Archive for the ‘Bookshelf’ Category

A Dream for Winter

In the winter, we will leave in a small pink railway carriage

     With blue cushions.

We will be comfortable. A nest of mad kisses lies

     In each soft corner.


You will close your eyes, in order not to see, through the glass,

     The evening shadows making faces,

Those snarling monstrosities, a populace

     Of black demons and black wolves.


Then you will feel your cheek scratched…

A little kiss, like a mad spider,

     Will run around your neck…


And you will say to me: “Get it!” as you bend your neck;

— And we will take a long time to find that creature

     — Which travels a great deal…


~ Arthur Rimbaud, born on this day in 1854


Image of Black Andrew Wood by Walter Baxter

Image of Black Andrew Wood by Walter Baxter

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The seasons send their ruin as they go,

For in the spring the narciss shows its head

Nor withers till the rose has flamed to red,

And in the autumn purple violets blow,

And the slim crocus stirs the winter snow;

Wherefore yon leafless trees will bloom again

And this grey land grow green with summer rain

And send up cowslips for some boy to mow.


But what of life whose bitter hungry sea

Flows at our heels, and gloom of sunless night

Covers the days which never more return?

Ambition, love and all the thoughts that burn

We lose too soon, and only find delight

In withered husks of some dead memory.


                                                 ~ Oscar Wilde, born on this day in 1854


Oscar Wilde with "Poems" (Napoleon Sarony, New York, 1882)

Oscar Wilde with “Poems” (Napoleon Sarony, New York, 1882)

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All Hallows

Even now this landscape is assembling.

The hills darken. The oxen

sleep in their blue yoke,

the fields having been

picked clean, the sheaves

bound evenly and piled at the roadside

among cinquefoil, as the toothed moon rises:


This is the barrenness

of harvest or pestilence.

And the wife leaning out the window

with her hand extended, as in payment,

and the seeds

distinct, gold, calling

Come here

Come here, little one


And the soul creeps out of the tree.


                            ~ Louise Gluck


"Trees in the Moonlight" by Carl Julius von Leypold, 1824

“Trees in the Moonlight” by Carl Julius von Leypold, 1824

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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, died on this day in 1849


"Тамара и демон" ("Tamara and Demon") by Konstantin Makovsky, 1889

“Тамара и демон” (“Tamara and Demon”) by Konstantin Makovsky, 1889

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The Love of October

A child looking at ruins grows younger

but cold

and wants to wake to a new name

I have been younger in October

than in all the months of spring

walnut and may leaves the color

of shoulders at the end of summer

a month that has been to the mountain

and become light there

the long grass lies pointing uphill

even in death for a reason

that none of us knows

and the wren laughs in the early shade now

come again shining glance in your good time

naked air late morning

my love is for lightness

of touch foot feather

the day is yet one more yellow leaf

and without turning I kiss the light

by an old well on the last of the month

gathering wild rose hips

in the sun.


                                  ~ W. S. Merwin


"October Gold" by John Atkinson Grimshaw, 1889

“October Gold” by John Atkinson Grimshaw, 1889

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Autumn’s Way

In their yellow-most goings,

leaves of maple

ride breezes to the ground.

You can hear their sound

each autumn afternoon

as the crisp air cuts

through the trees

and hurries us along

the golden sidewalks



~ Charles Ghigha, from A Fury of Motion


"Autumn's Golden Pathway" by Albert Pinkham Ryder, circa 1880

“Autumn’s Golden Pathway” by Albert Pinkham Ryder, circa 1880

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For Love

She was bored. She loved, had capacity to love, for love, to give and accept love.  Only she tried twice and failed twice to find somebody not just strong enough to deserve it, earn it, match it, but even brave enough to accept it.


~ From The Town by William Faulkner, born on this day in 1897


"Solitude" by Frederic Leighton, 1890

“Solitude” by Frederic Leighton, 1890


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