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Best Famous Porpoise Poems

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Written by T S (Thomas Stearns) Eliot | Create an image from this poem

Four Quartets 2: East Coker

 I

In my beginning is my end.
In succession Houses rise and fall, crumble, are extended, Are removed, destroyed, restored, or in their place Is an open field, or a factory, or a by-pass.
Old stone to new building, old timber to new fires, Old fires to ashes, and ashes to the earth Which is already flesh, fur and faeces, Bone of man and beast, cornstalk and leaf.
Houses live and die: there is a time for building And a time for living and for generation And a time for the wind to break the loosened pane And to shake the wainscot where the field-mouse trots And to shake the tattered arras woven with a silent motto.
In my beginning is my end.
Now the light falls Across the open field, leaving the deep lane Shuttered with branches, dark in the afternoon, Where you lean against a bank while a van passes, And the deep lane insists on the direction Into the village, in the electric heat Hypnotised.
In a warm haze the sultry light Is absorbed, not refracted, by grey stone.
The dahlias sleep in the empty silence.
Wait for the early owl.
In that open field If you do not come too close, if you do not come too close, On a summer midnight, you can hear the music Of the weak pipe and the little drum And see them dancing around the bonfire The association of man and woman In daunsinge, signifying matrimonie— A dignified and commodiois sacrament.
Two and two, necessarye coniunction, Holding eche other by the hand or the arm Whiche betokeneth concorde.
Round and round the fire Leaping through the flames, or joined in circles, Rustically solemn or in rustic laughter Lifting heavy feet in clumsy shoes, Earth feet, loam feet, lifted in country mirth Mirth of those long since under earth Nourishing the corn.
Keeping time, Keeping the rhythm in their dancing As in their living in the living seasons The time of the seasons and the constellations The time of milking and the time of harvest The time of the coupling of man and woman And that of beasts.
Feet rising and falling.
Eating and drinking.
Dung and death.
Dawn points, and another day Prepares for heat and silence.
Out at sea the dawn wind Wrinkles and slides.
I am here Or there, or elsewhere.
In my beginning.
II What is the late November doing With the disturbance of the spring And creatures of the summer heat, And snowdrops writhing under feet And hollyhocks that aim too high Red into grey and tumble down Late roses filled with early snow? Thunder rolled by the rolling stars Simulates triumphal cars Deployed in constellated wars Scorpion fights against the Sun Until the Sun and Moon go down Comets weep and Leonids fly Hunt the heavens and the plains Whirled in a vortex that shall bring The world to that destructive fire Which burns before the ice-cap reigns.
That was a way of putting it—not very satisfactory: A periphrastic study in a worn-out poetical fashion, Leaving one still with the intolerable wrestle With words and meanings.
The poetry does not matter.
It was not (to start again) what one had expected.
What was to be the value of the long looked forward to, Long hoped for calm, the autumnal serenity And the wisdom of age? Had they deceived us Or deceived themselves, the quiet-voiced elders, Bequeathing us merely a receipt for deceit? The serenity only a deliberate hebetude, The wisdom only the knowledge of dead secrets Useless in the darkness into which they peered Or from which they turned their eyes.
There is, it seems to us, At best, only a limited value In the knowledge derived from experience.
The knowledge imposes a pattern, and falsifies, For the pattern is new in every moment And every moment is a new and shocking Valuation of all we have been.
We are only undeceived Of that which, deceiving, could no longer harm.
In the middle, not only in the middle of the way But all the way, in a dark wood, in a bramble, On the edge of a grimpen, where is no secure foothold, And menaced by monsters, fancy lights, Risking enchantment.
Do not let me hear Of the wisdom of old men, but rather of their folly, Their fear of fear and frenzy, their fear of possession, Of belonging to another, or to others, or to God.
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
The houses are all gone under the sea.
The dancers are all gone under the hill.
III O dark dark dark.
They all go into the dark, The vacant interstellar spaces, the vacant into the vacant, The captains, merchant bankers, eminent men of letters, The generous patrons of art, the statesmen and the rulers, Distinguished civil servants, chairmen of many committees, Industrial lords and petty contractors, all go into the dark, And dark the Sun and Moon, and the Almanach de Gotha And the Stock Exchange Gazette, the Directory of Directors, And cold the sense and lost the motive of action.
And we all go with them, into the silent funeral, Nobody's funeral, for there is no one to bury.
I said to my soul, be still, and let the dark come upon you Which shall be the darkness of God.
As, in a theatre, The lights are extinguished, for the scene to be changed With a hollow rumble of wings, with a movement of darkness on darkness, And we know that the hills and the trees, the distant panorama And the bold imposing façade are all being rolled away— Or as, when an underground train, in the tube, stops too long between stations And the conversation rises and slowly fades into silence And you see behind every face the mental emptiness deepen Leaving only the growing terror of nothing to think about; Or when, under ether, the mind is conscious but conscious of nothing— I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love, For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.
Whisper of running streams, and winter lightning.
The wild thyme unseen and the wild strawberry, The laughter in the garden, echoed ecstasy Not lost, but requiring, pointing to the agony Of death and birth.
You say I am repeating Something I have said before.
I shall say it again.
Shall I say it again? In order to arrive there, To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not, You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy.
In order to arrive at what you do not know You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance.
In order to possess what you do not possess You must go by the way of dispossession.
In order to arrive at what you are not You must go through the way in which you are not.
And what you do not know is the only thing you know And what you own is what you do not own And where you are is where you are not.
IV The wounded surgeon plies the steel That questions the distempered part; Beneath the bleeding hands we feel The sharp compassion of the healer's art Resolving the enigma of the fever chart.
Our only health is the disease If we obey the dying nurse Whose constant care is not to please But to remind of our, and Adam's curse, And that, to be restored, our sickness must grow worse.
The whole earth is our hospital Endowed by the ruined millionaire, Wherein, if we do well, we shall Die of the absolute paternal care That will not leave us, but prevents us everywhere.
The chill ascends from feet to knees, The fever sings in mental wires.
If to be warmed, then I must freeze And quake in frigid purgatorial fires Of which the flame is roses, and the smoke is briars.
The dripping blood our only drink, The bloody flesh our only food: In spite of which we like to think That we are sound, substantial flesh and blood— Again, in spite of that, we call this Friday good.
V So here I am, in the middle way, having had twenty years— Twenty years largely wasted, the years of l'entre deux guerres Trying to use words, and every attempt Is a wholly new start, and a different kind of failure Because one has only learnt to get the better of words For the thing one no longer has to say, or the way in which One is no longer disposed to say it.
And so each venture Is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate With shabby equipment always deteriorating In the general mess of imprecision of feeling, Undisciplined squads of emotion.
And what there is to conquer By strength and submission, has already been discovered Once or twice, or several times, by men whom one cannot hope To emulate—but there is no competition— There is only the fight to recover what has been lost And found and lost again and again: and now, under conditions That seem unpropitious.
But perhaps neither gain nor loss.
For us, there is only the trying.
The rest is not our business.
Home is where one starts from.
As we grow older The world becomes stranger, the pattern more complicated Of dead and living.
Not the intense moment Isolated, with no before and after, But a lifetime burning in every moment And not the lifetime of one man only But of old stones that cannot be deciphered.
There is a time for the evening under starlight, A time for the evening under lamplight (The evening with the photograph album).
Love is most nearly itself When here and now cease to matter.
Old men ought to be explorers Here or there does not matter We must be still and still moving Into another intensity For a further union, a deeper communion Through the dark cold and the empty desolation, The wave cry, the wind cry, the vast waters Of the petrel and the porpoise.
In my end is my beginning.


