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Best Famous February Poems

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

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

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Written by Allen Ginsberg |

Death and Fame

 When I die
I don't care what happens to my body
throw ashes in the air, scatter 'em in East River
bury an urn in Elizabeth New Jersey, B'nai Israel Cemetery
But l want a big funeral
St.
Patrick's Cathedral, St.
Mark's Church, the largest synagogue in Manhattan First, there's family, brother, nephews, spry aged Edith stepmother 96, Aunt Honey from old Newark, Doctor Joel, cousin Mindy, brother Gene one eyed one ear'd, sister- in-law blonde Connie, five nephews, stepbrothers & sisters their grandchildren, companion Peter Orlovsky, caretakers Rosenthal & Hale, Bill Morgan-- Next, teacher Trungpa Vajracharya's ghost mind, Gelek Rinpoche, there Sakyong Mipham, Dalai Lama alert, chance visiting America, Satchitananda Swami Shivananda, Dehorahava Baba, Karmapa XVI, Dudjom Rinpoche, Katagiri & Suzuki Roshi's phantoms Baker, Whalen, Daido Loorie, Qwong, Frail White-haired Kapleau Roshis, Lama Tarchen -- Then, most important, lovers over half-century Dozens, a hundred, more, older fellows bald & rich young boys met naked recently in bed, crowds surprised to see each other, innumerable, intimate, exchanging memories "He taught me to meditate, now I'm an old veteran of the thousand day retreat --" "I played music on subway platforms, I'm straight but loved him he loved me" "I felt more love from him at 19 than ever from anyone" "We'd lie under covers gossip, read my poetry, hug & kiss belly to belly arms round each other" "I'd always get into his bed with underwear on & by morning my skivvies would be on the floor" "Japanese, always wanted take it up my bum with a master" "We'd talk all night about Kerouac & Cassady sit Buddhalike then sleep in his captain's bed.
" "He seemed to need so much affection, a shame not to make him happy" "I was lonely never in bed nude with anyone before, he was so gentle my stomach shuddered when he traced his finger along my abdomen nipple to hips-- " "All I did was lay back eyes closed, he'd bring me to come with mouth & fingers along my waist" "He gave great head" So there be gossip from loves of 1948, ghost of Neal Cassady commin- gling with flesh and youthful blood of 1997 and surprise -- "You too? But I thought you were straight!" "I am but Ginsberg an exception, for some reason he pleased me.
" "I forgot whether I was straight gay queer or funny, was myself, tender and affectionate to be kissed on the top of my head, my forehead throat heart & solar plexus, mid-belly.
on my prick, tickled with his tongue my behind" "I loved the way he'd recite 'But at my back allways hear/ time's winged chariot hurrying near,' heads together, eye to eye, on a pillow --" Among lovers one handsome youth straggling the rear "I studied his poetry class, 17 year-old kid, ran some errands to his walk-up flat, seduced me didn't want to, made me come, went home, never saw him again never wanted to.
.
.
" "He couldn't get it up but loved me," "A clean old man.
" "He made sure I came first" This the crowd most surprised proud at ceremonial place of honor-- Then poets & musicians -- college boys' grunge bands -- age-old rock star Beatles, faithful guitar accompanists, gay classical con- ductors, unknown high Jazz music composers, funky trum- peters, bowed bass & french horn black geniuses, folksinger fiddlers with dobro tamborine harmonica mandolin auto- harp pennywhistles & kazoos Next, artist Italian romantic realists schooled in mystic 60's India, Late fauve Tuscan painter-poets, Classic draftsman Massa- chusets surreal jackanapes with continental wives, poverty sketchbook gesso oil watercolor masters from American provinces Then highschool teachers, lonely Irish librarians, delicate biblio- philes, sex liberation troops nay armies, ladies of either sex "I met him dozens of times he never remembered my name I loved him anyway, true artist" "Nervous breakdown after menopause, his poetry humor saved me from suicide hospitals" "Charmant, genius with modest manners, washed sink, dishes my studio guest a week in Budapest" Thousands of readers, "Howl changed my life in Libertyville Illinois" "I saw him read Montclair State Teachers College decided be a poet-- " "He turned me on, I started with garage rock sang my songs in Kansas City" "Kaddish made me weep for myself & father alive in Nevada City" "Father Death comforted me when my sister died Boston l982" "I read what he said in a newsmagazine, blew my mind, realized others like me out there" Deaf & Dumb bards with hand signing quick brilliant gestures Then Journalists, editors's secretaries, agents, portraitists & photo- graphy aficionados, rock critics, cultured laborors, cultural historians come to witness the historic funeral Super-fans, poetasters, aging Beatnicks & Deadheads, autograph- hunters, distinguished paparazzi, intelligent gawkers Everyone knew they were part of 'History" except the deceased who never knew exactly what was happening even when I was alive February 22, 1997

