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Best Famous Butterfly Poems

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

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Written by Muhammad Ali |

I float like a butterfly, sting like a bee

I float like a butterfly, sting like a bee

Written by Marianne Moore |

Marriage

 This institution,
perhaps one should say enterprise
out of respect for which
one says one need not change one's mind
about a thing one has believed in,
requiring public promises
of one's intention
to fulfill a private obligation:
I wonder what Adam and Eve
think of it by this time,
this firegilt steel
alive with goldenness;
how bright it shows --
"of circular traditions and impostures,
committing many spoils,"
requiring all one's criminal ingenuity
to avoid!
Psychology which explains everything
explains nothing
and we are still in doubt.
Eve: beautiful woman -- I have seen her when she was so handsome she gave me a start, able to write simultaneously in three languages -- English, German and French and talk in the meantime; equally positive in demanding a commotion and in stipulating quiet: "I should like to be alone;" to which the visitor replies, "I should like to be alone; why not be alone together?" Below the incandescent stars below the incandescent fruit, the strange experience of beauty; its existence is too much; it tears one to pieces and each fresh wave of consciousness is poison.
"See her, see her in this common world," the central flaw in that first crystal-fine experiment, this amalgamation which can never be more than an interesting possibility, describing it as "that strange paradise unlike flesh, gold, or stately buildings, the choicest piece of my life: the heart rising in its estate of peace as a boat rises with the rising of the water;" constrained in speaking of the serpent -- that shed snakeskin in the history of politeness not to be returned to again -- that invaluable accident exonerating Adam.
And he has beauty also; it's distressing -- the O thou to whom, from whom, without whom nothing -- Adam; "something feline, something colubrine" -- how true! a crouching mythological monster in that Persian miniature of emerald mines, raw silk -- ivory white, snow white, oyster white and six others -- that paddock full of leopards and giraffes -- long lemonyellow bodies sown with trapezoids of blue.
Alive with words, vibrating like a cymbal touched before it has been struck, he has prophesied correctly -- the industrious waterfall, "the speedy stream which violently bears all before it, at one time silent as the air and now as powerful as the wind.
" "Treading chasms on the uncertain footing of a spear," forgetting that there is in woman a quality of mind which is an instinctive manifestation is unsafe, he goes on speaking in a formal, customary strain of "past states," the present state, seals, promises, the evil one suffered, the good one enjoys, hell, heaven, everything convenient to promote one's joy.
" There is in him a state of mind by force of which, perceiving what it was not intended that he should, "he experiences a solemn joy in seeing that he has become an idol.
" Plagued by the nightingale in the new leaves, with its silence -- not its silence but its silences, he says of it: "It clothes me with a shirt of fire.
" "He dares not clap his hands to make it go on lest it should fly off; if he does nothing, it will sleep; if he cries out, it will not understand.
" Unnerved by the nightingale and dazzled by the apple, impelled by "the illusion of a fire effectual to extinguish fire," compared with which the shining of the earth is but deformity -- a fire "as high as deep as bright as broad as long as life itself," he stumbles over marriage, "a very trivial object indeed" to have destroyed the attitude in which he stood -- the ease of the philosopher unfathered by a woman.
Unhelpful Hymen! "a kind of overgrown cupid" reduced to insignificance by the mechanical advertising parading as involuntary comment, by that experiment of Adam's with ways out but no way in -- the ritual of marriage, augmenting all its lavishness; its fiddle-head ferns, lotus flowers, opuntias, white dromedaries, its hippopotamus -- nose and mouth combined in one magnificent hopper, "the crested screamer -- that huge bird almost a lizard," its snake and the potent apple.
He tells us that "for love that will gaze an eagle blind, that is like a Hercules climbing the trees in the garden of the Hesperides, from forty-five to seventy is the best age," commending it as a fine art, as an experiment, a duty or as merely recreation.
One must not call him ruffian nor friction a calamity -- the fight to be affectionate: "no truth can be fully known until it has been tried by the tooth of disputation.
" The blue panther with black eyes, the basalt panther with blue eyes, entirely graceful -- one must give them the path -- the black obsidian Diana who "darkeneth her countenance as a bear doth, causing her husband to sigh," the spiked hand that has an affection for one and proves it to the bone, impatient to assure you that impatience is the mark of independence not of bondage.
"Married people often look that way" -- "seldom and cold, up and down, mixed and malarial with a good day and bad.
" "When do we feed?" We occidentals are so unemotional, we quarrel as we feed; one's self is quite lost, the irony preserved in "the Ahasuerus t?te ? t?te banquet" with its "good monster, lead the way," with little laughter and munificence of humor in that quixotic atmosphere of frankness in which "Four o'clock does not exist but at five o'clock the ladies in their imperious humility are ready to receive you"; in which experience attests that men have power and sometimes one is made to feel it.
He says, "what monarch would not blush to have a wife with hair like a shaving-brush? The fact of woman is not `the sound of the flute but every poison.
'" She says, "`Men are monopolists of stars, garters, buttons and other shining baubles' -- unfit to be the guardians of another person's happiness.
" He says, "These mummies must be handled carefully -- `the crumbs from a lion's meal, a couple of shins and the bit of an ear'; turn to the letter M and you will find that `a wife is a coffin,' that severe object with the pleasing geometry stipulating space and not people, refusing to be buried and uniquely disappointing, revengefully wrought in the attitude of an adoring child to a distinguished parent.
" She says, "This butterfly, this waterfly, this nomad that has `proposed to settle on my hand for life.
' -- What can one do with it? There must have been more time in Shakespeare's day to sit and watch a play.
You know so many artists are fools.
" He says, "You know so many fools who are not artists.
" The fact forgot that "some have merely rights while some have obligations," he loves himself so much, he can permit himself no rival in that love.
She loves herself so much, she cannot see herself enough -- a statuette of ivory on ivory, the logical last touch to an expansive splendor earned as wages for work done: one is not rich but poor when one can always seem so right.
What can one do for them -- these savages condemned to disaffect all those who are not visionaries alert to undertake the silly task of making people noble? This model of petrine fidelity who "leaves her peaceful husband only because she has seen enough of him" -- that orator reminding you, "I am yours to command.
" "Everything to do with love is mystery; it is more than a day's work to investigate this science.
" One sees that it is rare -- that striking grasp of opposites opposed each to the other, not to unity, which in cycloid inclusiveness has dwarfed the demonstration of Columbus with the egg -- a triumph of simplicity -- that charitive Euroclydon of frightening disinterestedness which the world hates, admitting: "I am such a cow, if I had a sorrow, I should feel it a long time; I am not one of those who have a great sorrow in the morning and a great joy at noon;" which says: "I have encountered it among those unpretentious proteg?s of wisdom, where seeming to parade as the debater and the Roman, the statesmanship of an archaic Daniel Webster persists to their simplicity of temper as the essence of the matter: `Liberty and union now and forever;' the book on the writing-table; the hand in the breast-pocket.
"

