
Serene and lonely as the Will of God.
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Theodicy by Czeslaw Milosz
Czeslaw Milosz
No, it won’t do, my sweet theologians.
Desire will not save the morality of God.
If he created beings able to choose between good and evil,
And they chose, and the world lies in iniquity,
Nevertheless, there is pain, and the undeserved torture of creatures,
Which would find its explanation only by assuming
The existence of an archetypal Paradise
And a pre-human downfall so grave
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To Mr. Henry Lawes by Katherine Philips
Katherine Philips
Nature, which is the vast creation’s soul,
That steady curious agent in the whole,
The art of Heaven, the order of this frame,
Is only number in another name.
For as some king conqu’ring what was his own,
Hath choice of several titles to his crown;
So harmony on this score now, that then,
Yet still is all that takes and governs men.
Beauty is but composure, and we find
Content is but the concord of the mind,
Friendship the unison of well-turned hearts,
Honor the chorus of the noblest parts,
And all the world on which we can reflect
Music to th’ear, or to the intellect.
If then each man a little world must be,
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To My Excellent Lucasia, on Our Friendship by Katherine Philips
Katherine Philips
I did not live until this time
Crowned my felicity,
When I could say without a crime,
I am not thine, but thee.

This carcass breathed, and walked, and slept,
So that the world believed
There was a soul the motions kept;
But they were all deceived.

For as a watch by art is wound
To motion, such was mine:
But never had Orinda found
A soul till she found thine;

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An Anatomy of the World by John Donne
John Donne
(excerpt)

AN ANATOMY OF THE WORLD
Wherein,
by occasion of the untimely death of Mistress
Elizabeth Drury, the frailty and the decay
of this whole world is represented
THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY When that rich soul which to her heaven is gone,
Whom all do celebrate, who know they have one
(For who is sure he hath a soul, unless
It see, and judge, and follow worthiness,
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'Be Music, Night' by Kenneth Patchen
Kenneth Patchen
Be music, night,
That her sleep may go
Where angels have their pale tall choirs

Be a hand, sea,
That her dreams may watch
Thy guidesman touching the green flesh of the world

Be a voice, sky,
That her beauties may be counted
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“Feuerzauber” by Louis Untermeyer
Louis Untermeyer
I never knew the earth had so much gold—
The fields run over with it, and this hill
Hoary and old,
Is young with buoyant blooms that flame and thrill.

Such golden fires, such yellow—lo, how good
This spendthrift world, and what a lavish God!
This fringe of wood,
Blazing with buttercup and goldenrod.
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God's Grandeur by Gerard Manley Hopkins
Gerard Manley Hopkins
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
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Good-Bye by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Good-bye, proud world! I'm going home:
Thou art not my friend, and I'm not thine.
Long through thy weary crowds I roam;
A river-ark on the ocean brine,
Long I've been tossed like the driven foam;
But now, proud world! I'm going home.

Good-bye to Flattery's fawning face;
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Holy Sonnets: I am a little world made cunningly by John Donne
John Donne
I am a little world made cunningly
Of elements and an angelic sprite,
But black sin hath betray'd to endless night
My world's both parts, and oh both parts must die.
You which beyond that heaven which was most high
Have found new spheres, and of new lands can write,
Pour new seas in mine eyes, that so I might
Drown my world with my weeping earnestly,
Or wash it, if it must be drown'd no more.
But oh it must be burnt; alas the fire
Of lust and envy have burnt it heretofore,
And made it fouler; let their flames retire,
And burn me O Lord, with a fiery zeal
Of thee and thy house, which doth in eating heal.

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Immortality by Matthew Arnold
Matthew Arnold
Foil'd by our fellow-men, depress'd, outworn,
We leave the brutal world to take its way,
And, Patience! in another life, we say
The world shall be thrust down, and we up-borne.

And will not, then, the immortal armies scorn
The world's poor, routed leavings? or will they,
Who fail'd under the heat of this life's day,
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in Just- by E. E. Cummings
E. E. Cummings
in Just-
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles far and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's
spring

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
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The Israeli Navy by Marvin Bell
Marvin Bell
The Israeli Navy,
sailing to the end of the world,
stocked with grain
and books black with God’s verse,
turned back,
rather than sail on the Sabbath.
Six days, was the consensus,
was enough for anyone.
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the message of crazy horse by Lucille Clifton
Lucille Clifton
i would sit in the center of the world,
the Black Hills hooped around me and
dream of my dancing horse. my wife

was Black Shawl who gave me the daughter
i called They Are Afraid Of Her.
i was afraid of nothing

except Black Buffalo Woman.
my love for her i wore
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Of the Progress of the Soul: The Second Anniversary by John Donne
John Donne
(excerpt)

OF THE PROGRESS OF THE SOUL
Wherein,
by occasion of the religious death of Mistress
Elizabeth Drury, the incommodities of the soul in this her life, and her
exaltation in the next, are contemplated
THE SECOND ANNIVERSARY Forget this rotten world, and unto thee
Let thine own times as an old story be.
Be not concern'd; study not why, nor when;
Do not so much as not believe a man.
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An Old Road by Edwin Markham
Edwin Markham
A host of poppies, a flight of swallows;
A flurry of rain, and a wind that follows
Shepherds the leaves in the sheltered hollows
For the forest is shaken and thinned.

