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Best Famous First Love Poems

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

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Written by Alfred Lord Tennyson | Create an image from this poem

Tears Idle Tears

  Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean,
Tears from the depth of some divine despair
Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes,
In looking on the happy Autumn-fields,
And thinking of the days that are no more.
Fresh as the first beam glittering on a sail, That brings our friends up from the underworld, Sad as the last which reddens over one That sinks with all we love below the verge; So sad, so fresh, the days that are no more.
Ah, sad and strange as in dark summer dawns The earliest pipe of half-awakened birds To dying ears, when unto dying eyes The casement slowly grows a glimmering square; So sad, so strange, the days that are no more.
Dear as remembered kisses after death, And sweet as those by hopeless fancy feigned On lips that are for others; deep as love, Deep as first love, and wild with all regret; O Death in Life, the days that are no more!
Written by Wystan Hugh (W H) Auden | Create an image from this poem

As I Walked Out One Evening

As I walked out one evening,
Walking down Bristol Street,
The crowds upon the pavement
Were fields of harvest wheat.
And down by the brimming river
I heard a lover sing
Under an arch of the railway:
'Love has no ending.
'I'll love you, dear, I'll love you
Till China and Africa meet,
And the river jumps over the mountain
And the salmon sing in the street,
'I'll love you till the ocean
Is folded and hung up to dry
And the seven stars go squawking
Like geese about the sky.
'The years shall run like rabbits,
For in my arms I hold
The Flower of the Ages,
And the first love of the world.
'
But all the clocks in the city
Began to whirr and chime:
'O let not Time deceive you,
You cannot conquer Time.
'In the burrows of the Nightmare
Where Justice naked is,
Time watches from the shadow
And coughs when you would kiss.
'In headaches and in worry
Vaguely life leaks away,
And Time will have his fancy
To-morrow or to-day.
'Into many a green valley
Drifts the appalling snow;
Time breaks the threaded dances
And the diver's brilliant bow.
'O plunge your hands in water,
Plunge them in up to the wrist;
Stare, stare in the basin
And wonder what you've missed.
'The glacier knocks in the cupboard,
The desert sighs in the bed,
And the crack in the tea-cup opens
A lane to the land of the dead.
'Where the beggars raffle the banknotes
And the Giant is enchanting to Jack,
And the Lily-white Boy is a Roarer,
And Jill goes down on her back.
'O look, look in the mirror,
O look in your distress:
Life remains a blessing
Although you cannot bless.
'O stand, stand at the window
As the tears scald and start;
You shall love your crooked neighbour
With your crooked heart.
'
It was late, late in the evening,
The lovers they were gone;
The clocks had ceased their chiming,
And the deep river ran on.
Written by Robert Seymour Bridges | Create an image from this poem

