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Best Famous Metaphor Poems

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

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Written by Ogden Nash | Create an image from this poem

Very Like a Whale

 One thing that literature would be greatly the better for
Would be a more restricted employment by the authors of simile and
metaphor.
Authors of all races, be they Greeks, Romans, Teutons or Celts, Can't seem just to say that anything is the thing it is but have to go out of their way to say that it is like something else.
What does it mean when we are told That that Assyrian came down like a wolf on the fold? In the first place, George Gordon Byron had enough experience To know that it probably wasn't just one Assyrian, it was a lot of Assyrians.
However, as too many arguments are apt to induce apoplexy and thus hinder longevity.
We'll let it pass as one Assyrian for the sake of brevity.
Now then, this particular Assyrian, the one whose cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold, Just what does the poet mean when he says he came down like a wold on the fold? In heaven and earth more than is dreamed of in our philosophy there are great many things.
But I don't imagine that among them there is a wolf with purple and gold cohorts or purple and gold anythings.
No, no, Lord Byron, before I'll believe that this Assyrian was actually like a wolf I must have some kind of proof; Did he run on all fours and did he have a hairy tail and a big red mouth and big white teeth and did he say Woof Woof? Frankly I think it is very unlikely, and all you were entitled to say, at the very most, Was that the Assyrian cohorts came down like a lot of Assyrian cohorts about to destroy the Hebrew host.
But that wasn't fancy enough for Lord Byron, oh dear me no, he had to invent a lot of figures of speech and then interpolate them, With the result that whenever you mention Old Testament soldiers to people they say Oh yes, they're the ones that a lot of wolves dressed up in gold and purple ate them.
That's the kind of thing that's being done all the time by poets, from Homer to Tennyson; They're always comparing ladies to lilies and veal to venison, And they always say things like that the snow is a white blanket after a winter storm.
Oh it is, is it, all right then, you sleep under a six-inch blanket of snow and I'll sleep under a half-inch blanket of unpoetical blanket material and we'll see which one keeps warm, And after that maybe you'll begin to comprehend dimly What I mean by too much metaphor and simile.
Written by Elizabeth Jennings | Create an image from this poem

In a Garden

 When the gardener has gone this garden
Looks wistful and seems waiting an event.
It is so spruce, a metaphor of Eden And even more so since the gardener went, Quietly godlike, but of course, he had Not made me promise anything and I Had no one tempting me to make the bad Choice.
Yet I still felt lost and wonder why.
Even the beech tree from next door which shares Its shadow with me, seemed a kind of threat.
Everything was too neat, and someone cares In the wrong way.
I need not have stood long Mocked by the smell of a mown lawn, and yet I did.
Sickness for Eden was so strong.
Written by Jorge Luis Borges | Create an image from this poem

We are the time. We are the famous

 We are the time.
We are the famous metaphor from Heraclitus the Obscure.
We are the water, not the hard diamond, the one that is lost, not the one that stands still.
We are the river and we are that greek that looks himself into the river.
His reflection changes into the waters of the changing mirror, into the crystal that changes like the fire.
We are the vain predetermined river, in his travel to his sea.
The shadows have surrounded him.
Everything said goodbye to us, everything goes away.
Memory does not stamp his own coin.
However, there is something that stays however, there is something that bemoans.
Written by Margaret Atwood | Create an image from this poem

Spelling

 My daughter plays on the floor
with plastic letters,
red, blue & hard yellow,
learning how to spell,
spelling,
how to make spells.
* I wonder how many women denied themselves daughters, closed themselves in rooms, drew the curtains so they could mainline words.
* A child is not a poem, a poem is not a child.
There is no either / or.
However.
* I return to the story of the woman caught in the war & in labour, her thighs tied together by the enemy so she could not give birth.
Ancestress: the burning witch, her mouth covered by leather to strangle words.
A word after a word after a word is power.
* At the point where language falls away from the hot bones, at the point where the rock breaks open and darkness flows out of it like blood, at the melting point of granite when the bones know they are hollow & the word splits & doubles & speaks the truth & the body itself becomes a mouth.
This is a metaphor.
* How do you learn to spell? Blood, sky & the sun, your own name first, your first naming, your first name, your first word.
Written by Anne Sexton | Create an image from this poem