Written by Thomas Chatterton |

February

 Begin, my muse, the imitative lay, 
Aonian doxies sound the thrumming string; 
Attempt no number of the plaintive Gay, 
Let me like midnight cats, or Collins sing.
If in the trammels of the doleful line The bounding hail, or drilling rain descend; Come, brooding Melancholy, pow'r divine, And ev'ry unform'd mass of words amend.
Now the rough goat withdraws his curling horns, And the cold wat'rer twirls his circling mop: Swift sudden anguish darts thro' alt'ring corns, And the spruce mercer trembles in his shop.
Now infant authors, madd'ning for renown, Extend the plume, and him about the stage, Procure a benefit, amuse the town, And proudly glitter in a title page.
Now, wrapt in ninefold fur, his squeamish grace Defies the fury of the howling storm; And whilst the tempest whistles round his face, Exults to find his mantled carcase warm.
Now rumbling coaches furious drive along, Full of the majesty of city dames, Whose jewels sparkling in the gaudy throng, Raise strange emotions and invidious flames.
Now Merit, happy in the calm of place, To mortals as a highlander appears, And conscious of the excellence of lace, With spreading frogs and gleaming spangles glares.
Whilst Envy, on a tripod seated nigh, In form a shoe-boy, daubs the valu'd fruit, And darting lightnings from his vengeful eye, Raves about Wilkes, and politics, and Bute.
Now Barry, taller than a grenadier, Dwindles into a stripling of eighteen; Or sabled in Othello breaks the ear, Exerts his voice, and totters to the scene.
Now Foote, a looking-glass for all mankind, Applies his wax to personal defects; But leaves untouch'd the image of the mind, His art no mental quality reflects.
Now Drury's potent kind extorts applause, And pit, box, gallery, echo, "how divine!" Whilst vers'd in all the drama's mystic laws, His graceful action saves the wooden line.
Now-- but what further can the muses sing? Now dropping particles of water fall; Now vapours riding on the north wind's wing, With transitory darkness shadow all.
Alas! how joyless the descriptive theme, When sorrow on the writer's quiet preys And like a mouse in Cheshire cheese supreme, Devours the substance of the less'ning bays.
Come, February, lend thy darkest sky.
There teach the winter'd muse with clouds to soar; Come, February, lift the number high; Let the sharp strain like wind thro' alleys roar.
Ye channels, wand'ring thro' the spacious street, In hollow murmurs roll the dirt along, With inundations wet the sabled feet, Whilst gouts responsive, join th'elegiac song.
Ye damsels fair, whose silver voices shrill, Sound thro' meand'ring folds of Echo's horn; Let the sweet cry of liberty be still, No more let smoking cakes awake the morn.
O, Winter! Put away the snowy pride; O, Spring! Neglect the cowslip and the bell; O, Summer! Throw thy pears and plums aside; O, Autumn! Bid the grape with poison swell.
The pension'd muse of Johnson is no more! Drown'd in a butt of wine his genius lies; Earth! Ocean! Heav'n! The wond'rous loss deplore, The dregs of nature with her glory dies.
What iron Stoic can suppress the tear; What sour reviewer read with vacant eye! What bard but decks his literary bier! Alas! I cannot sing-- I howl-- I cry--

