Wallace Stevens | |
One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;
And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter
Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,
Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place
For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.
Tanwir Phool | |
For Tanwir Phool's poetry see these links:
Jo lamHa guzartaa hai who keya detaa hai?
Dauraaniya-e-zeest bataa detaa hai
Aie Phool ! ghaTaa umr se ik aur baras
Jaataa huwaa har saal sadaa detaa hai
(From "DhuwaaN DhuwaaN Chehray" published in April,1999)
What is given by the moment passed?
It tells one the spent period of his or her life.
Every passing year is saying that one more year is being
decreased / deducted from one's life.
Tu maaNg sadaa SuHbat-e-bad Khoo se panaah
Saathi jo buraa ho to who kartaa hai tabaah
ShaitaaN se bhalaa'i ki tawaqqu hai tujhay !
LAA HAULA WALAA QUWWATA ILLAA BILLAH
(From "Gulshan-e-SuKhan" published in January,1970)
You should seek riddance from the company of sinful person.
If the companion is evil-minded ,you will be ruined.
Do you expect beneficence from the Devil?
There is no source of strength save that of God.
(Poet : Tanwir Phool ) http://duckduckgo.
Julie Hill Alger | |
The new war is a week old.
Bombs fall on Baghdad,
missiles on Tel Aviv.
The voice on the radio says
the armament dealers of Europe
are hopeful that a longer war
will be good for business.
They say, as fighting continues
there will be wear and tear
must be manufactured,
as well as replacements
for equipment blown apart,
shattered, set afire.
Prudently, the merchants
consult their spreadsheets.
They guard against euphoria
and prepare for a possible
downside to this bonanza:
the Allies are shooting
at their best customer,
If he loses
their market will be depressed.
There is also a danger of
restrictions on sales
to angry dictators.
the longterm effects of the war
may not all be positive.
More great poems below...
James Wright | |
The night's drifts
Pile up below me and behind my back,
Slide down the hill, rise again, and build
Eerie little dunes on the roof of the house.
In the valley below me,
Miles between me and the town of St.
The road lamps glow.
They are so cold, they might as well be dark.
Trucks and cars
Cough and drone down there between the golden
Coffins of greenhouses, the startled squawk
Of a rooster claws heavily across
A grove, and drowns.
The gumming snarl of some grouchy dog sounds,
And a man bitterly shifts his broken gears.
True night still hangs on,
Mist cluttered with a racket of its own.
Now on the mountainside,
A little way downhill among turning rucks,
A square takes form in the side of a dim wall.
I hear a bucket rattle or something, tinny,
No other stirring behind the dim face
Of the goatherd's house.
His goats are still sleeping, dreaming
Of the fresh roses
Beyond the walls of the greenhouse below them.
And of lettuce leaves opening in Tunisia.
I turn, and somehow
Impossibly hovering in the air over everything,
The Mediterranean, nearer to the moon
Than this mountain is, Shines.
A voice clearly
Tells me to snap out of it.
Mutters out of the house and up the stone stairs
To start the motor.
The moon and the stars
Suddenly flicker out, and the whole mountain
Appears, pale as a shell.
Look, the sea has not fallen and broken
How can I feel so warm
Here in the dead center of January? I can
Scarcely believe it, and yet I have to, this is
The only life I have.
I get up from the stone.
My body mumbles something unseemly
And follows me.
Now we are all sitting here strangely
On top of sunlight.
Robert William Service | |
(16th January 1949)
I thank whatever gods may be
For all the happiness that's mine;
That I am festive, fit and free
To savour women, wit and wine;
That I may game of golf enjoy,
And have a formidable drive:
In short, that I'm a gay old boy
Though I be
My daughter thinks.
because I'm old
(I'm not a crock, when all is said),
I mustn't let my feet get cold,
And should wear woollen socks in bed;
A worsted night-cap too, forsooth!
