A High-Toned Old Christian Woman

A
Poetry is the supreme fiction, madame.
Take the moral law and make a nave of it
And from the nave build haunted heaven. Thus,
The conscience is converted into palms,
Like windy citherns hankering for hymns.
We agree in principle. That's clear. But take
The opposing law and make a peristyle,
And from the peristyle project a masque
Beyond the planets. Thus, our bawdiness,
Unpurged by epitaph, indulged at last,
Is equally converted into palms,
Squiggling like saxophones. And palm for palm,
Madame, we are where we began. Allow,
Therefore, that in the planetary scene
Your disaffected flagellants, well-stuffed,
Smacking their muzzy bellies in parade,
Proud of such novelties of the sublime,
Such tink and tank and tunk-a-tunk-tunk,
May, merely may, madame, whip from themselves
A jovial hullabaloo among the spheres.
This will make widows wince. But fictive things
Wink as they will. Wink most when widows wince.
46
Rating:

Comment form:

*Max text - 500. Manual moderation.

Similar Poems:

A Terre by Wilfred Owen
Wilfred Owen
(Being the philosophy of many Soldiers.) Sit on the bed; I'm blind, and three parts shell.
Be careful; can't shake hands now; never shall.
Read Poem
0
91
Rating:

Center by Josephine Miles
Josephine Miles
How did you come
How did I come here
Now it is ours, how did it come to be
In so many presences?
Some I know swept from the sea, wind and sea,
Took up the right wave in their fins and seal suits,
Rode up over the town to this shore
Shining and sleek
Read Poem
0
39
Rating:

A Valediction of the Book by John Donne
John Donne
I’ll tell thee now (dear Love) what thou shalt do
To anger destiny, as she doth us,
How I shall stay, though she esloygne me thus
And how posterity shall know it too;
How thine may out-endure
Sybil’s glory, and obscure
Her who from Pindar could allure,
And her, through whose help Lucan is not lame,
And her, whose book (they say) Homer did find, and name.

Study our manuscripts, those myriads
Of letters, which have past twixt thee and me,
Thence write our annals, and in them will be
To all whom love’s subliming fire invades,
Rule and example found;
Read Poem
0
83
Rating:

The Description of Cooke-ham by Æmilia Lanyer
Æmilia Lanyer
Farewell (sweet Cooke-ham) where I first obtained
Grace from that grace where perfect grace remained;
And where the muses gave their full consent,
I should have power the virtuous to content;
Where princely palace willed me to indite,
The sacred story of the soul’s delight.
Farewell (sweet place) where virtue then did rest,
And all delights did harbor in her breast;
Never shall my sad eyes again behold
Those pleasures which my thoughts did then unfold.
Yet you (great Lady) Mistress of that place,
From whose desires did spring this work of grace;
Vouchsafe to think upon those pleasures past,
As fleeting worldly joys that could not last,
Or, as dim shadows of celestial pleasures,
Read Poem
0
71
Rating:

To James Fenton by John Fuller
John Fuller
The poet’s duties: no need to stress
The subject’s dullness, nonetheless
Here’s an incestuous address
In Robert Burns’ style
To one whom all the Muses bless
At Great Turnstile.

I’ve no excuses for this theme.
Prescription is less popular than dream
Read Poem
0
45
Rating:

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

Read Poem
0
56
Rating:

An Essay on Criticism: Part 3 by Alexander Pope
Alexander Pope
Learn then what morals critics ought to show,
For 'tis but half a judge's task, to know.
'Tis not enough, taste, judgment, learning, join;
In all you speak, let truth and candour shine:
That not alone what to your sense is due,
All may allow; but seek your friendship too.

Be silent always when you doubt your sense;
Read Poem
0
40
Rating:

A Death in the Desert by Robert Browning
Robert Browning
[Supposed of Pamphylax the Antiochene:
It is a parchment, of my rolls the fifth,
Hath three skins glued together, is all Greek,
And goeth from Epsilon down to Mu:
Lies second in the surnamed Chosen Chest,
Stained and conserved with juice of terebinth,
Covered with cloth of hair, and lettered Xi,
From Xanthus, my wife's uncle, now at peace:
Mu and Epsilon stand for my own name.
I may not write it, but I make a cross
To show I wait His coming, with the rest,
And leave off here: beginneth Pamphylax.]

I said, "If one should wet his lips with wine,
"And slip the broadest plantain-leaf we find,
Read Poem
0
95
Rating:

Le Monocle de Mon Oncle by Wallace Stevens
Wallace Stevens
“Mother of heaven, regina of the clouds,
O sceptre of the sun, crown of the moon,
There is not nothing, no, no, never nothing,
Like the clashed edges of two words that kill.”
And so I mocked her in magnificent measure.
Or was it that I mocked myself alone?
I wish that I might be a thinking stone.
The sea of spuming thought foists up again
Read Poem
0
54
Rating: