Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sonnets to Orpheus - Rainer Maria Rilke


O you lovers that are so gentle, step occasionally
into the breath of the sufferers not meant for you,
let it be parted by your cheeks,
it will tremble, joined again, behind you.

You have been choosen, you are sound and whole,
you are like the very first beat of the heart,
you are the bow that shoots the arrows, and also their target
in tears your smile would glow forever.

Do not be afraid to suffer, give
the heaviness back to the weight of the earth;
mountains are heavy, seas are heavy.

Even those trees you planted as children
became too heavy long ago - you couldn't carry them now.
But you can carry the winds...and the open spaces...

translated by Robert Bly

Words like, unhappy, misery, was compelled to, suffered and borne are sprinkled liberally throughout the biography of Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) the Czech-born poet. Given that background it is unsurprising that the turning point of his artistic life came on a trip to Russia, a country with as many synonyms for misery as Eskimos have for snow. He died almost completely unknown, no surprise there. But, also no surprise, his reputation as a great poet has grown steadily since then.

I did deliberately choose this poem and this translation to end the Poem of the Day for another year. It has just the right mix of burden and optimism that seems to release the reader into, well, the open spaces.

Thank you all for your support, your comments and your enthusiasm. I hope you enjoyed reading these as much as I enjoyed sending them.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Ballad - Sonia Sanchez

(after the spanish)

forgive me if i laugh
you are so sure of love
you are so young
and i too old to learn of love.

the rain exploding
in the air is love
the grass excreting her
green wax is love
and stones remembering
past steps is love,
but you. you are too young
for love
and i too old.

once. what does it matter
when or who, i knew
of love.
i fixed my body
under his and went
to sleep in love
all trace of me
was wiped away

forgive me if i smile
young heiress of a naked dream
you are so young
and i too old to learn of love.

Sonia Sanchez (b. 1934) has written poems, essays, plays and childrens books. She is a teacher, organizer and lecturer. Among the many honors she has received are the Community Service Award from the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, the Lucretia Mott Award, the Outstanding Arts Award from the Pennsylvania Coalition of 100 Black Women, the Peace and Freedom Award from Women International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), the Pennsylvania Governor's Award for Excellence in the Humanities, a National Endowment for the Arts Award, and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Acrobats - Shel Silverstein

I'll swing
By my ankles,
She'll cling
To your knees
As you hang
By your nose
From a high-up
Just one thing, please,
As we float through the breeze--
Don't sneeze.

Shel Silverstein (1930-1999) was a poet, lyricist and, as any child will tell you, a true philosopher. I may have posted this poem before, I don't care, it amuses me.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Love-Hat Relationship - Aaron Belz

I have been thinking about the love-hat relationship.
It is the relationship based on love of one another's hats.
The problem with the love-hat relationship is that it is superficial.
You don't necessarily even know the other person.
Also it is too dependent on whether the other person
is even wearing the favored hat. We all enjoy hats,
but they're not something to build an entire relationship on.
My advice to young people is to like hats but not love them.
Try having like-hat relationships with one another.
See if you can find something interesting about
the personality of the person whose hat you like.

Aaron Belz (b.1971) revels in the comedic. He has occasionally brought his readings to comedy stages. Read more about him here.

He is also clearly a follower of Emily Litella

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

England 1819 - Percy Bysshe Shelly

An old, mad, blind, despised, and dying king,
Princes, the dregs of their dull race, who flow
Through public scorn,--mud from a muddy spring,
Rulers who neither see, nor feel, nor know,
But leech-like to their fainting country cling,
Till they drop, blind in blood, without a blow,
A people starved and stabbed in the untilled field,
An army, which liberticide and prey
Makes as a two-edged sword to all who wield,
Golden and sanguine laws which tempt and slay;
Religion Christless, Godless--a book sealed;
A Senate,--Time's worst statute unrepealed,
Are graves, from which a glorious Phantom may
Burst, to illumine our tempestous day.