From The Testament of Beauty

 'Twas at that hour of beauty when the setting sun
squandereth his cloudy bed with rosy hues, to flood
his lov'd works as in turn he biddeth them Good-night;
and all the towers and temples and mansions of men
face him in bright farewell, ere they creep from their pomp
naked beneath the darkness;- while to mortal eyes
'tis given, ifso they close not of fatigue, nor strain
at lamplit tasks-'tis given, as for a royal boon
to beggarly outcasts in homeless vigil, to watch
where uncurtain's behind the great windows of space
Heav'n's jewel'd company circleth unapproachably-
'Twas at sunset that I, fleeing to hide my soul
in refuge of beauty from a mortal distress,
walk'd alone with the Muse in her garden of thought,
discoursing at liberty with the mazy dreams
that came wavering pertinaciously about me; as when
the small bats, issued from their hangings, flitter o'erhead
thru' the summer twilight, with thin cries to and fro
hunting in muffled flight atween the stars and flowers.
Then fell I in strange delusion, illusion strange to tell; for as a man who lyeth fast asleep in his bed may dream he waketh, and that he walketh upright pursuing some endeavour in full conscience-so 'twas with me; but contrawise; for being in truth awake methought I slept and dreamt; and in thatt dream methought I was telling a dream; nor telling was I as one who, truly awaked from a true sleep, thinketh to tell his dream to a friend, but for his scant remembrances findeth no token of speech-it was not so with me; for my tale was my dream and my dream the telling, and I remember wondring the while I told it how I told it so tellingly.
And yet now 'twould seem that Reason inveighed me with her old orderings; as once when she took thought to adjust theology, peopling the inane that vex'd her between God and man with a hierarchy of angels; like those asteroids wherewith she later fill'd the gap 'twixt Jove and Mars.
Verily by Beauty it is that we come as WISDOM, yet not by Reason at Beauty; and now with many words pleasing myself betimes I am fearing lest in the end I play the tedious orator who maundereth on for lack of heart to make an end of his nothings.
Wherefor as when a runner who hath run his round handeth his staff away, and is glad of his rest, here break I off, knowing the goal was not for me the while I ran on telling of what cannot be told.
For not the Muse herself can tell of Goddes love; which cometh to the child from the Mother's embrace, an Idea spacious as the starry firmament's inescapable infinity of radiant gaze, that fadeth only as it outpasseth mortal sight: and this direct contact is 't with eternities, this springtide miracle of the soul's nativity that oft hath set philosophers adrift in dream; which thing Christ taught, when he set up a little child to teach his first Apostles and to accuse their pride, saying, 'Unless ye shall receive it as a child, ye cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven.
' So thru'out all his young mental apprenticehood the child of very simplicity, and in the grace and beauteous attitude of infantine wonder, is apt to absorb Ideas in primal purity, and by the assimilation of thatt immortal food may build immortal life; but ever with the growth of understanding, as the sensible images are more and more corrupt, troubled by questioning thought, or with vainglory alloy'd, 'tis like enought the boy in prospect of his manhood wil hav cast to th' winds his Baptism with his Babyhood; nor might he escape the fall of Ev'ryman, did not a second call of nature's Love await him to confirm his Faith or to revoke him if he is whollylapsed therefrom.
And so mighty is this second vision, which cometh in puberty of body and adolescence of mind that, forgetting his Mother, he calleth it 'first Love'; for it mocketh at suasion or stubbornness of heart, as the oceantide of the omnipotent Pleasur of God, flushing all avenues of life, and unawares by thousandfold approach forestalling its full flood with divination of the secret contacts of Love,-- of faintest ecstasies aslumber in Nature's calm, like thought in a closed book, where some poet long since sang his throbbing passion to immortal sleep-with coy tenderness delicat as the shifting hues that sanctify the silent dawn with wonder-gleams, whose evanescence is the seal of their glory, consumed in self-becoming of eternity; til every moment as it flyeth, cryeth 'Seize! Seize me ere I die! I am the Life of Life.
' 'Tis thus by near approach to an eternal presence man's heart with divine furor kindled and possess'd falleth in blind surrender; and finding therewithal in fullest devotion the full reconcilement betwixt his animal and spiritual desires, such welcome hour of bliss standeth for certain pledge of happiness perdurable: and coud he sustain this great enthusiasm, then the unbounded promise would keep fulfilment; since the marriage of true minds is thatt once fabled garden, amidst of which was set the single Tree that bore such med'cinable fruit that if man ate thereof he should liv for ever.
Friendship is in loving rather than in being lov'd, which is its mutual benediction and recompense; and tho' this be, and tho' love is from lovers learn'd, it springeth none the less from the old essence of self.
No friendless man ('twas well said) can be truly himself; what a man looketh for in his friend and findeth, and loving self best, loveth better than himself, is his own better self, his live lovable idea, flowering by expansion in the loves of his life.
And in the nobility of our earthly friendships we hav al grades of attainment, and the best may claim perfection of kind; and so, since ther be many bonds other than breed (friendships of lesser motiv, found even in the brutes) and since our politick is based on actual association of living men, 'twil come that the spiritual idea of Friendship, the huge vastidity of its essence, is fritter'd away in observation of the usual habits of men; as happ'd with the great moralist, where his book saith that ther can be no friendship betwixt God and man because of their unlimited disparity.
From this dilemma of pagan thought, this poison of faith, Man-soul made glad escape in the worship of Christ; for his humanity is God's Personality, and communion with him is the life of the soul.
Of which living ideas (when in the struggle of thought harden'd by language they became symbols of faith) Reason builded her maze, wherefrom none should escape, wandering intent to map and learn her tortuous clews, chanting their clerkly creed to the high-echoing stones of their hand-fashion'd temple: but the Wind of heav'n bloweth where it listeth, and Christ yet walketh the earth, and talketh still as with those two disciples once on the road to Emmaus-where they walk and are sad; whose vision of him then was his victory over death, thatt resurrection which all his lovers should share, who in loving him had learn'd the Ethick of happiness; whereby they too should come where he was ascended to reign over men's hearts in the Kingdom of God.
Our happiest earthly comradeships hold a foretaste of the feast of salvation and by thatt virtue in them provoke desire beyond them to out-reach and surmount their humanity in some superhumanity and ultimat perfection: which, howe'ever 'tis found or strangeley imagin'd, answereth to the need of each and pulleth him instinctivly as to a final cause.
Thus unto all who hav found their high ideal in Christ, Christ is to them the essence discern'd or undeiscern'd of all their human friendships; and each lover of him and of his beauty must be as a bud on the Vine and hav participation in him; for Goddes love is unescapable as nature's environment, which if a man ignore or think to thrust it off he is the ill-natured fool that runneth blindly on death.
This Individualism is man's true Socialism.
This is the rife Idea whose spiritual beauty multiplieth in communion to transcendant might.
This is thatt excelent way whereon if we wil walk all things shall be added unto us-thatt Love which inspired the wayward Visionary in his doctrinal ode to the three christian Graces, the Church's first hymn and only deathless athanasian creed,--the which 'except a man believe he cannot be saved.
' This is the endearing bond whereby Christ's company yet holdeth together on the truth of his promise that he spake of his grat pity and trust in man's love, 'Lo, I am with you always ev'n to the end of the world.
' Truly the Soul returneth the body's loving where it hath won it.
.
.
and God so loveth the world.
.
.
and in the fellowship of the friendship of Christ God is seen as the very self-essence of love, Creator and mover of all as activ Lover of all, self-express'd in not-self, mind and body, mother and child, 'twixt lover and loved, God and man: but ONE ETERNAL in the love of Beauty and in the selfhood of Love.
Written by John Ashbery | Create an image from this poem