Written by Lewis Carroll |

A Valentine

 Sent to a friend who had complained that I was glad enough to see 
him when he came, but didn't seem to miss him if he stayed away.
And cannot pleasures, while they last, Be actual unless, when past, They leave us shuddering and aghast, With anguish smarting? And cannot friends be firm and fast, And yet bear parting? And must I then, at Friendship's call, Calmly resign the little all (Trifling, I grant, it is and small) I have of gladness, And lend my being to the thrall Of gloom and sadness? And think you that I should be dumb, And full DOLORUM OMNIUM, Excepting when YOU choose to come And share my dinner? At other times be sour and glum And daily thinner? Must he then only live to weep, Who'd prove his friendship true and deep By day a lonely shadow creep, At night-time languish, Oft raising in his broken sleep The moan of anguish? The lover, if for certain days His fair one be denied his gaze, Sinks not in grief and wild amaze, But, wiser wooer, He spends the time in writing lays, And posts them to her.
And if the verse flow free and fast, Till even the poet is aghast, A touching Valentine at last The post shall carry, When thirteen days are gone and past Of February.
Farewell, dear friend, and when we meet, In desert waste or crowded street, Perhaps before this week shall fleet, Perhaps to-morrow.
I trust to find YOUR heart the seat Of wasting sorrow.

Written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow |

The Poets Calendar

 January

Janus am I; oldest of potentates; 
Forward I look, and backward, and below 
I count, as god of avenues and gates, 
The years that through my portals come and go.
I block the roads, and drift the fields with snow; I chase the wild-fowl from the frozen fen; My frosts congeal the rivers in their flow, My fires light up the hearths and hearts of men.
February I am lustration, and the sea is mine! I wash the sands and headlands with my tide; My brow is crowned with branches of the pine; Before my chariot-wheels the fishes glide.
By me all things unclean are purified, By me the souls of men washed white again; E'en the unlovely tombs of those who died Without a dirge, I cleanse from every stain.
March I Martius am! Once first, and now the third! To lead the Year was my appointed place; A mortal dispossessed me by a word, And set there Janus with the double face.
Hence I make war on all the human race; I shake the cities with my hurricanes; I flood the rivers and their banks efface, And drown the farms and hamlets with my rains.
April I open wide the portals of the Spring To welcome the procession of the flowers, With their gay banners, and the birds that sing Their song of songs from their aerial towers.
I soften with my sunshine and my showers The heart of earth; with thoughts of love I glide Into the hearts of men; and with the Hours Upon the Bull with wreathed horns I ride.
May Hark! The sea-faring wild-fowl loud proclaim My coming, and the swarming of the bees.
These are my heralds, and behold! my name Is written in blossoms on the hawthorn-trees.
I tell the mariner when to sail the seas; I waft o'er all the land from far away The breath and bloom of the Hesperides, My birthplace.
I am Maia.
I am May.
June Mine is the Month of Roses; yes, and mine The Month of Marriages! All pleasant sights And scents, the fragrance of the blossoming vine, The foliage of the valleys and the heights.
Mine are the longest days, the loveliest nights; The mower's scythe makes music to my ear; I am the mother of all dear delights; I am the fairest daughter of the year.
July My emblem is the Lion, and I breathe The breath of Libyan deserts o'er the land; My sickle as a sabre I unsheathe, And bent before me the pale harvests stand.
The lakes and rivers shrink at my command, And there is thirst and fever in the air; The sky is changed to brass, the earth to sand; I am the Emperor whose name I bear.
August The Emperor Octavian, called the August, I being his favorite, bestowed his name Upon me, and I hold it still in trust, In memory of him and of his fame.
I am the Virgin, and my vestal flame Burns less intensely than the Lion's rage; Sheaves are my only garlands, and I claim The golden Harvests as my heritage.
September I bear the Scales, where hang in equipoise The night and day; and whenunto my lips I put my trumpet, with its stress and noise Fly the white clouds like tattered sails of ships; The tree-tops lash the air with sounding whips; Southward the clamorous sea-fowl wing their flight; The hedges are all red with haws and hips, The Hunter's Moon reigns empress of the night.
October My ornaments are fruits; my garments leaves, Woven like cloth of gold, and crimson dyed; I do no boast the harvesting of sheaves, O'er orchards and o'er vineyards I preside.
Though on the frigid Scorpion I ride, The dreamy air is full, and overflows With tender memories of the summer-tide, And mingled voices of the doves and crows.
November The Centaur, Sagittarius, am I, Born of Ixion's and the cloud's embrace; With sounding hoofs across the earth I fly, A steed Thessalian with a human face.
Sharp winds the arrows are with which I chase The leaves, half dead already with affright; I shroud myself in gloom; and to the race Of mortals bring nor comfort nor delight.
December Riding upon the Goat, with snow-white hair, I come, the last of all.
This crown of mine Is of the holly; in my hand I bear The thyrsus, tipped with fragrant cones of pine.
I celebrate the birth of the Divine, And the return of the Saturnian reign;-- My songs are carols sung at every shrine, Proclaiming "Peace on earth, good will to men.
"