Percy Bysshe Shelly (1792-1822) was the classic English Romantic poet. Friend of John Keats and Lord Byron, husband of Mary Shelly. When I first read this poem some years ago it had a particularized meaning for me. . Now I think about the uprisings against totalitarianism all around the world.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Hand - Mary Reufle

The teacher asks a question.
You know the answer, you suspect
you are the only one in the classroom
who knows the answer, because the person
in question is yourself, and on that
you are the greatest living authority,
but you don’t raise your hand.
You raise the top of your desk
and take out an apple.
You look out the window.
You don’t raise your hand and there is
some essential beauty in your fingers,
which aren’t even drumming, but lie
flat and peaceful.
The teacher repeats the question.
Outside the window, on an overhanging branch,
a robin is ruffling its feathers
and spring is in the air.

Mary Ruefle (b.1952) travelled through Europe as the child of a military officer father. She has won Guggenheim and NEA Fellowships, among other honors. As a teacher myself I can only say, speak up kids!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Blessing - James Wright

Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.
They have come gladly out of the willows
To welcome my friend and me.
We step over the barbed wire into the pasture
Where they have been grazing all day, alone.
They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness
That we have come.
They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.
There is no loneliness like theirs.
At home once more,
They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
For she has walked over to me
And nuzzled my left hand.
She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead,
And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear
That is delicate as the skin over a girl's wrist.
Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom.
James Wright (1927-1980) won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1972.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Jamaican Idol - Terese Svoboda

Walking backward from the sea,
scales shedding, you seek the cave.

This is why the French door admits
only ocean. You stare into the louver

and forget how to get out. Lull
is the word, or loll. The sea returns,

completing your pulse, the waves live,
each breath of yours worship.

Terese Svoboda (b.?) tells all. Here

Friday, April 22, 2011

Chester - John Koethe

Wallace Stevens is beyond fathoming, he is so strange; it is as if he had a morbid secret he would rather perish than disclose . . .
—Marrianne Moore to William Carlos Williams

Another day, which is usually how they come:
A cat at the foot of the bed, noncommittal
In its blankness of mind, with the morning light
Slowly filling the room, and fragmentary
Memories of last night's video and phone calls.
It is a feeling of sufficiency, one menaced
By the fear of some vague lack, of a simplicity
Of self, a self without a soul, the nagging fear
Of being someone to whom nothing ever happens.
Thus the fantasy of the narrative behind the story,
Of the half-concealed life that lies beneath
The ordinary one, made up of ordinary mornings
More alike in how they feel than what they say.
They seem like luxuries of consciousness,
Like second thoughts that complicate the time
One simply wastes. And why not? Mere being
Is supposed to be enough, without the intricate
Evasions of a mystery or offstage tragedy.
Evenings follow on the afternoons, lingering in
The living room and listening to the stereo
While Peggy Lee sings "Is That All There Is?"
Amid the morning papers and the usual
Ghosts keeping you company, but just for a while.
The true soul is the one that flickers in the eyes
Of an animal, like a cat that lifts its head and yawns
And looks at you, and then goes back to sleep.

John Koethe (b. 1945) holds a Ph.D in philosophy from Harvard University. In spite of that handicap he writes poems that are deeply rooted in human experience and are lyrically expressive. I like the cat on the bed.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Touring the World - Alden Marin

Step across this latticework
of the day dividing down;
this car, that couch, anyone's corridor--
the TV is off in the living room
but the radio drones on--
a disembodied voice saying "Save America"
but it's already lost, like
a county fair balloon
a kid let go of, while eating
popcorn & cotton candy at once--
the nightingale sings at 3am
So as not to be eaten by the owl
and squirrels are asleep
with eyes flicking open
in their clever dens, preparing
to beg for more free scraps tomorrow;
This is how it used to be
And this is today--waiting
for civilization to end, according
to the Mayan Calendar,
New Age Astronomy
in which we may, or may not believe--
and fired TV celebrities
with their own shows booing them
all the while, touring the world.