The Division Of Parts

 1.
Mother, my Mary Gray, once resident of Gloucester and Essex County, a photostat of your will arrived in the mail today.
This is the division of money.
I am one third of your daughters counting my bounty or I am a queen alone in the parlor still, eating the bread and honey.
It is Good Friday.
Black birds pick at my window sill.
Your coat in my closet, your bright stones on my hand, the gaudy fur animals I do not know how to use, settle on me like a debt.
A week ago, while the hard March gales beat on your house, we sorted your things: obstacles of letters, family silver, eyeglasses and shoes.
Like some unseasoned Christmas, its scales rigged and reset, I bundled out gifts I did not choose.
Now the houts of The Cross rewind.
In Boston, the devout work their cold knees toward that sweet martyrdom that Christ planned.
My timely loss is too customary to note; and yet I planned to suffer and I cannot.
It does not please my yankee bones to watch where the dying is done in its usly hours.
Black birds peck at my window glass and Easter will take its ragged son.
The clutter of worship that you taught me, Mary Gray, is old.
I imitate a memory of belief that I do not own.
I trip on your death and jesus, my stranger floats up over my Christian home, wearing his straight thorn tree.
I have cast my lot and am one third thief of you.
Time, that rearranger of estates, equips me with your garments, but not with grief.
2.
This winter when cancer began its ugliness I grieved with you each day for three months and found you in your private nook of the medicinal palace for New England Women and never once forgot how long it took.
I read to you from The New Yorker, ate suppers you wouldn't eat, fussed with your flowers, joked with your nurses, as if I were the balm among lepers, as if I could undo a life in hours if I never said goodbye.
But you turned old, all your fifty-eight years sliding like masks from your skull; and at the end I packed your nightgowns in suitcases, paid the nurses, came riding home as if I'd been told I could pretend people live in places.
3.
Since then I have pretended ease, loved with the trickeries of need, but not enough to shed my daughterhood or sweeten him as a man.
I drink the five o' clock martinis and poke at this dry page like a rough goat.
Fool! I fumble my lost childhood for a mother and lounge in sad stuff with love to catch and catch as catch can.
And Christ still waits.
I have tried to exorcise the memory of each event and remain still, a mixed child, heavy with cloths of you.
Sweet witch, you are my worried guide.
Such dangerous angels walk through Lent.
Their walls creak Anne! Convert! Convert! My desk moves.
Its cavr murmurs Boo and I am taken and beguiled.
Or wrong.
For all the way I've come I'll have to go again.
Instead, I must convert to love as reasonable as Latin, as sold as earthenware: an equilibrium I never knew.
And Lent will keep its hurt for someone else.
Christ knows enough staunch guys have hitched him in trouble.
thinking his sticks were badges to wear.
4.
Spring rusts on its skinny branch and last summer's lawn is soggy and brown.
Yesterday is just a number.
All of its winters avalanche out of sight.
What was, is gone.
Mother, last night I slept in your Bonwit Teller nightgown.
Divided, you climbed into my head.
There in my jabbering dream I heard my own angry cries and I cursed you, Dame keep out of my slumber.
My good Dame, you are dead.
And Mother, three stones slipped from your glittering eyes.
Now it's Friday's noon and I would still curse you with my rhyming words and bring you flapping back, old love, old circus knitting, god-in-her-moon, all fairest in my lang syne verse, the gauzy bride among the children, the fancy amid the absurd and awkward, that horn for hounds that skipper homeward, that museum keeper of stiff starfish, that blaze within the pilgrim woman, a clown mender, a dove's cheek among the stones, my Lady of first words, this is the division of ways.
And now, while Christ stays fastened to his Crucifix so that love may praise his sacrifice and not the grotesque metaphor, you come, a brave ghost, to fix in my mind without praise or paradise to make me your inheritor.
Written by Robinson Jeffers | Create an image from this poem

