Poem of the Week

Sonnet 5

Sonnet 5


By William Shakespeare

Those hours, that with gentle work did frame
The lovely gaze where every eye doth dwell,
Will play the tyrants to the very same
And that unfair which fairly doth excel;
For never-resting time leads summer on
To hideous winter, and confounds him there;
Sap checked with frost, and lusty leaves quite gone,
Beauty o’er-snowed and bareness every where:

Then were not summer’s distillation left,
A liquid prisoner pent in walls of glass,
Beauty’s effect with beauty were bereft,
Nor it, nor no remembrance what it was:
But flowers distill’d, though they with winter meet,
Leese but their show; their substance still lives sweet.

Poem of the Week

Love at First Sight

By Wislawa Szymborska 

They both thought
that a sudden feeling had united them
This certainty is beautiful,
Even more beautiful than uncertainty.

They thought they didn’t know each other,
nothing had ever happened between them,
These streets, these stairs, this corridors,
Where they could have met so long ago?

I would like to ask them,
if they can remember –
perhaps in a revolving door
face to face one day?
A “sorry” in the crowd?
“Wrong number” on the ‘phone?
– but I know the answer.
No, they don’t remember.

How surprised they would be
For such a long time already
Fate has been playing with them.

Not quite yet ready
to change into destiny,
which brings them nearer and yet further,
cutting their path
and stifling a laugh,
escaping ever further;
There were sings, indications,
undecipherable, what does in matter.
Three years ago, perhaps
or even last Tuesday,
this leaf flying
from one shoulder to another?
Something lost and gathered.
Who knows, perhaps a ball already
in the bushes, in childhood?

There were handles, door bells,
where, on the trace of a hand,
another hand was placed;
suitcases next to one another in the
left luggage.
And maybe one night the same dream
forgotten on walking;

But every beginning
is only a continuation
and the book of fate is
always open in the middle.

Poem of the Week

Concord Hymn

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
   Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
   And fired the shot heard round the world.

The foe long since in silence slept;
   Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
   Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.

On this green bank, by this soft stream,
   We set today a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
   When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

Spirit, that made those heroes dare
   To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
   The shaft we raise to them and thee.

Poem of the Week

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Shiloh

By Herman Melville

Skimming lightly, wheeling still,
      The swallows fly low
Over the field in clouded days,
      The forest-field of Shiloh—
Over the field where April rain
Solaced the parched ones stretched in pain
Through the pause of night
That followed the Sunday fight
      Around the church of Shiloh—
The church so lone, the log-built one,
That echoed to many a parting groan
            And natural prayer
      Of dying foemen mingled there—
Foemen at morn, but friends at eve—
      Fame or country least their care:
(What like a bullet can undeceive!)
      But now they lie low,
While over them the swallows skim,
      And all is hushed at Shiloh.
I’ve been watching the powerful documentary on Ulysses S. Grant so I thought a poem on one of his battles was apt.

 

A Valentine’s Day Poem

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love is more thicker than forget

by e.e. cummings

love is more thicker than forget
more thinner than recall
more seldom than a wave is wet
more frequent than to fail

it is most mad and moonly
and less it shall unbe
than all the sea which only
is deeper than the sea

love is less always than to win
less never than alive
less bigger than the least begin
less littler than forgive

it is most sane and sunly
and more it cannot die
than all the sky which only
is higher than the sky

Poem of the Week

For 9/11, Jack Buck’s poem

Since this nation was founded … under God
More than 200 years ago
We have been the bastion of freedom
The light that keeps the free world aglow
We do not covet the possessions of others
We are blessed with the bounty we share.

We have rushed to help other nations
… anything … anytime … anywhere.

War is just not our nature
We won’t start … but we will end the fight
If we are involved we shall be resolved
To protect what we know is right.

We have been challenged by a cowardly foe
Who strikes and then hides from our view.

With one voice we say, “There is no choice today,
There is only one thing to do.

Everyone is saying — the same thing — and praying
That we end these senseless moments we are living.

As our fathers did before … we shall win this unwanted war
And our children … will enjoy the future … we’ll be giving.

Poem of the Week

Doors

By Carl Sandburg
An open door says, “Come in.”
A shut door says, “Who are you?”
Shadows and ghosts go through shut doors.
If a door is shut and you want it shut,
     why open it?
If a door is open and you want it open,
     why shut it?
Doors forget but only doors know what it is
     doors forget.

Poem of the Week

Evening Primrose

by John Clare

When once the sun sinks in the west,
And dewdrops pearl the evening’s breast;
Almost as pale as moonbeams are,
Or its companionable star,
The evening primrose opes anew
Its delicate blossoms to the dew;
And, hermit-like, shunning the light,
Wastes its fair bloom upon the night,
Who, blindfold to its fond caresses,
Knows not the beauty it possesses;
Thus it blooms on while night is by;
When day looks out with open eye,
Bashed at the gaze it cannot shun,
It faints and withers and is gone.