To humour her I won't contrive:
A man is in his second youth
When he is
At four-score years old age begins,
And not till then, I warn my wife;
At eighty I'll recant my sins,
And live a staid and sober life.
But meantime let me whoop it up,
And tell the world that I'm alive:
Fill to the brim the bubbly cup -
Here's health to
Robert William Service | |
I have done with love and lust,
I reck not for gold or fame;
I await familiar dust
These frail fingers to reclaim:
Not for me the tiger flame.
Not for me the furnace glow,
Rage of fire and ashen doom;
To sweet earth my bones bestow
Where above a lowly tomb
January roses bloom.
Fools and fools and fools are you
Who your dears to fires confide;
Give to Mother Earth her due:
Flesh may waste but bone will bide,--
Let loved ones lie side by side.
Let God's Acre ever dream;
Shed your tears and blossoms bring;
On age-burnished bone will gleam
Crucifix and wedding ring:
Graves are for sweet comforting.
Curst be those who my remains
Hurl to horror of the flames!
Robert William Service | |
Here is this vale of sweet abiding,
My ultimate and dulcet home,
That gently dreams above the chiding
of restless and impatient foam;
Beyond the hazards of hell weather,
The harceling of wind and sea,
With timbers morticed tight together
My old hulk havens happily.
The dawn exultantly discloses
My lawn lit with mimosa gold;
The joy of January roses
Is with me when rich lands are cold;
Serene with bells of beauty chiming,
This dream domain to be belongs,
By sweet conspiracy of rhyming,
And virtue of some idle songs.
I thank the gracious Lord of Living
Who gave me power and will to write:
May I be worthy of His giving
And win to merit in His sight.
O merciful and mighty Master,
Though I have faltered in the past,
Your scribe I be.
Let me be faithful to the last.
Dylan Thomas | |
Because the pleasure-bird whistles after the hot wires,
Shall the blind horse sing sweeter?
Convenient bird and beast lie lodged to suffer
The supper and knives of a mood.
In the sniffed and poured snow on the tip of the tongue of the year
That clouts the spittle like bubbles with broken rooms,
An enamoured man alone by the twigs of his eyes, two fires,
Camped in the drug-white shower of nerves and food,
Savours the lick of the times through a deadly wood of hair
In a wind that plucked a goose,
Nor ever, as the wild tongue breaks its tombs,
Rounds to look at the red, wagged root.
Because there stands, one story out of the bum city,
That frozen wife whose juices drift like a fixed sea
Secretly in statuary,
Shall I, struck on the hot and rocking street,
Not spin to stare at an old year
Toppling and burning in the muddle of towers and galleries
Like the mauled pictures of boys?
The salt person and blasted place
I furnish with the meat of a fable.
If the dead starve, their stomachs turn to tumble
An upright man in the antipodes
Or spray-based and rock-chested sea:
Over the past table I repeat this present grace.
Richard Wilbur | |
It's not the case, though some might wish it so
Who from a window watch the blizzard blow
White riot through their branches vague and stark,
That they keep snug beneath their pelted bark.
They take affliction in until it jells
To crystal ice between their frozen cells,
And each of them is inwardly a vault
Of jewels rigorous and free of fault,
Unglimpsed until in May it gently bears
A sudden crop of green-pronged solitaires.
Helen Hunt Jackson | |
O Winter! frozen pulse and heart of fire,
What loss is theirs who from thy kingdom turn
Dismayed, and think thy snow a sculptured urn
Of death! Far sooner in midsummer tire
The streams than under ice.
June could not hire
Her roses to forego the strength they learn
In sleeping on thy breast.
No fires can burn
The bridges thou dost lay where men desire
In vain to build.
O Heart, when Love's sun goes
To northward, and the sounds of singing cease,
Keep warm by inner fires, and rest in peace.
Sleep on content, as sleeps the patient rose.
Walk boldly on the white untrodden snows,
The winter is the winter's own release.
Mary Darby Robinson | |
Pavement slipp'ry, people sneezing,
Lords in ermine, beggars freezing ;
Titled gluttons dainties carving,
Genius in a garret starving.
