med_cat: (cat in dress)
Look at home_by Lily Oakley, published in 'Sunday Reading for the Young' (1906)


Poem by Lily Oakley, published in 'Sunday Reading for the Young' (1906)

(reposted from David Malcolmson‎, in the Poets Illustrated FB group)
the poem in text format: )
med_cat: (cat in dress)


([livejournal.com profile] acelightning--look ;))

There's purple jam
And purple jell
And a purple bruise
Next day will tell
Where you landed
When you fell.
The purple feeling
Is rather put-out
The purple look is a
Definite pout.
But the purple sound
Is the loveliest thing
It's a violet opening
In the spring.

Illustration by Leonard Weisgard for,
"What Is Purple?" from, "Hailstones and halibut bones" by Mary O'Neill

(from Davidson Jones' post in "Poets Illustrated" FB group)
med_cat: (cat and books)

The scholar and his cat, Pangur Bán

(from the Irish by Robin Flower)

I and Pangur Ban my cat,
'Tis a like task we are at:
Hunting mice is his delight,
Hunting words I sit all night.

Better far than praise of men
'Tis to sit with book and pen;
Pangur bears me no ill-will,
He too plies his simple skill.

'Tis a merry task to see
At our tasks how glad are we,
When at home we sit and find
Entertainment to our mind.

Oftentimes a mouse will stray
In the hero Pangur's way;
Oftentimes my keen thought set
Takes a meaning in its net.

'Gainst the wall he sets his eye
Full and fierce and sharp and sly;
'Gainst the wall of knowledge I
All my little wisdom try.

When a mouse darts from its den,
O how glad is Pangur then!
O what gladness do I prove
When I solve the doubts I love!

So in peace our task we ply,
Pangur Ban, my cat, and I;
In our arts we find our bliss,
I have mine and he has his.

Practice every day has made
Pangur perfect in his trade;
I get wisdom day and night
Turning darkness into light.

med_cat: (cat in dress)
"Rose of Jericho" by Cindy Veach

I'm not sure about this gift. This tangle
of dried roots curled into a fist. This gnarl

I've let sit for weeks beside the toaster
and cookbooks on a bed of speckled granite.

What am I waiting for? Online I find
Rose of Jericho prayers and rituals for safe birth,

well-being, warding off the evil eye.
At first I thought I'd buy some white stones,

a porcelain bowl. But I didn't and I didn't.
I don't believe in omens. This still fist

of possibility all wrapped up in itself.

There it sat through the holidays, into the New Year. / Through all the days I've been gone. Dormant. )

(reposted with thanks from [livejournal.com profile] browngirl)
med_cat: (cat in dress)

From Lullabye-Land by Eugene Field.
Illustrated by Charles Robinson

Lady Button Eyes
When the busy day is done,
And my weary little one
Rocketh gently to and fro;
When the night winds softly blow,
And the crickets in the glen
Chirp and chirp and chirp again;
When upon the haunted green
Fairies dance around their queen -
Then from yonder misty skies
Cometh Lady Button-Eyes.

Through the murk and mist and gloam
To our quiet, cozy home,
Where to singing, sweet and low,
Rocks a cradle to and fro;
Where the clock's dull monotone
Telleth of the day that's done;
Where the moonbeams hover o'er
Playthings sleeping on the floor -
Where my weary wee one lies
Cometh Lady Button-Eyes.

Cometh like a fleeing ghost / From some distant eerie coast )

med_cat: (cat and books)


What Is Purple?

Time is purple
Just before night
When most people
Turn on the light--
But if you don't it's
A beautiful sight.

Asters are purple,
There's purple ink.
Purple's more popular
Than you think...
It's sort of a great
Grandmother to pink.

There are purple shadows
And purple veils,
Some ladies purple
Their fingernails.

(from Poets Illustrated FB group, posted by Davidson Jones)

Illustration by Leonard Weisgard for,
"What Is Purple?" from, "Hailstones and halibut bones" by Mary O'Neill


(Look, [livejournal.com profile] acelightning--have you ever seen this one before? ;))
med_cat: (cat in dress)

'Silver'

Slowly, silently, now the moon
Walks the night in her silver shoon;
This way, and that, she peers, and sees
Silver fruit upon silver trees;
One by one the casements catch
Her beams beneath the silvery thatch;
Couched in his kennel, like a log,
With paws of silver sleeps the dog;
From their shadowy cote the white breasts peep
Of doves in silver feathered sleep
A harvest mouse goes scampering by,
With silver claws, and silver eye;
And moveless fish in the water gleam,
By silver reeds in a silver stream.

(Walter de la Mare)

med_cat: (cat and books)
Marginalia

Sometimes the notes are ferocious,
skirmishes against the author
raging along the borders of every page
in tiny black script.
If I could just get my hands on you,
Kierkegaard, or Conor Cruise O’Brien,
they seem to say,
I would bolt the door and beat some logic into your head.