Over my head are the firs for rafter;
The crows blow south, and my heart goes after;
I kiss my hands to the world with laughter—
Is it Aidenn or mystical Ind?
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40
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The Secular Masque by John Dryden
John Dryden
Enter JANUS
JANUS
Chronos, Chronos, mend thy pace,
An hundred times the rolling sun
Around the radiant belt has run
In his revolving race.
Behold, behold, the goal in sight,
Spread thy fans, and wing thy flight.

Enter CHRONOS, with a scythe in his hand, and a great globe on his back, which he sets down at his entrance
CHRONOS
Weary, weary of my weight,
Let me, let me drop my freight,
And leave the world behind.
I could not bear
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62
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Sonnet 33: Full many a glorious morning have I seen by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
Full many a glorious morning have I seen
Flatter the mountain-tops with sovereign eye,
Kissing with golden face the meadows green,
Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy;
Anon permit the basest clouds to ride
With ugly rack on his celestial face
And from the forlorn world his visage hide,
Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace.
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38
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Sonnet 71: No longer mourn for me when I am dead by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
No longer mourn for me when I am dead
Than you shall hear the surly sullen bell
Give warning to the world that I am fled
From this vile world with vilest worms to dwell;
Nay, if you read this line, remember not
The hand that writ it; for I love you so,
That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot,
If thinking on me then should make you woe.
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48
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State's Attorney Fallas by Edgar Lee Masters
Edgar Lee Masters
I, the scourge-wielder, balance-wrecker,
Smiter with whips and swords;
I, hater of the breakers of the law;
I, legalist, inexorable and bitter,
Driving the jury to hang the madman, Barry Holden,
Was made as one dead by light too bright for eyes,
And woke to face a Truth with bloody brow:
Steel forceps fumbled by a doctor's hand
Against my boy's head as he entered life
Made him an idiot.
I turned to books of science
To care for him.
That's how the world of those whose minds are sick
Became my work in life, and all my world.
Poor ruined boy! You were, at last, the potter
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39
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A Thought of the Nile by Leigh Hunt
Leigh Hunt
It flows through old hushed Egypt and its sands,
Like some grave mighty thought threading a dream,
And times and things, as in that vision, seem
Keeping along it their eternal stands,—
Caves, pillars, pyramids, the shepherd bands
That roamed through the young world, the glory extreme
Of high Sesostris, and that southern beam,
The laughing queen that caught the world's great hands.
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37
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To a Child by Sophie Jewett
Sophie Jewett
The leaves talked in the twilight, dear;
Hearken the tale they told:
How in some far-off place and year,
Before the world grew old,

I was a dreaming forest tree,
You were a wild, sweet bird
Who sheltered at the heart of me
Because the north wind stirred;
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38
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We Wear the Mask by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Paul Laurence Dunbar
We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
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30
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Writ on the Steps of Puerto Rican Harlem by Gregory Corso
Gregory Corso
There’s a truth limits man
A truth prevents his going any farther
The world is changing
The world knows it’s changing
Heavy is the sorrow of the day
The old have the look of doom
The young mistake their fate in that look
That is truth
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30
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Writing by Howard Nemerov
Howard Nemerov
The cursive crawl, the squared-off characters
these by themselves delight, even without
a meaning, in a foreign language, in
Chinese, for instance, or when skaters curve
all day across the lake, scoring their white
records in ice. Being intelligible,
these winding ways with their audacities
and delicate hesitations, they become
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32
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Un Citadin / A City Dweller by Jacques Réda
Jacques Réda
The street I walk along I often see
As if I'd long since left the moving surface
Of the world for the endless other side that disperses
Us all some day without return but free

Of care. I apply myself so well to this fragile proceeding
That very quickly my gaze ceases to be
Part of the cloudy clump of hope and memory
I'll have given my name to. But for this to succeed,

A feeling of absolute happiness has to make
Itself felt, as if from outside me, so much
That at that moment the very street has a hunch
That it, the entire city, and its uncertain space

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33
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