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‘New Selected Poems’ by Derek Mahon
Available from Surrey Libraries. (A small request charge may apply).
Have you read it? Please leave a review on our catalogue.
Surrey Libraries : Poetry Book of the Week
by Christina Rossetti
“Come to me in the silence of the night;
Come in the speaking silence of a dream;
Come with soft rounded cheeks and eyes as bright
As sunlight on a stream;
Come back in tears,
O memory, hope, love of finished years.
O dream how sweet, too sweet, too bitter sweet,
Whose wakening should have been in Paradise,
Where souls brimfull of love abide and meet;
Where thirsting longing eyes
Watch the slow door
That opening, letting in, lets out no more.
Yet come to me in dreams, that I may live
My very life again though cold in death:
Come back to me in dreams, that I may give
Pulse for pulse, breath for breath:
Speak low, lean low
As long ago, my love, how long ago.”
Christina Rossetti was born on this day in 1830, you can read more of her work through Surrey Libraries.
by Rainer Maria Rilke
“My eyes already touch the sunny hill.
going far ahead of the road I have begun.
So we are grasped by what we cannot grasp;
it has inner light, even from a distance-
and charges us, even if we do not reach it,
into something else, which, hardly sensing it,
we already are; a gesture waves us on
answering our own wave…
but what we feel is the wind in our faces.”
Translated by Robert Bly
Rainer Maria Rilke was born on this day in 1875, you can read more of his work through Surrey Libraries.
‘The Complaints Of The Poor’
by Robert Southey
“And wherefore do the Poor complain?
The rich man asked of me,—
Come walk abroad with me, I said
And I will answer thee.
Twas evening and the frozen streets
Were cheerless to behold,
And we were wrapt and coated well,
And yet we were a-cold.
We met an old bare-headed man,
His locks were few and white,
I ask’d him what he did abroad
In that cold winter’s night:
‘Twas bitter keen indeed, he said,
But at home no fire had he,
And therefore, he had come abroad
To ask for charity.
We met a young bare-footed child,
And she begg’d loud and bold,
I ask’d her what she did abroad
When the wind it blew so cold;
She said her father was at home
And he lay sick a-bed,
And therefore was it she was sent
Abroad to beg for bread.
We saw a woman sitting down
Upon a stone to rest,
She had a baby at her back
And another at her breast;
I ask’d her why she loiter’d there
When the wind it was so chill;
She turn’d her head and bade the child
That scream’d behind be still.
She told us that her husband served
A soldier, far away,
And therefore to her parish she
Was begging back her way.
We met a girl; her dress was loose
And sunken was her eye,
Who with the wanton’s hollow voice
Address’d the passers by;
I ask’d her what there was in guilt
That could her heart allure
To shame, disease, and late remorse?
She answer’d, she was poor.
I turn’d me to the rich man then
For silently stood he,
You ask’d me why the Poor complain,
And these have answer’d thee.”
This poem was suggested by regular contributor, John Burr.
‘An Arundel Tomb’
by Philip Larkin
“Side by side, their faces blurred,
The earl and countess lie in stone,
Their proper habits vaguely shown
As jointed armour, stiffened pleat,
And that faint hint of the absurd—
The little dogs under their feet…”
by Aleister Crowley
“As night hath stars, more rare than ships
In ocean, faint from pole to pole,
So all the wonder of her lips
Hints her innavigable soul…”
‘Such Great Heights’
by Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello
“I am thinking it’s a sign
That the freckles in our eyes
Are mirror images
And when we kiss they’re perfectly aligned
And I have to speculate
That God Himself did make
Us into corresponding shapes
Like puzzle pieces from the clay…”
You can read the lyrics in full here. Concluding a month of song lyrics with The Postal Service’s beautiful track from 2003.