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Best Famous John Gould Fletcher Poems

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Written by John Gould Fletcher | Create an image from this poem


 Do you give yourself to me utterly,

Body and no-body, flesh and no-flesh

Not as a fugitive, blindly or bitterly, 

But as a child might, with no other wish?

Yes, utterly.
Then I shall bear you down my estuary, Carry you and ferry you to burial mysteriously, Take you and receive you, Consume you, engulf you, In the huge cave, my belly, lave you With huger waves continually.
And you shall cling and clamber there And slumber there, in that dumb chamber, Beat with my blood's beat, hear my heart move Blindly in bones that ride above you, Delve in my flesh, dissolved and bedded, Through viewless valves embodied so – Till daylight, the expulsion and awakening, The riving and the driving forth, Life with remorseless forceps beckoning – Pangs and betrayal of harsh birth.

Written by John Gould Fletcher | Create an image from this poem

Bridal Song

 ROSES, their sharp spines being gone, 
Not royal in their smells alone, 
 But in their hue; 
Maiden pinks, of odour faint, 
Daisies smell-less, yet most quaint, 
 And sweet thyme true; 

Primrose, firstborn child of Ver; 
Merry springtime's harbinger, 
 With her bells dim; 
Oxlips in their cradles growing, 
Marigolds on death-beds blowing, 
 Larks'-heels trim; 

All dear Nature's children sweet 
Lie 'fore bride and bridegroom's feet, 
 Blessing their sense! 
Not an angel of the air, 
Bird melodious or bird fair, 
 Be absent hence! 

The crow, the slanderous cuckoo, nor 
The boding raven, nor chough hoar, 
 Nor chattering pye, 
May on our bride-house perch or sing, 
Or with them any discord bring, 
 But from it fly!
Written by John Gould Fletcher | Create an image from this poem


 In the night of weariness 
let me give myself up to sleep without struggle, 
resting my trust upon thee.
Let me not force my flagging spirit into a poor preparation for thy worship.
It is thou who drawest the veil of night upon the tired eyes of the day to renew its sight in a fresher gladness of awakening.
Written by John Gould Fletcher | Create an image from this poem


 Birds' love and birds' song
Flying here and there,
Birds' songand birds' love
And you with gold for hair!
Birds' songand birds' love
Passing with the weather,
Men's song and men's love,
To love once and forever.
Men's love and birds' love, And women's love and men's! And you my wren with a crown of gold, You my queen of the wrens! You the queen of the wrens -- We'll be birds of a feather, I'll be King of the Queen of the wrens, And all in a nest together.
Written by John Gould Fletcher | Create an image from this poem

Beauty Clear and Fair

 BEAUTY clear and fair,
 Where the air
Rather like a perfume dwells;
 Where the violet and the rose
 Their blue veins and blush disclose,
And come to honour nothing else:

 Where to live near
 And planted there
Is to live, and still live new;
 Where to gain a favour is
 More than light, perpetual bliss--
Make me live by serving you!

Dear, again back recall
 To this light,
A stranger to himself and all!
 Both the wonder and the story
 Shall be yours, and eke the glory;
I am your servant, and your thrall.

Written by John Gould Fletcher | Create an image from this poem


 she was a short one
getting fat and she had once been
beautiful and
she drank the wine
she drank the wine in bed and
talked and screamed and cursed at
and i told her 
please, I need some
-sleep? sleep? ya son of a *****, ya never sleep, ya don't need any sleep! I buried her one morning early I carried her down the sides of the Hollywood Hills brambles and rabbits and rocks running in front of me and by the time I'd dug the ditch and stuck her in belly down and put the dirt back on the sun was up and it was warm and the flies were lazy and I could hardly see anything out of my eyes everything was so warm and yellow.
I managed to drive home and I got into bed and I slept for 5 days and 4 nights.
from "poems written before jumping out of an 8 story window" - 1966
Written by John Gould Fletcher | Create an image from this poem