Alden Marin (b.?), well he was born, and he is a great friend and supporter of the Poem of the Day. He is a California poet, artist, musician and all-around supporter of the arts. You can read more about him here. Thanks Alden.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Patience - Kay Ryan

Patience is
wider than one
once envisioned,
with ribbons
of rivers
and distant
ranges and
tasks undertaken
and finished
with modest
relish by
natives in their
native dress.
Who would
have guessed
it possible
that waiting
is sustainable—
a place with
its own harvests.
Or that in
time's fullness
the diamonds
of patience
couldn't be
from the genuine
in brilliance
or hardness.
Kay Ryan (b. 1945) is the winner of the 2011 Pulizter Prize for Poetry for her 2010 collection "The Best Of It." She has also won the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, a Guggenheim fellowship, an Ingram Merrill Award, a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Union League Poetry Prize, the Maurice English Poetry Award, and three Pushcart Prizes. One of her poems is also permanently installed at the Central Park Zoo.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sutra - Marilyn Krysl

Looking back now, I see
I was dispassionate too often,
dismissing the robin as common,
and now can't remember what
robin song sounds like. I hoarded
my days, as though to keep them
safe from depletion, and meantime
I kept busy being lonely. This
took up the bulk of my time,
and I did not speak to strangers
because they might be boring,
and there were those I feared

would ask me for money. I was
clumsy around the confident,
and the well bred, standing on
their parapets, enthralled me,
but when one approached, I
fled. I also feared the street's
down and outs, anxious lest
they look at me closely, and
afraid I would see their misery.

I feared my father who feared
me and did not touch me,
which made me more afraid.
My mother feared him too,
and as I grew to be like him,
she became afraid of me also.
I kept busy avoiding dangers
of many colors, fleeing from
those with whom I had much

in common. Now afternoon,
one chair in the garden. Late
low light, the lilies still open,
sky beyond them preparing
to close for the night. I'd
made money, but had I kissed

a single lily? On the chair's
arm my empty cup. Its curved
lip struck, bright in late light.
I watch that last light going,
leaving behind its brief burning
which will come to nothing.

The lilies still open, waiting.

Let me be that last sliver of light.
Let me be that last gleaming sliver of silver,
there for an instant on the lily's petal,

light speaking in tongues, tongues of flame.

Marilyn Krysl (b.1942) has led a fascinating life, among other things teaching ESL in China. You can read all about her and read more of her remarkable poetry here.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Dear Migraine - Gail Mazur

You're the shadow shadow lurking in me
and the lunatic light waiting in that shadow.

Ghostwriter of my half-life, intention's ambush
I can't prepare for, ruthless whammy

you have me ogling a blinding sun,
my right eye naked even with both lids closed—

glowering sun, unerring navigator
around this darkened room, you're my laser probe,

I'm your unwilling wavelength,
I can never transcend your modus operandi,

I've given up trying to outsmart you,
and the new thinking says I didn't invent you—

whatever you were to me I've outgrown,
I don't need you, but you're tenacity embodied,

tightening my skull, my temple, like plastic wrap.
Many times, I've traveled to a dry climate

that wouldn't pander to you, as if the great map
of America's deserts held the key to a pain-free future,

but you were an encroaching line in the sand,
then you were the sand. We've spent the best years

of my life intertwined: wherever I land
you entrap me in the unraveled faces

of panhandlers, their features my features—
you, little death I won't stop for, little death

luring me across your footbridge to the other side,
oblivion's anodyne. Soon—I can't know where or when—

we'll dance ache to ache again on my life's fragments,
one part abandoned, the other abundance—

Gail Mazur (b.1937) is Distinguished Writer in Residence at Emerson College and Founding Director of the Blacksmith House Poetry Series in Cambridge, a weekly poetry reading series she ran for 29 years. You can read more about her and more poems here.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sailing to Byzantium - William Butler Yeats

Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) wrote this poem in 1926. He wrote, "When Irishmen were illuminating the Book of Kells an dmaking the jeweled croziers in the National Museum, Byzantium was the centre fo European civilization and the source of its spiritual philosophy, so I symbolize the search for the spiritual life by a journey to that city."

