Category Archives: poetry

Poem of the Week

snow poem

To Winter

William Blake

O Winter! bar thine adamantine doors:
The north is thine; there hast thou built thy dark
Deep-founded habitation. Shake not thy roofs
Nor bend thy pillars with thine iron car.

He hears me not, but o’er the yawning deep
Rides heavy; his storms are unchain’d, sheathed
In ribbed steel; I dare not lift mine eyes;
For he hath rear’d his scepter o’er the world.

Lo! now the direful monster, whose skin clings
To his strong bones, strides o’er the groaning rocks:
He withers all in silence, and in his hand
Unclothes the earth, and freezes up frail life.

He takes his seat upon the cliffs, the mariner
Cries in vain. Poor little wretch! that deal’st
With storms; till heaven smiles, and the monster
Is driven yelling to his caves beneath Mount Hecla.

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Posted by on January 13, 2018 in fiction, poetry, postaweek


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Poem of the Week


by Rita Dove

Velvet fruit, exquisite square
I hold up to sniff
between finger and thumb –

how you numb me
with your rich attentions!
If I don’t eat you quickly,

you’ll melt in my palm.
Pleasure seeker, if i let you
you’d liquefy everywhere.

Knotted smoke, dark punch
of earth and night and leaf,
for a taste of you

any woman would gladly
crumble to ruin.
Enough chatter: I am ready

to fall in love!

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Posted by on January 10, 2018 in poetry, postaweek


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Poem of the Week

New Year’s Eve

A.E. Houseman

The end of the year fell chilly
    Between a moon and a moon;
Thorough the twilight shrilly
    The bells rang, ringing no tune.
The windows stained with story,
    The walls with miracle scored,
Were hidden for gloom and glory
    Filling the house of the Lord.
Arch and aisle and rafter
    And roof-tree dizzily high
Were full of weeping and laughter
    And song and saying good-bye.
There stood in the holy places
    A multitude none could name,
Ranks of dreadful faces
    Flaming, transfigured in flame.
Crown and tiar and mitre
    Were starry with gold and gem;
Christmas never was whiter
    Than fear on the face of them.
In aisles that emperors vaulted
    For a faith the world confessed,
Abasing the Host exalted,
    They worshipped towards the west.
They brought with laughter oblation;
    They prayed, not bowing the head;
They made without tear lamentation,
    And rendered me answer and said:
“0 thou that seest our sorrow,
    It fares with us even thus:
To-day we are gods, to-morrow
    Hell have mercy on us.
“Lo, morning over our border
    From out of the west comes cold;
Down ruins the ancient order
    And empire builded of old.
“Our house at even is queenly
    With psalm and censers alight:
Look thou never so keenly
    Thou shalt not find us to-night.
“We are come to the end appointed
    With sands not many to run:
Divinities disanointed
    And kings whose kingdom is done.
“The peoples knelt down at our portal,
    All kindreds under the sky;
We were gods and implored and immortal
    Once; and to-day we die.“
They turned them again to their praying,
    They worshipped and took no rest
Singing old tunes and saying
    “We have seen his star in the west,“
Old tunes of the sacred psalters,
    Set to wild farewells;
And I left them there at their altars
    Ringing their own dead knells.
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Posted by on December 28, 2017 in British Lit, British literature, fiction, poetry


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Poem of the Week

Spring and Fall: To a Young Child

Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow’s springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What héart héard of, ghóst guéssed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.

Gerald Manley Hopkins

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Posted by on October 2, 2016 in British Lit, British literature, fiction, poetry


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Good Night

It’s Shelley’s birthday today so I offer this –

Good Night

Good-night? ah! no; the hour is ill
Which severs those it should unite;
Let us remain together still,
Then it will be good night.

How can I call the lone night good,
Though thy sweet wishes wing its flight?
Be it not said, thought, understood —
Then it will be — good night.

To hearts which near each other move
From evening close to morning light,
The night is good; because, my love,
They never say good-night.

Percy Bysshe Shelley
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Posted by on August 4, 2016 in poetry


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Easter, 1916


I have met them at close of day
Coming with vivid faces
From counter or desk among grey
Eighteenth-century houses.
I have passed with a nod of the head
Or polite meaningless words,
Or have lingered awhile and said
Polite meaningless words,
And thought before I had done
Of a mocking tale or a gibe
To please a companion
Around the fire at the club,
Being certain that they and I
But lived where motley is worn:
All changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

That woman’s days were spent
In ignorant good-will,
Her nights in argument
Until her voice grew shrill.
What voice more sweet than hers
When, young and beautiful,
She rode to harriers?
This man had kept a school
And rode our wingèd horse;
This other his helper and friend
Was coming into his force;
He might have won fame in the end,
So sensitive his nature seemed,
So daring and sweet his thought.
This other man I had dreamed
A drunken, vainglorious lout.
He had done most bitter wrong
To some who are near my heart,
Yet I number him in the song;
He, too, has resigned his part
In the casual comedy;
He, too, has been changed in his turn,
Transformed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on March 27, 2016 in poetry


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Poem of the Week

God’s Grandeur

by Gerald Manley Hopkins

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

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Posted by on July 23, 2015 in British Lit, poetry


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