Written by Billy Collins | Create an image from this poem

Snow Day

 Today we woke up to a revolution of snow,
its white flag waving over everything,
the landscape vanished,
not a single mouse to punctuate the blankness,
and beyond these windows

the government buildings smothered,
schools and libraries buried, the post office lost
under the noiseless drift,
the paths of trains softly blocked,
the world fallen under this falling.
In a while I will put on some boots and step out like someone walking in water, and the dog will porpoise through the drifts, and I will shake a laden branch, sending a cold shower down on us both.
But for now I am a willing prisoner in this house, a sympathizer with the anarchic cause of snow.
I will make a pot of tea and listen to the plastic radio on the counter, as glad as anyone to hear the news that the Kiddie Corner School is closed, the Ding-Dong School, closed, the All Aboard Children's School, closed, the Hi-Ho Nursery School, closed, along with -- some will be delighted to hear -- the Toadstool School, the Little School, Little Sparrows Nursery School, Little Stars Pre-School, Peas-and-Carrots Day School, the Tom Thumb Child Center, all closed, and -- clap your hands -- the Peanuts Play School.
So this is where the children hide all day, These are the nests where they letter and draw, where they put on their bright miniature jackets, all darting and climbing and sliding, all but the few girls whispering by the fence.
And now I am listening hard in the grandiose silence of the snow, trying to hear what those three girls are plotting, what riot is afoot, which small queen is about to be brought down.
Written by Diane Wakoski | Create an image from this poem