Daffy Duck In Hollywood

 Something strange is creeping across me.
La Celestina has only to warble the first few bars Of "I Thought about You" or something mellow from Amadigi di Gaula for everything--a mint-condition can Of Rumford's Baking Powder, a celluloid earring, Speedy Gonzales, the latest from Helen Topping Miller's fertile Escritoire, a sheaf of suggestive pix on greige, deckle-edged Stock--to come clattering through the rainbow trellis Where Pistachio Avenue rams the 2300 block of Highland Fling Terrace.
He promised he'd get me out of this one, That mean old cartoonist, but just look what he's Done to me now! I scarce dare approach me mug's attenuated Reflection in yon hubcap, so jaundiced, so déconfit Are its lineaments--fun, no doubt, for some quack phrenologist's Fern-clogged waiting room, but hardly what you'd call Companionable.
But everything is getting choked to the point of Silence.
Just now a magnetic storm hung in the swatch of sky Over the Fudds' garage, reducing it--drastically-- To the aura of a plumbago-blue log cabin on A Gadsden Purchase commemorative cover.
Suddenly all is Loathing.
I don't want to go back inside any more.
You meet Enough vague people on this emerald traffic-island--no, Not people, comings and goings, more: mutterings, splatterings, The bizarrely but effectively equipped infantries of happy-go-nutty Vegetal jacqueries, plumed, pointed at the little White cardboard castle over the mill run.
"Up The lazy river, how happy we could be?" How will it end? That geranium glow Over Anaheim's had the riot act read to it by the Etna-size firecracker that exploded last minute into A carte du Tendre in whose lower right-hand corner (Hard by the jock-itch sand-trap that skirts The asparagus patch of algolagnic nuits blanches) Amadis Is cozening the Princesse de Cleves into a midnight micturition spree On the Tamigi with the Wallets (Walt, Blossom, and little Sleezix) on a lamé barge "borrowed" from Ollie Of the Movies' dread mistress of the robes.
Wait! I have an announcement! This wide, tepidly meandering, Civilized Lethe (one can barely make out the maypoles And châlets de nécessitê on its sedgy shore) leads to Tophet, that Landfill-haunted, not-so-residential resort from which Some travellers return! This whole moment is the groin Of a borborygmic giant who even now Is rolling over on us in his sleep.
Farewell bocages, Tanneries, water-meadows.
The allegory comes unsnarled Too soon; a shower of pecky acajou harpoons is About all there is to be noted between tornadoes.
I have Only my intermittent life in your thoughts to live Which is like thinking in another language.
Everything Depends on whether somebody reminds you of me.
That this is a fabulation, and that those "other times" Are in fact the silences of the soul, picked out in Diamonds on stygian velvet, matters less than it should.
Prodigies of timing may be arranged to convince them We live in one dimension, they in ours.
While I Abroad through all the coasts of dark destruction seek Deliverance for us all, think in that language: its Grammar, though tortured, offers pavillions At each new parting of the ways.
Pastel Ambulances scoop up the quick and hie them to hospitals.
"It's all bits and pieces, spangles, patches, really; nothing Stands alone.
What happened to creative evolution?" Sighed Aglavaine.
Then to her Sélysette: "If his Achievement is only to end up less boring than the others, What's keeping us here? Why not leave at once? I have to stay here while they sit in there, Laugh, drink, have fine time.
In my day One lay under the tough green leaves, Pretending not to notice how they bled into The sky's aqua, the wafted-away no-color of regions supposed Not to concern us.
And so we too Came where the others came: nights of physical endurance, Or if, by day, our behavior was anarchically Correct, at least by New Brutalism standards, all then Grew taciturn by previous agreement.
We were spirited Away en bateau, under cover of fudge dark.
It's not the incomplete importunes, but the spookiness Of the finished product.
True, to ask less were folly, yet If he is the result of himself, how much the better For him we ought to be! And how little, finally, We take this into account! Is the puckered garance satin Of a case that once held a brace of dueling pistols our Only acknowledging of that color? I like not this, Methinks, yet this disappointing sequel to ourselves Has been applauded in London and St.
Petersburg.
Somewhere Ravens pray for us.
" The storm finished brewing.
And thus She questioned all who came in at the great gate, but none She found who ever heard of Amadis, Nor of stern Aureng-Zebe, his first love.
Some They were to whom this mattered not a jot: since all By definition is completeness (so In utter darkness they reasoned), why not Accept it as it pleases to reveal itself? As when Low skyscrapers from lower-hanging clouds reveal A turret there, an art-deco escarpment here, and last perhaps The pattern that may carry the sense, but Stays hidden in the mysteries of pagination.
Not what we see but how we see it matters; all's Alike, the same, and we greet him who announces The change as we would greet the change itself.
All life is but a figment; conversely, the tiny Tome that slips from your hand is not perhaps the Missing link in this invisible picnic whose leverage Shrouds our sense of it.
Therefore bivouac we On this great, blond highway, unimpeded by Veiled scruples, worn conundrums.
Morning is Impermanent.
Grab sex things, swing up Over the horizon like a boy On a fishing expedition.
No one really knows Or cares whether this is the whole of which parts Were vouchsafed--once--but to be ambling on's The tradition more than the safekeeping of it.
This mulch for Play keeps them interested and busy while the big, Vaguer stuff can decide what it wants--what maps, what Model cities, how much waste space.
Life, our Life anyway, is between.
We don't mind Or notice any more that the sky is green, a parrot One, but have our earnest where it chances on us, Disingenuous, intrigued, inviting more, Always invoking the echo, a summer's day.
Written by Robert Frost | Create an image from this poem

