On ashes of old volcanoes
I lie baking
the deathward flesh in the sun.
I can hear
a door, far away,
banging in the wind:
Mole Street. Quai-aux-Fleurs. Françoise.
Greta. “After Lunch” by Po Chu-I.
“The Sunflower” by Blake.
And yet I can rejoice
that everything changes, that
we go from life
and enter ourselves
like the tadpole, its time come, tumbling toward the slime.
From Collected Poems by Galway Kinnell. Copyright © 2017 by The Literary Estate of Galway Kinnell. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
I do not crave to have thee mine alone, dear
Keeping thy charms within my jealous sight;
Go, give the world the blessing of thy beauty,
That other hearts may share of my delight!
I do not ask, thy love should be mine only
While others falter through the dreary night;
Go, kiss the tears from some wayfarer’s vision,
That other eyes may know the joy of light!
Where days are sad and skies are hung with darkness,
Go, send a smile that sunshine may be rife;
Go, give a song, a word of kindly greeting,
To ease the sorrow of some lonely life!
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on July 12, 2020 by the Academy of American Poets.
From the charm of radiant faces,
From the days we took to dream,
From the joy of open spaces,
From the mountain and the stream,
Bronzed of sunlight, nerves a-tingle,
Keen of limb and clear of head,
Speed we back again to mingle
In the battle for our bread.
Now again the stern commanding
Of the chosen task is heard,
And the tyrant, care, is standing
Arbiter of deed and word.
But the radiance is not ended,
And the joy, whate’er the cost,
Which those fleeting days attended
Never can be wholly lost.
For we bring to waiting duty,
To the labor and the strife,
Something of the sense of beauty,
And a fairer view of life.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on August 23, 2020, by the Academy of American Poets.
The courage that my mother had
Went with her, and is with her still:
Rock from New England quarried;
Now granite in a granite hill.
The golden brooch my mother wore
She left behind for me to wear;
I have no thing I treasure more:
Yet, it is something I could spare.
Oh, if instead she’d left to me
The thing she took into the grave!—
That courage like a rock, which she
Has no more need of, and I have.
Edna St. Vincent Millay, "The courage that my mother had" from Collected Poems. Copyright 1954, © 1982 by Norma Millay Ellis. Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of Holly Peppe, Literary Executor, The Edna St. Vincent Millay Society, www.millay.org.
After Tim Dlugos' Things I Might Do I probably didn't tell you that the last Line of your poem left me on a plane of Movement somewhere between the best of pop Culture and the longest break in your favorite pop song I probably didn't tell you that the train is going to take Way longer than you think and you were probably annoyed I probably broke the moon in pieces with my night vision Straining too hard to remember what I probably dropped in your inbox I probably should've said what I meant. You probably knew how my life didn't fix into That theory box on your shelf, so I probably Ignored you when you said hi to me near Mercer St I probably left off the most important thing But you probably didn't want to hear it I probably tried to be a good New Yorker and Work hard and play hard but it didn't work Out that way, I probably just reverted back to The Rust Belt mode—work hard, have it not mean Enough to play hard or play at all. It's probably too hard to make A dent for yourself in the Rust Belt. It's all probably said and done Your neighbor knows what you did tomorrow and what was Going on yesterday. Probably good too so you don't get in trouble With the other neighbor. But they probably don't know that you could Be in NY for a few hours and have something good and so life changing happen To you it was probably a 360 for you and probably took You years to come down to 180, probably, right?
From Shorthand and Electric Language Stars by Stephanie Gray. Copyright © 2015 Stephanie Gray. Used with permission of Portable Press at Y-Yo Labs.