Written by Elizabeth Bishop |

In the waiting Room

In Worcester, Massachusetts,
I went with Aunt Consuelo
to keep her dentist's appointment
and sat and waited for her
in the dentist's waiting room.
It was winter.
It got dark early.
The waiting room was full of grown-up people, arctics and overcoats, lamps and magazines.
My aunt was inside what seemed like a long time and while I waited and read the National Geographic (I could read) and carefully studied the photographs: the inside of a volcano, black, and full of ashes; then it was spilling over in rivulets of fire.
Osa and Martin Johnson dressed in riding breeches, laced boots, and pith helmets.
A dead man slung on a pole "Long Pig," the caption said.
Babies with pointed heads wound round and round with string; black, naked women with necks wound round and round with wire like the necks of light bulbs.
Their breasts were horrifying.
I read it right straight through.
I was too shy to stop.
And then I looked at the cover: the yellow margins, the date.
Suddenly, from inside, came an oh! of pain --Aunt Consuelo's voice-- not very loud or long.
I wasn't at all surprised; even then I knew she was a foolish, timid woman.
I might have been embarrassed, but wasn't.
What took me completely by surprise was that it was me: my voice, in my mouth.
Without thinking at all I was my foolish aunt, I--we--were falling, falling, our eyes glued to the cover of the National Geographic, February, 1918.
I said to myself: three days and you'll be seven years old.
I was saying it to stop the sensation of falling off the round, turning world.
into cold, blue-black space.
But I felt: you are an I, you are an Elizabeth, you are one of them.
Why should you be one, too? I scarcely dared to look to see what it was I was.
I gave a sidelong glance --I couldn't look any higher-- at shadowy gray knees, trousers and skirts and boots and different pairs of hands lying under the lamps.
I knew that nothing stranger had ever happened, that nothing stranger could ever happen.
Why should I be my aunt, or me, or anyone? What similarities boots, hands, the family voice I felt in my throat, or even the National Geographic and those awful hanging breasts held us all together or made us all just one? How I didn't know any word for it how "unlikely".
.
.
How had I come to be here, like them, and overhear a cry of pain that could have got loud and worse but hadn't? The waiting room was bright and too hot.
It was sliding beneath a big black wave, another, and another.
Then I was back in it.
The War was on.
Outside, in Worcester, Massachusetts, were night and slush and cold, and it was still the fifth of February, 1918.

Written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow |

AFTERNOON IN FEBRUARY

 The day is ending,
The night is descending;
The marsh is frozen,
The river dead.
Through clouds like ashes The red sun flashes On village windows That glimmer red.
The snow recommences; The buried fences Mark no longer The road o'er the plain; While through the meadows, Like fearful shadows, Slowly passes A funeral train.
The bell is pealing, And every feeling Within me responds To the dismal knell; Shadows are trailing, My heart is bewailing And tolling within Like a funeral bell.