Place for a Third

 Nothing to say to all those marriages!
She had made three herself to three of his.
The score was even for them, three to three.
But come to die she found she cared so much: She thought of children in a burial row; Three children in a burial row were sad.
One man's three women in a burial row Somehow made her impatient with the man.
And so she said to Laban, "You have done A good deal right; don't do the last thing wrong.
Don't make me lie with those two other women.
" Laban said, No, he would not make her lie With anyone but that she had a mind to, If that was how she felt, of course, he said.
She went her way.
But Laban having caught This glimpse of lingering person in Eliza, And anxious to make all he could of it With something he remembered in himself, Tried to think how he could exceed his promise, And give good measure to the dead, though thankless.
If that was how she felt, he kept repeating.
His first thought under pressure was a grave In a new boughten grave plot by herself, Under he didn't care how great a stone: He'd sell a yoke of steers to pay for it.
And weren't there special cemetery flowers, That, once grief sets to growing, grief may rest; The flowers will go on with grief awhile, And no one seem neglecting or neglected? A prudent grief will not despise such aids.
He thought of evergreen and everlasting.
And then he had a thought worth many of these.
Somewhere must be the grave of the young boy Who married her for playmate more than helpmate, And sometimes laughed at what it was between them.
How would she like to sleep her last with him? Where was his grave? Did Laban know his name? He found the grave a town or two away, The headstone cut with John, Beloved Husband, Beside it room reserved; the say a sister's; A never-married sister's of that husband, Whether Eliza would be welcome there.
The dead was bound to silence: ask the sister.
So Laban saw the sister, and, saying nothing Of where Eliza wanted not to lie, And who had thought to lay her with her first love, Begged simply for the grave.
The sister's face Fell all in wrinkles of responsibility.
She wanted to do right.
She'd have to think.
Laban was old and poor, yet seemed to care; And she was old and poor-but she cared, too.
They sat.
She cast one dull, old look at him, Then turned him out to go on other errands She said he might attend to in the village, While she made up her mind how much she cared- And how much Laban cared-and why he cared, (She made shrewd eyes to see where he came in.
) She'd looked Eliza up her second time, A widow at her second husband's grave, And offered her a home to rest awhile Before she went the poor man's widow's way, Housekeeping for the next man out of wedlock.
She and Eliza had been friends through all.
Who was she to judge marriage in a world Whose Bible's so confused up in marriage counsel? The sister had not come across this Laban; A decent product of life's ironing-out; She must not keep him waiting.
Time would press Between the death day and the funeral day.
So when she saw him coming in the street She hurried her decision to be ready To meet him with his answer at the door.
Laban had known about what it would be From the way she had set her poor old mouth, To do, as she had put it, what was right.
She gave it through the screen door closed between them: "No, not with John.
There wouldn't be no sense.
Eliza's had too many other men.
" Laban was forced to fall back on his plan To buy Eliza a plot to lie alone in: Which gives him for himself a choice of lots When his time comes to die and settle down.
Written by Henry Vaughan | Create an image from this poem

The Retreat

 1 Happy those early days, when I
2 Shin'd in my angel-infancy!
3 Before I understood this place
4 Appointed for my second race,
5 Or taught my soul to fancy ought
6 But a white, celestial thought;
7 When yet I had not walk'd above
8 A mile or two from my first love,
9 And looking back (at that short space)
10 Could see a glimpse of his bright face;
11 When on some gilded cloud or flow'r
12 My gazing soul would dwell an hour,
13 And in those weaker glories spy
14 Some shadows of eternity;
15 Before I taught my tongue to wound
16 My conscience with a sinful sound,
17 Or had the black art to dispense,
18 A sev'ral sin to ev'ry sense,
19 But felt through all this fleshly dress
20 Bright shoots of everlastingness.
21 O how I long to travel back, 22 And tread again that ancient track! 23 That I might once more reach that plain, 24 Where first I left my glorious train, 25 From whence th' enlighten'd spirit sees 26 That shady city of palm trees.
27 But ah! my soul with too much stay 28 Is drunk, and staggers in the way.
29 Some men a forward motion love, 30 But I by backward steps would move; 31 And when this dust falls to the urn, 32 In that state I came, return.
Written by Stanley Kunitz | Create an image from this poem

