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Best Famous Elinor Wylie Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Elinor Wylie poems. This is a select list of the best famous Elinor Wylie poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Elinor Wylie poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Elinor Wylie poems.

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by Elinor Wylie | |

Love Song

 I lie here thinking of you:—

the stain of love
is upon the world!
Yellow, yellow, yellow
it eats into the leaves,
smears with saffron
the horned branched the lean
heavily
against a smooth purple sky!
There is no light
only a honey-thick stain
that drips from leaf to leaf
and limb to limb
spoiling the colors
of the whole world—

you far off there under
the wine-red selvage of the west!


by Elinor Wylie | |

August

 When my eyes are weeds,
And my lips are petals, spinning
Down the wind that has beginning
Where the crumpled beeches start
In a fringe of salty reeds;
When my arms are elder-bushes,
And the rangy lilac pushes
Upward, upward through my heart;

Summer, do your worst!
Light your tinsel moon, and call on
Your performing stars to fall on
Headlong through your paper sky;
Nevermore shall I be cursed
By a flushed and amorous slattern,
With her dusty laces' pattern
Trailing, as she straggles by.


by Elinor Wylie | |

Atavism

 1
Sometimes in the open you look up
where birds go by, or just nothing,
and wait.
A dim feeling comes you were like this once, there was air, and quiet; it was by a lake, or maybe a river you were alert as an otter and were suddenly born like the evening star into wide still worlds like this one you have found again, for a moment, in the open.
2 Something is being told in the woods: aisles of shadow lead away; a branch waves; a pencil of sunlight slowly travels its path.
A withheld presence almost speaks, but then retreats, rustles a patch of brush.
You can feel the centuries ripple generations of wandering, discovering, being lost and found, eating, dying, being born.
A walk through the forest strokes your fur, the fur you no longer have.
And your gaze down a forest aisle is a strange, long plunge, dark eyes looking for home.
For delicious minutes you can feel your whiskers wider than your mind, away out over everything.


by Elinor Wylie | |

Love Song

 How can I keep my soul in me, so that
it doesn't touch your soul? How can I raise
it high enough, past you, to other things?
I would like to shelter it, among remote
lost objects, in some dark and silent place
that doesn't resonate when your depths resound.
Yet everything that touches us, me and you, takes us together like a violin's bow, which draws one voice out of two seperate strings.
Upon what instrument are we two spanned? And what musician holds us in his hand? Oh sweetest song.


by Elinor Wylie | |

Sanctuary

 My land is bare of chattering folk;
The clouds are low along the ridges,
And sweet's the air with curly smoke
From all my burning bridges.


by Elinor Wylie | |

Love Song

 My own dear love, he is strong and bold 
And he cares not what comes after.
His words ring sweet as a chime of gold, And his eyes are lit with laughter.
He is jubilant as a flag unfurled -- Oh, a girl, she'd not forget him.
My own dear love, he is all my world, -- And I wish I'd never met him.
My love, he's mad, and my love, he's fleet, And a wild young wood-thing bore him! The ways are fair to his roaming feet, And the skies are sunlit for him.
As sharply sweet to my heart he seems As the fragrance of acacia.
My own dear love, he is all my dreams, -- And I wish he were in Asia.
My love runs by like a day in June, And he makes no friends of sorrows.
He'll tread his galloping rigadoon In the pathway of the morrows.
He'll live his days where the sunbeams start, Nor could storm or wind uproot him.
My own dear love, he is all my heart, -- And I wish somebody'd shoot him.


by Elinor Wylie | |

Cold-Blooded Creatures

 Man, the egregious egoist
(In mystery the twig is bent)
Imagines, by some mental twist,
That he alone is sentient

Of the intolerable load
That on all living creatures lies,
Nor stoops to pity in the toad
The speechless sorrow of his eyes.
He asks no questions of the snake, Nor plumbs the phosphorescent gloom Where lidless fishes, broad awake, Swim staring at a nightmare doom.


by Elinor Wylie | |

Curious Circumstance

 The sailorman's child 
And the girl of the witch-- 
They can't be defiled 
By touching pitch.
The sailorman's son Had a ship for a nursery; The other one Was baptised by sorcery.
Although he's shipped To the Persian Gulf, her Body's been dipped In burning sulphur.


by Elinor Wylie | |

Incantation

 A white well 
In a black cave; 
A bright shell 
In a dark wave.
A white rose Black brambles hood; Smooth bright snows In a dark wood.
A flung white glove In a dark fight; A white dove On a wild black night.
A white door In a dark lane; A bright core To bitter black pain.
A white hand Waved from dark walls; In a burnt black land Bright waterfalls.
A bright spark Where black ashes are; In the smothering dark One white star.


by Elinor Wylie | |

Les Lauriers Sont Coupée

 Ah, love, within the shadow of the wood 
The laurels are cut down; some other brows 
May bear the classic wreath which Fame allows 
And find the burden honorable and good.
Have we not passed the laurels as they stood-- Soft in the veil with which Spring endows The wintry glitter of their woven boughs-- Nor stopped to break the branches while we could? Ah, love, for other brows they are cut down.
Thornless and scentless are their stems and flowers, And cold as death their twisted coronal.
Sweeter to us the sharpness of this crown; Sweeter the wildest roses which are ours; Sweeter the petals, even when they fall.