Written by Derek Walcott |

Forest Of Europe

 The last leaves fell like notes from a piano
and left their ovals echoing in the ear;
with gawky music stands, the winter forest
looks like an empty orchestra, its lines
ruled on these scattered manuscripts of snow.
The inlaid copper laurel of an oak shines though the brown-bricked glass above your head as bright as whisky, while the wintry breath of lines from Mandelstam, which you recite, uncoils as visibly as cigarette smoke.
"The rustling of ruble notes by the lemon Neva.
" Under your exile's tongue, crisp under heel, the gutturals crackle like decaying leaves, the phrase from Mandelstam circles with light in a brown room, in barren Oklahoma.
There is a Gulag Archipelago under this ice, where the salt, mineral spring of the long Trail of Tears runnels these plains as hard and open as a herdsman's face sun-cracked and stubbled with unshaven snow.
Growing in whispers from the Writers' Congress, the snow circles like cossacks round the corpse of a tired Choctaw till it is a blizzard of treaties and white papers as we lose sight of the single human through the cause.
So every spring these branches load their shelves, like libraries with newly published leaves, till waste recycles them—paper to snow— but, at zero of suffering, one mind lasts like this oak with a few brazen leaves.
As the train passed the forest's tortured icons, ths floes clanging like freight yards, then the spires of frozen tears, the stations screeching steam, he drew them in a single winters' breath whose freezing consonants turned into stone.
He saw the poetry in forlorn stations under clouds vast as Asia, through districts that could gulp Oklahoma like a grape, not these tree-shaded prairie halts but space so desolate it mocked destinations.
Who is that dark child on the parapets of Europe, watching the evening river mint its sovereigns stamped with power, not with poets, the Thames and the Neva rustling like banknotes, then, black on gold, the Hudson's silhouettes? >From frozen Neva to the Hudson pours, under the airport domes, the echoing stations, the tributary of emigrants whom exile has made as classless as the common cold, citizens of a language that is now yours, and every February, every "last autumn", you write far from the threshing harvesters folding wheat like a girl plaiting her hair, far from Russia's canals quivering with sunstroke, a man living with English in one room.
The tourist archipelagoes of my South are prisons too, corruptible, and though there is no harder prison than writing verse, what's poetry, if it is worth its salt, but a phrase men can pass from hand to mouth? >From hand to mouth, across the centuries, the bread that lasts when systems have decayed, when, in his forest of barbed-wire branches, a prisoner circles, chewing the one phrase whose music will last longer than the leaves, whose condensation is the marble sweat of angels' foreheads, which will never dry till Borealis shuts the peacock lights of its slow fan from L.
A.
to Archangel, and memory needs nothing to repeat.
Frightened and starved, with divine fever Osip Mandelstam shook, and every metaphor shuddered him with ague, each vowel heavier than a boundary stone, "to the rustling of ruble notes by the lemon Neva," but now that fever is a fire whose glow warms our hands, Joseph, as we grunt like primates exchanging gutturals in this wintry cave of a brown cottage, while in drifts outside mastodons force their systems through the snow.

Written by Delmore Schwartz |

The Ballad Of The Children Of The Czar

 1

The children of the Czar
Played with a bouncing ball

In the May morning, in the Czar's garden,
Tossing it back and forth.
It fell among the flowerbeds Or fled to the north gate.
A daylight moon hung up In the Western sky, bald white.
Like Papa's face, said Sister, Hurling the white ball forth.
2 While I ate a baked potato Six thousand miles apart, In Brooklyn, in 1916, Aged two, irrational.
When Franklin D.
Roosevelt Was an Arrow Collar ad.
O Nicholas! Alas! Alas! My grandfather coughed in your army, Hid in a wine-stinking barrel, For three days in Bucharest Then left for America To become a king himself.
3 I am my father's father, You are your children's guilt.
In history's pity and terror The child is Aeneas again; Troy is in the nursery, The rocking horse is on fire.
Child labor! The child must carry His fathers on his back.
But seeing that so much is past And that history has no ruth For the individual, Who drinks tea, who catches cold, Let anger be general: I hate an abstract thing.
4 Brother and sister bounced The bounding, unbroken ball, The shattering sun fell down Like swords upon their play, Moving eastward among the stars Toward February and October.
But the Maywind brushed their cheeks Like a mother watching sleep, And if for a moment they fight Over the bouncing ball And sister pinches brother And brother kicks her shins, Well! The heart of man in known: It is a cactus bloom.
5 The ground on which the ball bounces Is another bouncing ball.
The wheeling, whirling world Makes no will glad.
Spinning in its spotlight darkness, It is too big for their hands.
A pitiless, purposeless Thing, Arbitrary, and unspent, Made for no play, for no children, But chasing only itself.
The innocent are overtaken, They are not innocent.
They are their father's fathers, The past is inevitable.
6 Now, in another October Of this tragic star, I see my second year, I eat my baked potato.
It is my buttered world, But, poked by my unlearned hand, It falls from the highchair down And I begin to howl And I see the ball roll under The iron gate which is locked.
Sister is screaming, brother is howling, The ball has evaded their will.
Even a bouncing ball Is uncontrollable, And is under the garden wall.
I am overtaken by terror Thinking of my father's fathers, And of my own will.