First Love

 At his incipient sun 
The ice of twenty winters broke, 
Crackling, in her eyes.
Her mirroring, still mind, That held the world (made double) calm, Went fluid, and it ran.
There was a stir of music, Mixed with flowers, in her blood; A swift impulsive balm From obscure roots; Gold bees of clinging light Swarmed in her brow.
Her throat is full of songs, She hums, she is sensible of wings Growing on her heart.
She is a tree in spring Trembling with the hope of leaves, Of which the leaves are tongues.
Written by William Butler Yeats | Create an image from this poem

A Dream Of Death

 I dreamed that one had died in a strange place
Near no accustomed hand,
And they had nailed the boards above her face,
The peasants of that land,
Wondering to lay her in that solitude,
And raised above her mound
A cross they had made out of two bits of wood,
And planted cypress round;
And left her to the indifferent stars above
Until I carved these words:
She was more beautiful than thy first love,
But now lies under boards.
Written by Victor Hugo | Create an image from this poem

FIRST LOVE

 ("Vous êtes singulier.") 
 
 {MARION DELORME, Act I., June, 1829, played 1831.} 
 
 MARION (smiling.) You're strange, and yet I love you thus. 
 
 DIDIER. You love me? 
 Beware, nor with light lips utter that word. 
 You love me!—know you what it is to love 
 With love that is the life-blood in one's veins, 
 The vital air we breathe, a love long-smothered, 
 Smouldering in silence, kindling, burning, blazing, 
 And purifying in its growth the soul. 
 A love that from the heart eats every passion 
 But its sole self; love without hope or limit, 
 Deep love that will outlast all happiness; 
 Speak, speak; is such the love you bear me? 
 
 MARION. Truly. 
 
 DIDIER. Ha! but you do not know how I love you! 
 The day that first I saw you, the dark world 
 Grew shining, for your eyes lighted my gloom. 
 Since then, all things have changed; to me you are 
 Some brightest, unknown creature from the skies. 
 This irksome life, 'gainst which my heart rebelled, 
 Seems almost fair and pleasant; for, alas! 
 Till I knew you wandering, alone, oppressed, 
 I wept and struggled, I had never loved. 
 
 FANNY KEMBLE-BUTLER. 


 




Written by Rg Gregory | Create an image from this poem

from Proverbs of Hell

 (a) radical

ban all fires
and places where people congregate
to create comfort
put an end to sleep
good cooking
and the delectation of wine
tear lovers apart
piss on the sun and moon
degut all heavenly harmony
strike out across the bitter ice
and the poisonous marshes

make (if you dare) a better world

(b) expect poison from standing water
  (iii)
lake erie
why not as a joke one night
pick up your bed and walk
to washington – sleep
your damned sleep in its streets
so that one bright metallic morning
it can wake up to the stench
and fermentation of flesh
the gutrot of nerves – the blood’s
green effervescence so active
your skin has a job to keep it all in

isn’t that what things with the palsy
are supposed to do – lovely lake
give the world the miracle it waits for
what a laugh that would be

especially if washington lost its temper
and screamed christ lake erie
i don’t even know what to do
with my own garbage

pollution is just one of those things

go on lake erie
do it tonight

(c) drive your cart and your plow over the bones of the dead

(i)
isn't the next one
easter egg

  i don't want to live any more in an old way

yes it is

  to be a socialist wearing capitalism's cap
  a teacher in the shadow of a dead headmaster
  a tree using somebody else's old sap

  i want to build my future out of new emotions
  to seek more than my own in a spring surround
  to move amongst people keen to move outwards
  putting love and ideas into fresh ground

  who will come with me across this border
  not anywhere but in the bonds we make
  taking the old apart to find new order
  living ourselves boldly for each other's sake

then love is

  if you ask me today what love is
  i should have to name the people i love
  and perhaps because it's spring
  and i cannot control the knife that's in me
  their names would surprise me as much as you

  for years i have assumed that love is bloody
  a thing locked up in house and a family tree
  but suddenly its ache goes out beyond me
  and the first love is greater for the new

  this year more than any other
  the winter has savaged my deepest roots
  and the easter sun is banging hard against the window
  the arms of my loves are flowering widely
  and over the fields a new definition is running

  even though the streets we walk cannot be altered
  and faces there are that will not understand
  we have a sun born of our mutual longings
  whose shine is a hard fact - love is a new land

new spartans

  i haven't felt this young for twenty years
  yesterday i felt twenty years older
  then i had the curtains drawn over recluse fears
  today the sun comes in and instantly it's colder

  must shave and get dressed - i'm being nagged
  to shove my suspicions in a corner and get out
  what use the sun if being plagued with new life
  i can't throw off this centrally-heated doubt

