Edgar Allan Poe |
Lo! 't is a gala night
Within the lonesome latter years!
An angel throng bewinged bedight
In veils and drowned in tears
Sit in a theatre to see
A play of hopes and fears
While the orchestra breathes fitfully
The music of the spheres.
Mimes in the form of God on high
Mutter and mumble low
And hither and thither fly -
Mere puppets they who come and go
At bidding of vast formless things
That shift the scenery to and fro
Flapping from out their Condor wings
That motley drama! - oh be sure
It shall not be forgot!
With its Phantom chased for evermore
By a crowd that seize it not
Through a circle that ever returneth in
To the self-same spot
And much of Madness and more of Sin
And Horror the soul of the plot.
But see amid the mimic rout
A crawling shape intrude!
A blood-red thing that writhes from out
The scenic solitude!
It writhes! - it writhes! - with mortal pangs
The mimes become its food
And the seraphs sob at vermin fangs
In human gore imbued.
Out - out are the lights - out all!
And over each quivering form
The curtain a funeral pall
Comes down with the rush of a storm
And the angels all pallid and wan
Uprising unveiling affirm
That the play is the tragedy "Man"
And its hero the Conqueror Worm.
Edgar Allan Poe |
Romance, who loves to nod and sing
With drowsy head and folded wing
Among the green leaves as they shake
Far down within some shadowy lake,
To me a painted paroquet
Hath been—most familiar bird—
Taught me my alphabet to say,
To lisp my very earliest word
While in the wild wood I did lie,
A child—with a most knowing eye.
Of late, eternal condor years
So shake the very Heaven on high
With tumult as they thunder by,
I have no time for idle cares
Through gazing on the unquiet sky;
And when an hour with calmer wings
Its down upon my spirit flings,
That little time with lyre and rhyme
To while away—forbidden things—
My heart would feel to be a crime
Unless it trembled with the strings.
Sylvia Plath |
Two, of course there are two.
It seems perfectly natural now——
The one who never looks up, whose eyes are lidded
And balled¸ like Blake's.
The birthmarks that are his trademark——
The scald scar of water,
Verdigris of the condor.
I am red meat.
Claps sidewise: I am not his yet.
He tells me how badly I photograph.
He tells me how sweet
The babies look in their hospital
Icebox, a simple
Frill at the neck
Then the flutings of their Ionian
Then two little feet.
He does not smile or smoke.
The other does that
His hair long and plausive
Masturbating a glitter
He wants to be loved.
I do not stir.
The frost makes a flower,
The dew makes a star,
The dead bell,
The dead bell.
Somebody's done for.
Florbela Espanca |
To be a poet is to be louder , bigger
Than men! Biting as who kisses!
It is like being a beggar and to give whoever be
King of the Kingdom of Behind and Beyond Pain!
It is to have of a thousand wishes the splendor
And do not even to know what to want !
It is to have here deep inside a flaming star,
It is to have claws and wings of condor!
It is hunger, thirst of Infinite!
By elmo, the golden satin mornings .
It is to condense the world into a single cry!
And is to love you, like that, madly .
You being soul and blood, and life in me
And saying this singing it to everyone!
Oliver Wendell Holmes |
How the mountains talked together,
Looking down upon the weather,
When they heard our friend had planned his
Little trip among the Andes
How they'll bare their snowy scalps
To the climber of the Alps
When the cry goes through their passes,
"Here comes the great Agassiz!"
"Yes, I'm tall," says Chimborazo,
"But I wait for him to say so,--
That's the only thing that lacks,-- he
Must see me, Cotopaxi!"
"Ay! ay!" the fire-peak thunders,
"And he must view my wonders
I'm but a lonely crater
Till I have him for spectator!"
The mountain hearts are yearning,
The lava-torches burning,
The rivers bend to meet him,
The forests bow to greet him,
It thrills the spinal column
Of fossil fishes solemn,
And glaciers crawl the faster
To the feet of their old master!
Heaven keep him well and hearty,
Both him and all his party!
From the sun that broils and smites,
From the centipede that bites,
From the hail-storm and the thunder,
From the vampire and the condor,
From the gust upon the river,
From the sudden earthquake shiver,
From the trip of mule or donkey,
From the midnight howling monkey,
From the stroke of knife or dagger,
From the puma and the jaguar,
From the horrid boa-constrictor
That has scared us in the picture,
From the Indians of the Pampas
Who would dine upon their grampas,
From every beast and vermin
That to think of sets us squirmin',
From every snake that tries on
The traveller his p'ison,
From every pest of Natur',
Likewise the alligator,
And from two things left behind him,
(Be sure they'll try to find him,)
The tax-bill and assessor,--
Heaven keep the great Professor!
