Amazing Nature Photos

Best Famous Confusion Poems

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

Search for the best famous Confusion poems, articles about Confusion poems, poetry blogs, or anything else Confusion poem related using the PoetrySoup search engine at the top of the page.

See Also:
Written by Raymond Carver | Create an image from this poem

Fear

 Fear of seeing a police car pull into the drive.
Fear of falling asleep at night.
Fear of not falling asleep.
Fear of the past rising up.
Fear of the present taking flight.
Fear of the telephone that rings in the dead of night.
Fear of electrical storms.
Fear of the cleaning woman who has a spot on her cheek! Fear of dogs I've been told won't bite.
Fear of anxiety! Fear of having to identify the body of a dead friend.
Fear of running out of money.
Fear of having too much, though people will not believe this.
Fear of psychological profiles.
Fear of being late and fear of arriving before anyone else.
Fear of my children's handwriting on envelopes.
Fear they'll die before I do, and I'll feel guilty.
Fear of having to live with my mother in her old age, and mine.
Fear of confusion.
Fear this day will end on an unhappy note.
Fear of waking up to find you gone.
Fear of not loving and fear of not loving enough.
Fear that what I love will prove lethal to those I love.
Fear of death.
Fear of living too long.
Fear of death.
I've said that.
Written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe | Create an image from this poem

THE DANCE OF DEATH

 THE warder looks down at the mid hour of night,

On the tombs that lie scatter'd below:
The moon fills the place with her silvery light,

And the churchyard like day seems to glow.
When see! first one grave, then another opes wide, And women and men stepping forth are descried, In cerements snow-white and trailing.
In haste for the sport soon their ankles they twitch, And whirl round in dances so gay; The young and the old, and the poor, and the rich, But the cerements stand in their way; And as modesty cannot avail them aught here, They shake themselves all, and the shrouds soon appear Scatter'd over the tombs in confusion.
Now waggles the leg, and now wriggles the thigh, As the troop with strange gestures advance, And a rattle and clatter anon rises high, As of one beating time to the dance.
The sight to the warder seems wondrously queer, When the villainous Tempter speaks thus in his ear: "Seize one of the shrouds that lie yonder!" Quick as thought it was done! and for safety he fled Behind the church-door with all speed; The moon still continues her clear light to shed On the dance that they fearfully lead.
But the dancers at length disappear one by one, And their shrouds, ere they vanish, they carefully don, And under the turf all is quiet.
But one of them stumbles and shuffles there still, And gropes at the graves in despair; Yet 'tis by no comrade he's treated so ill The shroud he soon scents in the air.
So he rattles the door--for the warder 'tis well That 'tis bless'd, and so able the foe to repel, All cover'd with crosses in metal.
The shroud he must have, and no rest will allow, There remains for reflection no time; On the ornaments Gothic the wight seizes now, And from point on to point hastes to climb.
Alas for the warder! his doom is decreed! Like a long-legged spider, with ne'er-changing speed, Advances the dreaded pursuer.
The warder he quakes, and the warder turns pale, The shroud to restore fain had sought; When the end,--now can nothing to save him avail,-- In a tooth formed of iron is caught.
With vanishing lustre the moon's race is run, When the bell thunders loudly a powerful One, And the skeleton fails, crush'd to atoms.
1813.
Written by Alfred Lord Tennyson | Create an image from this poem

Beautiful City

 Beautiful city

Beautiful city, the centre and crater of European confusion,
O you with your passionate shriek for the rights of an equal
humanity,
How often your Re-volution has proven but E-volution
Roll’d again back on itself in the tides of a civic insanity!
Written by Mark Strand | Create an image from this poem