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Machines - Michael Donaghy

Dearest, note how these two are alike:
This harpsichord pavane by Purcell
And the racer's twelve-speed bike.

The machinery of grace is always simple.
This chrome trapezoid, one wheel connected
To another of concentric gears,
Which Ptolemy dreamt of and Schwinn perfected,
Is gone. The cyclist, not the cycle, steers,
And in the playing, Purcell's chords are played away.

So think talk, or touch if I were there,
Should work its effortless gadgetry of love,
Like Dante's heaven, and melt into the air,

If it doesn't, of course, I've fallen. So much is chance,
So much agility, desire and feverish care,
As bicyclists and harpsichordists prove

Who only by moving can balance,
Only by balancing move.

Michael Donaghy (1954-2004) was born in the Bronx, New York. He won the Whitebread Prize for Poetry and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize in 1988 for his collection Shibboleth. He moved to London in 1985 where he worked as a teacher and musician.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Two for April 15th

Taxman - George Harrison

One, two, three, four...
One, two, (one, two, three, four!)

Let me tell you how it will be;
There's one for you, nineteen for me.
'Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.

Should five per cent appear too small,
Be thankful I don't take it all.
'Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.

(if you drive a car, car;) - I’ll tax the street;
(if you try to sit, sit;) - I’ll tax your seat;
(if you get too cold, cold;) - I’ll tax the heat;
(if you take a walk, walk;) - I'll tax your feet.


'Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.

Don't ask me what I want it for, (ah-ah, mister Wilson)
If you don't want to pay some more. (ah-ah, mister heath)
'Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.

Now my advice for those who die, (taxman)
Declare the pennies on your eyes. (taxman)
'Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.

And you're working for no one but me.



Sunny Afternoon - Ray Davies

The tax man's taken all my DOUGH,
And left me in my stately home,
BLazing on a sunny afternoon.
And I can't sail my yacht,
He's taken everything I've got,
All I've got's this sunny afternoon.

Save me, save me, save me from this squeeze.
I got a big fat mama trying to break me.
And I love to live so pleasantly,
Live this life of luxury,
BLazing on a sunny afternoon.
In the summertime
In the summertime
In the summertime

My girlfriend's run off with my car,
And gone back to her ma and pa,
Telling tales of drunkenness and cruelty.
Now I'm sitting here,
Sipping at my ice cool beer,
Lazing on a sunny afternoon.

Help me, help me, help me sail away,
Well give me two good reasons why I oughta stay.
'Cause I love to live so pleasantly,
Live this life of luxury,
Lazing on a sunny afternoon.
In the summertime
In the summertime
In the summertime

Ah, save me, save me, save me from this squeeze.
I got a big fat mama trying to break me.
And I love to live so pleasantly,
Live this life of luxury,
Lazing on a sunny afternoon.
In the summertime
In the summertime
In the summertime

Ok - First, I know taxes are not due until Monday but the 15th is traditionally the day we file. I'll stick with tradition. Also I usually resist the idea that lyrics are poetry. Lyrics are, well, lyrics. They're designed to work in conjunction with music, the two should be inseparable. This was just too good to resist. Have fun, hum along and play your Beatles and Kinks records. Or CDs, or MP3 or flac files.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Creation - Lei Shuyan

With the scalpel of time
I cut mystic fissures in the brain.

All that has not yet happened
That has already happened
That will happen
In rippling water within those fissures.

Where no beauty exists
I would create beauty.

I shall create a planet
And get it ready to collide with earth.

translated from the Chinese by Fang Dai, Dennis Ding and Edward Morin

Lei Shuyan (b.1942) has published nine books of poetry.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sentimental Moment or Why Did the Baguette Cross the Road? - Robert Hershon

Don't fill up on bread
I say absent-mindedly
The servings here are huge

My son, whose hair may be
receding a bit, says
Did you really just
say that to me?