Lofty mansions, warm and spacious ;
Courtiers clinging and voracious ;
Misers scarce the wretched heeding ;
Gallant soldiers fighting, bleeding.
Wives who laugh at passive spouses ;
Theatres, and meeting-houses ;
Balls, where simp'ring misses languish ;
Hospitals, and groans of anguish.
Arts and sciences bewailing ;
Commerce drooping, credit failing ;
Placemen mocking subjects loyal ;
Separations, weddings royal.
Authors who can't earn a dinner ;
Many a subtle rogue a winner ;
Fugitives for shelter seeking ;
Misers hoarding, tradesmen breaking.
Taste and talents quite deserted ;
All the laws of truth perverted ;
Arrogance o'er merit soaring ;
Merit silently deploring.
Ladies gambling night and morning ;
Fools the works of genius scorning ;
Ancient dames for girls mistaken,
Youthful damsels quite forsaken.
Some in luxury delighting ;
More in talking than in fighting ;
Lovers old, and beaux decrepid ;
Lordlings empty and insipid.
Poets, painters, and musicians ;
Lawyers, doctors, politicians :
Pamphlets, newspapers, and odes,
Seeking fame by diff'rent roads.
Gallant souls with empty purses ;
Gen'rals only fit for nurses ;
School-boys, smit with martial spirit,
Taking place of vet'ran merit.
Honest men who can't get places,
Knaves who shew unblushing faces ;
Ruin hasten'd, peace retarded ;
Candour spurn'd, and art rewarded.
Ted Kooser | |
Only one cell in the frozen hive of night
is lit, or so it seems to us:
this Vietnamese café, with its oily light,
its odors whose colorful shapes are like flowers.
Laughter and talking, the tick of chopsticks.
Beyond the glass, the wintry city
creaks like an ancient wooden bridge.
A great wind rushes under all of us.
The bigger the window, the more it trembles.
Patrick Kavanagh | |
We have tested and tasted too much, lover-
Through a chink too wide there comes in no wonder.
But here in the Advent-darkened room
Where the dry black bread and the sugarless tea
Of penance will charm back the luxury
Of a child's soul, we'll return to Doom
The knowledge we stole but could not use.
And the newness that was in every stale thing
When we looked at it as children: the spirit-shocking
Wonder in a black slanting Ulster hill
Or the prophetic astonishment in the tedious talking
Of an old fool will awake for us and bring
You and me to the yard gate to watch the whins
And the bog-holes, cart-tracks, old stables where Time begins.
O after Christmas we'll have no need to go searching
For the difference that sets an old phrase burning-
We'll hear it in the whispered argument of a churning
Or in the streets where the village boys are lurching.
And we'll hear it among decent men too
Who barrow dung in gardens under trees,
Wherever life pours ordinary plenty.
Won't we be rich, my love and I, and
God we shall not ask for reason's payment,
The why of heart-breaking strangeness in dreeping hedges
Nor analyse God's breath in common statement.
We have thrown into the dust-bin the clay-minted wages
Of pleasure, knowledge and the conscious hour-
And Christ comes with a January flower.
David Lehman | |
I was about to be mugged by a man
with a chain so angry he growled
at the Lincoln Center subway station
when out of nowhere appeared a tall
chubby-faced Hasidic Jew with peyot
and a black hat a black coat white shirt
with prayer-shawl fringes showing
we walked together out of the station
and when we got outside and shook hands
I noticed he was blind.
I said, as giddy as a man waking
from an anesthetic in the recovery room,
happy, with a hard-on.