The Great Explosion

 The universe expands and contracts like a great heart.
It is expanding, the farthest nebulae Rush with the speed of light into empty space.
It will contract, the immense navies of stars and galaxies, dust clouds and nebulae Are recalled home, they crush against each other in one harbor, they stick in one lump And then explode it, nothing can hold them down; there is no way to express that explosion; all that exists Roars into flame, the tortured fragments rush away from each other into all the sky, new universes Jewel the black breast of night; and far off the outer nebulae like charging spearmen again Invade emptiness.
No wonder we are so fascinated with fireworks And our huge bombs: it is a kind of homesickness perhaps for the howling fireblast that we were born from.
But the whole sum of the energies That made and contain the giant atom survives.
It will gather again and pile up, the power and the glory-- And no doubt it will burst again; diastole and systole: the whole universe beats like a heart.
Peace in our time was never one of God's promises; but back and forth, live and die, burn and be damned, The great heart beating, pumping into our arteries His terrible life.
He is beautiful beyond belief.
And we, God's apes--or tragic children--share in the beauty.
We see it above our torment, that's what life's for.
He is no God of love, no justice of a little city like Dante's Florence, no anthropoid God Making commandments,: this is the God who does not care and will never cease.
Look at the seas there Flashing against this rock in the darkness--look at the tide-stream stars--and the fall of nations--and dawn Wandering with wet white feet down the Caramel Valley to meet the sea.
These are real and we see their beauty.
The great explosion is probably only a metaphor--I know not --of faceless violence, the root of all things.
Written by Billy Collins | Create an image from this poem

Marginalia

 Sometimes the notes are ferocious,
skirmishes against the author
raging along the borders of every page
in tiny black script.
If I could just get my hands on you, Kierkegaard, or Conor Cruise O'Brien, they seem to say, I would bolt the door and beat some logic into your head.
Other comments are more offhand, dismissive - "Nonsense.
" "Please!" "HA!!" - that kind of thing.
I remember once looking up from my reading, my thumb as a bookmark, trying to imagine what the person must look like why wrote "Don't be a ninny" alongside a paragraph in The Life of Emily Dickinson.
Students are more modest needing to leave only their splayed footprints along the shore of the page.
One scrawls "Metaphor" next to a stanza of Eliot's.
Another notes the presence of "Irony" fifty times outside the paragraphs of A Modest Proposal.
Or they are fans who cheer from the empty bleachers, Hands cupped around their mouths.
"Absolutely," they shout to Duns Scotus and James Baldwin.
"Yes.
" "Bull's-eye.
" "My man!" Check marks, asterisks, and exclamation points rain down along the sidelines.
And if you have managed to graduate from college without ever having written "Man vs.
Nature" in a margin, perhaps now is the time to take one step forward.
We have all seized the white perimeter as our own and reached for a pen if only to show we did not just laze in an armchair turning pages; we pressed a thought into the wayside, planted an impression along the verge.
Even Irish monks in their cold scriptoria jotted along the borders of the Gospels brief asides about the pains of copying, a bird signing near their window, or the sunlight that illuminated their page- anonymous men catching a ride into the future on a vessel more lasting than themselves.
And you have not read Joshua Reynolds, they say, until you have read him enwreathed with Blake's furious scribbling.
Yet the one I think of most often, the one that dangles from me like a locket, was written in the copy of Catcher in the Rye I borrowed from the local library one slow, hot summer.
I was just beginning high school then, reading books on a davenport in my parents' living room, and I cannot tell you how vastly my loneliness was deepened, how poignant and amplified the world before me seemed, when I found on one page A few greasy looking smears and next to them, written in soft pencil- by a beautiful girl, I could tell, whom I would never meet- "Pardon the egg salad stains, but I'm in love.
"
Written by Barry Tebb | Create an image from this poem