What he doesn't know
is that when we're walking
together, when we get
to the curb
I sometimes start to reach
for his hand

Robert Hershon (?) appears to want to be a bit cagey about his birthdate. There are only the most general biographical statements about him in the places that I have searched. For example:

Robert Hershon was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He is the author of eleven books of poetry, of which The German Lunatic is the most recent. Among his awards are two creative writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. He also serves as co-editor of Hanging Loose Press.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

daughters - Lucille Clifton

woman who shines at the head
of my grandmother's bed,
brilliant woman, i like to think
you whispred into her ear
instructions. i like to think
you are the oddness in us,
you are the arrow
that pierced our plain skin
and made us fancy women;
my wild witch gran, my magic mama,
and even these gaudy girls.
i like to thnk you gave us
extraordinary power and to
protect us, you became the name
we were cautioned to forget.
it is enough,
you must have murmered,
to remember that i was
and that you are. woman, i am
lucille, which stands for light,
daughter of thelma, daughter
of georgia, daughter of
dazzling you.

Lucille Clifton (1936-2010) has two Pulitzer Prize nominations among her many honors. In 1999 she was elected Chancellor of the American Academy of Poets. Her poems eschew intellectual pretension in favor of a direct communication that still connects the reader to deeper realities.

Monday, April 11, 2011

15th Raga: For Bela Lugosi - David Meltzer

Sir when you say
Transylvania or wolfbane or
I am Count Dracula,
your eyes widen & for the moment,
become pure white marble.

No wonder you were a junkie.
It's in the smile. Your way of drifting
into Victorian bedrooms
holding up your cape like skirts,
then covering her face as you bent over to kiss & sup.

It is no wonder & it was
in good taste too.

David Meltzer (b. 1937) is one of the generation of Beat poets that came out of San Francisco in the early 1960s. You can catch up with him here.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

- Rumi

Dance when you're broken open.
Dance, if you've torn the bandage off.
Dance in the middle of the fighting.
Dance in your blood.
Dance, when you're perfectly free.

Rumi (1207-1273) was born in the Persian Empire in what is now Afghanistan. He was a mystic in the Sufi tradition. The poem is a reference to "the turn." The great Rumi scholar Coleman Barks writes, "The 'turn,' the moving meditation done by Mevlevi dervishes, originated with Rumi. The story goes that he was walking in the goldsmithing section of Konya when he hears a beautiful music in their hammering. He began turning in harmony with it, an ecstatic dance of surrender and yet with great centered discipline. He arrived at a place were ego dissolves and a resonance with universal soul comes in. Dervish literally means "doorway."

Saturday, April 9, 2011

from Milton - William Blake

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green?
And was the holy lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen?

And did the countinance divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among those dark satanice mills?

Bring me my bow of burning gold:
Bring me my arrows of desire:
Bring me my spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire.

I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
Till we have build Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land.

William Blake (1757-1827) did not title this poem. It concludes his book Introduction to Milton I will shy away from analysis but I will note that I cannot read this poem without hearing the extravagant, not to say bombastic musical adaptation by Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Not sure what that says about me.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Giving Up Smoking - Wendy Cope

There's not a Shakespeare sonnet
Or a Beethoven quartet
That's easier to like than you
Or harder to forget.

You think that sounds extravagant?
I haven't finished yet -
I like you more than I would like
To have a cigarette.


Unsurprisingly, Wendy Cope (b.1945) gave up smoking shortly before writing this poem. She writes, "People who have never been addicted to nicotine don't understand what an intense love poem it is."