This Beautiful Black Marriage

 Photograph negative
her black arm: a diving porpoise,
sprawled across the ice-banked pillow.
Head: a sheet of falling water.
Her legs: icicle branches breaking into light.
This woman, photographed sleeping.
The man, making the photograph in the acid pan of his brain.
Sleep stain them both, as if cloudy semen rubbed shiningly over the surface will be used to develop their images.
on the desert the porpoises curl up, their skeleton teeth are bared by parched lips; her sleeping feet trod on scarabs, holding the names of the dead tight in the steady breathing.
This man and woman have married and travel reciting chanting names of missing objects.
They enter a pyramid.
A black butterfly covers the doorway like a cobweb, folds around her body, the snake of its body closing her lips.
her breasts are stone stairs.
She calls the name, "Isis," and waits for the white face to appear.
No one walks in these pyramids at night.
No one walks during the day.
You walk in that negative time, the woman's presence filling up the space as if she were incense; man walks down the crevices and hills of her body.
Sounds of the black marriage are ritual sounds.
Of the porpoises dying on the desert.
The butterfly curtaining the body, The snake filling the mouth.
The sounds of all the parts coming together in this one place, the desert pyramid, built with the clean historical ugliness of men dying at work.
If you imagine, friend, that I do not have those black serpents in the pit of my body, that I am not crushed in fragments by the tough butterfly wing broken and crumpled like a black silk stocking, if you imagine that my body is not blackened burned wood, then you imagine a false woman.
This marriage could not change me.
Could not change my life.
Not is it that different from any other marriage.
They are all filled with desert journeys, with Isis who hold us in her terror, with Horus who will not let us see the parts of his body joined but must make us witness them in dark corners, in bloody confusion; and yet this black marriage, as you call it, has its own beauty.
As the black cat with its rich fur stretched and gliding smoothly down the tree trunks.
Or the shining black obsidian pulled out of mines and polished to the cat's eye.
Black as the neat seeds of a watermelon, or a pool of oil, prisming the light.
Do not despair this "black marriage.
" You must let the darkness out of your own body; acknowledge it and let it enter your mouth, taste the historical darkness openly.
Taste your own beautiful death, see your own photo image, as x-ray, Bone bleaching inside the blackening flesh
Written by David Herbert Lawrence | Create an image from this poem

Whales Weep Not!

 They say the sea is cold, but the sea contains
the hottest blood of all, and the wildest, the most urgent.
All the whales in the wider deeps, hot are they, as they urge on and on, and dive beneath the icebergs.
The right whales, the sperm-whales, the hammer-heads, the killers there they blow, there they blow, hot wild white breath out of the sea! And they rock, and they rock, through the sensual ageless ages on the depths of the seven seas, and through the salt they reel with drunk delight and in the tropics tremble they with love and roll with massive, strong desire, like gods.
Then the great bull lies up against his bride in the blue deep bed of the sea, as mountain pressing on mountain, in the zest of life: and out of the inward roaring of the inner red ocean of whale-blood the long tip reaches strong, intense, like the maelstrom-tip, and comes to rest in the clasp and the soft, wild clutch of a she-whale's fathomless body.
And over the bridge of the whale's strong phallus, linking the wonder of whales the burning archangels under the sea keep passing, back and forth, keep passing, archangels of bliss from him to her, from her to him, great Cherubim that wait on whales in mid-ocean, suspended in the waves of the sea great heaven of whales in the waters, old hierarchies.
And enormous mother whales lie dreaming suckling their whale- tender young and dreaming with strange whale eyes wide open in the waters of the beginning and the end.
And bull-whales gather their women and whale-calves in a ring when danger threatens, on the surface of the ceaseless flood and range themselves like great fierce Seraphim facing the threat encircling their huddled monsters of love.
And all this happens in the sea, in the salt where God is also love, but without words: and Aphrodite is the wife of whales most happy, happy she! and Venus among the fishes skips and is a she-dolphin she is the gay, delighted porpoise sporting with love and the sea she is the female tunny-fish, round and happy among the males and dense with happy blood, dark rainbow bliss in the sea.
Written by Lewis Carroll | Create an image from this poem