The Story Of Our Lives

 1
We are reading the story of our lives
which takes place in a room.
The room looks out on a street.
There is no one there, no sound of anything.
The tress are heavy with leaves, the parked cars never move.
We keep turning the pages, hoping for something, something like mercy or change, a black line that would bind us or keep us apart.
The way it is, it would seem the book of our lives is empty.
The furniture in the room is never shifted, and the rugs become darker each time our shadows pass over them.
It is almost as if the room were the world.
We sit beside each other on the couch, reading about the couch.
We say it is ideal.
It is ideal.
2 We are reading the story of our lives, as though we were in it, as though we had written it.
This comes up again and again.
In one of the chapters I lean back and push the book aside because the book says it is what I am doing.
I lean back and begin to write about the book.
I write that I wish to move beyond the book.
Beyond my life into another life.
I put the pen down.
The book says: "He put the pen down and turned and watched her reading the part about herself falling in love.
" The book is more accurate than we can imagine.
I lean back and watch you read about the man across the street.
They built a house there, and one day a man walked out of it.
You fell in love with him because you knew that he would never visit you, would never know you were waiting.
Night after night you would say that he was like me.
I lean back and watch you grow older without me.
Sunlight falls on your silver hair.
The rugs, the furniture, seem almost imaginary now.
"She continued to read.
She seemed to consider his absence of no special importance, as someone on a perfect day will consider the weather a failure because it did not change his mind.
" You narrow your eyes.
You have the impulse to close the book which describes my resistance: how when I lean back I imagine my life without you, imagine moving into another life, another book.
It describes your dependence on desire, how the momentary disclosures of purpose make you afraid.
The book describes much more than it should.
It wants to divide us.
3 This morning I woke and believed there was no more to to our lives than the story of our lives.
When you disagreed, I pointed to the place in the book where you disagreed.
You fell back to sleep and I began to read those mysterious parts you used to guess at while they were being written and lose interest in after they became part of the story.
In one of them cold dresses of moonlight are draped over the chairs in a man's room.
He dreams of a woman whose dresses are lost, who sits in a garden and waits.
She believes that love is a sacrifice.
The part describes her death and she is never named, which is one of the things you could not stand about her.
A little later we learn that the dreaming man lives in the new house across the street.
This morning after you fell back to sleep I began to turn the pages early in the book: it was like dreaming of childhood, so much seemed to vanish, so much seemed to come to life again.
I did not know what to do.
The book said: "In those moments it was his book.
A bleak crown rested uneasily on his head.
He was the brief ruler of inner and outer discord, anxious in his own kingdom.
" 4 Before you woke I read another part that described your absence and told how you sleep to reverse the progress of your life.
I was touched by my own loneliness as I read, knowing that what I feel is often the crude and unsuccessful form of a story that may never be told.
"He wanted to see her naked and vulnerable, to see her in the refuse, the discarded plots of old dreams, the costumes and masks of unattainable states.
It was as if he were drawn irresistably to failure.
" It was hard to keep reading.
I was tired and wanted to give up.
The book seemed aware of this.
It hinted at changing the subject.
I waited for you to wake not knowing how long I waited, and it seemed that I was no longer reading.
I heard the wind passing like a stream of sighs and I heard the shiver of leaves in the trees outside the window.
It would be in the book.
Everything would be there.
I looked at your face and I read the eyes, the nose, the mouth .
.
.
5 If only there were a perfect moment in the book; if only we could live in that moment, we could being the book again as if we had not written it, as if we were not in it.
But the dark approaches to any page are too numerous and the escapes are too narrow.
We read through the day.
Each page turning is like a candle moving through the mind.
Each moment is like a hopeless cause.
If only we could stop reading.
"He never wanted to read another book and she kept staring into the street.
The cars were still there, the deep shade of trees covered them.
The shades were drawn in the new house.
Maybe the man who lived there, the man she loved, was reading the story of another life.
She imagine a bare parlor, a cold fireplace, a man sitting writing a letter to a woman who has sacrificed her life for love.
" If there were a perfect moment in the book, it would be the last.
The book never discusses the causes of love.
It claims confusion is a necessary good.
It never explains.
It only reveals.
6 The day goes on.
We study what we remember.
We look into the mirror across the room.
We cannot bear to be alone.
The book goes on.
"They became silent and did not know how to begin the dialogue which was necessary.
It was words that created divisions in the first place, that created loneliness.
They waited they would turn the pages, hoping something would happen.
They would patch up their lives in secret: each defeat forgiven because it could not be tested, each pain rewarded because it was unreal.
They did nothing.
" 7 The book will not survive.
We are the living proof of that.
It is dark outside, in the room it is darker.
I hear your breathing.
You are asking me if I am tired, if I want to keep reading.
Yes, I am tired.
Yes, I want to keep reading.
I say yes to everything.
You cannot hear me.
"They sat beside each other on the couch.
They were the copies, the tired phantoms of something they had been before.
The attitudes they took were jaded.
They stared into the book and were horrified by their innocence, their reluctance to give up.
They sat beside each other on the couch.
They were determined to accept the truth.
Whatever it was they would accept it.
The book would have to be written and would have to be read.
They are the book and they are nothing else.
Written by Robert Frost | Create an image from this poem