Written by William Blake |

Auguries Of Innocence

 To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.
A robin redbreast in a cage Puts all heaven in a rage.
A dove-house filled with doves and pigeons Shudders hell through all its regions.
A dog starved at his master's gate Predicts the ruin of the state.
A horse misused upon the road Calls to heaven for human blood.
Each outcry of the hunted hare A fibre from the brain does tear.
A skylark wounded in the wing, A cherubim does cease to sing.
The game-cock clipped and armed for fight Does the rising sun affright.
Every wolf's and lion's howl Raises from hell a human soul.
The wild deer wandering here and there Keeps the human soul from care.
The lamb misused breeds public strife, And yet forgives the butcher's knife.
The bat that flits at close of eve Has left the brain that won't believe.
The owl that calls upon the night Speaks the unbeliever's fright.
He who shall hurt the little wren Shall never be beloved by men.
He who the ox to wrath has moved Shall never be by woman loved.
The wanton boy that kills the fly Shall feel the spider's enmity.
He who torments the chafer's sprite Weaves a bower in endless night.
The caterpillar on the leaf Repeats to thee thy mother's grief.
Kill not the moth nor butterfly, For the Last Judgment draweth nigh.
He who shall train the horse to war Shall never pass the polar bar.
The beggar's dog and widow's cat, Feed them, and thou wilt grow fat.
The gnat that sings his summer's song Poison gets from Slander's tongue.
The poison of the snake and newt Is the sweat of Envy's foot.
The poison of the honey-bee Is the artist's jealousy.
The prince's robes and beggar's rags Are toadstools on the miser's bags.
A truth that's told with bad intent Beats all the lies you can invent.
It is right it should be so: Man was made for joy and woe; And when this we rightly know Through the world we safely go.
Joy and woe are woven fine, A clothing for the soul divine.
Under every grief and pine Runs a joy with silken twine.
The babe is more than swaddling bands, Throughout all these human lands; Tools were made and born were hands, Every farmer understands.
Every tear from every eye Becomes a babe in eternity; This is caught by females bright And returned to its own delight.
The bleat, the bark, bellow, and roar Are waves that beat on heaven's shore.
The babe that weeps the rod beneath Writes Revenge! in realms of death.
The beggar's rags fluttering in air Does to rags the heavens tear.
The soldier armed with sword and gun Palsied strikes the summer's sun.
The poor man's farthing is worth more Than all the gold on Afric's shore.
One mite wrung from the labourer's hands Shall buy and sell the miser's lands, Or if protected from on high Does that whole nation sell and buy.
He who mocks the infant's faith Shall be mocked in age and death.
He who shall teach the child to doubt The rotting grave shall ne'er get out.
He who respects the infant's faith Triumphs over hell and death.
The child's toys and the old man's reasons Are the fruits of the two seasons.
The questioner who sits so sly Shall never know how to reply.
He who replies to words of doubt Doth put the light of knowledge out.
The strongest poison ever known Came from Caesar's laurel crown.
Nought can deform the human race Like to the armour's iron brace.
When gold and gems adorn the plough To peaceful arts shall Envy bow.
A riddle or the cricket's cry Is to doubt a fit reply.
The emmet's inch and eagle's mile Make lame philosophy to smile.
He who doubts from what he sees Will ne'er believe, do what you please.
If the sun and moon should doubt, They'd immediately go out.
To be in a passion you good may do, But no good if a passion is in you.
The whore and gambler, by the state Licensed, build that nation's fate.
The harlot's cry from street to street Shall weave old England's winding sheet.
The winner's shout, the loser's curse, Dance before dead England's hearse.
Every night and every morn Some to misery are born.
Every morn and every night Some are born to sweet delight.
Some are born to sweet delight, Some are born to endless night.
We are led to believe a lie When we see not through the eye Which was born in a night to perish in a night, When the soul slept in beams of light.
God appears, and God is light To those poor souls who dwell in night, But does a human form display To those who dwell in realms of day.

