A widow in a wise veil and more garments shows that shadows are even. It addresses no more, it shadows the stage and learning. A regular arrangement, the severest and the most preserved is that which has the arrangement not more than always authorised.
A suitable establishment, well housed, practical, patient and staring, a suitable bedding, very suitable and not more particularly than complaining, anything suitable is so necessary.
A fact is that when the direction is just like that, no more, longer, sudden and at the same time not any sofa, the main action is that without a blaming there is no custody.
Practice measurement, practice the sign that means that really means a necessary betrayal, in showing that there is wearing.
Hope, what is a spectacle, a spectacle is the resemblance between the circular side place and nothing else, nothing else.
To choose it is ended, it is actual and more than that it has it certainly has the same treat, and a seat all that is practiced and more easily much more easily ordinarily.
Pick a barn, a whole barn, and bend more slender accents than have ever been necessary, shine in the darkness necessarily. Actually not aching, actually not aching, a stubborn bloom is so artificial and even more than that, it is a spectacle, it is a binding accident, it is animosity and accentuation.
If the chance to dirty diminishing is necessary, if it is why is there no complexion, why is there no rubbing, why is there no special protection.
From Tender Buttons (1914) by Gertrude Stein. This poem is in the public domain.
I looked and saw a sea
roofed over with rainbows,
In the midst of each
two lovers met and departed;
Then the sky was full of faces
with gold glories behind them.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on August 16, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.
after Morgan Parker, after Wu-Tang
in the morning I think about money
green horned lord of my waking
forest in which I stumbled toward no salvation
prison made of emerald & pennies
in my wallet I keep anxiety & a condom
I used to sell my body but now my blood spoiled
All my favorite songs tell me to get money
I’d rob a bank but I’m a poet
I’m so broke I’m a genius
If I was white, I’d take pictures of other pictures & sell them
I come from sharecroppers who come from slaves who do not come from kings
sometimes I pay the weed man before I pay the light bill
sometimes is a synonym for often
I just want a grant or a fellowship or a rich white husband & I’ll be straight
I feel most colored when I’m looking at my bank account
I feel most colored when I scream ball so hard motherfuckas wanna find me
I spent one summer stealing from ragstock
If I went to jail I’d live rent-free but there is no way to avoid making white people richer
A prison is a plantation made of stone & steel
Being locked up for selling drugs = Being locked up for trying to eat
a bald fade cost 20 bones now a days
what’s a blacker tax than blackness?
what cost more than being American and poor?
here is where I say reparations.
here is where I say got 20 bucks I can borrow?
student loans are like slavery but not but with vacation days but not but police
I don’t know what it says about me when white institutions give me money
how much is the power ball this week?
I’mma print my own money and be my own god and live forever in a green frame
my grandmamma is great at saving money
before my grandfather passed he showed me where he hid his money & his gun
my aunt can’t hold on to a dollar, a job, her brain
I love how easy it is to be bad with money
don’t ask me about my taxes
the b in debt is a silent black boy trapped
Copyright © 2017 by Danez Smith. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 1, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.
Christopher and Helen, our new expatriate friends,
meet us at their favorite winery
where they fill their plastic jerry cans from hoses
exactly like the ones at gas stations,
as though they were planning to go back home to Aix
and treat their lawnmower to a nice red.
Instead, they take us in their forest green Peugeot
to the home of their old friend Brigitte
in a village at the foot of Mont Ventoux—
actually, not a village, Brigitte corrects me,
but “un hameau,” a hamlet. The French
are exacting about such distinctions, but Brigitte
has a kind, mischievous smile. Back in the car,
we tear along a series of rutted, stony roads
that web the mountainside, with Brigitte
directing Christopher, “à droite, à gauche, encore à gauche,”
until we come to a grove of pines, cedars, and oaks,
where she says the mushrooms are hidden.
We fan out under the trees, searching the slope,
while Brigitte, looking elfin in her orange hoodie,
waves a stick like a wand, pokes at the dried pine needles
or the dead leaves under the wild boxwood bushes,
and sings, “I think there are some over here,”
like a mother leading her toddlers toward the Easter eggs.
We laugh and follow after her, cutting the stems
with a tarnished knife she lends us, warning
“Faites attention,” because the blade is sharp.