In the Home Stretch

 SHE stood against the kitchen sink, and looked
Over the sink out through a dusty window
At weeds the water from the sink made tall.
She wore her cape; her hat was in her hand.
Behind her was confusion in the room, Of chairs turned upside down to sit like people In other chairs, and something, come to look, For every room a house has—parlor, bed-room, And dining-room—thrown pell-mell in the kitchen.
And now and then a smudged, infernal face Looked in a door behind her and addressed Her back.
She always answered without turning.
“Where will I put this walnut bureau, lady?” “Put it on top of something that’s on top Of something else,” she laughed.
“Oh, put it where You can to-night, and go.
It’s almost dark; You must be getting started back to town.
” Another blackened face thrust in and looked And smiled, and when she did not turn, spoke gently, “What are you seeing out the window, lady?” “Never was I beladied so before.
Would evidence of having been called lady More than so many times make me a lady In common law, I wonder.
” “But I ask, What are you seeing out the window, lady?” “What I’ll be seeing more of in the years To come as here I stand and go the round Of many plates with towels many times.
” “And what is that? You only put me off.
” “Rank weeds that love the water from the dish-pan More than some women like the dish-pan, Joe; A little stretch of mowing-field for you; Not much of that until I come to woods That end all.
And it’s scarce enough to call A view.
” “And yet you think you like it, dear?” “That’s what you’re so concerned to know! You hope I like it.
Bang goes something big away Off there upstairs.
The very tread of men As great as those is shattering to the frame Of such a little house.
Once left alone, You and I, dear, will go with softer steps Up and down stairs and through the rooms, and none But sudden winds that snatch them from our hands Will ever slam the doors.
” “I think you see More than you like to own to out that window.
” “No; for besides the things I tell you of, I only see the years.
They come and go In alternation with the weeds, the field, The wood.
” “What kind of years?” “Why, latter years— Different from early years.
” “I see them, too.
You didn’t count them?” “No, the further off So ran together that I didn’t try to.
It can scarce be that they would be in number We’d care to know, for we are not young now.
And bang goes something else away off there.
It sounds as if it were the men went down, And every crash meant one less to return To lighted city streets we, too, have known, But now are giving up for country darkness.
” “Come from that window where you see too much for me, And take a livelier view of things from here.
They’re going.
Watch this husky swarming up Over the wheel into the sky-high seat, Lighting his pipe now, squinting down his nose At the flame burning downward as he sucks it.
” “See how it makes his nose-side bright, a proof How dark it’s getting.
Can you tell what time It is by that? Or by the moon? The new moon! What shoulder did I see her over? Neither.
A wire she is of silver, as new as we To everything.
Her light won’t last us long.
It’s something, though, to know we’re going to have her Night after night and stronger every night To see us through our first two weeks.
But, Joe, The stove! Before they go! Knock on the window; Ask them to help you get it on its feet.
We stand here dreaming.
Hurry! Call them back!” “They’re not gone yet.
” “We’ve got to have the stove, Whatever else we want for.
And a light.
Have we a piece of candle if the lamp And oil are buried out of reach?” Again The house was full of tramping, and the dark, Door-filling men burst in and seized the stove.
A cannon-mouth-like hole was in the wall, To which they set it true by eye; and then Came up the jointed stovepipe in their hands, So much too light and airy for their strength It almost seemed to come ballooning up, Slipping from clumsy clutches toward the ceiling.
“A fit!” said one, and banged a stovepipe shoulder.
“It’s good luck when you move in to begin With good luck with your stovepipe.
Never mind, It’s not so bad in the country, settled down, When people ’re getting on in life, You’ll like it.
” Joe said: “You big boys ought to find a farm, And make good farmers, and leave other fellows The city work to do.
There’s not enough For everybody as it is in there.
” “God!” one said wildly, and, when no one spoke: “Say that to Jimmy here.
He needs a farm.
” But Jimmy only made his jaw recede Fool-like, and rolled his eyes as if to say He saw himself a farmer.
Then there was a French boy Who said with seriousness that made them laugh, “Ma friend, you ain’t know what it is you’re ask.
” He doffed his cap and held it with both hands Across his chest to make as ’twere a bow: “We’re giving you our chances on de farm.
” And then they all turned to with deafening boots And put each other bodily out of the house.
“Goodby to them! We puzzle them.
They think— I don’t know what they think we see in what They leave us to: that pasture slope that seems The back some farm presents us; and your woods To northward from your window at the sink, Waiting to steal a step on us whenever We drop our eyes or turn to other things, As in the game ‘Ten-step’ the children play.
” “Good boys they seemed, and let them love the city.
All they could say was ‘God!’ when you proposed Their coming out and making useful farmers.
” “Did they make something lonesome go through you? It would take more than them to sicken you— Us of our bargain.
But they left us so As to our fate, like fools past reasoning with.
They almost shook me.
” “It’s all so much What we have always wanted, I confess It’s seeming bad for a moment makes it seem Even worse still, and so on down, down, down.
It’s nothing; it’s their leaving us at dusk.
I never bore it well when people went.
The first night after guests have gone, the house Seems haunted or exposed.
I always take A personal interest in the locking up At bedtime; but the strangeness soon wears off.
” He fetched a dingy lantern from behind A door.
“There’s that we didn’t lose! And these!”— Some matches he unpocketed.
“For food— The meals we’ve had no one can take from us.
I wish that everything on earth were just As certain as the meals we’ve had.
I wish The meals we haven’t had were, anyway.
What have you you know where to lay your hands on?” “The bread we bought in passing at the store.
There’s butter somewhere, too.
” “Let’s rend the bread.
I’ll light the fire for company for you; You’ll not have any other company Till Ed begins to get out on a Sunday To look us over and give us his idea Of what wants pruning, shingling, breaking up.
He’ll know what he would do if he were we, And all at once.
He’ll plan for us and plan To help us, but he’ll take it out in planning.
Well, you can set the table with the loaf.
Let’s see you find your loaf.
I’ll light the fire.
I like chairs occupying other chairs Not offering a lady—” “There again, Joe! You’re tired.
” “I’m drunk-nonsensical tired out; Don’t mind a word I say.
It’s a day’s work To empty one house of all household goods And fill another with ’em fifteen miles away, Although you do no more than dump them down.
” “Dumped down in paradise we are and happy.
” “It’s all so much what I have always wanted, I can’t believe it’s what you wanted, too.
” “Shouldn’t you like to know?” “I’d like to know If it is what you wanted, then how much You wanted it for me.
” “A troubled conscience! You don’t want me to tell if I don’t know.
” “I don’t want to find out what can’t be known.
But who first said the word to come?” “My dear, It’s who first thought the thought.
You’re searching, Joe, For things that don’t exist; I mean beginnings.
Ends and beginnings—there are no such things.
There are only middles.
” “What is this?” “This life? Our sitting here by lantern-light together Amid the wreckage of a former home? You won’t deny the lantern isn’t new.
The stove is not, and you are not to me, Nor I to you.
” “Perhaps you never were?” “It would take me forever to recite All that’s not new in where we find ourselves.
New is a word for fools in towns who think Style upon style in dress and thought at last Must get somewhere.
I’ve heard you say as much.
No, this is no beginning.
” “Then an end?” “End is a gloomy word.
” “Is it too late To drag you out for just a good-night call On the old peach trees on the knoll to grope By starlight in the grass for a last peach The neighbors may not have taken as their right When the house wasn’t lived in? I’ve been looking: I doubt if they have left us many grapes.
Before we set ourselves to right the house, The first thing in the morning, out we go To go the round of apple, cherry, peach, Pine, alder, pasture, mowing, well, and brook.
All of a farm it is.
” “I know this much: I’m going to put you in your bed, if first I have to make you build it.
Come, the light.
” When there was no more lantern in the kitchen, The fire got out through crannies in the stove And danced in yellow wrigglers on the ceiling, As much at home as if they’d always danced there.
Written by Phillis Wheatley | Create an image from this poem