Written by Algernon Charles Swinburne |

A Years Carols

 JANUARY
HAIL, January, that bearest here
On snowbright breasts the babe-faced year
That weeps and trembles to be born.
Hail, maid and mother, strong and bright, Hooded and cloaked and shod with white, Whose eyes are stars that match the morn.
Thy forehead braves the storm's bent bow, Thy feet enkindle stars of snow.
FEBRUARY Wan February with weeping cheer, Whose cold hand guides the youngling year Down misty roads of mire and rime, Before thy pale and fitful face The shrill wind shifts the clouds apace Through skies the morning scarce may climb.
Thine eyes are thick with heavy tears, But lit with hopes that light the year's.
MARCH Hail, happy March, whose foot on earth Rings as the blast of martial mirth When trumpets fire men's hearts for fray.
No race of wild things winged or finned May match the might that wings thy wind Through air and sea, through scud and spray.
Strong joy and thou were powers twin-born Of tempest and the towering morn.
APRIL Crowned April, king whose kiss bade earth Bring forth to time her lordliest birth When Shakespeare from thy lips drew breath And laughed to hold in one soft hand A spell that bade the world's wheel stand, And power on life, and power on death, With quiring suns and sunbright showers Praise him, the flower of all thy flowers.
MAY Hail, May, whose bark puts forth full-sailed For summer; May, whom Chaucer hailed With all his happy might of heart, And gave thy rosebright daisy-tips Strange frarance from his amorous lips That still thine own breath seems to part And sweeten till each word they say Is even a flower of flowering May.
JUNE Strong June, superb, serene, elate With conscience of thy sovereign state Untouched of thunder, though the storm Scathe here and there thy shuddering skies And bid its lightning cross thine eyes With fire, thy golden hours inform Earth and the souls of men with life That brings forth peace from shining strife.
JULY Hail, proud July, whose fervent mouth Bids even be morn and north be south By grace and gospel of thy word, Whence all the splendour of the sea Lies breathless with delight in thee And marvel at the music heard From the ardent silent lips of noon And midnight's rapturous plenilune.
AUGUST Great August, lord of golden lands, Whose lordly joy through seas and strands And all the red-ripe heart of earth Strikes passion deep as life, and stills The folded vales and folding hills With gladness too divine for mirth, The gracious glories of thine eyes Make night a noon where darkness dies.
SEPTEMBER Hail, kind September, friend whose grace Renews the bland year's bounteous face With largess given of corn and wine Through many a land that laughs with love Of thee and all the heaven above, More fruitful found than all save thine Whose skies fulfil with strenuous cheer The fervent fields that knew thee near.
OCTOBER October of the tawny crown, Whose heavy-laden hands drop down Blessing, the bounties of thy breath And mildness of thy mellowing might Fill earth and heaven with love and light Too sweet for fear to dream of death Or memory, while thy joy lives yet, To know what joy would fain forget.
NOVEMBER Hail, soft November, though thy pale Sad smile rebuke the words that hail Thy sorrow with no sorrowing words Or gratulate thy grief with song Less bitter than the winds that wrong Thy withering woodlands, where the birds Keep hardly heart to sing or see How fair thy faint wan face may be.
DECEMBER December, thou whose hallowing hands On shuddering seas and hardening lands Set as a sacramental sign The seal of Christmas felt on earth As witness toward a new year's birth Whose promise makes thy death divine, The crowning joy that comes of thee Makes glad all grief on land or sea.