INCOMPATABILITIES

 For Brenda Williams



La lune diminue; divin septembre.
Divine September the moon wanes.
Pierre Jean Jouve Themes for poems and the detritus of dreams coalesce: This is one September I shall not forget.
The grammar-school caretaker always had the boards re-blacked And the floors waxed, but I never shone.
The stripes of the red and black blazer Were prison-grey.
You could never see things that way: Your home had broken windows to the street.
You had the mortification of lice in your hair While I had the choice of Brylcreem or orange pomade.
Four children, an alcoholic father and An Irish immigrant mother.
Failure’s metaphor.
I did not make it like Alan Bennett, Who still sends funny postcards About our Leeds childhood.
Of your’s, you could never speak And found my nostalgia Wholly inappropriate.
Forgetting your glasses for the eleven plus, No money for the uniform for the pass at thirteen.
It wasn’t - as I imagined - shame that kept you from telling But fear of the consequences for your mother Had you sobbed the night’s terrors Of your father’s drunken homecomings, Your mother sat with the door open In all weathers while you, the oldest, Waited with her, perhaps Something might have been done.
He never missed a day’s work digging graves, Boasting he could do a six-footer Single-handed in two hours flat.
That hackneyed phrase ‘He drank all his wages’ Doesn’t convey his nightly rages The flow of obscenities about menstruation While the three younger ones were in bed And you waited with your mother To walk the streets of Seacroft.
“Your father murdered your mother” As Auntie Margaret said, Should a witness Need indicting.
Your mother’s growing cancer went diagnosed, but unremarked Until the final days She was too busy auxiliary nursing Or working in the Lakeside Caf?.
It was her wages that put bread and jam And baked beans into your stomachs.
Her final hospitalisation Was the arena for your father’s last rage Her fare interfering with the night’s drinking; He fought in the Burma Campaign but won no medals.
Some kind of psychiatric discharge- ‘paranoia’ Lurked in his papers.
The madness went undiagnosed Until his sixtieth birthday.
You never let me meet him Even after our divorce.
In the end you took me on a visit with the children.
A neat flat with photographs of grandchildren, Stacks of wood for the stove, washing hung precisely In the kitchen, a Sunday suit in the wardrobe.
An unwrinkling of smiles, the hard handshake Of work-roughened hands.
One night he smashed up the tidy flat.
The TV screen was powder The clock ticked on the neat lawn ‘Murder in Seacroft Hospital’ Emblazoned on the kitchen wall.
I went with you and your sister in her car to Roundhay Wing.
Your sister had to leave for work or sleep You had to back to meet the children from school.
For Ward 42 it wasn’t an especially difficult admission.
My first lesson: I shut one set of firedoors while the charge nurse Bolted the other but after five minutes his revolt Was over and he signed the paper.
The nurse on nights had a sociology degree And an interest in borderline schizophrenia.
After lightsout we chatted about Kohut and Kernberg And Melanie Klein.
Your father was occasionally truculent, Barricading himself in on one home leave.
Nothing out of the way For a case of that kind.
The old ladies on the estate sighed, Single men were very scarce.
Always a gentleman, tipping His cap to the ladies.
There seems to be objections in the family to poetry Or at least to the kind that actually speaks And fails to lie down quietly on command.
Yours seems to have set mine alight- I must get something right.
Written by Edna St Vincent Millay | Create an image from this poem

Interim

 The room is full of you!—As I came in
And closed the door behind me, all at once
A something in the air, intangible,
Yet stiff with meaning, struck my senses sick!—