To a Lady on the Death of Her Husband

Grim monarch! see, depriv'd of vital breath,
A young physician in the dust of death:
Dost thou go on incessant to destroy,
Our griefs to double, and lay waste our joy?
"Enough" thou never yet wast known to say,
Though millions die, the vassals of thy sway:
Nor youth, nor science, nor the ties of love,
Nor aught on earth thy flinty heart can move.
The friend, the spouse from his dire dart to save, In vain we ask the sovereign of the grave.
Fair mourner, there see thy lov'd Leonard laid, And o'er him spread the deep impervious shade; Clos'd are his eyes, and heavy fetters keep His senses bound in never-waking sleep, Till time shall cease, till many a starry world Shall fall from heav'n, in dire confusion hurl'd, Till nature in her final wreck shall lie, And her last groan shall rend the azure sky: Not, not till then his active soul shall claim His body, a divine immortal frame.
But see the softly-stealing tears apace Pursue each other down the mourner's face; But cease thy tears, bid ev'ry sigh depart, And cast the load of anguish from thine heart: From the cold shell of his great soul arise, And look beyond, thou native of the skies; There fix thy view, where fleeter than the wind Thy Leonard mounts, and leaves the earth behind.
Thyself prepare to pass the vale of night To join for ever on the hills of light: To thine embrace his joyful sprit moves To thee, the partner of his earthly loves; He welcomes thee to pleasures more refin'd, And better suited to th' immortal mind.
Written by Wole Soyinka | Create an image from this poem

Civilian and Soldier

My apparition rose from the fall of lead,
Declared, 'I am a civilian.
' It only served To aggravate your fright.
For how could I Have risen, a being of this world, in that hour Of impartial death! And I thought also: nor is Your quarrel of this world.
You stood still For both eternities, and oh I heard the lesson Of your traing sessions, cautioning - Scorch earth behind you, do not leave A dubious neutral to the rear.
Reiteration Of my civilian quandary, burrowing earth From the lead festival of your more eager friends Worked the worse on your confusion, and when You brought the gun to bear on me, and death Twitched me gently in the eye, your plight And all of you came clear to me.
I hope some day Intent upon my trade of living, to be checked In stride by your apparition in a trench, Signalling, I am a soldier.
No hesitation then But I shall shoot you clean and fair With meat and bread, a gourd of wine A bunch of breasts from either arm, and that Lone question - do you friend, even now, know What it is all about?
Written by Gregory Corso | Create an image from this poem