by Elinor Wylie | |

Now let no charitable hope

 Now let no charitable hope 
Confuse my mind with images 
Of eagle and of antelope: 
I am by nature none of these.
I was, being human, born alone; I am, being woman, hard beset; I live by squeezing from a stone What little nourishment I get.
In masks outrageous and austere The years go by in single file; But none has merited my fear, And none has quite escaped my smile.


by Elinor Wylie | |

Pretty Words

 Poets make pets of pretty, docile words:
I love smooth words, like gold-enamelled fish
Which circle slowly with a silken swish,
And tender ones, like downy-feathred birds:
Words shy and dappled, deep-eyed deer in herds,
Come to my hand, and playful if I wish,
Or purring softly at a silver dish,
Blue Persian kittens fed on cream and curds.
I love bright words, words up and singing early; Words that are luminous in the dark, and sing; Warm lazy words, white cattle under trees; I love words opalescent, cool, and pearly, Like midsummer moths, and honied words like bees, Gilded and sticky, with a little sting.


by Elinor Wylie | |

Sanctuary

 This is the bricklayer; hear the thud 
Of his heavy load dumped down on stone.
His lustrous bricks are brighter than blood, His smoking mortar whiter than bone.
Set each sharp-edged, fire-bitten brick Straight by the plumb-line's shivering length; Make my marvelous wall so thick Dead nor living may shake its strength.
Full as a crystal cup with drink Is my cell with dreams, and quiet, and cool.
.
.
.
Stop, old man! You must leave a chink; How can I breathe? You can't, you fool!


by Elinor Wylie | |

Sunset on the Spire

 All that I dream 
By day or night 
Lives in that stream 
Of lovely light.
Here is the earth, And there is the spire; This is my hearth, And that is my fire.
From the sun's dome I am shouted proof That this is my home, And that is my roof.
Here is my food, And here is my drink, And I am wooed From the moon's brink.
And the days go over, And the nights end; Here is my lover, Here is my friend.
All that I Can ever ask Wears that sky Like a thin gold mask.


by Elinor Wylie | |

The Lion and the Lamb

 I saw a Tiger's golden flank, 
I saw what food he ate, 
By a desert spring he drank; 
The Tiger's name was Hate.
Then I saw a placid Lamb Lying fast asleep; Like a river from its dam Flashed the Tiger's leap.
I saw a lion tawny-red, Terrible and brave; The Tiger's leap overhead Broke like a wave.
In sand below or sun above He faded like a flame.
The Lamb said, "I am Love; Lion, tell your name.
" The Lion's voice thundering Shook his vaulted breast, "I am Love.
By this spring, Brother, let us rest.
"


by Elinor Wylie | |

Atavism

 I was always afraid of Somes's Pond: 
Not the little pond, by which the willow stands, 
Where laughing boys catch alewives in their hands 
In brown, bright shallows; but the one beyond.
There, where the frost makes all the birches burn Yellow as cow-lilies, and the pale sky shines Like a polished shell between black spruce and pines, Some strange thing tracks us, turning where we turn.
You'll say I dreamed it, being the true daughter Of those who in old times endured this dread.
Look! Where the lily-stems are showing red A silent paddle moves below the water, A sliding shape has stirred them like a breath; Tall plumes surmount a painted mask of death.


by Elinor Wylie | |

August

 Why should this Negro insolently stride 
Down the red noonday on such noiseless feet? 
Piled in his barrow, tawnier than wheat, 
Lie heaps of smouldering daisies, sombre-eyed, 
Their copper petals shriveled up with pride, 
Hot with a superfluity of heat, 
Like a great brazier borne along the street 
By captive leopards, black and burning pied.
Are there no water-lilies, smooth as cream, With long stems dripping crystal? Are there none Like those white lilies, luminous and cool, Plucked from some hemlock-darkened northern stream By fair-haired swimmers, diving where the sun Scarce warms the surface of the deepest pool?


by Elinor Wylie | |

Bells in the Rain

 Sleep falls, with limpid drops of rain, 
Upon the steep cliffs of the town.
Sleep falls; men are at peace again While the small drops fall softly down.
The bright drops ring like bells of glass Thinned by the wind, and lightly blown; Sleep cannot fall on peaceful grass So softly as it falls on stone.
Peace falls unheeded on the dead Asleep; they have had deep peace to drink; Upon a live man's bloody head It falls most tenderly, I think.


by Elinor Wylie | |

Blood Feud

 Once, when my husband was a child, there came
To his father's table, one who called him kin,
In sunbleached corduroys paler than his skin.
His look was grave and kind; he bore the name Of the dead singer of Senlac, and his smile.
Shyly and courteously he smiled and spoke; "I've been in the laurel since the winter broke; Four months, I reckon; yes, sir, quite a while.
" He'd killed a score of foemen in the past, In some blood feud, a dark and monstrous thing; To him it seemed his duty.
At the last His enemies found him by a forest spring, Which, as he died, lay bright beneath his head, A silver shield that slowly turned to red.


by Elinor Wylie | |

Venetian Interior

 Allegra, rising from her canopied dreams, 
Slides both white feet across the slanted beams 
Which lace the peacock jalousies: behold 
An idol of fine clay, with feet of gold