Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Bookshelf’ Category

The Spring

Now that the winter’s gone, the earth hath lost

Her snow-white robes, and now no more the frost

Candies the grass, or casts an icy cream

Upon the silver lake or crystal stream;

But the warm sun thaws the benumbed earth,

And makes it tender; gives a sacred birth

To the dead swallow; wakes in hollow tree

The drowsy cuckoo, and the humble-bee.

Now do a choir of chirping minstrels bring

In triumph to the world the youthful Spring.

The valleys, hills, and woods in rich array

Welcome the coming of the long’d-for May.

Now all things smile, only my love doth lour;

Nor hath the scalding noonday sun the power

To melt that marble ice, which still doth hold

Her heart congeal’d, and makes her pity cold.

The ox, which lately did for shelter fly

Into the stall, doth now securely lie

In open fields; and love no more is made

By the fireside, but in the cooler shade

Amyntas now doth with his Chloris sleep

Under a sycamore, and all things keep

Time with the season; only she doth carry

June in her eyes, in her heart January.

 

                       ~ Thomas Carew

 

Chloris from Boticelli's Primavera

Chloris from Boticelli’s Primavera

Read Full Post »

April Midnight

Side by side through the streets at midnight,

Roaming together,

Through the tumultuous night of London,

In the miraculous April weather.

 

Roaming together under the gaslight,

Day’s work over,

How the Spring calls to us, here in the city,

Calls to the heart from the heart of a lover!

 

Cool the wind blows, fresh in our faces,

Cleansing, entrancing,

After the heat and the fumes and the footlights,

Where you dance and I watch your dancing.

 

Good it is to be here together,

Good to be roaming,

Even in London, even at midnight,

Lover-like in a lover’s gloaming.

 

You the dancer and I the dreamer,

Children together,

Wandering lost in the night of London,

In the miraculous April weather.

 

                        ~ Arthur Symons

 

"Trafalgar Square by Moonlight" by Henry Pether, circa 1865

“Trafalgar Square by Moonlight” by Henry Pether, circa 1865

Read Full Post »

After the Winter

Some day, when trees have shed their leaves

   And against the morning’s white

The shivering birds beneath the eaves

   Have sheltered for the night,

We’ll turn our faces southward, love,

   Toward the summer isle

Where bamboos spire the shafted grove

   And wide-mouthed orchids smile.

 

And we will seek the quiet hill

   Where towers the cotton tree,

And leaps the laughing crystal rill,

   And works the droning bee.

And we will build a cottage there

   Beside an open glade,

With black-ribbed blue-bells blowing near,

   And ferns that never fade.

 

                   ~ Claude McKay

 

"The Flower Garden" by John Falconer Slater, 1899

“The Flower Garden” by John Falconer Slater, 1899

Read Full Post »

Retired ballerinas on winter afternoons

     walking their dogs

          in Central Park West

  (or their cats on leashes –

    the cats themselves old highwire artists)

The ballerinas

      leap and pirouette

           through Columbus Circle

   while winos on park benches

     (laid back like drunken Goudonovs)

    hear the taxis trumpet together

      like horsemen of the apocalypse

            in the dusk of the gods

It is the final witching hour

       when swains are full of swan songs

   And all return through the dark dusk

       to their bright cells

             in glass highrises

    or sit down to oval cigarettes and cakes

           in the Russian Tea Room

or climb four flights to back rooms

            in Westside brownstones

      where faded playbill photos

          fall peeling from their frames

              like last year’s autumn leaves

 

 ~ Lawrence Ferlinghetti, born on this day in 1919

 

"Dancer with a Hoop" by Jean-Louis Forain (1852-1931)

“Dancer with a Hoop” by Jean-Louis Forain (1852-1931)

Read Full Post »

The Enkindled Spring

This spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green,

Wild puffing of emerald trees, and flame-filled bushes,

Thorn-blossom lifting in wreaths of smoke between

Where the wood fumes up and the watery, flickering rushes.

 

I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration

Of green fires lit on the soil of the earth, this blaze

Of growing, and sparks that puff in wild gyration,

Faces of people streaming across my gaze.

 

And I, what fountain of fire am I among

This leaping combustion of spring? My spirit is tossed

About like a shadow buffeted in the throng

Of flames, a shadow that’s gone astray, and is lost.

 

                                                              ~ D. H. Lawrence

 

“Spring in Gościeradz” by Leon Wyczółkowski, 1933

“Spring in Gościeradz” by Leon Wyczółkowski, 1933

Read Full Post »

Touch of Spring

Thin wind winds off the water,

earth lies locked in dead snow,

but sun slants in under the yew hedge,

and the ground there is bare,

with some green blades there,

and my cat knows…

 

From “Touch of Spring” by John Updike, born on this day in 1932

 

400px-Black_cat_statuesque

Read Full Post »

March

Sky a shook poncho.

Roof wrung.  Mind a luna moth

Caught in a banjo.

 

This weather’s witty

Peek-a-boo.  A study in

Insincerity.

 

Blues!  Blooms!  The yodel

Of the chimney in night wind.

That flat daffodil.

 

With absurd hauteur

New tulips dab their shadows

In water-mutter.

 

Boys are such oxen.

Girls! – sepal-shudder, shadow-

Waver.  Equinox.

 

Plums on the Quad did

Blossom all at once, taking

Down the power grid.

 

~ Richard Kenney

 

Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 56 other followers