  accept people with ice in their brows
  are the new spartans - they wait
      shall i go with them
  indoor delights that slowly breed into lies
  need to be dumped out of doors - and paralysis with them

no leave it
there's still one more
the need now

  the need now is to chronicle new times
  by their own statutes not as fag-ends of the old
  ideas stand out bravely against the surrounding grey
  seeking their own order in what themselves proclaim
  fortresses no longer belong by right to an older day

  i want to gather in my hands things i believe in
  not to be told that other rules prevail - there is
  a treading forward to be done of great excitement
  and people to be found who by the old laws
  should be little more than dead
      this enlightment

  is cutting like spring into a bitter winter
  and there is this smashing of many concrete shells
  a dream with the cheek to be aggressive has assumed
  its own flesh and bone and will not put up with sleep
  as its prime condition - life out of death is exhumed

it's the other side
is so disappointing
no thanks
leave it for now

(ii)

there follows a brief interlude in honour of mr vasko popa
(the yugoslav poet who in a short visit to this country
has stayed a long time)
and it will not now take place

  this game is called x
  no one else can play

  when the game is over
  we have all joined in

  those who have not been playing
  have to give in an ear

  if you don't have an ear
  use one of those lying about

  left over from the last time
  the game wasn't played

  this game is not to do with ears
  shooting must be done from the heart

  x sits in the middle of the ring - he
  has gone for a stroll up his left nostril

  how can he seize a left-over ear
  and drag it under the ground

  hands up if you have been shot from the heart
  x comes up in the middle of himself

  in this way the game is over before
  it began and everyone willy-nilly

  has had to go home
  before he could put a foot outside


(d) enough! – or too much

   reading popa
   i let fly
   too many words

   i bang away
   at the seed
   but can’t break it

   hurt i turn to
   constructing
   castles with cards

   if you can’t split
   the atom
   man stop writing
Written by Thomas Moore | Create an image from this poem

Loves Young Dream

 Oh! the days are gone, when Beauty bright 
My heart's chain wove; 
When my dream of life, from morn till night, 
Was love, still love.
New hope may bloom, And days may come, Of milder calmer beam, But there's nothing half so sweet in life As love's young dream: No, there's nothing half so sweet in life As love's young dream.
Though the bard to purer fame may soar, When wild youth's past; Though he win the wise, who frown'd before, To smile at last; He'll never meet A joy so sweet, In all his noon of fame, As when first he sung to woman's ear His soul-felt flame, And, at every close, she blush'd to hear The one loved name.
No, -- that hallow'd form is ne'er forgot Which first love traced; Still it lingering haunts the greenest spot On memory's waste.
'Twas odour fled As soon as shed; 'Twas morning's winged dream; 'Twas a light, tht ne'er can shine again On life's dull stream: Oh! 'twas light that n'er can shine again On life's dull stream.
Written by William Butler Yeats | Create an image from this poem

A Man Young And Old: I. First Love

 Though nurtured like the sailing moon
In beauty's murderous brood,
She walked awhile and blushed awhile
And on my pathway stood
Until I thought her body bore
A heart of flesh and blood.
But since I laid a hand thereon And found a heart of stone I have attempted many things And not a thing is done, For every hand is lunatic That travels on the moon.
She smiled and that transfigured me And left me but a lout, Maundering here, and maundering there, Emptier of thought Than the heavenly circuit of its stars When the moon sails out.
Written by Philip Levine | Create an image from this poem

In The New Sun

 Filaments of light 
slant like windswept rain.
The orange seller hawks into the sky, a man with a hat stops below my window and shakes his tassels.
Awake in Tetuan, the room filling with the first colors, and water running in a tub.
* A row of sparkling carp iced in the new sun, odor of first love, of childhood, the fingers held to the nose, or hours while the clock hummed.
The fat woman in the orange smock places tiny greens at mouth and tail as though she remembered or yearned instead for forests, deep floors of needles, and the hushed breath.
* Blue nosed cannisters as fat as barrels silently slipping by.
"Nitro," he says.
On the roof he shows me where Reuban lay down to fuck-off and never woke.
"We're takin little whiffs all the time.
" Slivers of glass work their way through the canvas gloves and burn.
Lifting my black glasses in the chemical light, I stop to squeeze one out and the asbestos glows like a hand in moonlight or a face in dreams.
* Pinpoints of blue along the arms, light rushing down across the breasts missing the dry shadows under them.
She stretches and rises on her knees and smiles and far down to the sudden embroidery of curls the belly smiles that three times stretched slowly moonward in a hill of child.
* Sun through the cracked glass, bartender at the cave end peeling a hard-boiled egg.
Four in the afternoon, the dogs asleep, the river must bridge seven parched flats to Cordoba by nightfall.
It will never make it.
I will never make it.
Like the old man in gray corduroy asleep under the stifled fan, I have no more moves, stranded on an empty board.
* From the high hill behind Ford Rouge, we could see the ore boats pulling down river, the rail yards, and the smoking mountain.
East, the city spreading toward St.
Clair, miles of houses, factories, shops burning in the still white snow.
"Share this with your brother," he said, and it was always winter and a dark snow.
Written by Barry Tebb | Create an image from this poem

Bridge Over The Aire Book 3

 THE KINGDOM OF MY HEART





1



The halcyon settled on the Aire of our days

Kingfisher-blue it broke my heart in two

Shall I forget you? Shall I forget you?



