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.

Neighbors nail the planks
dividing their yard from mine.
Our durable fence.

I walk half a block
before realizing I’ve
forgotten my mask.

One ant following
another, trusting we all
are going somewhere.

Stretched between two poles,
clothesline outside my window,
a robin’s rest stop.

Lemons fallen on
the sidewalk to be rescued
for my potpourri.

No one and nothing
touches me but this blue wind
with cool caresses.

Copyright © 2021 by Harryette Mullen. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 20, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.

translated by Muna Lee

Yes, I move, I live, I wander astray—
   Water running, intermingling, over the sands.
I know the passionate pleasure of motion;
   I taste the forests; I touch strange lands.

Yes, I move—perhaps I am seeking
   Storms, suns, dawns, a place to hide.
What are you doing here, pale and polished—
   You, the stone in the path of the tide?

 


 

¿Y Tu? 

 

Sí, yo me muevo, vivo, me equivoco;
Agua que corre y se entremezcla, siento
El vértigo feroz del movimiento:
Huelo las selvas, tierra nueva toco.

Sí, yo me muevo, voy buscando acaso
Soles, auroras, tempestad y olvido.
¿Qué haces allí misérrimo y pulido?
Eres la piedra a cuyo lado paso.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on October 17, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.

What shall meadow hold to please me,
Spreading wide its scented waving,
How shall quiet mosses ease me, 
Or the night-wind cool my craving?
Hill and hedgerow, cloud-sweet sky, 
Echo our good-by.

Bud unplucked and leaf a-quiver,
Bird that lifts a tuneless trilling,
Restless dream of brook and river,
All June’s cup a wasted spilling—
You and I so thirsty-hearted!—
Summer knows us parted.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on August 21, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.

Bananas ripe and green, and ginger-root,
         Cocoa in pods and alligator pears,
And tangerines and mangoes and grape fruit,
         Fit for the highest prize at parish fairs,

Set in the window, bringing memories
         Of fruit-trees laden by low-singing rills,
And dewy dawns, and mystical blue skies
         In benediction over nun-like hills.

My eyes grew dim, and I could no more gaze;
         A wave of longing through my body swept,
And, hungry for the old, familiar ways,
         I turned aside and bowed my head and wept.

From Harlem Shadows (New York, Harcourt, Brace and company, 1922) by Claude McKay. This poem is in the public domain.

Sometimes it seems as though some puppet-player,
   A clenched claw cupping a craggy chin
Sits just beyond the border of our seeing,
   Twitching the strings with slow, sardonic grin.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on July 26, 2020, by the Academy of American Poets.

There is a faith that weakly dies 
When overcast by clouds of doubt, 
That like a blazing wisp of straw 
A vagrant breeze will flicker out. 

Be mine the faith whose living flame 
Shall pierce the clouds and banish night, 
Whose glow the hurricanes increase
To match the gleams of heaven’s night. 

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on November 30, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets. 

It is said that many a king in troubled Europe would sell his crown for a day of happiness.

I have seen a monarch who held tightly the jewel of happiness.

On Lombard street in Philadelphia, as evening dropped to earth, I gazed upon a laborer duskier than a sky devoid of moon. He was seated on a throne of flour bags, waving his hand imperiously as two small boys played on their guitars the ragtime tunes of the day. 

God’s blessing on the monarch who rules on Lombard Street in Philadelphia.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on September 11, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.

How many scenes, O sun,
Hast thou not shone upon!
How many tears, O light,
Have dropped before thy sight!
How many heart-felt sighs,
How many piercing cries,
How many deeds of woe,
Dost thy bright light not know!
How many broken hearts,
That are pierced by sorrow’s darts
How many maddened brains,
That are wild with passion’s rains;
How many soul-sick lives,
Stabbed with despair’s sharp knives,
Hast thou above the skies,
Not seen with thy radiant eyes!
Shine on, majestic one!
Shine on, O glorious sun!
And never fail to cheer
My life so dark and drear.
Whene’er thou shinest bright,
And show thy brilliant light,
The cares I know each day
Silently steal away.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on June 5, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.

Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green,
     The night above the dingle starry,
          Time let me hail and climb
     Golden in the heydays of his eyes,
And honoured among wagons I was prince of the apple towns
And once below a time I lordly had the trees and leaves
          Trail with daisies and barley
     Down the rivers of the windfall light.

And as I was green and carefree, famous among the barns
About the happy yard and singing as the farm was home,
     In the sun that is young once only,
          Time let me play and be
     Golden in the mercy of his means,
And green and golden I was huntsman and herdsman, the calves
Sang to my horn, the foxes on the hills barked clear and cold,
          And the sabbath rang slowly
     In the pebbles of the holy streams.

All the sun long it was running, it was lovely, the hay
Fields high as the house, the tunes from the chimneys, it was air
     And playing, lovely and watery
          And fire green as grass.
     And nightly under the simple stars
As I rode to sleep the owls were bearing the farm away,
All the moon long I heard, blessed among stables, the nightjars
     Flying with the ricks, and the horses
          Flashing into the dark.

And then to awake, and the farm, like a wanderer white
With the dew, come back, the cock on his shoulder: it was all
     Shining, it was Adam and maiden,
          The sky gathered again
     And the sun grew round that very day.
So it must have been after the birth of the simple light
In the first, spinning place, the spellbound horses walking warm
     Out of the whinnying green stable
          On to the fields of praise.

And honoured among foxes and pheasants by the gay house
Under the new made clouds and happy as the heart was long,
     In the sun born over and over,
          I ran my heedless ways,
     My wishes raced through the house high hay
And nothing I cared, at my sky blue trades, that time allows
In all his tuneful turning so few and such morning songs
     Before the children green and golden
          Follow him out of grace,

Nothing I cared, in the lamb white days, that time would take me
Up to the swallow thronged loft by the shadow of my hand,
     In the moon that is always rising,
          Nor that riding to sleep
     I should hear him fly with the high fields
And wake to the farm forever fled from the childless land.
Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
          Time held me green and dying
     Though I sang in my chains like the sea.

From The Poems of Dylan Thomas, published by New Directions. Copyright © 1952, 1953 Dylan Thomas. Copyright © 1937, 1945, 1955, 1962, 1966, 1967 the Trustees for the Copyrights of Dylan Thomas. Copyright © 1938, 1939, 1943, 1946, 1971 New Directions Publishing Corp. Used with permission.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie
        In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe: 
To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high. 
    If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
        In Flanders fields.

This poem is in the public domain.