Written by Elinor Wylie |

Wild Peaches

 1

When the world turns completely upside down 
You say we'll emigrate to the Eastern Shore 
Aboard a river-boat from Baltimore; 
We'll live among wild peach trees, miles from town, 
You'll wear a coonskin cap, and I a gown 
Homespun, dyed butternut's dark gold colour.
Lost, like your lotus-eating ancestor, We'll swim in milk and honey till we drown.
The winter will be short, the summer long, The autumn amber-hued, sunny and hot, Tasting of cider and of scuppernong; All seasons sweet, but autumn best of all.
The squirrels in their silver fur will fall Like falling leaves, like fruit, before your shot.
2 The autumn frosts will lie upon the grass Like bloom on grapes of purple-brown and gold.
The misted early mornings will be cold; The little puddles will be roofed with glass.
The sun, which burns from copper into brass, Melts these at noon, and makes the boys unfold Their knitted mufflers; full as they can hold Fat pockets dribble chestnuts as they pass.
Peaches grow wild, and pigs can live in clover; A barrel of salted herrings lasts a year; The spring begins before the winter's over.
By February you may find the skins Of garter snakes and water moccasins Dwindled and harsh, dead-white and cloudy-clear.
3 When April pours the colours of a shell Upon the hills, when every little creek Is shot with silver from the Chesapeake In shoals new-minted by the ocean swell, When strawberries go begging, and the sleek Blue plums lie open to the blackbird's beak, We shall live well -- we shall live very well.
The months between the cherries and the peaches Are brimming cornucopias which spill Fruits red and purple, sombre-bloomed and black; Then, down rich fields and frosty river beaches We'll trample bright persimmons, while you kill Bronze partridge, speckled quail, and canvasback.
4 Down to the Puritan marrow of my bones There's something in this richness that I hate.
I love the look, austere, immaculate, Of landscapes drawn in pearly monotones.
There's something in my very blood that owns Bare hills, cold silver on a sky of slate, A thread of water, churned to milky spate Streaming through slanted pastures fenced with stones.
I love those skies, thin blue or snowy gray, Those fields sparse-planted, rendering meagre sheaves; That spring, briefer than apple-blossom's breath, Summer, so much too beautiful to stay, Swift autumn, like a bonfire of leaves, And sleepy winter, like the sleep of death.

Written by Mark Doty |

Metro North

 Over the terminal,
 the arms and chest
 of the god

brightened by snow.
Formerly mercury, formerly silver, surface yellowed by atmospheric sulphurs acid exhalations, and now the shining thing's descendant.
Obscure passages, dim apertures: these clouded windows show a few faces or some empty car's filmstrip of lit flames --remember them from school, how they were supposed to teach us something?-- waxy light hurrying inches away from the phantom smudge of us, vague in spattered glass.
Then daylight's soft charcoal lusters stone walls and we ascend to what passes for brightness, this February, scumbled sky above graduated zones of decline: dead rowhouses, charred windows' wet frames around empty space, a few chipboard polemics nailed over the gaps, speeches too long and obsessive for anyone on this train to read, sealing the hollowed interiors --some of them grand once, you can tell by the fillips of decoration, stone leaves, the frieze of sunflowers.
Desolate fields--open spaces, in a city where you can hardly turn around!-- seem to center on little flames, something always burning in a barrel or can As if to represent inextinguishable, dogged persistence? Though whether what burns is will or rage or harsh amalgam I couldn't say.
But I can tell you this, what I've seen that won my allegiance most, though it was also the hallmark of our ruin, and quick as anything seen in transit: where Manhattan ends in the narrowing geographical equivalent of a sigh (asphalt, arc of trestle, dull-witted industrial tanks and scaffoldings, ancient now, visited by no one) on the concrete embankment just above the river, a sudden density and concentration of trash, so much I couldn't pick out any one thing from our rising track as it arced onto the bridge over the fantastic accumulation of jetsam and contraband strewn under the uncompromising vault of heaven.
An unbelievable mess, so heaped and scattered it seemed the core of chaos itself-- but no, the junk was arranged in rough aisles, someone's intimate clutter and collection, no walls but still a kind of apartment and a fire ribboned out of a ruined stove, and white plates were laid out on the table beside it.
White china! Something was moving, and --you understand it takes longer to tell this than to see it, only a train window's worth of actuality-- I knew what moved was an arm, the arm of the (man or woman?) in the center of that hapless welter in layer upon layer of coats blankets scarves until the form constituted one more gray unreadable; whoever was lifting a hammer, and bringing it down again, tapping at what work I couldn't say; whoever, under the great exhausted dome of winter light, which the steep and steel surfaces of the city made both more soft and more severe, was making something, or repairing, was in the act (sheer stubborn nerve of it) of putting together.
Who knows what.
(And there was more, more I'd take all spring to see.
I'd pick my seat and set my paper down to study him again --he, yes, some days not at home though usually in, huddled by the smoldering, and when my eye wandered --five-second increments of apprehension--I saw he had a dog! Who lay half in half out his doghouse in the rain, golden head resting on splayed paws.
He had a ruined car, and heaps of clothes, and things to read-- was no emblem, in other words, but a citizen, who'd built a citizen's household, even on the literal edge, while I watched from my quick, high place, hurtling over his encampment by the waters of Babylon.
) Then we were gone, in the heat and draft of our silver, rattling over the river into the South Bronx, against whose greasy skyline rose that neoned billboard for cigarettes which hostages my attention, always, as it is meant to do, its motto ruby in the dark morning: ALIVE WITH PLEASURE.