Sharp, unfamiliar odors have destroyed
Each other room's dear personality.
The heavy scent of damp, funereal flowers,— The very essence, hush-distilled, of Death— Has strangled that habitual breath of home Whose expiration leaves all houses dead; And wheresoe'er I look is hideous change.
Save here.
Here 'twas as if a weed-choked gate Had opened at my touch, and I had stepped Into some long-forgot, enchanted, strange, Sweet garden of a thousand years ago And suddenly thought, "I have been here before!" You are not here.
I know that you are gone, And will not ever enter here again.
And yet it seems to me, if I should speak, Your silent step must wake across the hall; If I should turn my head, that your sweet eyes Would kiss me from the door.
—So short a time To teach my life its transposition to This difficult and unaccustomed key!— The room is as you left it; your last touch— A thoughtless pressure, knowing not itself As saintly—hallows now each simple thing; Hallows and glorifies, and glows between The dust's grey fingers like a shielded light.
There is your book, just as you laid it down, Face to the table,—I cannot believe That you are gone!—Just then it seemed to me You must be here.
I almost laughed to think How like reality the dream had been; Yet knew before I laughed, and so was still.
That book, outspread, just as you laid it down! Perhaps you thought, "I wonder what comes next, And whether this or this will be the end"; So rose, and left it, thinking to return.
Perhaps that chair, when you arose and passed Out of the room, rocked silently a while Ere it again was still.
When you were gone Forever from the room, perhaps that chair, Stirred by your movement, rocked a little while, Silently, to and fro.
.
.
And here are the last words your fingers wrote, Scrawled in broad characters across a page In this brown book I gave you.
Here your hand, Guiding your rapid pen, moved up and down.
Here with a looping knot you crossed a "t," And here another like it, just beyond These two eccentric "e's.
" You were so small, And wrote so brave a hand! How strange it seems That of all words these are the words you chose! And yet a simple choice; you did not know You would not write again.
If you had known— But then, it does not matter,—and indeed If you had known there was so little time You would have dropped your pen and come to me And this page would be empty, and some phrase Other than this would hold my wonder now.
Yet, since you could not know, and it befell That these are the last words your fingers wrote, There is a dignity some might not see In this, "I picked the first sweet-pea to-day.
" To-day! Was there an opening bud beside it You left until to-morrow?—O my love, The things that withered,—and you came not back That day you filled this circle of my arms That now is empty.
(O my empty life!) That day—that day you picked the first sweet-pea,— And brought it in to show me! I recall With terrible distinctness how the smell Of your cool gardens drifted in with you.
I know, you held it up for me to see And flushed because I looked not at the flower, But at your face; and when behind my look You saw such unmistakable intent You laughed and brushed your flower against my lips.
(You were the fairest thing God ever made, I think.
) And then your hands above my heart Drew down its stem into a fastening, And while your head was bent I kissed your hair.
I wonder if you knew.
(Beloved hands! Somehow I cannot seem to see them still.
Somehow I cannot seem to see the dust In your bright hair.
) What is the need of Heaven When earth can be so sweet?—If only God Had let us love,—and show the world the way! Strange cancellings must ink th' eternal books When love-crossed-out will bring the answer right! That first sweet-pea! I wonder where it is.
It seems to me I laid it down somewhere, And yet,—I am not sure.
I am not sure, Even, if it was white or pink; for then 'Twas much like any other flower to me Save that it was the first.
I did not know Then, that it was the last.
If I had known— But then, it does not matter.
Strange how few, After all's said and done, the things that are Of moment.
Few indeed! When I can make Of ten small words a rope to hang the world! "I had you and I have you now no more.
" There, there it dangles,—where's the little truth That can for long keep footing under that When its slack syllables tighten to a thought? Here, let me write it down! I wish to see Just how a thing like that will look on paper! "I had you and I have you now no more.
" O little words, how can you run so straight Across the page, beneath the weight you bear? How can you fall apart, whom such a theme Has bound together, and hereafter aid In trivial expression, that have been So hideously dignified?—Would God That tearing you apart would tear the thread I strung you on! Would God—O God, my mind Stretches asunder on this merciless rack Of imagery! O, let me sleep a while! Would I could sleep, and wake to find me back In that sweet summer afternoon with you.
Summer? Tis summer still by the calendar! How easily could God, if He so willed, Set back the world a little turn or two! Correct its griefs, and bring its joys again! We were so wholly one I had not thought That we could die apart.
I had not thought That I could move,—and you be stiff and still! That I could speak,—and you perforce be dumb! I think our heart-strings were, like warp and woof In some firm fabric, woven in and out; Your golden filaments in fair design Across my duller fibre.
And to-day The shining strip is rent; the exquisite Fine pattern is destroyed; part of your heart Aches in my breast; part of my heart lies chilled In the damp earth with you.
I have been tom In two, and suffer for the rest of me.
What is my life to me? And what am I To life,—a ship whose star has guttered out? A Fear that in the deep night starts awake Perpetually, to find its senses strained Against the taut strings of the quivering air, Awaiting the return of some dread chord? Dark, Dark, is all I find for metaphor; All else were contrast,—save that contrast's wall Is down, and all opposed things flow together Into a vast monotony, where night And day, and frost and thaw, and death and life, Are synonyms.
What now—what now to me Are all the jabbering birds and foolish flowers That clutter up the world? You were my song! Now, let discord scream! You were my flower! Now let the world grow weeds! For I shall not Plant things above your grave—(the common balm Of the conventional woe for its own wound!) Amid sensations rendered negative By your elimination stands to-day, Certain, unmixed, the element of grief; I sorrow; and I shall not mock my truth With travesties of suffering, nor seek To effigy its incorporeal bulk In little wry-faced images of woe.
I cannot call you back; and I desire No utterance of my immaterial voice.
I cannot even turn my face this way Or that, and say, "My face is turned to you"; I know not where you are, I do not know If Heaven hold you or if earth transmute, Body and soul, you into earth again; But this I know:—not for one second's space Shall I insult my sight with visionings Such as the credulous crowd so eager-eyed Beholds, self-conjured, in the empty air.
Let the world wail! Let drip its easy tears! My sorrow shall be dumb! —What do I say? God! God!—God pity me! Am I gone mad That I should spit upon a rosary? Am I become so shrunken? Would to God I too might feel that frenzied faith whose touch Makes temporal the most enduring grief; Though it must walk a while, as is its wont, With wild lamenting! Would I too might weep Where weeps the world and hangs its piteous wreaths For its new dead! Not Truth, but Faith, it is That keeps the world alive.
If all at once Faith were to slacken,—that unconscious faith Which must, I know, yet be the corner-stone Of all believing,—birds now flying fearless Across would drop in terror to the earth; Fishes would drown; and the all-governing reins Would tangle in the frantic hands of God And the worlds gallop headlong to destruction! O God, I see it now, and my sick brain Staggers and swoons! How often over me Flashes this breathlessness of sudden sight In which I see the universe unrolled Before me like a scroll and read thereon Chaos and Doom, where helpless planets whirl Dizzily round and round and round and round, Like tops across a table, gathering speed With every spin, to waver on the edge One instant—looking over—and the next To shudder and lurch forward out of sight— * * * * * * * Ah, I am worn out—I am wearied out— It is too much—I am but flesh and blood, And I must sleep.
Though you were dead again, I am but flesh and blood and I must sleep.
Written by Anne Sexton | Create an image from this poem