I am the mad poet first love

You never got over

You are my blue-eyed

Madonna virgin bride

I shall carve ‘MG loves BT’

On the bark of every 

Wind-bent tree in 

East End Park



2



The park itself will blossom

And grow in chiaroscuro

The Victorian postcard’s view

Of avenue upon avenue

With palms and pagodas

Lakes and waterfalls and

A fountain from Versailles.
3 You shall be my queen In the Kingdom of Deira Land of many rivers Aire the greatest Isara the strong one Robed in stillness Wide, deep and dark.
4 In Middleton Woods Margaret and I played Truth or dare She bared her breasts To the watching stars.
5 “Milk, milk, Lemonade, round The corner Chocolate spread” Nancy chanted at Ten in the binyard Touching her tits, Her cunt, her bum, Margaret joined in Chanting in unison.
6 The skipping rope Turned faster And faster, slapping The hot pavement, Margaret skipped In rhythm, never Missing a beat, Lifting the pleat Of her skirt Whirling and twirling.
7 Giggling and red Margaret said In a whisper “When we were Playing at Nancy’s She pushed a spill Of paper up her You-know-what She said she’d Let you watch If you wanted.
” 8 Margaret, this Saturday morning in June There is a queue at the ‘Princess’ for The matin?e, down the alley by the blank Concrete of the cinema’s side I hide With you, we are counting our picture Money, I am counting the stars in your Hair, bound with a cheap plastic comb.
9 You have no idea of my need for you A lifetime long, every wrong decision I made betrayed my need; forty years on Hear my song and take my hand and move Us to the house of love where we belong.
10 Margaret we sat in the cinema dark Warm with the promise of a secret kiss The wall lights glowed amber on the Crumbling plaster, we looked with longing At the love seats empty in the circle, Vowing we would share one.
11 There is shouting and echoes Of wild splashing from York Road baths; forty years on It stirs my memory and Will not be gone.
12 The ghosts of tramtracks Light up lanes To nowhere In Leeds Ten.
Every road Leads nowhere In Leeds Nine.
Motorways have cut The city’s heart In two; Margaret, Our home lies buried Under sixteen feet Of stone.
13 Our families moved And we were lost I was not there to hear The whispered secret Of your first period.
14 God is courage’s infinite ground Tillich said; God, give me enough To stand another week without her Every day gets longer, every sleep Less deep.
15 Why can’t I find you, Touch you, Bind your straw-gold hair The colour of lank February grass? 16 Under the stone canopy Of the Grand Arcade I pass Europa Nightclub; In black designer glass I watch the faces pass But none is like your’s, No voice, no eyes, No smile at all Like your’s.
17 From Kirkstall Lock The rhubarb crop To Knostrop’s forcing sheds The roots ploughed up Arranged in beds Of perfect darkness Where the buds burst With a pip, rich pink Stalks and yellow leaves Hand-picked by Candle-light to Keep the colour right So every night the Rhubarb train Could go from Leeds To Covent Garden.
18 The smell of Saturday morning Is the smell of freedom How the bounds may grow Slowly slowly as I go.
“Rag-bone rag-bone White donkey stone” Auntie Nellie scoured Her door step, polished The brass knocker Till I saw my face Bunched like a fist Complete with goggles Grinning like a monkey In a mile of mirrors.
19 Every door step had a stop A half-stone iron weight To hold it back and every Step was edged with donkey Stone in yellow or white From the ragman or the potman With his covered cart jingling Jangling as it jerked hundreds Of cups on hooks pint and Half pint mugs and stacks of Willow-patterned plates From Burmantofts.
20 We heard him a mile off Nights in summer when He trundled round the Corner over the cobbles Jamming the wood brake Blocks whoaing the horses With their gleaming brasses And our mams were always Waiting where he stopped.
21 Double summer-time made The nights go on for ever And no-one cared any more How long we played what Or where and we were left Alone and that’s all I wanted Then or now to be left alone Never to be called in from The Hollows never to be Called from Margaret.
22 City of back-to-backs From Armley Heights Laid out in rows Like trees or grass I watch you pass.
23 The Aire is slow and almost Still In the Bridgefield The Joshua Tetley clock Over the Atkinson Grimshaw Print Is stopped at nineteen fifty Four The year I left.
24 Grimshaw’s home was Half a mile away In Knostrop Hall Margaret and I Climbed the ruined Walls her hair was Blowing in the wind Her eyes were stars In the green night Her hands were holding My hands.
25 Half a century later I look out over Leeds Nine What little’s left is broken Or changed Saturday night Is silent and empty The paths over the Hollows Deserted the bell Of St.
Hilda’s still.
26 On a single bush The yellow roses blush Pink in the amber light Night settles on the Fewstons and the Copperfields No mothers’ voices calling us.
Lilac and velvet clover Grew all over the Hollows It was all the luck We knew and when we left Our luck went too.