And gradually we fill our plastic shopping bags
with gnarled orange caps, stained green,
which, much later, back in the States, I learn
are called Lactarius deliciosus or
orange-latex milky, like a shade of paint,
the field guide commenting “edible, although
not as good as the name deliciosus suggests”—
but we already suspect that (they look awful),
and we will later unload most of ours on
Christopher and Helen who clearly think of them
as a delicacy… but right now we’re
having fun just hunting for them
among the sunspots on the forest floor,
filling our bags, and shouting through the trees
to one another, the whole afternoon gathering
into the giddy moment that Brigitte keeps
calling us back to—and it’s delicious.
Copyright © 2017 by Jeffrey Harrison. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 3, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.
Others because you did not keep
That deep-sworn vow have been friends of mine;
Yet always when I look death in the face,
When I clamber to the heights of sleep,
Or when I grow excited with wine,
Suddenly I meet your face.
This poem is in the public domain.
I know you know
how to shame into obedience
the long chain tethering lawnmower
to fence. And in your garden
are no chrysanthemums, no hem
of lace from the headscarf
I loose for him at my choosing.
Around my throat still twines a thin line
from when, in another life, I was
guillotined. I know you know
how to slap a child across the face
with a sandal.
Forgive me. I love when he tells me to be
the water you siphon into the roots
of your trees. In that life,
I was your enemy and silverleaf.
In this one, the child you struck was me.
Copyright © 2017 by Tarfia Faizullah. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 6, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.
after Ana Mendieta
If they are a silueta
But I can’t make out where one begins and
If in the breakdown of the body there
Is nothing but smoke
If I get inside it
And try and make love to what is there and
If I feel that it wants me anyway
But I am trying hard for it to not be an
It but a they them he she initials and stars
Copyright © 2017 by Melissa Buzzeo. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 8, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.
Either you’ve died, or you arrive
beside me at a funeral
patchily reaching out
from your zero gravity chair
to grab the relative achievement
of my stomach.
There is no cute life in me
but I have eaten a great meal
alone successfully, greater
than I have ever kept down before,
full of iron and clotted cream.
I cannot feel everything about you
anymore the way I used to—
the stomach overfills itself so fast
it eats the hunger and the mouth.
I grow enamored of you as an egg
you shake in my direction
then love you evenly, without belief.
Copyright © 2017 by Elizabeth Metzger. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 17, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.
My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thine happiness,—
That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees,
In some melodious plot
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
Singest of summer in full-throated ease.
O, for a draught of vintage! that hath been
Cool'd a long age in the deep-delved earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country green,
Dance, and Provencal song, and sunburnt mirth!
O for a beaker full of the warm South,
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And purple-stained mouth;
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
And with thee fade away into the forest dim:
Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
What thou among the leaves hast never known,
The weariness, the fever, and the fret
Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,
Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;
Where but to think is to be full of sorrow
And leaden-eyed despairs,
Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,
Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.
Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:
Already with thee! tender is the night,
And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
Cluster'd around by all her starry Fays;
But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.
I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,
But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet
Wherewith the seasonable month endows
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild;
White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine;
Fast fading violets cover'd up in leaves;
And mid-May's eldest child,
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.
Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call'd him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
In such an ecstasy!
Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain—
To thy high requiem become a sod.
Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path
Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,
She stood in tears amid the alien corn;
The same that oft-times hath
Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.
Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
To toil me back from thee to my sole self!
Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well
As she is fam'd to do, deceiving elf.
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
Up the hill-side; and now 'tis buried deep
In the next valley-glades:
Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
Fled is that music:—Do I wake or sleep?
This poem is in the public domain.
There is no fixed place and by that I mean
take a look at things that are. Split by the
turn of year, its newness and all it brings,
which of its possibilities can we trust?
Elsa is involved in a clandestine
love affair which, let’s be honest, should be
all love affairs until they’re over. She finds
herself dreaming of children and many
other delicacies. Sugared eggs. A
lost palace. But night brings a great expanse
and it’s much too quiet in these hallways.
On her back, Elsa holds her breath, her hands
beneath her, resisting, resisting. That
temptation can be such a dirty rat.
Copyright © 2017 by Angela Veronica Wong. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 2, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.
That the deepest wound is the least unique
surprises nobody but the living.
Secretly, and with what feels like good reason,
we’re the pain the people we love
put the people they no longer love in.
Copyright © 2017 by Graham Foust. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 5, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.
Copyright © 2017 by Mark Irwin. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 22, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.
