anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn’t he danced his did.
Women and men(both little and small)
cared for anyone not at all
they sowed their isn’t they reaped their same
sun moon stars rain
children guessed(but only a few
and down they forgot as up they grew
autumn winter spring summer)
that noone loved him more by more
when by now and tree by leaf
she laughed his joy she cried his grief
bird by snow and stir by still
anyone’s any was all to her
someones married their everyones
laughed their cryings and did their dance
(sleep wake hope and then)they
said their nevers they slept their dream
stars rain sun moon
(and only the snow can begin to explain
how children are apt to forget to remember
with up so floating many bells down)
one day anyone died i guess
(and noone stooped to kiss his face)
busy folk buried them side by side
little by little and was by was
all by all and deep by deep
and more by more they dream their sleep
noone and anyone earth by april
wish by spirit and if by yes.
Women and men(both dong and ding)
summer autumn winter spring
reaped their sowing and went their came
sun moon stars rain
From Complete Poems: 1904–1962 by E. E. Cummings, edited by George J. Firmage. Used with the permission of Liveright Publishing Corporation. Copyright © 1923, 1931, 1935, 1940, 1951, 1959, 1963, 1968, 1991 by the Trustees for the E. E. Cummings Trust. Copyright © 1976, 1978, 1979 by George James Firmage.
And a youth said, Speak to us of Friendship.
And he answered, saying:
Your friend is your needs answered.
He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving.
And he is your board and your fireside.
For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace.
When your friend speaks his mind you fear not the “nay” in your own mind, nor do you withhold the “ay.”
And when he is silent your heart ceases not to listen to his heart;
For without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is unacclaimed.
When you part from your friend, you grieve not;
For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.
And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.
For love that seeks aught but the disclosure of its own mystery us not love but a net cast forth: and only the unprofitable is caught.
And let your best be for your friend.
If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also.
For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?
Seek him always with hours to live.
For it is his to fill your need but not your emptiness.
And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.
From The Prophet (Knopf, 1923). This poem is in the public domain.
I saw in dreams a landscape
With not a shadow by,
It seemed so like a promise
Half-hidden in the sky.
There were high hills and mountains
In purple drest and green,
Like shades and shapes fantastic
Only in dreaming seen.
The waters clear and limpid
Had but a speck to mar,
For in the depths was mirrored
The image of a Star.
Only but once there hovered
Indistinct forms and lone,
Calling to mind the faces
I knew in days by-gone.
I seemed to see them falter
As they were lost to view,
They paused and fell to doubting
Which pathway to pursue.
To them faint words were given,
I thought I heard them say,
We know not where to wander,
But cannot choose to stay.
“Over the realms of heaven
We silently must rove,
With but the Star to guide us
Back to the friends we love.”
Ah, fleeting are the fancies,
Deceiving us too well,
Nor sage nor saint can fathom
The mysteries they tell.
From Manila: A Collection of Verse (Imp. Paredes, Inc.,1926) by Luis Dato. This poem is in the public domain.
I wandered lonely as a Cloud
That floats on high o’er Vales and Hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden Daffodils;
Beside the Lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:—
A Poet could not but be gay
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the shew to me had brought:
For oft when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude,
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the Daffodils.
This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on October 1, 2017. This poem is in the public domain.
Planted among driftwood
I watch the tide go out
It pulls the sundown with it
& across this scene & against the wind
Man on a motorbike white crash-helmet
His young son rides the gas tank before him
Slows down for the creek mouth
& not too fast up the beach north
Flat dull whistle buoy heard again
and though the wind is right the bell buoy is inaudible
Fat seagull picks at a new hake skeleton
Choosily—not hungry walks away
Returns a moment later,
Room for a few more bites inside
Here comes a family of five
Man prodding with a stick whatever the children test
with their fingers
Mama is bundled up naturally cold & yellow plastic bucket
Complaining a little “. . . kind of a long way from the car . . .”
The children explore ahead the beach goes on forever & they
Will see it all this evening they aren’t tired
Motorbike man coming back slows down for them
& for the creek mouth
Fog joined into fat clouds cover the sun
Move south stretching rivers & islands of blue
Fine moving sheets & shafts of light on the water horizon
I’m not making it, I’m cold, I go into the house.
“Trying Too Hard to Write a Poem Sitting on the Beach” from The Collected Poems of Philip Whalen. © 2007 by Philip Whalen. Published by Wesleyan University Press. Used by permission.