The Touch

 For months my hand was sealed off
in a tin box.
Nothing was there but the subway railings.
Perhaps it is bruised, I thought, and that is why they have locked it up.
You could tell time by this, I thought, like a clock, by its five knuckles and the thin underground veins.
It lay there like an unconscious woman fed by tubes she knew not of.
The hand had collapse, a small wood pigeon that had gone into seclusion.
I turned it over and the palm was old, its lines traced like fine needlepoint and stitched up into fingers.
It was fat and soft and blind in places.
Nothing but vulnerable.
And all this is metaphor.
An ordinary hand -- just lonely for something to touch that touches back.
The dog won't do it.
Her tail wags in the swamp for a frog.
I'm no better than a case of dog food.
She owns her own hunger.
My sisters won't do it.
They live in school except for buttons and tears running down like lemonade.
My father won't do it.
He comes in the house and even at night he lives in a machine made by my mother and well oiled by his job, his job.
The trouble is that I'd let my gestures freeze.
The trouble was not in the kitchen or the tulips but only in my head, my head.
Then all this became history.
Your hand found mine.
Life rushed to my fingers like a blood clot.
Oh, my carpenter, the fingers are rebuilt.
They dance with yours.
They dance in the attic and in Vienna.
My hand is alive all over America.
Not even death will stop it, death shedding her blood.
Nothing will stop it, for this is the kingdom and the kingdom come.
Written by Wallace Stevens | Create an image from this poem

