a fish leaps--
With faint dry sound,
Like steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost-crisp'd, break from the trees
Percy Bysshe Shelley
ON a Poet's lips I slept
Dreaming like a love-adept
In the sound his breathing kept;
Nor seeks nor finds he mortal blisses
But feeds on the aerial kisses 5
Of shapes that haunt Thought's wildernesses.
He will watch from dawn to gloom
The lake-reflected sun illume
The blue bees in the ivy-bloom
Nor heed nor see what things they be¡ª 10
But from these create he can
Forms more real than living man
Nurslings of Immortality!
Gerard Manley Hopkins
Repeat that, repeat,
Cuckoo, bird, and open ear wells, heart-springs, delightfully sweet,
With a ballad, with a ballad, a rebound
Off trundled timber and scoops of the hillside ground, hollow hollow hollow ground:
The whole landscape flushes on a sudden at a sound.
in a world of one color
the sound of wind.
David Herbert Lawrence
Outside the house an ash-tree hung its terrible whips,
And at night when the wind arose, the lash of the tree
Shrieked and slashed the wind, as a ship’s
Weird rigging in a storm shrieks hideously.
Within the house two voices arose in anger, a slender lash
Whistling delirious rage, and the dreadful sound
Of a thick lash booming and bruising, until it drowned
The other voice in a silence of blood, ’neath the noise of the ash.
Awake at night--
the sound of the water jar
cracking in the cold.
The sun has set, and the long grass now
Waves dreamily in the evening wind;
And the wild bird has flown from that old gray stone
In some warm nook a couch to find.
In all the lonely landscape round
I see no light and hear no sound,
Except the wind that far away
Come sighing o'er the healthy sea.
I thought of you and how you love this beauty,
And walking up the long beach all alone
I heard the waves breaking in measured thunder
As you and I once heard their monotone.
Around me were the echoing dunes, beyond me
The cold and sparkling silver of the sea --
We two will pass through death and ages lengthen
Before you hear that sound again with me.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
A WIDOW bird sate mourning for her Love
Upon a wintry bough;
The frozen wind crept on above
The freezing stream below.
There was no leaf upon the forest bare.
No flower upon the ground
And little motion in the air
Except the mill-wheel's sound.
There is a moonlight note
In the Moonlight Sonata;
There is a thunder note
In an angry sky.
Sound unbound by nature
Becomes bounded by art.
There is no competition of sounds
Between a nightingale and a violin.
Nature rewards and punishes
By offering unpredictable ways;
Art is apotheosis;
Often, the complaint of beauty.
Nature is an outcry,
The art—a euphemism—
Where the string
Was umbilical jazz,
A long lost bloody cross,
Buried in some steel cavalry.
In what time
For whom do we bleed,
Lost notes, from some jazzman's
Musical tears from lost
Broken drumsticks, why?
Pitter patter, boom dropping
Bombs in the middle
Of my emotions
My father's sound
My mother's sound,
She stood at the window.
a sound, a light.
She stood at the window.
Was it that she was looking for,
Was it that
she was looking for.
turn from it, turn
The pain is
Turn from it.
The act of her anger, of
the anger she felt then,
not turning to him.
If I could have your arms tonight-
But half the world and the broken sea
Lie between you and me.
The autumn rain reverberates in the courtyard,
Beating all night against the barren stone,
The sound of useless rain in the desolate courtyard
Makes me more alone.
If you were here, if you were only here-
My blood cries out to you all night in vain
As sleepless as the rain.
The clouds ache bleakly
and when they can manage it
crush someone's head in
without a sound of anger.
This is a brutal mystery.
We meet in the streets
with our hands in our pockets
and snarl guiltily at each other
as if we had flayed a cloud
or two in our salad days.
Lots of things do blame us;
and in moments when I forget
how cruel we really should be
I often have to bite my tongue
to keep from being guilty.
the sound of the bell
as it leaves the bell.
With long sobs
of autumn wound
my heart with languorous
Choking and pale
When i mind the tale
the hours keep,
my memory strays
down other days
and I weep;
and I let me go
where ill winds blow
now here, now there,
harried and sped,
even as a dead
Robert Louis Stevenson
Whenever Auntie moves around,
Her dresses make a curious sound,
They trail behind her up the floor,
And trundle after through the door.
~for Jackson C.
It seems almost too far fetched really,
too difficult to believe.
This unassuming moon shining like a copper plate.
These milkcrate blues.
This soft trellis of sound
wobbling through the wind
as if pouring out from the window
of some lonely house on the hill.
How beautiful it is,
the ghost of your voice,
haunting this empty valley.
Originally published in 2River View 10.
Copyright © Lisa Zaran, 2005
Peace is a fiction of our Faith --
The Bells a Winter Night
Bearing the Neighbor out of Sound
That never did alight.
In Spanish he whispers there is no time left.
It is the sound of scythes arcing in wheat,
the ache of some field song in Salvador.
The wind along the prison, cautious
as Francisco's hands on the inside, touching
the walls as he walks, it is his wife's breath
slipping into his cell each night while he
imagines his hand to be hers.
It is a small country.
There is nothing one man will not do to another.
Edna St Vincent Millay
The trees along this city street,
Save for the traffic and the trains,
Would make a sound as thin and sweet
As trees in country lanes.
And people standing in their shade
Out of a shower, undoubtedly
Would hear such music as is made
Upon a country tree.
Oh, little leaves that are so dumb
Against the shrieking city air,
I watch you when the wind has come,—
I know what sound is there.
I am a grave poetic hen
That lays poetic eggs
And to enhance my temperament
A little quiet begs.
We make the yolk philosophy,
True beauty the albumen.
And then gum on a shell of form
To make the screed sound human.
The Loneliness One dare not sound --
And would as soon surmise
As in its Grave go plumbing
To ascertain the size --
The Loneliness whose worst alarm
Is lest itself should see --
And perish from before itself
For just a scrutiny --
The Horror not to be surveyed --
But skirted in the Dark --
With Consciousness suspended --
And Being under Lock --
I fear me this -- is Loneliness --
The Maker of the soul
Its Caverns and its Corridors
Illuminate -- or seal --
Chang-an -- one slip of moon;
in ten thousand houses, the sound of fulling mallets.
Autumn winds keep on blowing,
all things make me think of Jade Pass!
When will they put down the barbarians
and my good man come home from his far campaign?
- English Translation -