Destiny

 1856 

Paris, from throats of iron, silver, brass, 
Joy-thundering cannon, blent with chiming bells, 
And martial strains, the full-voiced pæan swells.
The air is starred with flags, the chanted mass Throngs all the churches, yet the broad streets swarm With glad-eyed groups who chatter, laugh, and pass, In holiday confusion, class with class.
And over all the spring, the sun-floods warm! In the Imperial palace that March morn, The beautiful young mother lay and smiled; For by her side just breathed the Prince, her child, Heir to an empire, to the purple born, Crowned with the Titan's name that stirs the heart Like a blown clarion--one more Bonaparte.
1879 Born to the purple, lying stark and dead, Transfixed with poisoned spears, beneath the sun Of brazen Africa! Thy grave is one, Fore-fated youth (on whom were visited Follies and sins not thine), whereat the world, Heartless howe'er it be, will pause to sing A dirge, to breathe a sigh, a wreath to fling Of rosemary and rue with bay-leaves curled.
Enmeshed in toils ambitious, not thine own, Immortal, loved boy-Prince, thou tak'st thy stand With early doomed Don Carlos, hand in hand With mild-browed Arthur, Geoffrey's murdered son.
Louis the Dauphin lifts his thorn-ringed head, And welcomes thee, his brother, 'mongst the dead.
Written by Robert William Service | Create an image from this poem

My Suicide

 I've often wondered why
Old chaps who choose to die
In evil passes,
Before themselves they slay,
Invariably they
Take off their glasses?

As I strolled by the Castle cliff
An oldish chap I set my eyes on,
Who stood so singularly stiff
And stark against the blue horizon;
A poet fashioning a sonnet,
I thought - how rapt he labours on it!

And then I blinked and stood astare,
And questioned at my sight condition,
For I was seeing empty air -
He must have been an apparition.
Amazed I gazed .
.
.
no one was there: My sanity roused my suspicion.
I strode to where I saw him stand So solitary in the sun - Nothing! just empty sew and land, no smallest sign of anyone.
While down below I heard the roar Of waves, five hundred feet or more.
I had been drinking, I confess; There was confusion in my brain, And I was feeling more or less The fumes of overnight champagne.
So standing on that dizzy shelf: "You saw no one," I told myself.
"No need to call the local law, For after all its not your business.
You just imagined what you saw .
.
.
" Then I was seized with sudden dizziness: For at my feet, beyond denying, A pair of spectacles were lying.
And so I simply let them lie, And sped from that accursed spot.
No lover of the police am I, And sooner would be drunk than not.
"I'll scram," said I, "and leave the locals To find and trace them dam bi-focals.
"
Written by Denise Duhamel | Create an image from this poem

Yes

 According to Culture Shock:
A Guide to Customs and Etiquette 
of Filipinos, when my husband says yes,
he could also mean one of the following:
a.
) I don't know.
b.
) If you say so.
c.
) If it will please you.
d.
) I hope I have said yes unenthusiastically enough for you to realize I mean no.
You can imagine the confusion surrounding our movie dates, the laundry, who will take out the garbage and when.
I remind him I'm an American, that all has yeses sound alike to me.
I tell him here in America we have shrinks who can help him to be less of a people-pleaser.
We have two-year-olds who love to scream "No!" when they don't get their way.
I tell him, in America we have a popular book, When I Say No I Feel Guilty.
"Should I get you a copy?" I ask.
He says yes, but I think he means "If it will please you," i.
e.
"I won't read it.
" "I'm trying," I tell him, "but you have to try too.
" "Yes," he says, then makes tampo, a sulking that the book Culture Shock describes as "subliminal hostility .
.
.
withdrawal of customary cheerfulness in the presence of the one who has displeased" him.
The book says it's up to me to make things all right, "to restore goodwill, not by talking the problem out, but by showing concern about the wounded person's well-being.
" Forget it, I think, even though I know if I'm not nice, tampo can quickly escalate into nagdadabog-- foot stomping, grumbling, the slamming of doors.
Instead of talking to my husband, I storm off to talk to my porcelain Kwan Yin, the Chinese goddess of mercy that I bought on Canal Street years before my husband and I started dating.
"The real Kwan Yin is in Manila," he tells me.
"She's called Nuestra Señora de Guia.
Her Asian features prove Christianity was in the Philippines before the Spanish arrived.
" My husband's telling me this tells me he's sorry.
Kwan Yin seems to wink, congratulating me--my short prayer worked.
"Will you love me forever?" I ask, then study his lips, wondering if I'll be able to decipher what he means by his yes.
Written by Henry Van Dyke | Create an image from this poem