Written by Anne Sexton |

The Double Image

 1.
I am thirty this November.
You are still small, in your fourth year.
We stand watching the yellow leaves go queer, flapping in the winter rain.
falling flat and washed.
And I remember mostly the three autumns you did not live here.
They said I'd never get you back again.
I tell you what you'll never really know: all the medical hypothesis that explained my brain will never be as true as these struck leaves letting go.
I, who chose two times to kill myself, had said your nickname the mewling mouths when you first came; until a fever rattled in your throat and I moved like a pantomine above your head.
Ugly angels spoke to me.
The blame, I heard them say, was mine.
They tattled like green witches in my head, letting doom leak like a broken faucet; as if doom had flooded my belly and filled your bassinet, an old debt I must assume.
Death was simpler than I'd thought.
The day life made you well and whole I let the witches take away my guilty soul.
I pretended I was dead until the white men pumped the poison out, putting me armless and washed through the rigamarole of talking boxes and the electric bed.
I laughed to see the private iron in that hotel.
Today the yellow leaves go queer.
You ask me where they go I say today believed in itself, or else it fell.
Today, my small child, Joyce, love your self's self where it lives.
There is no special God to refer to; or if there is, why did I let you grow in another place.
You did not know my voice when I came back to call.
All the superlatives of tomorrow's white tree and mistletoe will not help you know the holidays you had to miss.
The time I did not love myself, I visited your shoveled walks; you held my glove.
There was new snow after this.
2.
They sent me letters with news of you and I made moccasins that I would never use.
When I grew well enough to tolerate myself, I lived with my mother, the witches said.
But I didn't leave.
I had my portrait done instead.
Part way back from Bedlam I came to my mother's house in Gloucester, Massachusetts.
And this is how I came to catch at her; and this is how I lost her.
I cannot forgive your suicide, my mother said.
And she never could.
She had my portrait done instead.
I lived like an angry guest, like a partly mended thing, an outgrown child.
I remember my mother did her best.
She took me to Boston and had my hair restyled.
Your smile is like your mother's, the artist said.
I didn't seem to care.
I had my portrait done instead.
There was a church where I grew up with its white cupboards where they locked us up, row by row, like puritans or shipmates singing together.
My father passed the plate.
Too late to be forgiven now, the witches said.
I wasn't exactly forgiven.
They had my portrait done instead.
3.
All that summer sprinklers arched over the seaside grass.
We talked of drought while the salt-parched field grew sweet again.
To help time pass I tried to mow the lawn and in the morning I had my portrait done, holding my smile in place, till it grew formal.
Once I mailed you a picture of a rabbit and a postcard of Motif number one, as if it were normal to be a mother and be gone.
They hung my portrait in the chill north light, matching me to keep me well.
Only my mother grew ill.
She turned from me, as if death were catching, as if death transferred, as if my dying had eaten inside of her.
That August you were two, by I timed my days with doubt.
On the first of September she looked at me and said I gave her cancer.
They carved her sweet hills out and still I couldn't answer.
4.
That winter she came part way back from her sterile suite of doctors, the seasick cruise of the X-ray, the cells' arithmetic gone wild.
Surgery incomplete, the fat arm, the prognosis poor, I heard them say.
During the sea blizzards she had here own portrait painted.
A cave of mirror placed on the south wall; matching smile, matching contour.
And you resembled me; unacquainted with my face, you wore it.
But you were mine after all.
I wintered in Boston, childless bride, nothing sweet to spare with witches at my side.
I missed your babyhood, tried a second suicide, tried the sealed hotel a second year.
On April Fool you fooled me.
We laughed and this was good.
5.
I checked out for the last time on the first of May; graduate of the mental cases, with my analysts's okay, my complete book of rhymes, my typewriter and my suitcases.
All that summer I learned life back into my own seven rooms, visited the swan boats, the market, answered the phone, served cocktails as a wife should, made love among my petticoats and August tan.
And you came each weekend.
But I lie.
You seldom came.
I just pretended you, small piglet, butterfly girl with jelly bean cheeks, disobedient three, my splendid stranger.
And I had to learn why I would rather die than love, how your innocence would hurt and how I gather guilt like a young intern his symptons, his certain evidence.
That October day we went to Gloucester the red hills reminded me of the dry red fur fox coat I played in as a child; stock still like a bear or a tent, like a great cave laughing or a red fur fox.
We drove past the hatchery, the hut that sells bait, past Pigeon Cove, past the Yacht Club, past Squall's Hill, to the house that waits still, on the top of the sea, and two portraits hung on the opposite walls.
6.
In north light, my smile is held in place, the shadow marks my bone.
What could I have been dreaming as I sat there, all of me waiting in the eyes, the zone of the smile, the young face, the foxes' snare.
In south light, her smile is held in place, her cheeks wilting like a dry orchid; my mocking mirror, my overthrown love, my first image.
She eyes me from that face that stony head of death I had outgrown.
The artist caught us at the turning; we smiled in our canvas home before we chose our foreknown separate ways.
The dry redfur fox coat was made for burning.
I rot on the wall, my own Dorian Gray.
And this was the cave of the mirror, that double woman who stares at herself, as if she were petrified in time -- two ladies sitting in umber chairs.
You kissed your grandmother and she cried.
7.
I could not get you back except for weekends.
You came each time, clutching the picture of a rabbit that I had sent you.
For the last time I unpack your things.
We touch from habit.
The first visit you asked my name.
Now you will stay for good.
I will forget how we bumped away from each other like marionettes on strings.
It wasn't the same as love, letting weekends contain us.
You scrape your knee.
You learn my name, wobbling up the sidewalk, calling and crying.
You can call me mother and I remember my mother again, somewhere in greater Boston, dying.
I remember we named you Joyce so we could call you Joy.
You came like an awkward guest that first time, all wrapped and moist and strange at my heavy breast.
I needed you.
I didn't want a boy, only a girl, a small milky mouse of a girl, already loved, already loud in the house of herself.
We named you Joy.
I, who was never quite sure about being a girl, needed another life, another image to remind me.
And this was my worst guilt; you could not cure or soothe it.
I made you to find me.