Poem Written at Morning

A sunny day's complete Poussiniana
Divide it from itself.
It is this or that And it is not.
By metaphor you paint A thing.
Thus, the pineapple was a leather fruit, A fruit for pewter, thorned and palmed and blue, To be served by men of ice.
The senses paint By metaphor.
The juice was fragranter Than wettest cinnamon.
It was cribled pears Dripping a morning sap.
The truth must be That you do not see, you experience, you feel, That the buxom eye brings merely its element To the total thing, a shapeless giant forced Upward.
Green were the curls upon that head.
Written by Derek Walcott | Create an image from this poem

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 William Carlos (WCW) Williams | Create an image from this poem

A Sort Of A Song

 Let the snake wait under
his weed
and the writing
be of words, slow and quick, sharp
to strike, quiet to wait,
sleepless.
—through metaphor to reconcile the people and the stones.
Compose.
(No ideas but in things) Invent! Saxifrage is my flower that splits the rocks.
Written by David Lehman | Create an image from this poem

November 6

 Remember when Khrushchev said
"We will bury you!"
on the cover
of Time
I thought he was
employing a metaphor
as in "Braves Scalp Giants!"
on the back page
of the Daily News
I pictured the Russians
burying us under a mound
of all the rubble
that rubles could buy
when what he meant was
he had come not to praise Caesar
but to bury him
Written by Delmore Schwartz | Create an image from this poem

The Poet

 The riches of the poet are equal to his poetry 
His power is his left hand
 It is idle weak and precious
His poverty is his wealth, a wealth which may destroy him
 like Midas Because it is that laziness which is a form of impatience 
And this he may be destroyed by the gold of the light
 which never was
On land or sea.
He may be drunken to death, draining the casks of excess That extreme form of success.
He may suffer Narcissus' destiny Unable to live except with the image which is infatuation Love, blind, adoring, overflowing Unable to respond to anything which does not bring love quickly or immediately.
.
.
.
The poet must be innocent and ignorant But he cannot be innocent since stupidity is not his strong point Therefore Cocteau said, "What would I not give To have the poems of my youth withdrawn from existence? I would give to Satan my immortal soul.
" This metaphor is wrong, for it is his immortal soul which he wished to redeem, Lifting it and sifting it, free and white, from the actuality of youth's banality, vulgarity, pomp and affectation of his early works of poetry.
So too in the same way a Famous American Poet When fame at last had come to him sought out the fifty copies of his first book of poems which had been privately printed by himself at his own expense.
He succeeded in securing 48 of the 50 copies, burned them And learned then how the last copies were extant, As the law of the land required, stashed away in the national capital, at the Library of Congress.
Therefore he went to Washington, therefore he took out the last two copies Placed them in his pocket, planned to depart Only to be halted and apprehended.
Since he was the author, Since they were his books and his property he was reproached But forgiven.
But the two copies were taken away from him Thus setting a national precedent.
For neither amnesty nor forgiveness is bestowed upon poets, poetry and poems, For William James, the lovable genius of Harvard spoke the terrifying truth: "Your friends may forget, God may forgive you, But the brain cells record your acts for the rest of eternity.
" What a terrifying thing to say! This is the endless doom, without remedy, of poetry.
This is also the joy everlasting of poetry.