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13 Poems I love...(I know, I know, nobody feels like reading poetry anymore...)
Frequently the wood are pink
Frequently are brown.
Frequently the hills undress
Behind my native town.
Oft a head is crested
I was wont to see
And as oft a cranny
Where it used to be
And the Earth they tell me
On its Axis turned!
By but twelve performed!
2)Sonnet #57 by Shakespeare
Being your slave, what should I do but tend
upon the hours and times of your desire?
I have no precious time at all to spend,
Nor services to do, till you require.
Nor dare I chide the world-without-end hour
Whilst I,my sovereign, watch the clock for you,
Nor think the bitterness of absence sour
When you have bid your servant once adieu.
Nor dare I question with my jealous thought
where you may be, or yours affairs suppose,
But like a sad slave, stay and think of nought
Save, where you are how happy you make those.
3)Shine Perishing Repulic by Robinson Jeffers
While this America settles in the mould of its vulgarity, heavily thickening
And protest, only a bubble in the molten mass, pops and sighs out, and the
I sadly smiling remember that the flower fades to make fruit, the fruit rots
to make earth.
Out of the mother; and through the spring exultances, ripeness and deca-
dence; and home to the mother.
You making haste haste on decay: not blameworthy; life is good, be it stub-
bornly long or suddenly
A mortal splendor: meteors are not needed less than mountains:
shine, perishing republic.
But for my children, I would have them keep their distance from the thick-
ening center; corruption
Never has been compulsory, when the cities lie at the monster's feet there
are left the mountains.
And boys, be in nothing so moderate as in love of man, a clever servant,
There is the trap that catches noblest spirits, that caught--they say--
God, when he walked on earth.
4)The Riots by Charles Bukowski
I've watched this city burn twice
in my lifetime
and the most notable thing
was the arrival of the
politicians in the
proclaiming the wrongs of
and demanding new
policies toward and for the
nothing was corrected last
nothing will be corrected this
the poor will remain poor.
the unemployed will remain
the homeless will remain
and the politicians,
fat upon the land, will live
5)Two Kinds of Hell by Bukowski
6)September Song by Geoffrey Hill
born 19.6.32 - deported 24.9.42
Undesirable you may have been, untouchable
you were not. Not forgotten
or passed over at the proper time.
As estimated, you died. Things marched,
sufficient, to that end.
Just so much Zyklon and leather, patented
terror, so many routine cries.
(I have made
an elegy for myself it
September fattens on vines. Roses
flake from the wall. The smoke
of harmless fires drifts to my eyes.
This is plenty. This is more than enough.
7)Hurt Hawks by Robinson Jeffers
The broken pillar of the wing jags from the clotted shoulder,
The wing trails like a banner in defeat,
No more to use the sky forever but live with famine
And pain a few days: cat nor coyote
Will shorten the week of waiting for death, there is game without talons.
He stands under the oak-bush and waits
The lame feet of salvation; at night he remembers freedom
And flies in a dream, the dawns ruin it.
He is strong and pain is worse to the strong, incapacity is worse.
The curs of the day come and torment him
At distance, no one but death the redeemer will humble that head,
The intrepid readiness, the terrible eyes.
The wild God of the world is sometimes merciful to those
That ask mercy, not often to the arrogant.
You do not know him, you communal people, or you have forgotten him;
Intemperate and savage, the hawk remembers him;
Beautiful and wild, the hawks, and men that are dying, remember him.
I'd sooner, except the penalties, kill a man than a hawk;
but the great redtail
Had nothing left but unable misery
From the bone too shattered for mending, the wing that trailed under his talons when he moved.
We had fed him six weeks, I gave him freedom,
He wandered over the foreland hill and returned in the evening, asking for death,
Not like a beggar, still eyed with the old
I gave him the lead gift in the twilight.
What fell was relaxed, Owl-downy, soft feminine feathers; but what
Soared: the fierce rush: the night-herons by the flooded river cried fear at its rising
Before it was quite unsheathed from reality.
8)Three Deer One Coyote Running In The Snow by Gary Snyder
First three deer bounding
and then coyote streaks right after
tail flat out
I stand dumb a while two seconds
blankly black-and-white of trees and snow
good coat, fluffy tail,
sees me: quickly gone.
I walk through where they ran
to study how that news all got put down.
9)No Matter, Never Mind by Gary Snyder
The Father is the Void
The Wife Waves
Their child is Matter.
Matter makes it with his mother
And their child is Life,
The Daughter is the Great Mother
Who, with her father/brother Matter
as her lover,
Gives birth to the Mind.
10)Between Going and Staying by Octavio Paz
Between going and staying the day wavers,
in love with its own transparency.
The circular afternoon is now a bay
where the world in stillness rocks.
All is visible and all elusive,
all is near and can't be touched.
Paper, book, pencil, glass,
rest in the shade of their names.
Time throbbing in my temples repeats
the same unchanging syllable of blood.
The light turns the indifferent wall
into a ghostly theater of reflections.
I find myself in the middle of an eye,
watching myself in its blank stare.
The moment scatters. Motionless,
I stay and go: I am a pause.
MY cocoon tightens, colors tease,
I ’m feeling for the air;
A dim capacity for wings
Degrades the dress I wear.
A power of butterfly must be
The aptitude to fly,
Meadows of majesty concedes
And easy sweeps of sky.
So I must baffle at the hint
And cipher at the sign,
And make much blunder, if at last
I take the clew divine.
12)Civilization by Gary Snyder
Those are the people who do complicated things.
they'll grab us by the thousands
and put us to work.
World's going to hell, with all these
villages and trails.
Wild duck flocks aren't
what they used to be.
Aurochs grow rare.
Fetch me my feathers and amber
A small cricket
on the typescript page of
"Kyoto born in spring song"
in time with The Well-Tempered Clavier.
I quit typing and watch him through a glass.
How well articulated! How neat!
Nobody understands the ANIMAL KINGDOM.
When creeks are full
The poems flow
When creeks are down
We heap stones.
13)You by Borges
In all the world, one man has been born, one man has died.
To insist otherwise is nothing more than statistics, an impossible extension.
No less impossible than bracketing the smell of rain with your dream of two nights ago.
That man is Ulysses, Abel, Cain, the first to make constellations of the stars, to
build the first pyramid, the mans who contrived the hexagrams of the Book of
Changes, the smith who engraved runes on the sword of Hengist, Einar
Tambelskelver the archer, Luis de Léon, the bookseller who fathered Samuel
Johnson, Voltaire’s gardener, Darwin aboard the Beagle, a Jew in the death
chamber, and in time, you and I.
One man alone has died at Troy, at Metaurus, at Hastings, at Austerlits, at Trafalgar,
One man alone has died in hospitals, in boats, in painful solitude, in the rooms of
habit and of love.
One man alone has looked on the enormity of dawn,
One man alone has felt on his tongue the fresh quenching of water, the flavour of
Fruit and of flesh,
I speak of the unique, the single man, he who is always alone.