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‘Something About’ by P. J. Kavanagh

‘Something About’

by P. J. Kavanagh2015-03-18 13.27.09

“Something About

A poem set in Dublin, St Stephen’s Green

Something About

those huge black canvasses in Newman’s
church, St Stephen’s Green – restoration
botched perhaps – Raphael Cartoons,”

You can read the complete poem here. P. J. Kavanagh passed away on this day last year, you can read more of his work through Surrey Libraries.

Take a look at our Words in Focus page for your chance to appear in print and find out about our latest poetry events.

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‘Arcadia Revisited’ by Bret Harte

‘Arcadia Revisited’

by Bret HarteDSCF9120

“Ah, here’s the spot — the very tree
Where once I carved an L. and E.,
Symbolical of her and me
Bound in Love’s rosy fetters;
Since then five weary years are spent,
And yet I think we’re both content
That in Love’s Book we never went
Beyond our simple letters.

For, looking through the rustling leaves,
I see the humble cottage eaves
Where now my Em. no longer weaves
Her mystic maiden fancies,
But milks her cows — she called ’em kine
In the brave days when she was mine–
But now she’s dropped those phrases fine
She borrowed from romances.

But here’s the place — the very tree
Where once I fell on bended knee
And breathed my burning vows — while she
Stood by in pale pink muslin.
I kissed her hand — but why revamp
Old feelings now? — the grass is damp,
And what with this rheumatic cramp
To kneel now would be puzzling.

She walks no more ‘neath starlit skies,
She calls the evening mists that rise
Miasma, and the dew that lies
Is damp and cold and shocking.
She now wears boots. Five years ago
Her skirts she gathered up below;
‘T was not from dampness, but to show
Her slippers and white stocking.

Beneath this shade we used to read
“Maud Muller,” and we both agreed
The Judge was wrong — but why proceed?
She’s married to another!
She has not pined — that form is stout
That once this arm was clasped about,
She has two girls; they’re both, no doubt,
The image of their mother!

She said she loved not “wealth or state,”
But most adored the “wise and great,”
And gave a look to intimate
That this was my complexion;
“Her husband should be eyed like Mars,”
That’s he, there, letting down the bars,
In cowhide boots. No doubt her Pa’s,
But O, not her selection!

And yet, am I her young love’s dream:
The pensive lover that did seem
The rightful Prince who should redeem
The promise of her fancies?
And I that same dyspeptic youth
Who rang the chimes on “sooth” and “truth,”
Minus that cuspidate tooth
Whose presence kills romances?

O Love, behind yon leafy screen!
Why can’t all trees be evergreen?
Why can’t all girls be sweet sixteen,
All men but one-and-twenty?
Why are the scars that hearts must wear
Deeper than those yon tree may bear?
And why are lovers now so rare,
And married folk so plenty?”

Bret Harte was born on this day in 1836. You can read more of his work through Surrey Libraries.

Take a look at our Words in Focus page for your chance to appear in print and find out about our latest poetry events.

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“A Compass” by Jorge Luis Borges

“A Compass”DSCF9120

by Jorge Luis Borges

“All things are words belonging to that language

In which Someone or Something, night and day,

Writes down the infinite babble that is, per se,

The history of the world. And in that hodgepodge…”

You can read the complete poem here. Jorge Luis Borges was born on this day in 1899. You can read his selected poems with Surrey Libraries.

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‘Star Light, Star Bright’ by Dorothy Parker

‘Star Light, Star Bright’

by Dorothy Parker

“Star, that gives a gracious dole,
What am I to choose?
Oh, will it be a shriven soul,
Or little buckled shoes…”

You can read the complete poem here. Dorothy Parker was born on this day in 1893, you can read more of her work through Surrey Libraries.

Take a look at our Words in Focus page for your chance to appear in print.

 

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‘Nemesis’ by H. P. Lovecraft

‘Nemesis’

by H. P. Lovecraft2015-03-18 13.27.09

“Through the ghoul-guarded gateways of slumber,
Past the wan-mooned abysses of night,
I have lived o’er my lives without number,
I have sounded all things with my sight;
And I struggle and shriek ere the daybreak, being driven to madness with fright.

I have whirled with the earth at the dawning,
When the sky was a vaporous flame;
I have seen the dark universe yawning
Where the black planets roll without aim,
Where they roll in their horror unheeded, without knowledge or lustre or name.

I had drifted o’er seas without ending,
Under sinister grey-clouded skies,
That the many-forked lightning is rending,
That resound with hysterical cries;
With the moans of invisible daemons, that out of the green waters rise.

I have plunged like a deer through the arches
Of the hoary primoridal grove,
Where the oaks feel the presence that marches,
And stalks on where no spirit dares rove,
And I flee from a thing that surrounds me, and leers through dead branches above.

I have stumbled by cave-ridden mountains
That rise barren and bleak from the plain,
I have drunk of the fog-foetid fountains
That ooze down to the marsh and the main;
And in hot cursed tarns I have seen things, I care not to gaze on again.

I have scanned the vast ivy-clad palace,
I have trod its untenanted hall,
Where the moon rising up from the valleys
Shows the tapestried things on the wall;
Strange figures discordantly woven, that I cannot endure to recall.

I have peered from the casements in wonder
At the mouldering meadows around,
At the many-roofed village laid under
The curse of a grave-girdled ground;
And from rows of white urn-carven marble, I listen intently for sound.

I have haunted the tombs of the ages,
I have flown on the pinions of fear,
Where the smoke-belching Erebus rages;
Where the jokulls loom snow-clad and drear:
And in realms where the sun of the desert consumes what it never can cheer.

I was old when the pharaohs first mounted
The jewel-decked throne by the Nile;
I was old in those epochs uncounted
When I, and I only, was vile;
And Man, yet untainted and happy, dwelt in bliss on the far Arctic isle.

Oh, great was the sin of my spirit,
And great is the reach of its doom;
Not the pity of Heaven can cheer it,
Nor can respite be found in the tomb:
Down the infinite aeons come beating the wings of unmerciful gloom.

Through the ghoul-guarded gateways of slumber,
Past the wan-mooned abysses of night,
I have lived o’er my lives without number,
I have sounded all things with my sight;
And I struggle and shriek ere the daybreak, being driven to madness with fright.”

H. P. Lovecraft was born on this day in 1890, you can read more of his work through Surrey Libraries.

Take a look at our Words in Focus page for your chance to appear in print.

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‘A Lady Who Thinks She Is Thirty’ by Ogden Nash

‘A Lady Who Thinks She Is Thirty’

by Ogden Nash

“Unwillingly Miranda wakes,
Feels the sun with terror,
One unwilling step she takes,
Shuddering to the mirror…”

You can read the complete poem here. Ogden Nash was born on this day in 1902, you can read more of his work through Surrey Libraries.

Take a look at our Words in Focus page for your chance to appear in print.

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‘The Thought Fox’ by Ted Hughes

‘The Thought Fox’

by Ted Hughes

“I imagine this midnight moment’s forest:
Something else is alive
Beside the clock’s loneliness
And this blank page where my fingers move…”

You can read the complete poem here. Ted Hughes was born on this day in 1930, you can read more of his work at Surrey Libraries.

Take a look at our Words in Focus page for your chance to appear in print.

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