The cabs were
on strike on Broadway so beautiful
a necklace of yellow beads
I breathed in the fumes impossibly happy
David Lehman | |
Some people confuse inspiration with lightning
not me I know it comes from the lungs and air
you breathe it in you breathe it out it circulates
it's the breath of my being the wind across the face
of the waters yes but it's also something that comes
at my command like a turkey club sandwich
with a cup of split pea soup or like tones
from Benny Goodman's clarinet my clarinet
the language that never fails to respond
some people think you need to be pure of heart
not true it comes to the pure and impure alike
the patient and impatient the lovers the onanists
and the virgins you just need to be able to listen
and talk at the same time and you'll hear it like
the long-delayed revelation at the end of the novel
which turns out to be something simple a traumatic
moment that fascinated us more when it was only
a fragment an old song a strange noise a mistake
of hearing a phone that wouldn't stop ringing
David Lehman | |
We have a name for it
in the South:
It means we've known
each other so long
it doesn't matter
that he's an asshole
in my opinion
or I'm an asshole
in his opinion
And I want you to know
I'm not from the South
and you're not my buddy
and it doesn't matter
David Lehman | |
The sky is crumbling into millions of paper dots
the wind blows in my face
so I duck into my favorite barber shop
and listen to Vivaldi and look in the mirror
reflecting the shopfront windows, Broadway
and 104th, and watch the dots blown by the wind
blow into the faces of the walkers outside
& here comes a thin old man swaddled in scarves,
he must be seventy-five, walking slowly,
and in his mind there is a young man dancing,
maybe seventeen years old, on a June evening --
he is that young man, I can tell, watching him walk
David Lehman | |
Nothing extends a phone
call more effectively than
saying you're on your way out
but she wants to tell you
the five things she requires
in a man one is intelligence
he must have a brain
also he must be good a term
she likes because it embraces both
the opposite of evil and "good in
bed" and you admire the way
she skillfully maneuvered the
conversation to the sex lives
of jazz fans who live in the Village
and the enduring validity
of the Cyrano story and so
well you wish you didn't have to go
David Lehman | |
The old war is over the new one has begun
between drivers and pedestrians on a Friday
in New York light is the variable and structure
the content according to Rodrigo Moynihan's
self-portraits at the Robert Miller Gallery where
the painter is serially pictured holding a canvas,
painting his mirror image, shirtless in summer,
with a nude, etc.
, it's two o'clock and I'm walking
at top speed from the huddled tourists yearning to be
a mass to Les Halles on Park and 28th for a Salade
Niçoise I've just watched The Singing Detective all
six hours of it and can't get it out of my mind,
the scarecrow that turns into Hitler, the sad-eyed
father wearing a black arm-band, the yellow umbrellas
as Bing Crosby's voice comes out of Michael Gambon's
mouth, "you've got to ac-cent-tchu-ate the positive,
e-lim-inate the negative" advice as sound today
as in 1945 though it also remains true that
the only thing to do with good advice is pass it on
David Lehman | |
The shrink says, "Everything depends
on how many stuffed animals you had
as a boy," and my mother tells me my
father was left-handed and so is my son
and they're both named Joe whose favorite
stuffed animal was a bear called Sweetheart
while I, the sole constant in this dream,
am carrying a little girl who has a gun
in her hand as I climb a brick wall
on the other side is unknown territory
but it has to be better than this chase
down hilly streets where the angel disguised
as a man with red hair drives the wrong way
down a one-way street so he arrives late
at the library where his son is held hostage
he breaks in lifts the boy in his arms and tells
the one kind man he had met that he and
his brother would be saved but the others
who had mocked him would surely die
Anne Sexton | |
I was wrapped in black
fur and white fur and
you undid me and then
you placed me in gold light
and then you crowned me,
while snow fell outside
the door in diagonal darts.
While a ten-inch snow
came down like stars
in small calcium fragments,
we were in our own bodies
(that room that will bury us)
and you were in my body
(that room that will outlive us)
and at first I rubbed your
feet dry with a towel
becuase I was your slave
and then you called me princess.
I stood up in my gold skin
and I beat down the psalms
and I beat down the clothes
and you undid the bridle
and you undid the reins
and I undid the buttons,
the bones, the confusions,
the New England postcards,
the January ten o’clcik night,
and we rose up like wheat,
acre after acre of gold,
and we harvested,
Robert Southey | |
Come melancholy Moralizer--come!