Written by Alfred Lord Tennyson |

The Talking Oak

 Once more the gate behind me falls; 
Once more before my face 
I see the moulder'd Abbey-walls, 
That stand within the chace.
Beyond the lodge the city lies, Beneath its drift of smoke; And ah! with what delighted eyes I turn to yonder oak.
For when my passion first began, Ere that, which in me burn'd, The love, that makes me thrice a man, Could hope itself return'd; To yonder oak within the field I spoke without restraint, And with a larger faith appeal'd Than Papist unto Saint.
For oft I talk'd with him apart And told him of my choice, Until he plagiarized a heart, And answer'd with a voice.
Tho' what he whisper'd under Heaven None else could understand; I found him garrulously given, A babbler in the land.
But since I heard him make reply Is many a weary hour; 'Twere well to question him, and try If yet he keeps the power.
Hail, hidden to the knees in fern, Broad Oak of Sumner-chace, Whose topmost branches can discern The roofs of Sumner-place! Say thou, whereon I carved her name, If ever maid or spouse, As fair as my Olivia, came To rest beneath thy boughs.
--- "O Walter, I have shelter'd here Whatever maiden grace The good old Summers, year by year Made ripe in Sumner-chace: "Old Summers, when the monk was fat, And, issuing shorn and sleek, Would twist his girdle tight, and pat The girls upon the cheek, "Ere yet, in scorn of Peter's-pence, And number'd bead, and shrift, Bluff Harry broke into the spence And turn'd the cowls adrift: "And I have seen some score of those Fresh faces that would thrive When his man-minded offset rose To chase the deer at five; "And all that from the town would stroll, Till that wild wind made work In which the gloomy brewer's soul Went by me, like a stork: "The slight she-slips of royal blood, And others, passing praise, Straight-laced, but all-too-full in bud For puritanic stays: "And I have shadow'd many a group Of beauties, that were born In teacup-times of hood and hoop, Or while the patch was worn; "And, leg and arm with love-knots gay About me leap'd and laugh'd The modish Cupid of the day, And shrill'd his tinsel shaft.
"I swear (and else may insects prick Each leaf into a gall) This girl, for whom your heart is sick, Is three times worth them all.
"For those and theirs, by Nature's law, Have faded long ago; But in these latter springs I saw Your own Olivia blow, "From when she gamboll'd on the greens A baby-germ, to when The maiden blossoms of her teens Could number five from ten.
"I swear, by leaf, and wind, and rain, (And hear me with thine ears,) That, tho' I circle in the grain Five hundred rings of years--- "Yet, since I first could cast a shade, Did never creature pass So slightly, musically made, So light upon the grass: "For as to fairies, that will flit To make the greensward fresh, I hold them exquisitely knit, But far too spare of flesh.
" Oh, hide thy knotted knees in fern, And overlook the chace; And from thy topmost branch discern The roofs of Sumner-place.
But thou, whereon I carved her name, That oft hast heard my vows, Declare when last Olivia came To sport beneath thy boughs.
"O yesterday, you know, the fair Was holden at the town; Her father left his good arm-chair, And rode his hunter down.
"And with him Albert came on his.
I look'd at him with joy: As cowslip unto oxlip is, So seems she to the boy.
"An hour had past---and, sitting straight Within the low-wheel'd chaise, Her mother trundled to the gate Behind the dappled grays.
"But as for her, she stay'd at home, And on the roof she went, And down the way you use to come, She look'd with discontent.
"She left the novel half-uncut Upon the rosewood shelf; She left the new piano shut: She could not please herseif "Then ran she, gamesome as the colt, And livelier than a lark She sent her voice thro' all the holt Before her, and the park.
"A light wind chased her on the wing, And in the chase grew wild, As close as might be would he cling About the darling child: "But light as any wind that blows So fleetly did she stir, The flower, she touch'd on, dipt and rose, And turn'd to look at her.
"And here she came, and round me play'd, And sang to me the whole Of those three stanzas that you made About my Ôgiant bole;' "And in a fit of frolic mirth She strove to span my waist: Alas, I was so broad of girth, I could not be embraced.
"I wish'd myself the fair young beech That here beside me stands, That round me, clasping each in each, She might have lock'd her hands.
"Yet seem'd the pressure thrice as sweet As woodbine's fragile hold, Or when I feel about my feet The berried briony fold.