The Lobster Quadrille

 "Will you walk a little faster?" said a whiting to a snail,
"There's a porpoise close behind us, and he's treading on my tail.
See how eagerly the lobsters and the turtles all advance! They are waiting on the shingle--will you come and join the dance? Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, will you join the dance? Will you, won't you, will you, won' t you, won' t you join the dance? "You can really have no notion how delightful it will be When they take us up and throw us, with the lobsters, out to sea!" But the snail replied, "Too far, too far!" and gave a look askance-- Said he thanked the whiting kindly, but he would not join the dance.
Would not, could not, would not, could not, would not join the dance.
Would not, could not, would not, could not, could not join the dance.
"What matters it how far we go?" his scaly friend replied.
"There is another shore, you know, upon the other side.
The further off from England the nearer is to France-- Then turn not pale, beloved snail, but come and join the dance.
Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, won't you join the dance? Will you, won' t you, will you, won't you, won't you join the dance ?"
Written by Stephen Dobyns | Create an image from this poem

Loud Music

 My stepdaughter and I circle round and round.
You see, I like the music loud, the speakers throbbing, jam-packing the room with sound whether Bach or rock and roll, the volume cranked up so each bass notes is like a hand smacking the gut.
But my stepdaughter disagrees.
She is four and likes the music decorous, pitched below her own voice-that tenuous projection of self.
With music blasting, she feels she disappears, is lost within the blare, which in fact I like.
But at four what she wants is self-location and uses her voice as a porpoise uses its sonar: to find herself in all this space.
If she had a sort of box with a peephole and looked inside, what she'd like to see would be herself standing there in her red pants, jacket, yellow plastic lunch box: a proper subject for serious study.
But me, if I raised the same box to my eye, I would wish to find the ocean on one of those days when wind and thick cloud make the water gray and restless as if some creature brooded underneath, a rocky coast with a road along the shore where someone like me was walking and has gone.
Loud music does this, it wipes out the ego, leaving turbulent water and winding road, a landscape stripped of people and language- how clear the air becomes, how sharp the colors.
Written by Edward Lear | Create an image from this poem

The Pobble Who Has No Toes

 The Pobble who has no toes
Had once as many as we;
When they said "Some day you may lose them all;"
He replied "Fish, fiddle-de-dee!"
And his Aunt Jobiska made him drink
Lavender water tinged with pink,
For she said "The World in general knows
There's nothing so good for a Pobble's toes!"

The Pobble who has no toes
Swam across the Bristol Channel;
But before he set out he wrapped his nose
In a piece of scarlet flannel.
For his Aunt Jobiska said "No harm Can come to his toes if his nose is warm; And it's perfectly known that a Pobble's toes Are safe, -- provided he minds his nose!" The Pobble swam fast and well, And when boats or ships came near him, He tinkledy-blinkledy-winkled a bell, So that all the world could hear him.
And all the Sailors and Admirals cried, When they saw him nearing the further side - "He has gone to fish for his Aunt Jobiska's Runcible Cat with crimson whiskers!" But before he touched the shore, The shore of the Bristol Channel, A sea-green porpoise carried away His wrapper of scarlet flannel.
And when he came to observe his feet, Formerly garnished with toes so neat, His face at once became forlorn, On perceiving that all his toes were gone! And nobody ever knew, From that dark day to the present, Whoso had taken the Pobble's toes, In a manner so far from pleasant.
Whether the shrimps, or crawfish grey, Or crafty Mermaids stole them away - Nobody knew: and nobody knows How the Pobble was robbed of his twice five toes! The Pobble who has no toes Was placed in a friendly Bark, And they rowed him back, and carried him up To his Aunt Jobiska's Park.
And she made him a feast at his earnest wish Of eggs and buttercups fried with fish, - And she said "It's a fact the whole world knows, That Pobbles are happier without their toes!"


Written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning | Create an image from this poem

Sonnet 37 - Pardon oh pardon that my soul should make

 Pardon, oh, pardon, that my soul should make,
Of all that strong divineness which I know
For thine and thee, an image only so
Formed of the sand, and fit to shift and break.
It is that distant years which did not take Thy sovranty, recoiling with a blow, Have forced my swimming brain to undergo Their doubt and dread, and blindly to forsake Thy purity of likeness and distort Thy worthiest love to a worthless counterfeit: As if a shipwrecked Pagan, safe in port, His guardian sea-god to commemorate, Should set a sculptured porpoise, gills a-snort And vibrant tail, within the temple-gate.