Gather with me the dark and wintry wreath;
With me engarland now
The SEPULCHRE OF TIME!
Come Moralizer to the funeral song!
I pour the dirge of the Departed Days,
For well the funeral song
Befits this solemn hour.
But hark! even now the merry bells ring round
With clamorous joy to welcome in this day,
This consecrated day,
To Mirth and Indolence.
Mortal! whilst Fortune with benignant hand
Fills to the brim thy cup of happiness,
Whilst her unclouded sun
Illumes thy summer day,
Canst thou rejoice--rejoice that Time flies fast?
That Night shall shadow soon thy summer sun?
That swift the stream of Years
Rolls to Eternity?
If thou hast wealth to gratify each wish,
If Power be thine, remember what thou art--
Remember thou art Man,
And Death thine heritage!
Hast thou known Love? does Beauty's better sun
Cheer thy fond heart with no capricious smile,
Her eye all eloquence,
Her voice all harmony?
Oh state of happiness! hark how the gale
Moans deep and hollow o'er the leafless grove!
Winter is dark and cold--
Where now the charms of Spring?
Sayst thou that Fancy paints the future scene
In hues too sombrous? that the dark-stol'd Maid
With stern and frowning front
Appals the shuddering soul?
And would'st thou bid me court her faery form
When, as she sports her in some happier mood,
Her many-colour'd robes
Dance varying to the Sun?
Ah vainly does the Pilgrim, whose long road
Leads o'er the barren mountain's storm-vext height,
With anxious gaze survey
The fruitful far-off vale.
Oh there are those who love the pensive song
To whom all sounds of Mirth are dissonant!
There are who at this hour
Will love to contemplate!
For hopeless Sorrow hails the lapse of Time,
Rejoicing when the fading orb of day
Is sunk again in night,
That one day more is gone.
And he who bears Affliction's heavy load
With patient piety, well pleas'd he knows
The World a pilgrimage,
The Grave the inn of rest.
Edwin Morgan | |
My shadow --
I woke to a wind swirling the curtains light and dark
and the birds twittering on the roofs, I lay cold
in the early light in my room high over London.
What fear was it that made the wind sound like a fire
so that I got up and looked out half-asleep
at the calm rows of street-lights fading far below?
Only the wind blew.
But in the dream I woke from, you
came running through the traffic, tugging me, clinging
to my elbow, your eyes spoke
what I could not grasp --
Nothing, if you were here!
The wind of the early quiet
merges slowly now with a thousand rolling wheels.
The lights are out, the air is loud.
It is an ordinary January day.
My shadow, do you hear the streets?
Are you at my heels? Are you here?
And I throw back the sheets.
Ogden Nash | |
In January everything freezes.
We have two children.
Both are she'ses.
This is our January rule:
One girl in bed, and one in school.
In February the blizzard whirls.
We own a pair of little girls.
Blessings upon of each the head ----
The one in school and the one in bed.
March is the month of cringe and bluster.
Each of our children has a sister.
They cling together like Hansel and Gretel,
With their noses glued to the benzoin kettle.
April is made of impetuous waters
And doctors looking down throats of daughters.
If we had a son too, and a thoroughbred,
We'd have a horse,
And a boy,
And two girls
Dorothy Parker | |
The days will rally, wreathing
Their crazy tarantelle;
And you must go on breathing,
But I'll be safe in hell.
Like January weather,
The years will bite and smart,
And pull your bones together
To wrap your chattering heart.
The pretty stuff you're made of
Will crack and crease and dry.
The thing you are afraid of
Will look from every eye.
You will go faltering after
The bright, imperious line,
And split your throat on laughter,
And burn your eyes with brine.
You will be frail and musty
With peering, furtive head,
Whilst I am young and lusty
Among the roaring dead.