Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Bookshelf’ Category

The Oven Bird

There is a singer everyone has heard,

Loud, a mid-summer and a mid-wood bird,

Who makes the solid tree trunks sound again.

He says that leaves are old and that for flowers

Mid-summer is to spring as one to ten.

He says the early petal-fall is past

When pear and cherry bloom went down in showers

On sunny days a moment overcast;

And comes that other fall we name the fall.

He says the highway dust is over all.

The bird would cease and be as other birds

But that he knows in singing not to sing.

The question that he frames in all but words

Is what to make of a diminished thing.

 

                               ~ Robert Frost

 

"Oven-bird" by Louis Agassiz Fuertes

“Oven-bird” by Louis Agassiz Fuertes

Read Full Post »

Ebb

I know what my heart is like

     Since your love died:

It is like a hollow ledge

Holding a little pool

     Left there by the tide,

     A little tepid pool,

Drying inward from the edge.

 

~ Edna St. Vincent Millay

 

William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1884

William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1884

Read Full Post »

From childhood’s hour I have not been

As others were – I have not seen

As others saw – I could not bring

My passions from a common spring –

From the same source I have not taken

My sorrow – I could not awaken

My heart to joy at the same tone –

And all I lov’d – I lov’d alone –

Then – in my childhood – in the dawn

Of a most stormy life – was drawn

From ev’ry depth of good and ill

The mystery which binds me still –

From the torrent, or the fountain –

From the red cliff of the mountain –

From the sun that ’round me roll’d

In its autumn tint of gold –

From the lightning in the sky

As it pass’d me flying by –

From the thunder, and the storm –

And the cloud that took the form

(When the rest of Heaven was blue)

Of a demon in my view –

 

~ Edgar Allan Poe

 

"A Passing Storm" by James Tissot, circa 1876

“A Passing Storm” by James Tissot, circa 1876

Read Full Post »

The Moon, how definite its orb!

Yet gaze again, and with a steady gaze –

’Tis there indeed, – but where is it not? –

It is suffused o’er all the sapphire Heaven,

Trees, herbage, snake-like stream, unwrinkled Lake,

Whose very murmur does of it partake

And low and close the broad smooth mountain

Is more a thing of Heaven than when

Distinct by one dim shade and yet undivided from the universal cloud  

In which it towers, finite in height.

 

                                  ~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge

 

Johann Peter Hasenclever, circa 1846

Johann Peter Hasenclever, circa 1846

Read Full Post »

Altogether, I think we ought to read only books that bite and sting us.  If the book we are reading doesn’t shake us awake like a blow to the skull, why bother reading it in the first place?  So that it can make us happy, as you put it?  Good God, we’d be just as happy if we had no books at all; books that make us happy we could, in a pinch, also write ourselves.  What we need are books that hit us like a most painful misfortune, like the death of someone we loved more than we love ourselves, that make us feel as though we had been banished to the woods, far from any human presence, like suicide.  A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.

 

"Lesendes Mädchen" by Franz Eybl, 1850

“Lesendes Mädchen” by Franz Eybl, 1850

 

Read Full Post »

A boat beneath a sunny sky,

Lingering onward dreamily

In an evening of July –

 

Children three that nestle near,

Eager eye and willing ear,

Pleased a simple tale to hear –

 

Long has paled that sunny sky:

Echoes fade and memories die:

Autumn frosts have slain July.

 

Still she haunts me, phantomwise,

Alice moving under skies

Never seen by waking eyes.

 

Children yet, the tale to hear,

Eager eye and willing ear,

Lovingly shall nestle near.

 

In a Wonderland they lie,

Dreaming as the days go by,

Dreaming as the summers die:

 

Ever drifting down the stream –

Lingering in the golden gleam –

Life, what is it but a dream?

 

~ Lewis Carroll

 

"Woman with a Child in a Boat" by Berthe Morisot, 1892

“Woman with a Child in a Boat” by Berthe Morisot, 1892

 

 

Read Full Post »

Ask me no more where Jove bestows,

When June is past, the fading rose;

For in your beauty’s orient deep

These flowers as in their causes, sleep.

 

Ask me no more whither doth stray

The golden atoms of the day;

For in pure love heaven did prepare

Those powders to enrich your hair.

 

Ask me no more whither doth haste

The nightingale when May is past;

For in your sweet dividing throat

She winters and keeps warm her note.

 

Ask me no more where those stars light

That downwards fall in dead of night;

For in your eyes they sit, and there,

Fixed become as in their sphere.

 

Ask me no more if east or west

The phoenix builds her spicy nest;

For unto you at last she flies,

And in your fragrant bosom dies.

 

            ~ Thomas Carew

 

"The Soul of the Rose" by John William Waterhouse, 1907

“The Soul of the Rose” by John William Waterhouse, 1907

 

 

Read Full Post »

Angry people acted as if she was wresting herself away from them: stealing herself.  They told her to forget the M.A. in creative writing….Her stories, full of love and roads and music, were the only company she sought, more than enough.  She wanted to sustain this for a lifetime….This is what writing demands of writers: time.  Energy.  Courage.  The fury of many and the rudeness of the rest.

~ Anneli Rufus, Party of One: The Loners’ Manifesto

 

Anonymous (19th century, French)

Anonymous (19th century, French)

Read Full Post »

Time Long Past

Like the ghost of a dear friend dead

     Is Time long past.

A tone which is now forever fled,

A hope which is now forever past,

A love so sweet it could not last,

     Was Time long past.

 

There were sweet dreams in the night

     Of Time long past:

And, was it sadness or delight,

Each day a shadow onward cast

Which made us wish it yet might last –

     That Time long past.

 

There is regret, almost remorse,

     For Time long past.

’Tis like a child’s beloved corse

A father watches, till at last

Beauty is like remembrance, cast

     From Time long past.

 

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley

 

"The Complain of the Watch" by Jean-Baptiste Greuze, 1770s

“The Complain of the Watch” by Jean-Baptiste Greuze, 1770s

 

Read Full Post »

Summer

Then followed that beautiful season […]

the Summer of All-Saints! 

Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape

Lay as if new-created in all the freshness of childhood.

Peace seemed to reign upon earth, and the restless heart of the ocean

Was for a moment consoled.  All sounds were in harmony blended.

 

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie

 

"Summer Sunlight" by Childe Hassam, 1892

“Summer Sunlight” by Childe Hassam, 1892

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 50 other followers