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Capriccio - Rita Dove

Miklos the Magnificent,
otherwise known as Nikolaus Josef
of the clan Salamon in the Czallokoz
and successor to the seat of Esterhazy in Galanta,
royal instigator of the Baroque castle at Fertod,
Lieutenant Field Marshall of the Austrian Empire (decorated),
musician (practiced), sober, honest,
and educated by Jesuits,

had a fantasy: to assemble an array
of Nature's eccentricities - a dwarf, an African perhaps a gypsy
or ferocious Turk or flat-faced Borneo,
summoning each before him dressed in the deep blue and red livery
of the House of Esterhazy
to see who among them would bear
with the most decorum
the imperial trappings.

He would hold a masquerade.
Haydn could work up an opera.

All this transpired within a crescent
of ochre stone run aground in the marshlands of Neusiedlersee,
rural western Hungary,
in the year 1785


from Sonata Mulatica Rita Dove, former United States Poet Laureate has written a collection of poems and a play on the life of George Bridgetower a violin prodigy born to a white European woman and (in her words) a black "African Prince." This violinist travels through the courts of 18th and 19th century Europe and inspires Beethoven to write his Kreutzer Sonata. This poem appears early in the collection and describes the world that Bridgetower will enter.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Hippos on Holiday - Billy Collins

is not really the title of a movie
but if it was I would be sure to see it.
I love their short legs and big heads,
the whole hippo look.
Hundreds of them would frolic
in the mud of a wide, slow-moving river,
and I would eat my popcorn
in the dark of a neighborhood theater.
When they opened their enormous mouths
lined with big stubby teeth
I would drink my enormous Coke.

I would be both in my seat
and in the water playing with the hippos,
which is the way it is
with a truly great movie.
Only a mean-spirited reviewer
would ask on holiday from what?


Long time readers of the Poem of the Day know that Billy Collins is a favorite of ours. He was Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001-2003 and Poet Laureate of New York State from 2004-2006.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Company of Birds - Sasha Moorsom

Ah the company of the birds
I loved and cherished on earth
Now, freed of flesh we fly
Together, a flock of beating wings,
I am as light, as feathery,
As gone from gravity we woar
In endless circles.

Sahsa Moorsom (1931-1993) loved birds. According to her they represented the soaring spirit in her and in others. She sculpted her own birdbath so that she could watch them and make sure they had enough to eat in the winter.

Monday, April 4, 2011

U-District Incident Report - Heather McHugh

Apparently they want your body parts. They frisk you for

Your handset, earbud, bluetooth, cellphone, iPad, thumb drive, memory stick

And laptop. You won't need any of it soon. Give them

The finger too.
I don't know, just felt like a Monday poem to me.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Uses of Poetry - William Carlos Williams

I've fond anticipation of a day
O'erfilled with pure diversion presently,
For I must read a lady poesy
The while we glide by many a leafy bay,

Hid deep in rushes, where at random play
The glossy black winged May-flies, or whence flee
Hush-throated nestlings in alarm,
Whom we have idly frighted with our boat's long sway.

For, lest o'ersaddened by such woes as spring
To rural peace from our meek onward trend,
What else more fit? We'll draw the latch-string

And close the door of sense; then satiate wend,
On poesy's transforming giant wing,
To worlds afar whose fruits all anguish mend.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The House - Richard Wilbur

Sometimes, on waking, she would close her eyes
For a last look at that white house she knew
In sleep alone, and held no title to,
And had not entered yet, for all her sighs.

What did she tell me of that house of hers?
White gatepost; terrace; fanlight of the door;
A widow's walk above the bouldered shore;
Salt winds that ruffle the surrounding firs.

Is she now there, wherever there may be?
Only a foolish man would hope to find
That haven fashioned by her dreaming mind.
Night after night, my love, I put to sea.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Spring - Edna St.Vincent Millay

To what purpose, April do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily.
I know what I know.
The sun is hot on my neck as I observe
The spikes of the crocus.
The smell of the earth is good.
It is apparent that there is no death.
But what does that signify?
Not only under ground are the brains of men
Eaten by maggots.
Life in itself
Is nothing,
An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.

Welcome to another year of poem of the day. We come on like an idiot babbling, etc. Feel free to comment, discuss or submit your own poem.