Posted in poem of the week

Poem of the Week: “Home,” by Bruce Weigl

15-geese (1)

Home

 

I didn’t know I was grateful

         for such late-autumn

                  bent-up cornfields

 

yellow in the after-harvest

         sun before the

                  cold plow turns it all over

 

into never.

         I didn’t know

                  I would enter this music

 

that translates the world

         back into dirt fields

                     that have always called to me

 

as if I were a thing

         come from the dirt,

                  like a tuber,

 

or like a needful boy. End

                  lonely days, I believe. End the exiled

                           and unraveling strangeness.

 

From The Unraveling Strangeness, by Bruce Weigl, Grove/Atlantic, 2003.

 

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Poem of the Week: “The Season of Phantasmal Peace,” by Derek Walcott

The Season of Phantasmal Peace

by Derek Walcott

 

Then all the nations of birds lifted together

the huge net of the shadows of this earth

in multitudinous dialects, twittering tongues,

stitching and crossing it. They lifted up

the shadows of long pines down trackless slopes,

the shadows of glass-faced towers down evening streets,

the shadow of a frail plant on a city sill—

the net rising soundless as night, the birds’ cries soundless, until

there was no longer dusk, or season, decline, or weather,

only this passage of phantasmal light

that not the narrowest shadow dared to sever.

 

And men could not see, looking up, what the wild geese drew,

what the ospreys trailed behind them in silvery ropes

that flashed in the icy sunlight; they could not hear

battalions of starlings waging peaceful cries,

bearing the net higher, covering this world

like the vines of an orchard, or a mother drawing

the trembling gauze over the trembling eyes

of a child fluttering to sleep;

it was the light

that you will see at evening on the side of a hill

in yellow October, and no one hearing knew

what change had brought into the raven’s cawing,

the killdeer’s screech, the ember-circling chough

such an immense, soundless, and high concern

for the fields and cities where the birds belong,

except it was their seasonal passing, Love,

made seasonless, or, from the high privilege of their birth,

something brighter than pity for the wingless ones

below them who shared dark holes in windows and in houses,

and higher they lifted the net with soundless voices

above all change, betrayals of falling suns,

and this season lasted one moment, like the pause

between dusk and darkness, between fury and peace,

but, for such as our earth is now, it lasted long.

 

 

 

 

Derek Walcott, “The Season of Phantasmal Peace” from Collected Poems: 1948-1984. Copyright © 1987 by Derek Walcott.

Posted in poem of the week

Poem of the Week: “Slowly,” by Denise Levertov

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Slowly

~Denise Levertov

 

Spirit has been alone

of late. Built a house

of fallen leaves

among exposed tree-roots.

Plans dreamily

to fetch water

 

from a stone well.

Sleeps

hungrily.

Waking,

is mute,

listening. Spirit

doesn’t know

what the sound will be,

song or cry.

Perhaps

 

one word. Holds

at heart a

red thread, winding

 

back to the world,

 

to one who holds the far end,

far off.

Spirit

throws off the quilts

when darkness

is very hearvy,

 

shuffles among

the leaves

upstairs and down

 

waiting.

Wants

the thread to vibrate

 

again. Again! Crimson!

 

Meanwhile refuses

visitors, asks

those who come

no questions,

answers none. Digs in

for winter,

slowly.

 

 

from Life in the Forest, New Directions, 1978.

Posted in poem of the week

Poem of the Week: Last Hill in a Vista

Last Hill in a Vista

by Louise Bogan

Come, let us tell the weeds in ditches
How we are poor, who once had riches,
And lie out in the sparse and sodden
Pastures that the cows have trodden,
The while an autumn night seals down
The comforts of the wooden town.

Come, let us counsel some cold stranger
How we sought safety, but loved danger.
So, with stiff walls about us, we
Chose this more fragile boundary:
Hills, where light poplars, the firm oak,
Loosen into a little smoke.
poplars-four-trees.jpg!Blog

Posted in poem of the week

Poem of the Week: “After Apple Picking” by Robert Frost

My long two-pointed ladder’s sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still,
And there’s a barrel that I didn’t fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn’t pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.
I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough
And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell What form my dreaming was about to take.
Magnified apples appear and disappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.
My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend.
And I keep hearing from the cellar bin
The rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking: I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall.
For all
That struck the earth,
No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble,
Went surely to the cider-apple heap
As of no worth.
One can see what will trouble
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
Were he not gone,
The woodchuck could say whether it’s like his
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
Or just some human sleep.

Courtesy of poets.org

Poem of the Week: “Now it is fall” by Edith Södergran

Poem of the Week: “Now it is fall,” by Edith Södergran

Now it is fall
by Edith Södergran
Translated from the Swedish by Averill Curdy

when all the golden birds
fly home across the blue deep water;
On shore I sit rapt in its scattering
glitter;

departure rustles through the trees.
This farewell is vast and separation draws close,
but reunion, that is also certain.

My head on my arm I fall asleep easily.
On my eyes a mother’s breath.
from her mouth to my heart:
sleep, child, and dream now the sun is gone.—

Source: Poetry, (March 2012)
Courtesy poetryfoundation.org