" O muffle round thy knees with fern, And shadow Sumner-chace! Long may thy topmost branch discern The roofs of Sumner-place! But tell me, did she read the name I carved with many vows When last with throbbing heart I came To rest beneath thy boughs? "O yes, she wander'd round and round These knotted knees of mine, And found, and kiss'd the name she found, And sweetly murmur'd thine.
"A teardrop trembled from its source, And down my surface crept.
My sense of touch is something coarse, But I believe she wept.
"Then flush'd her cheek with rosy light, She glanced across the plain; But not a creature was in sight: She kiss'd me once again.
"Her kisses were so close and kind, That, trust me on my word, Hard wood I am, and wrinkled rind, But yet my sap was stirr'd: "And even into my inmost ring A pleasure I discern'd, Like those blind motions of the Spring, That show the year is turn'd.
"Thrice-happy he that may caress The ringlet's waving balm--- The cushions of whose touch may press The maiden's tender palm.
"I, rooted here among the groves But languidly adjust My vapid vegetable loves With anthers and with dust: "For ah! my friend, the days were brief Whereof the poets talk, When that, which breathes within the leaf, Could slip its bark and walk.
"But could I, as in times foregone, From spray, and branch, and stem, Have suck'd and gather'd into one The life that spreads in them, "She had not found me so remiss; But lightly issuing thro', I would have paid her kiss for kiss, With usury thereto.
" O flourish high, with leafy towers, And overlook the lea, Pursue thy loves among the bowers But leave thou mine to me.
O flourish, hidden deep in fern, Old oak, I love thee well; A thousand thanks for what I learn And what remains to tell.
" ÔTis little more: the day was warm; At last, tired out with play, She sank her head upon her arm And at my feet she lay.
"Her eyelids dropp'd their silken eaves I breathed upon her eyes Thro' all the summer of my leaves A welcome mix'd with sighs.
"I took the swarming sound of life--- The music from the town--- The murmurs of the drum and fife And lull'd them in my own.
"Sometimes I let a sunbeam slip, To light her shaded eye; A second flutter'd round her lip Like a golden butterfly; "A third would glimmer on her neck To make the necklace shine; Another slid, a sunny fleck, From head to ankle fine, "Then close and dark my arms I spread, And shadow'd all her rest--- Dropt dews upon her golden head, An acorn in her breast.
"But in a pet she started up, And pluck'd it out, and drew My little oakling from the cup, And flung him in the dew.
"And yet it was a graceful gift--- I felt a pang within As when I see the woodman lift His axe to slay my kin.
"I shook him down because he was The finest on the tree.
He lies beside thee on the grass.
O kiss him once for me.
"O kiss him twice and thrice for me, That have no lips to kiss, For never yet was oak on lea Shall grow so fair as this.
' Step deeper yet in herb and fern, Look further thro' the chace, Spread upward till thy boughs discern The front of Sumner-place.
This fruit of thine by Love is blest, That but a moment lay Where fairer fruit of Love may rest Some happy future day.
I kiss it twice, I kiss it thrice, The warmth it thence shall win To riper life may magnetise The baby-oak within.
But thou, while kingdoms overset, Or lapse from hand to hand, Thy leaf shall never fail, nor yet Thine acorn in the land.
May never saw dismember thee, Nor wielded axe disjoint, That art the fairest-spoken tree From here to Lizard-point.
O rock upon thy towery-top All throats that gurgle sweet! All starry culmination drop Balm-dews to bathe thy feet! All grass of silky feather grow--- And while he sinks or swells The full south-breeze around thee blow The sound of minster bells.
The fat earth feed thy branchy root, That under deeply strikes! The northern morning o'er thee shoot, High up, in silver spikes! Nor ever lightning char thy grain, But, rolling as in sleep, Low thunders bring the mellow rain, That makes thee broad and deep! And hear me swear a solemn oath, That only by thy side Will I to Olive plight my troth, And gain her for my bride.
And when my marriage morn may fall, She, Dryad-like, shall wear Alternate leaf and acorn-ball In wreath about her hair.
And I will work in prose and rhyme, And praise thee more in both Than bard has honour'd beech or lime, Or that Thessalian growth, In which the swarthy ringdove sat, And mystic sentence spoke; And more than England honours that, Thy famous brother-oak, Wherein the younger Charles abode Till all the paths were dim, And far below the Roundhead rode, And humm'd a surly hymn.