27 Solid black Velvet basalt Polished jet Millstone grit Leeds Town Hall Built with it Soaks up the fog Is sealed with smog Battered buttressed Blackened plinths White lions’ paws Were soft their Smiles like your’s.
28 Narrow lanes, steep inclines, Steps, blank walls, tight And secret openings’ The lanes are your hips The inclines the lines Of your thighs, the steps Your breasts, blank walls Your buttocks, tight and Secret openings your Taut vagina’s lips.
29 There is a keening and a honing And a winnowing in the wind I am the surge and flow In Winwaed’s water the last breath Of Elmete’s King.
I am Penda crossing the Aire Camping at Killingbeck Conquered by Aethalwald Ruler of Deira.
30 Life is a bird hovering In the Hall of the King Between darkness and darkness flickering The stone of Scone at last lifted And borne on the wind, Dunedin, take it Hold it hard and fast its light Is leaping it is freedom’s Touchstone and firestone.
31 Eir, Ayer or Aire I’ll still be there Your wanderings off course Old Ea, Old Eye, Dead Eye Make no difference to me.
Eg-an island - is Aire’s True source, names Not places matter With the risings Of a river Ea land-by-water I’ll make my own way Free, going down river To the far-off sea.
32 Poetry is my business, my affair.
My cri-de-coeur, jongleur Of Mercia and Elmete, Margaret, Open your door I am heaping Imbroglios of stars on the floor Meet me by the Office Lock At midnight or by the Town Hall Clock.
33 Nennius nine times have I knocked On the door of your grave, nine times More have I made Pilgrimage to Elmete’s Wood where long I lay by beck and bank Waiting for your tongue to flame With Pentecostal fire.
34 Margaret you rode in the hollow of my hand In the harp of my heart, searching for you I wandered in Kirkgate Market’s midnight Down avenues of shuttered stalls, our secrets Kept through all the years.
From the Imperial on Beeston Hill I watch the city spill glass towers Of light over the horizon’s rim.
35 The railyard’s straights Are buckled plates Red bricks for aggregate All lost like me Ledsham and Ledston Both belong to Leeds But Ledston Luck Is where Aire leads.
36 Held of the Crown By seven thanes In Saxon times ‘In regione Loidis’ Baeda scripsit Leeds, Leeds, You answer All my needs.
37 A horse shoe stuck for luck Behind a basement window: Margaret, now we’ll see What truth there is In dreams and poetry! I am at one with everyone There is poetry Falling from the air And you have put it there.
38 The sign for John Eaton Street Is planted in the back garden Of the transport caf? between The strands of a wire mesh fence Straddling the cobbles of a street That is no more, a washing line And an abandoned caravan.
39 ‘This open land to let’ Is what you get on the Hollows Thousands of half-burned tyres The rusty barrel of a Trumix lorry Concrete slabs, foxgloves and condoms, The Go-Kart Arena’s signboards, Half the wall of Ellerby Lane School.
40 There is a mermaid singing On East Street on an IBM poster Her hair is lack-lustre Her breasts are facing the camera Her tail is like a worn-out brush.
Chimney stacks Blind black walls Of factories Grimy glass Flickering firelight In black-leaded grates.
41 Hunslet de Ledes Hop-scotch, hide and seek, Bogies-on-wheels Not one tree in Hunslet Except in the cemetery The lake filled in For fifty years, The bluebell has rung Its last perfumed peal.
42 I couldn’t play out on Sunday Mam and dad thought us a cut Above the rest, it was another Test I failed, keeping me and Margaret apart was like the Aztecs Tearing the heart from the living flesh.
43 Father, your office job Didn’t save you From the drugs They never gave you.
44 Isaiah, my son, You made it back From Balliol to Beeston At a run via the Playing fields of Eton.
There is a keening and a honing And a winnowing in the wind Winwaed’s water with red bluid blent.
Written by Rudyard Kipling | Create an image from this poem

The Virginity

 Try as he will, no man breaks wholly loose
 From his first love, no matter who she be.
Oh, was there ever sailor free to choose, That didn't settle somewhere near the sea? Myself, it don't excite me nor amuse To watch a pack o' shipping on the sea; But I can understand my neighbour's views From certain things which have occured to me.
Men must keep touch with things they used to use To earn their living, even when they are free; And so come back upon the least excuse -- Same as the sailor settled near the sea.
He knows he's never going on no cruise -- He knows he's done and finished with the sea; And yet he likes to feel she's there to use -- If he should ask her -- as she used to be.
Even though she cost him all he had to lose, Even though she made him sick to hear or see, Still, what she left of him will mostly choose Her skirts to sit by.
How comes such to be? Parsons in pulpits, tax-payers in pews, Kings on your thrones, you know as well as me, We've only one virginity to lose, And where we lost it there our hearts will be!