Poem of the Week

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Chocolate

by Rita Dove

Velvet fruit, exquisite square
I hold up to sniff
between finger and thumb –

how you numb me
with your rich attentions!
If I don’t eat you quickly,

you’ll melt in my palm.
Pleasure seeker, if i let you
you’d liquefy everywhere.

Knotted smoke, dark punch
of earth and night and leaf,
for a taste of you

any woman would gladly
crumble to ruin.
Enough chatter: I am ready

to fall in love!

Poem of the Week

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Ring Out , Wild Bells

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

 

~ Alfred Lord Tennyson

Poem of the Week

Sonnet 97

By William Shakespeare

How like a winter hath my absence been
From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!
What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen!
What old December’s bareness everywhere!
And yet this time remov’d was summer’s time,
The teeming autumn, big with rich increase,
Bearing the wanton burthen of the prime,
Like widow’d wombs after their lords’ decease:
Yet this abundant issue seem’d to me
But hope of orphans and unfather’d fruit;
For summer and his pleasures wait on thee,
And thou away, the very birds are mute;
Or if they sing, ’tis with so dull a cheer
That leaves look pale, dreading the winter’s near.

Poem of the Week

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A Dust of Snow

by Robert Frost

The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree
Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.

 

Bonus Poem:

via A Single English Teacher’s Lament

This poem rings true for so many teachers, especially this time of the semester.

Poem of the Week

The Glory Is Fallen Out Of

e.e. cummings

the glory is fallen out of
the sky the last immortal
leaf
is dead and the gold
year
a formal spasm
in the

dust
this is the passing of all shining things
therefore we also
blandly

into receptive
earth, O let
us
descend

take
shimmering wind
these fragile splendors from
us crumple them hide

them in thy breath drive
them in nothingness
for we
would sleep

this is the passing of all shining things
no lingering no backward-
wondering be unto
us O

soul, but straight
glad feet fear ruining
and glory girded
faces

lead us
into the
serious
steep darkness

Poem of the Week

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Ballad of Baseball Burdens

The burden of hard hitting. Slug away
      Like Honus Wagner or like Tyrus Cobb.
Else fandom shouteth: “Who said you could play?
      Back to the jasper league, you minor slob!”
      Swat, hit, connect, line out, get on the job.
Else you shall feel the brunt of fandom’s ire
      Biff, bang it, clout it, hit it on the knob—
This is the end of every fan’s desire.
The burden of good pitching. Curved or straight.
      Or in or out, or haply up or down,
To puzzle him that standeth by the plate,
      To lessen, so to speak, his bat-renoun:
      Like Christy Mathewson or Miner Brown,
So pitch that every man can but admire
      And offer you the freedom of the town—
This is the end of every fan’s desire.
The burden of loud cheering. O the sounds!
      The tumult and the shouting from the throats
Of forty thousand at the Polo Grounds
      Sitting, ay, standing sans their hats and coats.
      A mighty cheer that possibly denotes
That Cub or Pirate fat is in the fire;
      Or, as H. James would say, We’ve got their goats—
This is the end of every fan’s desire.
The burden of a pennant. O the hope,
      The tenuous hope, the hope that’s half a fear,
The lengthy season and the boundless dope,
      And the bromidic; “Wait until next year.”
      O dread disgrace of trailing in the rear,
O Piece of Bunting, flying high and higher
      That next October it shall flutter here:
This is the end of every fan’s desire.
ENVOY
Ah, Fans, let not the Quarry but the Chase
      Be that to which most fondly we aspire!
For us not Stake, but Game; not Goal, but Race—
      THIS is the end of every fan’s desire.