Other comments are more offhand, dismissive -
“Nonsense.” “Please!” “HA!!” -
that kind of thing.
I remember once looking up from my reading,
my thumb as a bookmark,
trying to imagine what the person must look like
who wrote “Don’t be a ninny”
alongside a paragraph in The Life of Emily Dickinson.

Students are more modest
needing to leave only their splayed footprints
along the shore of the page.
One scrawls “Metaphor” next to a stanza of Eliot’s.
Another notes the presence of “Irony”
fifty times outside the paragraphs of A Modest Proposal.
Or they are fans who cheer from the empty bleachers,
hands cupped around their mouths.
“Absolutely,” they shout
to Duns Scotus and James Baldwin.
“Yes.” “Bull’s-eye.” “My man!”
Check marks, asterisks, and exclamation points
rain down along the sidelines.

And if you have managed to graduate from college )

By Billy Collins

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] duathir at Billy Collins, 'Marginalia'
med_cat: (cat in dress)
Fishing on the Susquehanna in July

I have never been fishing on the Susquehanna
or on any river for that matter
to be perfectly honest.

Not in July or any month
have I had the pleasure--if it is a pleasure--
of fishing on the Susquehanna.

I am more likely to be found
in a quiet room like this one--
a painting of a woman on the wall,

a bowl of tangerines on the table--
trying to manufacture the sensation
of fishing on the Susquehanna.

There is little doubt
that others have been fishing
on the Susquehanna,

rowing upstream in a wooden boat,
sliding the oars under the water
then raising them to drip in the light.

But the nearest I have ever come to
fishing on the Susquehanna
was one afternoon in a museum in Philadelphia

when I balanced a little egg of time
in front of a painting
in which that river curled around a bend

under a blue cloud-ruffled sky,
dense trees along the banks,
and a fellow with a red bandanna

sitting in a small, green
flat-bottom boat
holding the thin whip of a pole.

That is something I am unlikely
ever to do, I remember
saying to myself and the person next to me.

Then I blinked and moved on )

By Billy Collins

[One of Billy Collins' most critically acclaimed works, "Fishing on the Susquehanna in July" has been added to the preserved works of the United States Native American literary registry as being deemed a culturally significant poem.]

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] duathir at Billy Collins, 'Fishing on the Susquehanna in July'
med_cat: (Hourglass)
The Lanawn Shee
(Belgium, July 1917)


Powdered and perfumed the full bee
Winged heavily across the clover,
And where the hills were dim with dew,
Purple and blue the west leaned over.

A willow spray dipped in the stream,
Moving a gleam of silver ringing,
And by a finny creek a maid
Filled all the shade with softest singing.

Listening, my heart and soul at strife,
On the edge of life I seemed to hover,
For I knew my love had come at last,
That my joy was past and my gladness over.

I tiptoed gently up and stooped
Above her looped and shining tresses,
And asked her of her kin and name,
And why she came from fairy places.

She told me of a sunny coast )

By Francis Ledwidge

[Francis Edward Ledwidge was killed in action July 31, 1917, on the opening day of the Battle of Passchendaele.]

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] duathir at Francis Ledwidge, 'The Lanawn Shee'
med_cat: (cat in dress)
The Good Man in Hell

If a good man were ever housed in Hell
By needful error of the qualities,
Perhaps to prove the rule or shame the devil,
Or speak the truth only a stranger sees,

Would he, surrendering quick to obvious hate,
Fill half eternity with cries and tears,
Or watch beside Hell's little wicket gate
In patience for the first ten thousand years,

Feeling the curse climb slowly to his throat
That, uttered, dooms him to rescindless ill,
Forcing his praying tongue to run by rote,
Eternity entire before him still?

Would he at last, grown faithful in his station,
Kindle a little hope in hopeless Hell,
And sow among the damned doubts of damnation,
Since here someone could live, and live well?

One doubt of evil would bring down such a grace,
Open such a gate, and Eden could enter in,
Hell be a place like any other place,
And love and hate and life and death begin.

By Edwin Muir

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] duathir at Edwin Muir, 'The Good Man in Hell'
med_cat: (woman reading)
“Why There Are No More Miracles”
Hal Sirowitz

God would perform miracles in the old days,
Father said, but nowadays if he set a bush
on fire, like he did for Moses, the fire department
would rush to put it out. The newspapers
would send our photographers. There’d be
an investigation. A reward would be given
to help find the arsonist. Some innocent person
would get blamed. God has enough people
believing in him. Why does He need
all that commotion for the sake of a few more?

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] exceptindreams at Why There Are No More Miracles | Hal Sirowitz
med_cat: (Hourglass)
“Suicides”
Faith Shearin

There was the one who walked into a river
with her pockets full of stones and the one
who started her car with the garage door closed,
determined to drive herself elsewhere.
The youngest went into the kitchen
and placed her head where she had
so often placed chickens or hams.
These were the women whose voices
I carried in my backpacks, whose books
moved with me from one city to another
and, one day, I realized I had outlived
all of them. I was sad that they could
not describe the other world,
that they offered no map to old age.
Was it dangerous to write? I began
to walk more carefully beside rivers,
to eat cold food, to let someone else
back the car out of the driveway.