God of the Open Air

 I

Thou who hast made thy dwelling fair
With flowers beneath, above with starry lights,
And set thine altars everywhere,--
On mountain heights,
In woodlands dim with many a dream,
In valleys bright with springs,
And on the curving capes of every stream:
Thou who hast taken to thyself the wings
Of morning, to abide
Upon the secret places of the sea,
And on far islands, where the tide
Visits the beauty of untrodden shores,
Waiting for worshippers to come to thee
In thy great out-of-doors!
To thee I turn, to thee I make my prayer,
God of the open air.
II Seeking for thee, the heart of man Lonely and longing ran, In that first, solitary hour, When the mysterious power To know and love the wonder of the morn Was breathed within him, and his soul was born; And thou didst meet thy child, Not in some hidden shrine, But in the freedom of the garden wild, And take his hand in thine,-- There all day long in Paradise he walked, And in the cool of evening with thee talked.
III Lost, long ago, that garden bright and pure, Lost, that calm day too perfect to endure, And lost the childlike love that worshipped and was sure! For men have dulled their eyes with sin, And dimmed the light of heaven with doubt, And built their temple walls to shut thee in, And framed their iron creeds to shut thee out.
But not for thee the closing of the door, O Spirit unconfined! Thy ways are free As is the wandering wind, And thou hast wooed thy children, to restore Their fellowship with thee, In peace of soul and simpleness of mind.
IV Joyful the heart that, when the flood rolled by, Leaped up to see the rainbow in the sky; And glad the pilgrim, in the lonely night, For whom the hills of Haran, tier on tier, Built up a secret stairway to the height Where stars like angel eyes were shining clear.
From mountain-peaks, in many a land and age, Disciples of the Persian seer Have hailed the rising sun and worshipped thee; And wayworn followers of the Indian sage Have found the peace of God beneath a spreading tree.
But One, but One,--ah, child most dear, And perfect image of the Love Unseen,-- Walked every day in pastures green, And all his life the quiet waters by, Reading their beauty with a tranquil eye.
To him the desert was a place prepared For weary hearts to rest; The hillside was a temple blest; The grassy vale a banquet-room Where he could feed and comfort many a guest.
With him the lily shared The vital joy that breathes itself in bloom; And every bird that sang beside the nest Told of the love that broods o'er every living thing.
He watched the shepherd bring His flock at sundown to the welcome fold, The fisherman at daybreak fling His net across the waters gray and cold, And all day long the patient reaper swing His curving sickle through the harvest-gold.
So through the world the foot-path way he trod, Drawing the air of heaven in every breath; And in the evening sacrifice of death Beneath the open sky he gave his soul to God.
Him will I trust, and for my Master take; Him will I follow; and for his dear sake, God of the open air, To thee I make my prayer.
V >From the prison of anxious thought that greed has builded, >From the fetters that envy has wrought and pride has gilded, >From the noise of the crowded ways and the fierce confusion, >From the folly that wastes its days in a world of illusion, (Ah, but the life is lost that frets and languishes there!) I would escape and be free in the joy of the open air.
By the breadth of the blue that shines in silence o'er me, By the length of the mountain-lines that stretch before me, By the height of the cloud that sails, with rest in motion, Over the plains and the vales to the measureless ocean, (Oh, how the sight of the things that are great enlarges the eyes!) Lead me out of the narrow life, to the peace of the hills and the skies.
While the tremulous leafy haze on the woodland is spreading, And the bloom on the meadow betrays where May has been treading; While the birds on the branches above, and the brooks flowing under, Are singing together of love in a world full of wonder, (Lo, in the marvel of Springtime, dreams are changed into truth!) Quicken my heart, and restore the beautiful hopes of youth.
By the faith that the flowers show when they bloom unbidden, By the calm of the river's flow to a goal that is hidden, By the trust of the tree that clings to its deep foundation, By the courage of wild birds' wings on the long migration, (Wonderful secret of peace that abides in Nature's breast!) Teach me how to confide, and live my life, and rest.
For the comforting warmth of the sun that my body embraces, For the cool of the waters that run through the shadowy places, For the balm of the breezes that brush my face with their fingers, For the vesper-hymn of the thrush when the twilight lingers, For the long breath, the deep breath, the breath of a heart without care,-- I will give thanks and adore thee, God of the open air! VI These are the gifts I ask Of thee, Spirit serene: Strength for the daily task, Courage to face the road, Good cheer to help me bear the traveller's load, And, for the hours of rest that come between, An inward joy in all things heard and seen.
These are the sins I fain Would have thee take away: Malice, and cold disdain, Hot anger, sullen hate, Scorn of the lowly, envy of the great, And discontent that casts a shadow gray On all the brightness of the common day.
These are the things I prize And hold of dearest worth: Light of the sapphire skies, Peace of the silent hills, Shelter of forests, comfort of the grass, Music of birds, murmur of little rills, Shadow of clouds that swiftly pass, And, after showers, The smell of flowers And of the good brown earth,-- And best of all, along the way, friendship and mirth.
So let me keep These treasures of the humble heart In true possession, owning them by love; And when at last I can no longer move Among them freely, but must part From the green fields and from the waters clear, Let me not creep Into some darkened room and hide From all that makes the world so bright and dear; But throw the windows wide To welcome in the light; And while I clasp a well-beloved hand, Let me once more have sight Of the deep sky and the far-smiling land,-- Then gently fall on sleep, And breathe my body back to Nature's care, My spirit out to thee, God of the open air.
Written by Alfred Lord Tennyson | Create an image from this poem

