D A Levy
we tried to save
pressed in books
like flowers from
a sun warmed day
years later to
open yellowing pages
to find those same
kisses - wilted and dry.
THIS is thy hour O Soul, thy free flight into the wordless,
Away from books, away from art, the day erased, the lesson done,
Thee fully forth emerging, silent, gazing, pondering the themes thou lovest best.
Night, sleep, and the stars.
William Butler Yeats
I bring you with reverent hands
The books of my numberless dreams,
White woman that passion has worn
As the tide wears the dove-grey sands,
And with heart more old than the horn
That is brimmed from the pale fire of time:
White woman with numberless dreams,
I bring you my passionate rhyme.
I divested myself of despair
and fear when I came here.
Now there is no more catching
one's own eye in the mirror,
there are no bad books, no plastic,
no insurance premiums, and of course
does not exist, nor gnashing
No one howls as the first
clod of earth hits the casket.
The poor we no longer have with us.
Our calm hearts strike only the hour,
and God, as promised, proves
to be mercy clothed in light.
Talking of poetry, hauling the books
arm-full to the table where the heads
bend or gaze upward, listening, reading aloud,
talking of consonants, elision,
caught in the how, oblivious of why:
I look in your face, Jude,
neither frowning nor nodding,
opaque in the slant of dust-motes over the table:
a presence like a stone, if a stone were thinking
What I cannot say, is me.
For that I came.
New eyes each year
Find old books here,
And new books,too,
Old eyes renew;
So youth and age
Like ink and page
In this house join,
Minting new coin.
How doth the little busy Bee
Improve each shining Hour,
And gather Honey all the day
From every opening Flower!
How skilfully she builds her Cell!
How neat she spreads the Wax!
And labours hard to store it well
With the sweet Food she makes.
In Works of Labour or of Skill
I would be busy too:
For Satan finds some Mischief still
For idle Hands to do.
In Books, or Work, or healthful Play
Let my first Years be past,
That I may give for every Day
Some good Account at last.
A man who keeps a diary, pays
Due toll to many tedious days;
But life becomes eventful--then
His busy hand forgets the pen.
Most books, indeed, are records less
Of fulness than of emptiness.
sway with me, everything sad --
madmen in stone houses
lepers steaming love and song
frogs trying to figure
sway with me, sad things --
fingers split on a forge
old age like breakfast shell
used books, used people
used flowers, used love
I need you
I need you
I need you:
it has run away
like a horse or a dog,
dead or lost
Sorry, I almost forgot, but I don't think
Its worth the effort to become a Carcanet poet
With my mug-shot on art gloss paper
In your catalogue as big as Mont Blanc
Easier to imagine, as Benjamin Peret did,
A wind that would unscrew the mountain
Or stars like apricot tarts strolling
Aimlessly along the Boulevard of Broken Dreams.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The rain has spoiled the farmer's day;
Shall sorrow put my books away?
Thereby are two days lost:
Nature shall mind her own affairs,
I will attend my proper cares,
In rain, or sun, or frost.
When the coal
Gave out, we began
Burning the books, one by one;
First the set
And then the Walter Scott.
They gave a lot of warmth.
Toward the end, in
Consumed the Greek
Tragedians and Baudelaire,
Proust, Robert Burton
And the Po-Chu-i.
Thickened on the sills.
More for the sake of the cat,
We said, than for ourselves,
Who huddled, shivering,
Against the stove
All winter long.
You call me
I who grew up
gnawing on books,
as some kids
on bubble gum,
who married disastrously
but three times,
yet have a lovely daughter
I would not undo
for all the dope
Fear was my element,
fear my contagion.
I swam in it
till I became
The plane takes off
& I laugh aloud.
Call me courageous.
I am still alive.
Books litter the bed,
leaves the lawn.
come: unpatterned, in
the shedding leaves.
The maples ripen.
come home crisp in bags.
This pear tastes good.
It rains lightly on the
random leaf patterns.
The nimbus is spread
above our island.
lightly patters on un-
of fall litter the bed.
William Butler Yeats
Hope that you may understand!
What can books of men that wive
In a dragon-guarded land,
paintings of the dolphin-drawn
Sea-nymphs in their pearly wagons
Do, but awake a hope to live
That had gone
With the dragons?
There was an old person of Hove,
Who frequented the depths of a grove;
Where he studied his books, with the wrens and the rooks,
That tranquil old person of Hove.
HAST never come to thee an hour,
A sudden gleam divine, precipitating, bursting all these bubbles, fashions, wealth?
These eager business aims—books, politics, art, amours,
To utter nothingness?
I am the faythfull deputy
Unto your fading memory.
Your Index long in search doth hold;
Your folded wrinkles make books olde:
But I the Scripture open plaine,
And what you heard soone teach againe:
By mee the Welchman well may bring
Himselfe to Heaven in a string.
? TO THE SAME.
[TO SIR HENRY GOODYERE.
When I would know thee, GOODYERE, my thought looks
Upon thy well-made choice of friends, and books ;
Then do I love thee, and behold thy ends
In making thy friends books, and thy books friends :
Now I must give thy life and deed, the voice
Attending such a study, such a choice ;
Where, though't be love that to praise doth move,
It was a knowledge that begat that love.
Was there a time when dancers with their fiddles
In children's circuses could stay their troubles?
There was a time they could cry over books,
But time has set its maggot on their track.
Under the arc of the sky they are unsafe.
What's never known is safest in this life.
Under the skysigns they who have no arms
Have cleanest hands, and, as the heartless ghost
Alone's unhurt, so the blind man sees best.
Little Bobby Snooks was fond of his books,
And loved by his usher and master;
But naughty Jack Spry, he got a black eye,
And carries his nose in a plaster.
Robert William Service
I am a mild man, you'll agree,
But red my rage is,
When folks who borrow books from me
Turn down their pages.
Or when a chap a book I lend,
And find he's loaned it
Without permission to a friend -
As if he owned it.
But worst of all I hate those crooks
(May hell-fires burn them!)
Who beg the loan of cherished books
And don't return them.
My books are tendrils of myself
No shears can sever .
May he who rapes one from its shelf
Be damned forever.
My Wars are laid away in Books --
I have one Battle more --
A Foe whom I have never seen
But oft has scanned me o'er --
And hesitated me between
And others at my side,
But chose the best -- Neglecting me -- till
All the rest, have died --
How sweet if I am not forgot
By Chums that passed away --
Since Playmates at threescore and ten
Are such a scarcity --
Constantine P Cavafy
He came to read.
Two or three books
are open; historians and poets.
But he only read for ten minutes,
and gave them up.
He is dozing
on the sofa.
He is fully devoted to books --
but he is twenty-three years old, and he's very handsome;
and this afternoon love passed
through his ideal flesh, his lips.
Through his flesh which is full of beauty
the heat of love passed;
without any silly shame for the form of the enjoyment.