May he find, with his apostles,
That the land is full of fossils,
That the waters swarm with fishes
Shaped according to his wishes,
That every pool is fertile
In fancy kinds of turtle,
New birds around him singing,
New insects, never stinging,
With a million novel data
About the articulata,
And facts that strip off all husks
From the history of mollusks.
And when, with loud Te Deum,
He returns to his Museum
May he find the monstrous reptile
That so long the land has kept ill
By Grant and Sherman throttled,
And by Father Abraham bottled,
(All specked and streaked and mottled
With the scars of murderous battles,
Where he clashed the iron rattles
That gods and men he shook at,)
For all the world to look at!
God bless the great Professor!
And Madam, too, God bless her!
Bless him and all his band,
On the sea and on the land,
Bless them head and heart and hand,
Till their glorious raid is o'er,
And they touch our ransomed shore!
Then the welcome of a nation,
With its shout of exultation,
Shall awake the dumb creation,
And the shapes of buried aeons
Join the living creature's paeans,
Till the fossil echoes roar;
While the mighty megalosaurus
Leads the palaeozoic chorus,
God bless the great Professor,
And the land his proud possessor,--
Bless them now and evermore!
Florbela Espanca |
Ser poeta é ser mais alto, é ser maior
Do que os homens! Morder como quem beija!
É ser mendigo e dar como quem seja
Rei do Reino de Aquém e de Além Dor!
É ter de mil desejos o esplendor
E não saber sequer que se deseja!
É ter cá dentro um astro que flameja,
É ter garras e asas de condor!
É ter fome, é ter sede de Infinito!
Por elmo, as manhãs de oiro e de cetim.
É condensar o mundo num só grito!
E é amar-te, assim, perdidamente.
É seres alma, e sangue, e vida em mim
E dizê-lo cantando a toda a gente!
Richard Hugo |
Dear Condor: Much thanks for that telephonic support
from North Carolina when I suddenly went ape
in the Iowa tulips.
Lord, but I'm ashamed.
I was afraid, it seemed, according to the doctor
of impending success, winning some poetry prizes
or getting a wet kiss.
The more popular I got,
the softer the soft cry in my head: Don't believe them.
You were never good.
Then I broke and proved it.
Ten successive days I alienated women
I liked best.
I told a coed why her poems were bad
(they weren't) and didn't understand a word I said.
The phrase "I'll be all right"
came out too many unsolicited times.
I'm back at the primal source of poems: wind, sea
and rain, the market and the salmon.
of the market, they're having a vital election here.
Save the market? Tear it down? The forces of evil
maintain they're trying to save it too, obscuring,
of course, the issue.
The forces of righteousness,
me and my friends, are praying for a storm, one
of those grim dark rolling southwest downpours
that will leave the electorate sane.
I'm the last poet
to teach the Roethke chair under Heilman.
He's retiring after 23 years.
Most of the old gang
Sol Katz is aging.
Who isn't? It's close now
to the end of summer and would you believe it
I've ignored the Blue Moon.
I did go to White Center,
you know, my home town, and the people there,
many are the same, but also aging, balking, remarkably
polite and calm.
A man whose name escapes me
said he thinks he had known me, the boy who went alone
to Longfellow Creek and who laughed and cried
for no reason.
The city is huge, maybe three quarters
of a million and lots of crime.
They are indicting
the former chief of police.
Sorry to be so rambling.
I eat lunch with J.
Hillis Miller, brilliant and nice
as they come, in the faculty club, overlooking the lake,
much of it now filled in.
And I tour old haunts,
been twice to Kapowsin.
Take care, oh wisest of condors.
Edgar Lee Masters |
Not, where the stairway turns in the dark,
A hooded figure, shriveled under a flowing cloak!
Not yellow eyes in the room at night,
Staring out from a surface of cobweb gray!
And not the flap of a condor wing,
When the roar of life in your ears begins
As a sound heard never before!
But on a sunny afternoon,
By a country road,
Where purple rag-weeds bloom along a straggling fence,
And the field is gleaned, and the air is still,
To see against the sun-light something black,
Like a blot with an iris rim --
That is the sign to eyes of second sight.
And that I saw!