Song of the Lotos-Eaters

THERE is sweet music here that softer falls 
Than petals from blown roses on the grass, 
Or night-dews on still waters between walls 
Of shadowy granite, in a gleaming pass; 
Music that gentlier on the spirit lies, 5 
Than tired eyelids upon tired eyes; 
Music that brings sweet sleep down from the blissful skies.
Here are cool mosses deep, And thro' the moss the ivies creep, And in the stream the long-leaved flowers weep, 10 And from the craggy ledge the poppy hangs in sleep.
Why are we weigh'd upon with heaviness, And utterly consumed with sharp distress, While all things else have rest from weariness? All things have rest: why should we toil alone, 15 We only toil, who are the first of things, And make perpetual moan, Still from one sorrow to another thrown: Nor ever fold our wings, And cease from wanderings, 20 Nor steep our brows in slumber's holy balm; Nor harken what the inner spirit sings, 'There is no joy but calm!'¡ª Why should we only toil, the roof and crown of things? Lo! in the middle of the wood, 25 The folded leaf is woo'd from out the bud With winds upon the branch, and there Grows green and broad, and takes no care, Sun-steep'd at noon, and in the moon Nightly dew-fed; and turning yellow 30 Falls, and floats adown the air.
Lo! sweeten'd with the summer light, The full-juiced apple, waxing over-mellow, Drops in a silent autumn night.
All its allotted length of days, 35 The flower ripens in its place, Ripens and fades, and falls, and hath no toil, Fast-rooted in the fruitful soil.
Hateful is the dark-blue sky, Vaulted o'er the dark-blue sea.
40 Death is the end of life; ah, why Should life all labour be? Let us alone.
Time driveth onward fast, And in a little while our lips are dumb.
Let us alone.
What is it that will last? 45 All things are taken from us, and become Portions and parcels of the dreadful Past.
Let us alone.
What pleasure can we have To war with evil? Is there any peace In ever climbing up the climbing wave? 50 All things have rest, and ripen toward the grave In silence; ripen, fall and cease: Give us long rest or death, dark death, or dreamful ease.
How sweet it were, hearing the downward stream, With half-shut eyes ever to seem 55 Falling asleep in a half-dream! To dream and dream, like yonder amber light, Which will not leave the myrrh-bush on the height; To hear each other's whisper'd speech; Eating the Lotos day by day, 60 To watch the crisping ripples on the beach, And tender curving lines of creamy spray; To lend our hearts and spirits wholly To the influence of mild-minded melancholy; To muse and brood and live again in memory, 65 With those old faces of our infancy Heap'd over with a mound of grass, Two handfuls of white dust, shut in an urn of brass! Dear is the memory of our wedded lives, And dear the last embraces of our wives 70 And their warm tears: but all hath suffer'd change; For surely now our household hearts are cold: Our sons inherit us: our looks are strange: And we should come like ghosts to trouble joy.
Or else the island princes over-bold 75 Have eat our substance, and the minstrel sings Before them of the ten years' war in Troy, And our great deeds, as half-forgotten things.
Is there confusion in the little isle? Let what is broken so remain.
80 The Gods are hard to reconcile: 'Tis hard to settle order once again.
There is confusion worse than death, Trouble on trouble, pain on pain, Long labour unto ag¨¨d breath, 85 Sore task to hearts worn out with many wars And eyes grown dim with gazing on the pilot-stars.
But, propt on beds of amaranth and moly, How sweet (while warm airs lull us, blowing lowly) With half-dropt eyelids still, 90 Beneath a heaven dark and holy, To watch the long bright river drawing slowly His waters from the purple hill¡ª To hear the dewy echoes calling From cave to cave thro' the thick-twin¨¨d vine¡ª 95 To watch the emerald-colour'd water falling Thro' many a wov'n acanthus-wreath divine! Only to hear and see the far-off sparkling brine, Only to hear were sweet, stretch'd out beneath the pine.
The Lotos blooms below the barren peak: 100 The Lotos blows by every winding creek: All day the wind breathes low with mellower tone: Thro' every hollow cave and alley lone Round and round the spicy downs the yellow Lotos-dust is blown.
We have had enough of action, and of motion we, 105 Roll'd to starboard, roll'd to larboard, when the surge was seething free, Where the wallowing monster spouted his foam-fountains in the sea.
Let us swear an oath, and keep it with an equal mind, In the hollow Lotos-land to live and lie relined On the hills like Gods together, careless of mankind.
110 For they lie beside their nectar, and the bolts are hurl'd Far below them in the valleys, and the clouds are lightly curl'd Round their golden houses, girdled with the gleaming world: Where the smile in secret, looking over wasted lands, Blight and famine, plague and earthquake, roaring deeps and fiery sands, 115 Clanging fights, and flaming towns, and sinking ships, and praying hands.
But they smile, they find a music centred in a doleful song Steaming up, a lamentation and an ancient tale of wrong, Like a tale of little meaning tho' the words are strong; Chanted from an ill-used race of men that cleave the soil, 120 Sow the seed, and reap the harvest with enduring toil, Storing yearly little dues of wheat, and wine and oil; Till they perish and they suffer¡ªsome, 'tis whisper'd¡ªdown in hell Suffer endless anguish, others in Elysian valleys dwell, Resting weary limbs at last on beds of asphodel.
125 Surely, surely, slumber is more sweet than toil, the shore Than labour in the deep mid-ocean, wind and wave and oar; O rest ye, brother mariners, we will not wander more.
Written by Richard Wilbur | Create an image from this poem