Me thought I saw my late espousèd Saint Brought to me like Alcestis from the grave, Whom Joves great Son to her glad Husband gave, Rescu'd from death by force though pale and faint. Mine as whom washt from spot of child-bed taint, Purification in the old Law did save, And such, as yet once more I trust to have Full sight of her in Heaven without restraint, Came vested all in white, pure as her mind: Her face was vail'd, yet to my fancied sight, Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shin'd So clear, as in no face with more delight. But O as to embrace me she enclin'd I wak'd, she fled, and day brought back my night.
This poem is in the public domain.
Copyright © 2017 by David Rivard. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 6, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.
Copyright © 2017 by C. Dale Young. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 13, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.
This is what life is really like.
This is what life is really like.
This is what life is really like every day.
—Gray Parrot, Vienna, 1943.
In the circus animals’ diary: “And all this was destroyed in ninety minutes.”
Makeshift forests flaming to high heavens, metal bent bars.
Siberian tigers, black panthers, jaguars, pumas,
bears, hyenas and wolves, and all the lion pit saved from burning
by the keepers’ own hands. By bullets. Only so much can be said.
Herbage will be scarce. Nature will gather like sleeping poppies
over the craters and lost species.
The African wart-hog will be cooked over an open fire in the garden.
One thinks of one’s restlessness, Faustian—
in the minutes-before-dawn dark
with the devil cry of black crows, the miry skull
of the half-eaten rabbit, then gold grimy hills
and light-making jewels and hand mirrors among the trees.
Why are you here? It dawns. All this will never be again.
The circus can’t be locked.
Copyright © 2017 by Carol Frost. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 24, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.
the sap that I am springtime
makes me want to reread Virgil’s
Georgics while eating cacio
e pepe with fresh-shelled
peas this morning over coffee I
watched a video of spinach
leaves washed of their cellular
information and bathed in stem
cells until they became miniature
hearts vascular hopes capable
of want to roll down a hill
of clover to cold-spoon chrysanthemum
gelato or to stop whenever
their phones autocorrect gps
to god the sublime is a suspension
of disbelief the earth has gotten
sentimental this late in the game
with its smells of gasoline
rosemary and woodsmoke the Rorschach
of vitiligo on my eyes mouth
and throat the ongoing
argument between self
and selfhood the recognition
of the storm the howling
wind I wish I could scream
into someone else’s rain
Copyright © 2017 by Emilia Phillips. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 31, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.
Loquitur: En Bertrans de Born. Dante Alighieri put this man in hell for that he was a stirrer-up of strife. Eccovi! Judge ye! Have I dug him up again? The scene in at his castle, Altaforte. "Papiols" is his jongleur. "The Leopard," the device of Richard (Cúur de Lion). I Damn it all! all this our South stinks peace. You whoreson dog, Papiols, come! Let's to music! I have no life save when the swords clash. But ah! when I see the standards gold, vair, purple, opposing And the broad fields beneath them turn crimson, Then howl I my heart nigh mad with rejoicing. II In hot summer have I great rejoicing When the tempests kill the earth's foul peace, And the lightnings from black heav'n flash crimson, And the fierce thunders roar me their music And the winds shriek through the clouds mad, opposing, And through all the riven skies God's swords clash. III Hell grant soon we hear again the swords clash! And the shrill neighs of destriers in battle rejoicing, Spiked breast to spiked breast opposing! Better one hour's stour than a year's peace With fat boards, bawds, wine and frail music! Bah! there's no wine like the blood's crimson! IV And I love to see the sun rise blood-crimson. And I watch his spears through the dark clash And it fills all my heart with rejoicing And pries wide my mouth with fast music When I see him so scorn and defy peace, His lone might 'gainst all darkness opposing. V The man who fears war and squats opposing My words for stour, hath no blood of crimson But is fit only to rot in womanish peace Far from where worth's won and the swords clash For the death of such sluts I go rejoicing; Yea, I fill all the air with my music. VI Papiols, Papiols, to the music! There's no sound like to swords swords opposing, No cry like the battle's rejoicing When our elbows and swords drip the crimson And our charges 'gainst "The Leopard's" rush clash. May God damn for ever all who cry "Peace!" VII And let the music of the swords make them crimson! Hell grant soon we hear again the swords clash! Hell blot black for always the thought "Peace!"
Copyright © 1956, 1957 by Ezra Pound. Used with permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved. No part of this poem may be reproduced in any form without the written consent of the publisher.