Like a gaunt, scraggly pine 
Which lifts its head above the mournful sandhills; 
And patiently, through dull years of bitter silence, 
Untended and uncared for, starts to grow.
Ungainly, labouring, huge, The wind of the north has twisted and gnarled its branches; Yet in the heat of midsummer days, when thunderclouds ring the horizon, A nation of men shall rest beneath its shade.
And it shall protect them all, Hold everyone safe there, watching aloof in silence; Until at last one mad stray bolt from the zenith Shall strike it in an instant down to earth.
II There was a darkness in this man; an immense and hollow darkness, Of which we may not speak, nor share with him, nor enter; A darkness through which strong roots stretched downwards into the earth Towards old things: Towards the herdman-kings who walked the earth and spoke with God, Towards the wanderers who sought for they knew not what, and found their goal at last; Towards the men who waited, only waited patiently when all seemed lost, Many bitter winters of defeat; Down to the granite of patience These roots swept, knotted fibrous roots, prying, piercing, seeking, And drew from the living rock and the living waters about it The red sap to carry upwards to the sun.
Not proud, but humble, Only to serve and pass on, to endure to the end through service; For the ax is laid at the roots of the trees, and all that bring not forth good fruit Shall be cut down on the day to come and cast into the fire.
III There is a silence abroad in the land to-day, And in the hearts of men, a deep and anxious silence; And, because we are still at last, those bronze lips slowly open, Those hollow and weary eyes take on a gleam of light.
Slowly a patient, firm-syllabled voice cuts through the endless silence Like labouring oxen that drag a plow through the chaos of rude clay-fields: "I went forward as the light goes forward in early spring, But there were also many things which I left behind.
"Tombs that were quiet; One, of a mother, whose brief light went out in the darkness, One, of a loved one, the snow on whose grave is long falling, One, only of a child, but it was mine.
"Have you forgot your graves? Go, question them in anguish, Listen long to their unstirred lips.
From your hostages to silence, Learn there is no life without death, no dawn without sun-setting, No victory but to him who has given all.
" IV The clamour of cannon dies down, the furnace-mouth of the battle is silent.
The midwinter sun dips and descends, the earth takes on afresh its bright colours.
But he whom we mocked and obeyed not, he whom we scorned and mistrusted, He has descended, like a god, to his rest.
Over the uproar of cities, Over the million intricate threads of life wavering and crossing, In the midst of problems we know not, tangling, perplexing, ensnaring, Rises one white tomb alone.
Beam over it, stars, Wrap it round, stripes -- stripes red for the pain that he bore for you -- Enfold it forever, O flag, rent, soiled, but repaired through your anguish; Long as you keep him there safe, the nations shall bow to your law.
Strew over him flowers: Blue forget-me-nots from the north, and the bright pink arbutus From the east, and from the west rich orange blossom, And from the heart of the land take the passion-flower; Rayed, violet, dim, With the nails that pierced, the cross that he bore and the circlet, And beside it there lay also one lonely snow-white magnolia, Bitter for remembrance of the healing which has passed.
Written by John Gould Fletcher | Create an image from this poem


 HENCE, all you vain delights,
 As short as are the nights
 Wherein you spend your folly!
There 's naught in this life sweet,
If men were wise to see't,
 But only melancholy--
 O sweetest melancholy!
Welcome, folded arms and fixed eyes,
A sight that piercing mortifies,
A look that 's fasten'd to the ground,
A tongue chain'd up without a sound!

Fountain-heads and pathless groves,
Places which pale passion loves!
Moonlight walks, when all the fowls
Are warmly housed, save bats and owls!
 A midnight bell, a parting groan--
 These are the sounds we feed upon:
Then stretch our bones in a still gloomy valley,
Nothing 's so dainty sweet as lovely melancholy.
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Weep no more

 WEEP no more, nor sigh, nor groan,
Sorrow calls no time that 's gone:
Violets pluck'd, the sweetest rain
Makes not fresh nor grow again.
Trim thy locks, look cheerfully; Fate's hid ends eyes cannot see.
Joys as winged dreams fly fast, Why should sadness longer last? Grief is but a wound to woe;
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Hear ye Ladies

 HEAR, ye ladies that despise
 What the mighty Love has done;
Fear examples and be wise:
 Fair Callisto was a nun;
Leda, sailing on the stream
 To deceive the hopes of man,
Love accounting but a dream,
 Doted on a silver swan;
 Danae, in a brazen tower,
 Where no love was, loved a shower.
Hear, ye ladies that are coy, What the mighty Love can do; Fear the fierceness of the boy: The chaste Moon he makes to woo; Vesta, kindling holy fires, Circled round about with spies, Never dreaming loose desires, Doting at the altar dies; Ilion, in a short hour, higher He can build, and once more fire.