Poetry

January 5th 2018

The Snow Man
by Wallace Stevens

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of... Read Post

January 29th 2016
On this day in 1845 Edgar Allan Poe's poem "The Raven" was first published. It appeared in the New York Evening Mirror. Over at Share This is a brief post about the poem and its cultural impact. Below is a dramatic reading of the poem by Christopher Walken. And below that is another reading by Vincent Price. And below that is my favorite.
January 26th 2015
Due to snow. To pass a little of the time, read this poem by Wallace Stevens, because I like it. The Snow Man One must have a mind of winter To regard the frost and the boughs Of the pine-trees crusted with snow; And have been cold a long time To behold the junipers shagged with ice, The spruces rough in the distant glitter Of the January sun; and not to think Of any misery in the sound of the wind, In the sound of a few leaves, Which is the sound of the land Full of the same wind That... Read Post
December 21st 2013
                  A Nocturnal upon St. Lucy's Day, Being the Shortest Day By John Donne 'Tis the year's midnight, and it is the day's, Lucy's, who scarce seven hours herself unmasks;          The sun is spent, and now his flasks          Send forth light squibs, no constant rays;                 The world's whole sap is sunk; The general balm th' hydroptic earth hath drunk, Whither, as to the bed's feet, life is shrunk, Dead and interr'd; yet all these seem to laugh, Compar'd with... Read Post
July 24th 2013
Idyll

  by Siegfried Sassoon

In the grey summer garden I shall find you   With day-break and the morning hills behind you.   There will be rain-wet roses; stir of wings;   And down the wood a thrush that wakes and sings.   Not from the past you'll come, but from that deep Where beauty murmurs to the soul asleep:   And I shall know the sense of life re-born   From dreams into the mystery of morn   Where gloom and brightness meet. And... Read Post
July 4th 2013
  The Gift Outright BY ROBERT FROST The land was ours before we were the land’s. She was our land more than a hundred years Before we were her people. She was ours In Massachusetts, in Virginia, But we were England’s, still colonials, Possessing what we still were unpossessed by, Possessed by what we now no more possessed. Something we were withholding made us weak Until we found out that it was ourselves We were withholding from our land of living, And forthwith found salvation in... Read Post
December 27th 2011
Burning the Christmas Greens by William Carlos Williams Their time past, pulled down cracked and flung to the fire --go up in a roar All recognition lost, burnt clean clean in the flame, the green dispersed, a living red, flame red, red as blood wakes on the ash-- and ebbs to a steady burning the rekindled bed become a landscape of flame At the winter's midnight we went to the trees, the coarse holly, the balsam and the hemlock for their green At the thick of the dark the moment of the... Read Post
December 21st 2011
The Camel's Hump

The Camel's hump is an ugly lump
Which well you may see at the Zoo;
But uglier yet is the hump we get
From having too little to do.

Kiddies and grown-ups too-oo-oo,
If we haven't enough to do-oo-oo,
We get the hump-
Cameelious hump-
The hump that is black and blue!

We climb out of bed with a frouzly head,
And a snarly-yarly voice.
We shiver and scowl and we grunt and we growl
At our... Read Post
November 23rd 2011
Thanksgiving

Our mother has given away our meal to an elderly woman three houses down, her husband passing some time in the night. With the woman's children already

en route, my mother swaddled our turkey in aluminum foil, stacked the tins of buttered rolls, and sealed casseroles beneath glass-top lids. As the assailable son,

I was enlisted at once, carrying over dish upon dish, my brother and his bride allowed to sleep in. I expected to see the postures of... Read Post
September 23rd 2011
by W.H. Auden When there are so many we shall have to mourn, when grief has been made so public, and exposed to the critique of a whole epoch the frailty of our conscience and anguish, of whom shall we speak? For every day they die among us, those who were doing us some good, who knew it was never enough but hoped to improve a little by living. Such was this doctor: still at eighty he wished to think of our life from whose unruliness so many plausible young futures with threats or flattery... Read Post
July 26th 2011


In a dark wood Prince Kano lost his way
And searching in vain through the long summer's day.
At last, when night was near, he came in sight
Of a small clearing filled with yellow light,
And there, bending beside his brazier, stood
A charcoal burner wearing a black hood.
The Prince cried out for joy: 'Good friend, I'll give
What you will ask: guide me to where I live.'
The man pulled back his hood: he had no face -
Where it... Read Post
July 12th 2011
This Thursday is going to be unusually busy at the Libraries. Here's what we have planned in addition to our regular Thursday programs (Storytime for 3 to 5 year olds at Central at 11:00 a.m. and ESL classes at the West Branch at 6:00 and 7:15 p.m.)

Kidstock presents Jack & Jill & the Beanstalk
2:00 p.m. at the Central Library
For many years, Kidstock has been coming to the Library in the summer, offering a unique chance for kids and families to see children... Read Post
May 28th 2011
Oranges and Lemons Gay go up and gay go down
To ring the bells of London Town.

Oranges and Lemons
Say the bells of St. Clement's
You owe me five farthings
Say the bells of St. Martin's
When will you pay me?
Say the bells of Old Bailey
When I grow rich
Say the bells of Shoreditch
When will that be?
Say the bells of Stepney
I do not know
Says the great bell of Bow
Here comes a candle to light you to bed... 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

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