A Dream

In visions of the dark night

   I have dreamed of joy departed –

But a waking dream of life and light

   Hath left me broken-hearted.


Ah! what is not a dream by day

   To him whose eyes are cast

On things around him with a ray

   Turned back upon the past?


That holy dream – that holy dream,

   While all the world were chiding,

Hath cheered me as a lovely beam

   A lonely spirit guiding.


What though that light, thro’ storm and night,

   So trembled from afar –

What could there be more purely bright

   In Truth’s day star?


                        ~ Edgar Allan Poe, died on this day in 1849


John Anster Fitzgerald, 1858

John Anster Fitzgerald, 1858

Now the bat circles on the breeze of eve,

That creeps, in shudd’ring fits, along the wave,

And trembles ’mid the woods, and through the cave

Whose lonely sighs the wanderer deceive;

For oft, when melancholy charms his mind,

He thinks the Spirit of the rock he hears,

Nor listens, but with sweetly-thrilling fears,

To the low, mystic murmurs of the wind!

Now the bat circles, and the twilight-dew

Falls silent round, and, o’er the mountain-cliff,

The gleaming wave, and far-discover’d skiff,

Spreads the gray veil of soft, harmonious hue.

So falls o’er Grief the dew of pity’s tear

Dimming her lonely visions of despair.


                           ~ Ann Radcliffe, The Mysteries of Udolpho


"Ariel on a Bat's Back" by Henry Singleton (1766-1839)

“Ariel on a Bat’s Back” by Henry Singleton (1766-1839)


O hushed October morning mild,

Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;

Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,

Should waste them all.

The crows above the forest call;

Tomorrow they may form and go.

O hushed October morning mild,

Begin the hours of this day slow,

Make the day seem to us less brief.

Hearts not averse to being beguiled,

Beguile us in the way you know;

Release one leaf at break of day;

At noon release another leaf;

One from our trees, one far away;

Retard the sun with gentle mist;

Enchant the land with amethyst.

Slow, slow!

For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,

Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,

Whose clustered fruit must else be lost –

For the grapes’ sake along the wall.


~ Robert Frost


"Autumn Colours at St. Hubertus Estate Winery" by Hirsch Hubert

“Autumn Colours at St. Hubertus Estate Winery” by Hirsch Hubert

At the Violet Hour

The time is now propitious, as he guesses,

The meal is ended, she is bored and tired,

Endeavors to engage her in caresses

Which still are unreproved, if undesired.

Flushed and decided, he assaults at once;

Exploring hands encounter no defence;

His vanity requires no response,

And makes a welcome of indifference. 


She turns and looks a moment in the glass,

Hardly aware of her departed lover;

Her brain allows one half-formed thought to pass:

‘Well now that’s done: and I’m glad it’s over.’

When lovely woman stoops to folly and

Paces about her room again, alone,

She smooths her hair with automatic hand,

And puts a record on the gramophone.


~ From The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot, born on this day in 1888


"Hymne à la Femme" by Auguste Levêque, 1909

“Hymne à la Femme” by Auguste Levêque, 1909


A white, indifferent morning sky,

and a crow, hectoring from its nest

high in the hemlock, a nest as big

as a laundry basket…

                             In my childhood

I stood under a dripping oak,

while autumnal fog eddied around my feet,

waiting for the school bus

with a dread that took my breath away.


The damp dirt road gave off

this same complex organic scent.


I had the new books – words, numbers,

and operations with numbers I did not

comprehend – and crayons, unspoiled

by use, in a blue canvas satchel

with red leather straps.


Spruce, inadequate, and alien

I stood at the side of the road.

It was the only life I had.


~ From “Three Songs at the End of Summer” by Jane Kenyon


"A School Girl" by Myles Birket Foster, 1899

“A School Girl” by Myles Birket Foster, 1899

Tin House is currently reading for its non-themed Summer 2016 issue and themed Fall 2016 issue on Sex, Again?  For this issue, the journal is seeking fiction, poetry, interviews, essays, and memoirs that deal with this common subject uncommonly.  The editors are looking to be surprised and even made uncomfortable: “Make us remember that we’re not pandas.”  The online submission deadlines for the summer and fall issues are October 31 and December 31, respectively.

Prose submissions should not exceed 10,000 words, and poetry submissions should not exceed five poems.  Multiple submissions are not accepted.  Simultaneous submissions are permitted; however, only previously unpublished work will be considered for publication.  Since its creation in 1999, Tin House has been committed to showcasing the work of an undiscovered author or poet in every issue.

For more information and to submit online, visit the website at http://www.tinhouse.com/magazine/submission-guidelines.html.

Good luck!




Words have a magical power.  They can bring either the greatest happiness or deepest despair; they can transfer knowledge from teacher to student; words enable the orator to sway his audience and dictate its decisions.  Words are capable of arousing the strongest emotions and prompting all men’s actions.


~ Sigmund Freud


Portrait of Samuel Johnson (born on this day in 1709) by Joshua Reynolds, 1775. Johnson's "A Dictionary of the English Language" was published in 1755 and has been described as "one of the greatest single achievements of scholarship."

Portrait of Samuel Johnson (born on this day in 1709) by Joshua Reynolds, 1775. Johnson’s “A Dictionary of the English Language” was published in 1755 and has been described as “one of the greatest single achievements of scholarship.”


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