Written by Robert Frost |

Blue-Butterfly Day

 It is blue-butterfly day here in spring,
And with these sky-flakes down in flurry on flurry
There is more unmixed color on the wing
Than flowers will show for days unless they hurry.
But these are flowers that fly and all but sing: And now from having ridden out desire They lie closed over in the wind and cling Where wheels have freshly sliced the April mire.

Written by Emily Dickinson |

A little road not made of man

A little road not made of man,
Enabled of the eye,
Accessible to thill of bee,
Or cart of butterfly.
If town it have, beyond itself, 'T is that I cannot say; I only sigh,--no vehicle Bears me along that way.

Written by Peter Orlovsky |

SECOND POEM

 Morning again, nothing has to be done, 
 maybe buy a piano or make fudge.
At least clean the room up for sure like my farther I've done flick the ashes & butts over the bed side on the floor.
But frist of all wipe my glasses and drink the water to clean the smelly mouth.
A nock on the door, a cat walks in, behind her the Zoo's baby elephant demanding fresh pancakes-I cant stand these hallucinations aney more.
Time for another cigerette and then let the curtains rise, then I knowtice the dirt makes a road to the garbage pan No ice box so a dried up grapefruit.
Is there any one saintly thing I can do to my room, paint it pink maybe or instal an elevator from the bed to the floor, maybe take a bath on the bed? Whats the use of liveing if I cant make paradise in my own room-land? For this drop of time upon my eyes like the endurance of a red star on a cigerate makes me feel life splits faster than sissors.
I know if I could shave myself the bugs around my face would disappear forever.
The holes in my shues are only temporary, I understand that.
My rug is dirty but whose that isent? There comes a time in life when everybody must take a piss in the sink -here let me paint the window black for a minute.
Thro a plate & brake it out of naughtiness-or maybe just innocently accidentally drop it wile walking around the tabol.
Before the mirror I look like a sahara desert gost, or on the bed I resemble a crying mummey hollaring for air, or on the tabol I feel like Napoleon.
But now for the main task of the day - wash my underwear - two months abused - what would the ants say about that? How can I wash my clothes - why I'd, I'd, I'd be a woman if I did that.
No, I'd rather polish my sneakers than that and as for the floor its more creative to paint it then clean it up.
As for the dishes I can do that for I am thinking of getting a job in a lunchenette.
My life and my room are like two huge bugs following me around the globe.
Thank god I have an innocent eye for nature.
I was born to remember a song about love - on a hill a butterfly makes a cup that I drink from, walking over a bridge of flowers.
Dec.
27th, 1957, Paris

Written by Matsuo Basho |

A caterpillar

 A caterpillar,
this deep in fall--
 still not a butterfly.

Written by Pablo Neruda |

I Like For You To Be Still

 I like for you to be still
It is as though you are absent
And you hear me from far away
And my voice does not touch you
It seems as though your eyes had flown away
And it seems that a kiss had sealed your mouth
As all things are filled with my soul
You emerge from the things
Filled with my soul
You are like my soul
A butterfly of dream
And you are like the word: Melancholy

I like for you to be still
And you seem far away
It sounds as though you are lamenting
A butterfly cooing like a dove
And you hear me from far away
And my voice does not reach you
Let me come to be still in your silence
And let me talk to you with your silence
That is bright as a lamp
Simple, as a ring
You are like the night
With its stillness and constellations
Your silence is that of a star
As remote and candid

I like for you to be still
It is as though you are absent
Distant and full of sorrow
So you would've died
One word then, One smile is enough
And I'm happy;
Happy that it's not true

Written by Diane Wakoski |

This Beautiful Black Marriage

 Photograph negative
her black arm: a diving porpoise,
sprawled across the ice-banked pillow.
Head: a sheet of falling water.
Her legs: icicle branches breaking into light.
This woman, photographed sleeping.
The man, making the photograph in the acid pan of his brain.
Sleep stain them both, as if cloudy semen rubbed shiningly over the surface will be used to develop their images.
on the desert the porpoises curl up, their skeleton teeth are bared by parched lips; her sleeping feet trod on scarabs, holding the names of the dead tight in the steady breathing.
This man and woman have married and travel reciting chanting names of missing objects.
They enter a pyramid.
A black butterfly covers the doorway like a cobweb, folds around her body, the snake of its body closing her lips.
her breasts are stone stairs.
She calls the name, "Isis," and waits for the white face to appear.
No one walks in these pyramids at night.
No one walks during the day.
You walk in that negative time, the woman's presence filling up the space as if she were incense; man walks down the crevices and hills of her body.
Sounds of the black marriage are ritual sounds.
Of the porpoises dying on the desert.
The butterfly curtaining the body, The snake filling the mouth.
The sounds of all the parts coming together in this one place, the desert pyramid, built with the clean historical ugliness of men dying at work.
If you imagine, friend, that I do not have those black serpents in the pit of my body, that I am not crushed in fragments by the tough butterfly wing broken and crumpled like a black silk stocking, if you imagine that my body is not blackened burned wood, then you imagine a false woman.
This marriage could not change me.
Could not change my life.
Not is it that different from any other marriage.
They are all filled with desert journeys, with Isis who hold us in her terror, with Horus who will not let us see the parts of his body joined but must make us witness them in dark corners, in bloody confusion; and yet this black marriage, as you call it, has its own beauty.
As the black cat with its rich fur stretched and gliding smoothly down the tree trunks.
Or the shining black obsidian pulled out of mines and polished to the cat's eye.
Black as the neat seeds of a watermelon, or a pool of oil, prisming the light.
Do not despair this "black marriage.
" You must let the darkness out of your own body; acknowledge it and let it enter your mouth, taste the historical darkness openly.
Taste your own beautiful death, see your own photo image, as x-ray, Bone bleaching inside the blackening flesh