Shame

 It is a cramped little state with no foreign policy,
Save to be thought inoffensive.
The grammar of the language Has never been fathomed, owing to the national habit Of allowing each sentence to trail off in confusion.
Those who have visited Scusi, the capital city, Report that the railway-route from Schuldig passes Through country best described as unrelieved.
Sheep are the national product.
The faint inscription Over the city gates may perhaps be rendered, "I'm afraid you won't find much of interest here.
" Census-reports which give the population As zero are, of course, not to be trusted, Save as reflecting the natives' flustered insistence That they do not count, as well as their modest horror Of letting one's sex be known in so many words.
The uniform grey of the nondescript buildings, the absence Of churches or comfort-stations, have given observers An odd impression of ostentatious meanness, And it must be said of the citizens (muttering by In their ratty sheepskins, shying at cracks in the sidewalk) That they lack the peace of mind of the truly humble.
The tenor of life is careful, even in the stiff Unsmiling carelessness of the border-guards And douaniers, who admit, whenever they can, Not merely the usual carloads of deodorant But gypsies, g-strings, hasheesh, and contraband pigments.
Their complete negligence is reserved, however, For the hoped-for invasion, at which time the happy people (Sniggering, ruddily naked, and shamelessly drunk) Will stun the foe by their overwhelming submission, Corrupt the generals, infiltrate the staff, Usurp the throne, proclaim themselves to be sun-gods, And bring about the collapse of the whole empire.
Written by Mark Doty | Create an image from this poem

Visitation

 When I heard he had entered the harbor,
and circled the wharf for days,
I expected the worst: shallow water,

confusion, some accident to bring
the young humpback to grief.
Don't they depend on a compass lodged in the salt-flooded folds of the brain, some delicate musical mechanism to navigate their true course? How many ways, in our century's late iron hours, might we have led him to disaster? That, in those days, was how I'd come to see the world: dark upon dark, any sense of spirit an embattled flame sparked against wind-driven rain till pain snuffed it out.
I thought, This is what experience gives us , and I moved carefully through my life while I waited.
.
.
Enough, it wasn't that way at all.
The whale —exuberant, proud maybe, playful, like the early music of Beethoven— cruised the footings for smelts clustered near the pylons in mercury flocks.
He (do I have the gender right?) would negotiate the rusty hulls of the Portuguese fishing boats —Holy Infant, Little Marie— with what could only be read as pleasure, coming close then diving, trailing on the surface big spreading circles until he'd breach, thrilling us with the release of pressured breath, and the bulk of his sleek young head —a wet black leather sofa already barnacled with ghostly lice— and his elegant and unlikely mouth, and the marvelous afterthought of the flukes, and the way his broad flippers resembled a pair of clownish gloves or puppet hands, looming greenish white beneath the bay's clouded sheen.
When he had consumed his pleasure of the shimmering swarm, his pleasure, perhaps, in his own admired performance, he swam out the harbor mouth, into the Atlantic.
And though grief has seemed to me itself a dim, salt suspension in which I've moved, blind thing, day by day, through the wreckage, barely aware of what I stumbled toward, even I couldn't help but look at the way this immense figure graces the dark medium, and shines so: heaviness which is no burden to itself.
What did you think, that joy was some slight thing?
Written by William Butler Yeats | Create an image from this poem

The Cold Heaven

 Suddenly I saw the cold and rook-delighting heaven
That seemed as though ice burned and was but the more ice,
And thereupon imagination and heart were driven
So wild that every casual thought of that and this
Vanished, and left but memories, that should be out of season
With the hot blood of youth, of love crossed long ago;
And I took all thc blame out of all sense and reason,
Until I cried and trembled and rocked to and fro,
Riddled with light.
Ah! when the ghost begins to quicken, Confusion of the death-bed over, is it sent Out naked on the roads, as the books say, and stricken By the injustice of the skies for punishment?