National Poetry Month

April 23rd 2014
    Today is 450th anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare.  It is also a rainy day, and a day that falls within National Poetry Month.  So without further ado, I give you a rain-themed poem by Shakespeare:       When that I was and a little tiny boy, With hey, ho, the wind and the rain, A foolish thing was but a toy, For the rain it raineth every day. But when I came to man's estate, With hey, ho, the wind and the rain, 'Gainst knaves and thieves men shut their gate For the... Read Post
April 9th 2014
April 10th-13th is  the 14th annual  Boston National Poetry Month Festival, hosted primarily by the Boston Public Library in partnership with Tapestry of Voices and the Kaji Aso Studio. The Festival begins on Thursday evening, April 10th, with a program of Poetry, Music & Dance at Old South Church, produced by Berklee College of Music professor, Lucy Holstedt.  Friday, April 11, National Book Award winner David Ferry is just one of 15 prominent “Keynote Poets” reading in the Commonwealth... Read Post
April 7th 2014
By Lawrence Raab The last few gray sheets of snow are gone, winter’s scraps and leavings lowered to a common level. A sudden jolt of weather pushed us outside, and now this larger world once again belongs to us. I stand at the edge of it, beside the house, listening to the stream we haven’t heard since fall, and I imagine one day thinking back to this hour and blaming myself for my worries, my foolishness, today’s choices having become the accomplished facts of change, accepted or forgotten.... Read Post
April 1st 2014
The Light Comes Brighter by Theodore Roethke (1908-1963)
The light comes brighter from the east; the caw Of restive crows is sharper on the ear A walker at the river's edge may hear A cannon crack announce an early thaw. The sun cuts deep into the heavy drift, Though still guarded snow is winter-sealed, At bridgeheads buckled ice begins to shift, The river overflows the level field. Once more the trees assume familiar shapes, As branches loose last vestiges of snow. The water stored in... Read Post
April 25th 2011
The Immigrant

He'll work for no one.
"Such a man," the uncles
grumble. "Such a man."
"Six years!" he says,
unbuttoning a cuff
and rolling up his sleeve.
Six years bending over a machine,
pressing knee pants and jackets,
until his eyes go bad
and he can't raise his head
without lifting up this arm.
"Six years!" he'll say
and show the arm
as if it told the story.
Son of horse dealers
in... Read Post
April 13th 2011
by Robert Penn Warren So hangs the hour like fruit fullblown and sweet, Our strict and desperate avatar, Despite that antique westward gulls lament Over enormous waters which retreat Weary unto the white and sensual star. Accept these images for what they are-- Out of the past a fragile element Of substance into accident. I would speak honestly and of a full heart; I would speak surely for the tale is short, And the soul's remorseless catalogue Assumes its quick and piteous sum. Think you,... Read Post
April 11th 2011
Prologue for the Silverdale Village Players: Easter 1924 NEIGHBOURS, to-night we come once more In this our home beside the shore To turn ourselves to other men And other women once again, And for a passing hour or so Make ourselves not the folk you know But strangers come from other places Or other times or other races To please you with old tales and new Of things that men and women do In every place and every time. And, as we make believe and mime, Beneath the fun and passion and glow Of... Read Post
April 3rd 2011
Dead Men Tell No Tales They say that dead men tell no tales! Except of barges with red sails And sailors mad for nightingales; Except of jongleurs stretched at ease Beside old highways through the trees; Except of dying moons that break The hearts of lads who lie awake; Except of fortresses in shade And heroes crumbled and betrayed. But dead men tell no tales, they say! Except old tales that burn away The stifling tapestries of day; Old tales of life, of love and hate, Of time and space... Read Post
April 30th 2010
It is also, at long last, the end of National Poetry Month.
So without further ado, the poem that began the debate
that rages to this day: which is better, poem or tree?

I think that I shall never see A poem lovely as a tree. A tree whose hungry mouth is prest Against the earth's sweet flowing breast; A tree that looks at God all day, And lifts her leafy arms to pray; A tree that may in summer wear A nest of robins in her hair; Upon whose bosom snow has... Read Post
April 28th 2010
It little profits that an idle king, By this still hearth, among these barren crags, Matched with an aged wife, I mete and dole Unequal laws unto a savage race, That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me. I cannot rest from travel: I will drink Life to the lees: all times I have enjoyed Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those That loved me, and alone; on shore, and when Through scudding drifts the rainy Hyades Vest the dim sea: I am become a name; For always roaming with a hungry... Read Post
April 26th 2010
Full fathom five thy father lies; Of his bones are coral made; Those are pearls that were his eyes: Nothing of him that doth fade, But doth suffer a sea-change Into something rich and strange. Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell: Hark! now I hear them—Ding-dong, bell. - William Shakespeare
April 25th 2010
In Memory of Jane Fraser by Geoffrey Hill When snow like sheep lay in the fold And wind went begging at each door, And the far hills were blue with cold, And a cloud shroud lay on the moor, She kept the siege. And every day We watched her brooding over death Like a strong bird above its prey. The room filled with the kettle's breath. Damp curtains glued against the pane Sealed time away. Her body froze As if to freeze us all, and chain Creation to a stunned repose. She died before the... Read Post
April 24th 2010
The Passionate Freudian to His Love Only name the day, and we'll fly away In the face of old traditions, To a sheltered spot, by the world forgot, Where we'll park our inhibitions. Come and gaze in eyes where the lovelight lies As it psychoanalyzes, And when once you glean what your fantasies mean Life will hold no more surprises. When you've told your love what you're thinking of Things will be much more informal; Through a sunlit land we'll go hand-in-hand, Drifting gently back to normal.... Read Post
April 22nd 2010
Coda There's little in taking or giving, There's little in water or wine; This living, this living, this living Was never a project of mine. Oh, hard is the struggle, and sparse is The gain of the one at the top, For art is a form of catharsis, And love is a permanent flop, And work is the province of cattle, And rest's for a clam in a shell, So I'm thinking of throwing the battle - Would you kindly direct me to hell? Ultimatum I'm wearied of wearying love, my friend, Of worry and strain and... Read Post
April 21st 2010
The Love-Hat Relationship by Aaron Belz I have been thinking about the love-hat relationship. It is the relationship based on love of one another's hats. The problem with the love-hat relationship is that it is superficial. You don't necessarily even know the other person. Also it is too dependent on whether the other person is even wearing the favored hat. We all enjoy hats, but they're not something to build an entire relationship on. My advice to young people is to like hats but not love... Read Post