Written by Mahmoud Darwish |

Under Siege

 Here on the slopes of hills, facing the dusk and the cannon of time 
Close to the gardens of broken shadows, 
We do what prisoners do, 
And what the jobless do: 
We cultivate hope.
*** A country preparing for dawn.
We grow less intelligent For we closely watch the hour of victory: No night in our night lit up by the shelling Our enemies are watchful and light the light for us In the darkness of cellars.
*** Here there is no "I".
Here Adam remembers the dust of his clay.
*** On the verge of death, he says: I have no trace left to lose: Free I am so close to my liberty.
My future lies in my own hand.
Soon I shall penetrate my life, I shall be born free and parentless, And as my name I shall choose azure letters.
.
.
*** You who stand in the doorway, come in, Drink Arabic coffee with us And you will sense that you are men like us You who stand in the doorways of houses Come out of our morningtimes, We shall feel reassured to be Men like you! *** When the planes disappear, the white, white doves Fly off and wash the cheeks of heaven With unbound wings taking radiance back again, taking possession Of the ether and of play.
Higher, higher still, the white, white doves Fly off.
Ah, if only the sky Were real [a man passing between two bombs said to me].
*** Cypresses behind the soldiers, minarets protecting The sky from collapse.
Behind the hedge of steel Soldiers piss—under the watchful eye of a tank— And the autumnal day ends its golden wandering in A street as wide as a church after Sunday mass.
.
.
*** [To a killer] If you had contemplated the victim’s face And thought it through, you would have remembered your mother in the Gas chamber, you would have been freed from the reason for the rifle And you would have changed your mind: this is not the way to find one’s identity again.
*** The siege is a waiting period Waiting on the tilted ladder in the middle of the storm.
*** Alone, we are alone as far down as the sediment Were it not for the visits of the rainbows.
*** We have brothers behind this expanse.
Excellent brothers.
They love us.
They watch us and weep.
Then, in secret, they tell each other: "Ah! if this siege had been declared.
.
.
" They do not finish their sentence: "Don’t abandon us, don’t leave us.
" *** Our losses: between two and eight martyrs each day.
And ten wounded.
And twenty homes.
And fifty olive trees.
.
.
Added to this the structural flaw that Will arrive at the poem, the play, and the unfinished canvas.
*** A woman told the cloud: cover my beloved For my clothing is drenched with his blood.
*** If you are not rain, my love Be tree Sated with fertility, be tree If you are not tree, my love Be stone Saturated with humidity, be stone If you are not stone, my love Be moon In the dream of the beloved woman, be moon [So spoke a woman to her son at his funeral] *** Oh watchmen! Are you not weary Of lying in wait for the light in our salt And of the incandescence of the rose in our wound Are you not weary, oh watchmen? *** A little of this absolute and blue infinity Would be enough To lighten the burden of these times And to cleanse the mire of this place.
*** It is up to the soul to come down from its mount And on its silken feet walk By my side, hand in hand, like two longtime Friends who share the ancient bread And the antique glass of wine May we walk this road together And then our days will take different directions: I, beyond nature, which in turn Will choose to squat on a high-up rock.
*** On my rubble the shadow grows green, And the wolf is dozing on the skin of my goat He dreams as I do, as the angel does That life is here.
.
.
not over there.
*** In the state of siege, time becomes space Transfixed in its eternity In the state of siege, space becomes time That has missed its yesterday and its tomorrow.
*** The martyr encircles me every time I live a new day And questions me: Where were you? Take every word You have given me back to the dictionaries And relieve the sleepers from the echo’s buzz.
*** The martyr enlightens me: beyond the expanse I did not look For the virgins of immortality for I love life On earth, amid fig trees and pines, But I cannot reach it, and then, too, I took aim at it With my last possession: the blood in the body of azure.
*** The martyr warned me: Do not believe their ululations Believe my father when, weeping, he looks at my photograph How did we trade roles, my son, how did you precede me.
I first, I the first one! *** The martyr encircles me: my place and my crude furniture are all that I have changed.
I put a gazelle on my bed, And a crescent of moon on my finger To appease my sorrow.
*** The siege will last in order to convince us we must choose an enslavement that does no harm, in fullest liberty! *** Resisting means assuring oneself of the heart’s health, The health of the testicles and of your tenacious disease: The disease of hope.
*** And in what remains of the dawn, I walk toward my exterior And in what remains of the night, I hear the sound of footsteps inside me.
*** Greetings to the one who shares with me an attention to The drunkenness of light, the light of the butterfly, in the Blackness of this tunnel! *** Greetings to the one who shares my glass with me In the denseness of a night outflanking the two spaces: Greetings to my apparition.
*** My friends are always preparing a farewell feast for me, A soothing grave in the shade of oak trees A marble epitaph of time And always I anticipate them at the funeral: Who then has died.
.
.
who? *** Writing is a puppy biting nothingness Writing wounds without a trace of blood.
*** Our cups of coffee.
Birds green trees In the blue shade, the sun gambols from one wall To another like a gazelle The water in the clouds has the unlimited shape of what is left to us Of the sky.
And other things of suspended memories Reveal that this morning is powerful and splendid, And that we are the guests of eternity.

