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Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

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, born on this day in 1809

 

“The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of” by John Anster Fitzgerald, 1858

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Good Hours

I had for my winter evening walk –

No one at all with whom to talk,

But I had the cottages in a row

Up to their shining eyes in snow.

 

And I thought I had the folk within:

I had the sound of a violin;

I had a glimpse through curtain laces

Of youthful forms and youthful faces.

 

I had such company outward bound.

I went till there were no cottages found.

I turned and repented, but coming back

I saw no window but that was black.

 

Over the snow my creaking feet

Disturbed the slumbering village street

Like profanation, by your leave,

At ten o’clock of a winter eve.

 

              ~ Robert Frost

 

“Winter Evening in Maloyaroslavets” by Evgeny Mikhailovich Pozdniakov, 1958 (Иванов С.В., source/photographer)

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A January Dandelion

All Nashville is a chill.  And everywhere

Like desert sand, when the winds blow,

There is each moment sifted through the air,

A powdered blast of January snow.

O! thoughtless Dandelion, to be misled

By a few warm days to leave thy natural bed,

Was folly growth and blooming over soon.

And yet, thou blasted yellow-coated gem,

Full many a heart has but a common boon

With thee, now freezing on thy slender stem.

When the heart has bloomed by the touch of love’s warm breath

Then left and chilling snow is sifted in,

It still may beat but there is blast and death

To all that blooming life that might have been.

 

                              ~ George Marion McClellan

 

Accuruss

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To the New Year

With what stillness at last

you appear in the valley

your first sunlight reaching down

to touch the tips of a few

high leaves that do not stir

as though they had not noticed

and did not know you at all

then the voice of a dove calls

from far away in itself

to the hush of the morning

 

so this is the sound of you

here and now whether or not

anyone hears it this is

where we have come with our age

our knowledge such as it is

and our hopes such as they are

invisible before us

untouched and still possible

 

 

~ W. S. Merwin

 

“A Dream of a Girl Before a Sunrise” by Karl Briullov (1830-1833)

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December 31st

All my undone actions wander

naked across the calendar,

 

a band of skinny hunter-gatherers,

blown snow scattered here and there,

 

stumbling toward a future

folded in the New Year I secure

 

with a pushpin: January’s picture

a painting from the 17th century,

 

a still life: Skull and mirror,

spilled coin purse and a flower.

 

~ Richard Hoffman

 

“Self-Portrait with Vanitas Symbols” by David Bailly, 1651

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Year’s End

Now the seasons are closing their files

on each of us, the heavy drawers

full of certificates rolling back

into the tree trunks, a few old papers

flocking away.  Someone we loved

has fallen from our thoughts,

making a little, glittering splash

like a bicycle pushed by a breeze.

Otherwise, not much has happened;

we fell in love again, finding

that one red feather on the wind.

 

~ Ted Kooser

 

Poul Friis Nybo, 1929

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Mistletoe

Sitting under the mistletoe

(Pale-green, fairy mistletoe),

One last candle burning low,

All the sleepy dancers gone,

Just one candle burning on,

Shadows lurking everywhere:

Some one came, and kissed me there.

 

Tired I was; my head would go

Nodding under the mistletoe

(Pale-green, fairy mistletoe),

No footsteps came, no voice, but only,

Just as I sat there, sleepy, lonely,

Stooped in the still and shadowy air

Lips unseen – and kissed me there.

 

                       ~ Walter de la Mare

 

“The End of a Dream” by Giuseppe Pennasilico, circa 1908

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