Written by Boris Pasternak |

Winter Night

 It snowed and snowed ,the whole world over,
Snow swept the world from end to end.
A candle burned on the table; A candle burned.
As during summer midges swarm To beat their wings against a flame Out in the yard the snowflakes swarmed To beat against the window pane The blizzard sculptured on the glass Designs of arrows and of whorls.
A candle burned on the table; A candle burned.
Distorted shadows fell Upon the lighted ceiling: Shadows of crossed arms,of crossed legs- Of crossed destiny.
Two tiny shoes fell to the floor And thudded.
A candle on a nightstand shed wax tears Upon a dress.
All things vanished within The snowy murk-white,hoary.
A candle burned on the table; A candle burned.
A corner draft fluttered the flame And the white fever of temptation Upswept its angel wings that cast A cruciform shadow It snowed hard throughout the month Of February, and almost constantly A candle burned on the table; A candle burned.

Written by |

Thirty Days Hath September


Thirty days hath September,
April, June, and November;
February has twenty-eight alone,
All the rest have thirty-one,
Excepting leap-year, that's the time
When February's days are twenty-nine.

Written by Dale Harcombe |

Bruise blue

 Frail as smoke, she drifts
  through the crowded train, 
  bringing with her 
  the cold ashes of poverty.
Without a word, her bruise-blue eyes try to niggle each passenger to part with coins or a note.
The sign pleads her story: Three children in foster care.
Like promises of happier times, some passengers toss hard-edged confetti at her, before hiding behind newspapers or over-loud conversations.
Others dismiss her like an errant child with swift, silent shakes of their heads.
I look at her canescent face and know I have seen her before, on a grey, Sydney day in George Street.
‘Homeless, hungry, and cold’ her sign read then, as she curled like a cloud on the footpath near Town Hall.
In the dusk of a blustery day, people, toting bags emblazoned with designer labels, walked past.
Their gaze sliding away from her like water, they turned toward the nimbus of lights across the street, glittering like angels in the trees.
I walked on too, then wished I had turned back.
But the tide flowed against me.
With nothing else to give I came home and wrote a poem.
© May 2003 Dale Harcombe First published Artlook February 2005

Written by Anne Sexton |

For My Lover Returning To His Wife

 She is all there.
She was melted carefully down for you and cast up from your childhood, cast up from your one hundred favorite aggies.
She has always been there, my darling.
She is, in fact, exquisite.
Fireworks in the dull middle of February and as real as a cast-iron pot.
Let's face it, I have been momentary.
vA luxury.
A bright red sloop in the harbor.
My hair rising like smoke from the car window.
Littleneck clams out of season.
She is more than that.
She is your have to have, has grown you your practical your tropical growth.
This is not an experiment.
She is all harmony.
She sees to oars and oarlocks for the dinghy, has placed wild flowers at the window at breakfast, sat by the potter's wheel at midday, set forth three children under the moon, three cherubs drawn by Michelangelo, done this with her legs spread out in the terrible months in the chapel.
If you glance up, the children are there like delicate balloons resting on the ceiling.
She has also carried each one down the hall after supper, their heads privately bent, two legs protesting, person to person, her face flushed with a song and their little sleep.
I give you back your heart.
I give you permission -- for the fuse inside her, throbbing angrily in the dirt, for the bitch in her and the burying of her wound -- for the burying of her small red wound alive -- for the pale flickering flare under her ribs, for the drunken sailor who waits in her left pulse, for the mother's knee, for the stocking, for the garter belt, for the call -- the curious call when you will burrow in arms and breasts and tug at the orange ribbon in her hair and answer the call, the curious call.
She is so naked and singular She is the sum of yourself and your dream.
Climb her like a monument, step after step.
She is solid.
As for me, I am a watercolor.
I wash off.