Written by Robert Frost |

My Butterfly

 Thine emulous fond flowers are dead, too,
And the daft sun-assaulter, he
That frightened thee so oft, is fled or dead:
Saave only me
(Nor is it sad to thee!)
Save only me
There is none left to mourn thee in the fields.
The gray grass is scarce dappled with the snow; Its two banks have not shut upon the river; But it is long ago-- It seems forever-- Since first I saw thee glance, WIth all thy dazzling other ones, In airy dalliance, Precipitate in love, Tossed, tangled, whirled and whirled above, Like a linp rose-wreath in a fairy dance.
When that was, the soft mist Of my regret hung not on all the land, And I was glad for thee, And glad for me, I wist.
Thou didst not know, who tottered, wandering on high, That fate had made thee for the pleasure of the wind, With those great careless wings, Nor yet did I.
And there were othe rthings: It seemed God let thee flutter from his gentle clasp: Then fearful he had let thee win Too far beyond him to be gathered in, Santched thee, o'ereager, with ungentle gasp.
Ah! I remember me How once conspiracy was rife Against my life-- The languor of it and the dreaming fond; Surging, the grasses dizzied me of thought, The breeze three odors brought, And a gem-flower waved in a wand! Then when I was distraught And could not speak, Sidelong, full on my cheek, What should that reckless zephyr fling But the wild touch of thy dye-dusty wing! I found that wing broken today! For thou art dead, I said, And the strang birds say.
I found it with the withered leaves Under the eaves.

Written by Mary Darby Robinson |

The Bee and the Butterfly

 UPON a garden's perfum'd bed 
With various gaudy colours spread, 
Beneath the shelter of a ROSE 
A BUTTERFLY had sought repose; 
Faint, with the sultry beams of day, 
Supine the beauteous insect lay.
A BEE, impatient to devour The nectar sweets of ev'ry flow'r, Returning to her golden store, A weight of fragrant treasure bore; With envious eye, she mark'd the shade, Where the poor BUTTERFLY was laid, And resting on the bending spray, Thus murmur'd forth her drony lay:­ "Thou empty thing, whose merit lies In the vain boast of orient dies; Whose glittering form the slightest breath Robs of its gloss, and fades to death; Who idly rov'st the summer day, Flutt'ring a transient life away, Unmindful of the chilling hour, The nipping frost, the drenching show'r; Who heedless of "to-morrow's fare," Mak'st present bliss thy only care; Is it for THEE, the damask ROSE With such transcendent lustre glows? Is it for such a giddy thing Nature unveils the blushing spring? Hence, from thy lurking place, and know, 'Tis not for THEE her beauties glow.
" The BUTTERFLY, with decent pride, In gentle accents, thus reply'd: "'Tis true, I flutter life away In pastime, innocent and gay; The SUN that decks the blushing spring Gives lustre to my painted wing; 'Tis NATURE bids each colour vie, With rainbow tints of varying die; I boast no skill, no subtle pow'r To steal the balm from ev'ry flow'r; The ROSE, that only shelter'd ME, Has pour'd a load of sweets on THEE; Of merit we have both our share, Heav'n gave thee ART, and made me FAIR; And tho' thy cunning can despise The humble worth of harmless flies; Remember, envious, busy thing, Thy honey'd form conceals a sting; Enjoy thy garden, while I rove The sunny hill, the woodbine grove, And far remov'd from care and THEE, Embrace my humble destiny; While in some lone sequester'd bow'r, I'll live content beyond thy pow'r; For where ILL-NATURE holds her reign TASTE, WORTH, and BEAUTY, plead in vain; E'en GENIUS must to PRIDE submit When ENVY wings the shaft of WIT.

Written by Emily Dickinson |

One Sister have I in our house

 One Sister have I in our house,
And one, a hedge away.
There's only one recorded, But both belong to me.
One came the road that I came -- And wore my last year's gown -- The other, as a bird her nest, Builded our hearts among.
She did not sing as we did -- It was a different tune -- Herself to her a music As Bumble bee of June.
Today is far from Childhood -- But up and down the hills I held her hand the tighter -- Which shortened all the miles -- And still her hum The years among, Deceives the Butterfly; Still in her Eye The Violets lie Mouldered this many May.
I spilt the dew -- But took the morn -- I chose this single star From out the wide night's numbers -- Sue - forevermore!