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] exceptindreams at Suicides | Faith Shearin
med_cat: (woman reading)
Benedicam Domino

Thank God for life: life is not sweet always.
Hands may be heavy-laden, hearts care full,
Unwelcome nights follow unwelcome days,
And dreams divine end in awakenings dull.
Still it is life, and life is cause for praise.
This ache, this restlessness, this quickening sting,
Prove me no torpid and inanimate thing,
Prove me of Him who is of life the Spring.
I am alive!--and that is beautiful.

Thank God for Love: though Love may hurt and wound,
Though set with sharpest thorns its rose may be,
Roses are not of winter, all attuned
Must be the earth, full of soft stir, and free
And warm ere dawns the rose upon its tree.
Fresh currents through my frozen pulses run;
My heart has tasted summer, tasted sun,
And I can thank Thee, Lord, although not one
Of all the many roses blooms for me.

(Susan Coolidge)
med_cat: (cat in dress)
At Least

Raymond Carver

I want to get up early one more morning,
before sunrise. Before the birds, even.
I want to throw cold water on my face
and be at my work table
when the sky lightens and smoke
begins to rise from the chimneys
of the other houses.

I want to see the waves break
on this rocky beach, not just hear them
break as I did all night in my sleep.
I want to see again the ships
that pass through the Strait from every
seafaring country in the world—
old, dirty freighters just barely moving along,
and the swift new cargo vessels
painted every color under the sun
that cut the water as they pass.

I want to keep an eye out for them.
And for the little boat that plies
the water between the ships
and the pilot station near the lighthouse.

I want to see them take a man off the ship
and put another up on board.
I want to spend the day watching this happen
and reach my own conclusions.

I hate to seem greedy—have so much
to be thankful for already.
But I want to get up early one more morning, at least.
And go to my place with some coffee and wait.
Just wait, to see what’s going to happen.

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] exceptindreams at At Least | Raymond Carver
med_cat: (Hourglass)
Black Marigolds

"And sometimes we look to the end of the tale that there should be marriage-feasts, and find only, as it were, black marigolds and a silence."
—Azeddin el Mocadecci


Even now
My thought is all of this gold-tinted king's daughter
With garlands tissue and golden buds,
Smoke tangles of her hair, and sleeping or waking
Feet trembling in love, full of pale languor;
My thought is clinging as to a lost learning
Slipped down out of the minds of men,
Labouring to bring her back into my soul.

Even now
If I see in my soul the citron-breasted fair one
Still gold-tinted, her face like our night stars,
Drawing unto her; her body beaten about with flame,
Wounded by the flaring spear of love,
My first of all by reason of her fresh years,
Then is my heart buried alive in snow.

Even now
If my girl with lotus eyes came to me again
Weary with the dear weight of young love,
Again I would give her to these starved twins of arms
And from her mouth drink down the heavy wine,
As a reeling pirate bee in fluttered ease
Steals up the honey from the nenuphar.

Even now
I bring her back, ah, wearied out with love
So that her slim feet could not bear her up;
Curved falls of her hair down on her white cheeks;
In the confusion of her coloured vests
Speaking that guarded giving up, and her scented arms
Lay like cool bindweed over against my neck.

Even now... )

From the Sanskrit of Chauras
(Chaura-panchasika, 1st Century)
English translation by E. Powys Mathers

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] duathir at Chaura-panchasika, 'Black Marigolds'
med_cat: (cat in dress)
A commonplace life, we say, and we sigh;
  But why should we sigh as we say?
The commonplace sun in the commonplace sky
  Makes up the commonplace day.
The moon and the stars are commonplace things,
  The flower that blooms, and the bird that sings;
But sad were the world, and dark our lot,
  If flowers failed and the sun shone not.
And God, who sees each separate soul,
  Out of commonplace lives makes His beautiful whole.

- Susan Coolidge (pen name of Sarah Chauncey Woolsey)
med_cat: (woman reading)
Exchanging Hats

Unfunny uncles who insist
in trying on a lady's hat,
--oh, even if the joke falls flat,
we share your slight transvestite twist

in spite of our embarrassment.
Costume and custom are complex.
The headgear of the other sex
inspires us to experiment.

Anandrous aunts, who, at the beach
with paper plates upon your laps,
keep putting on the yachtsmen's caps
with exhibitionistic screech,

the visors hanging o'er the ear
so that the golden anchors drag,
--the tides of fashion never lag.
Such caps may not be worn next year.

Or you who don the paper plate
itself, and put some grapes upon it,
or sport the Indian's feather bonnet,
--perversities may aggravate

the natural madness of the hatter.
And if the opera hats collapse
and crowns grow draughty, then, perhaps,
he thinks what might a miter matter?

Unfunny uncle, you who wore a
hat too big, or one too many,
tell us, can't you, are there any
stars inside your black fedora?

Aunt exemplary and slim,
with avernal eyes, we wonder
what slow changes they see under
their vast, shady, turned-down brim.

Elizabeth Bishop

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