Archive for July, 2012

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Stupidity Street by Ralph Hodgson

I saw with open eyes
   Singing birds sweet
Sold in the shops
   For the people to eat,
Sold in the shops of
   Stupidity Street.

I saw in vision
   The worm in the wheat,
And in the shops nothing
   For people to eat;
Nothing for sale in
   Stupidity Street.


Date: 1913

By: Ralph Hodgson (1871-1962)

Monday, 30 July 2012

Music by Stephen Vincent Benét

My friend went to the piano; spun the stool
A little higher; left his pipe to cool;
Picked up a fat green volume from the chest;
And propped it open.
Whitely without rest,
His fingers swept the keys that flashed like swords,
. . . And to the brute drums of barbarian hordes,
Roaring and thunderous and weapon-bare,
An army stormed the bastions of the air!
Dreadful with banners, fire to slay and parch,
Marching together as the lightnings march,
And swift as storm-clouds. Brazen helms and cars
Clanged to a fierce resurgence of old wars
Above the screaming horns. In state they passed,
Trampling and splendid on and sought the vast —
Rending the darkness like a leaping knife,
The flame, the noble pageant of our life!
The burning seal that stamps man’s high indenture
To vain attempt and most forlorn adventure;
Romance, and purple seas, and toppling towns,
And the wind’s valiance crying o’er the downs;
That nerves the silly hand, the feeble brain,
From the loose net of words to deeds again
And to all courage! Perilous and sharp
The last chord shook me as wind shakes a harp!
. . . And my friend swung round on his stool, and from gods we were men,
“How pretty!” we said; and went on with our talk again.

From: http:

Date: 1918

By: Stephen Vincent Benét (1898-1948)

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Circus by Margaret Stanley-Wrench

Saucer of sand, the circus ring,
A cup of light, clowns tumbling.
Horses with white manes sleek and streaming,
Bits jingling, tinkling, silk skins gleaming.

But there, shut in their iron cage,
Sulky, drowsy, dulled by rage,
The lions beg or trot or leap,
And cringe like beaten dogs, and creep,

King beasts, who should be free to run
Through the forests striped with shade and sun,
With fierce, proud eyes and manes like fire.
These manes hang dull like rusty wire.

And when the trainer cracks his whip
They snarl and curl a sullen lip,
And only in their dreams are free
To crush and kill man’s cruelty.

From: New Connect: Course, Book 6, 2003, Orient Longman Private Limited: Hyderabad, India, p. 85.

Date: ?

By: Margaret Stanley-Wrench (1916-1974)

Saturday, 28 July 2012

In A Station of the Metro by Ezra Pound

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.


Date: 1913

By: Ezra Pound (1885-1972)

Friday, 27 July 2012

Music by Charles Baudelaire

Music uplifts me like the sea and races
Me to my distant star,
Through veils of mist or through ethereal spaces,
I sail on it afar.

With chest flung out and lungs like sails inflated
Into the depth of night
I escalade the backs of waves serrated,
That darkness veils from sight.

I feel vibrating in me the emotions
That storm-tossed ships must feel.
The fair winds and the tempests and the oceans

Sway my exultant keel.
Sometimes a vast, dead calm with glassy stare
Mirrors my dumb despair.


Date: 1857 (translated 1952)

By: Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867)

Translated by: Roy Campbell (1901-1957)

Thursday, 26 July 2012

The Affinity by Anna Wickham (Edith Alice Mary Harper)

I have to thank God I’m a woman,
For in these ordered days a woman only
Is free to be very hungry, very lonely.

It is sad for Feminism, but still clear
That man, more often than woman, is pioneer.
If I would confide a new thought,
First to a man must it be brought.

Now, for our sins, it is my bitter fate
That such a man wills soon to be my mate,
And so of friendship is quick end:
When I have gained a love I lose a friend.

It is well within the order of things
That man should listen when his mate sings;
But the true male never yet walked
Who liked to listen when his mate talked.

I would be married to a full man,
As would all women since the world began;
But from a wealth of living I have proved
I must be silent, if I would be loved.

Now of my silence I have much wealth,
I have to do my thinking all by stealth.
My thoughts may never see the day;
My mind is like a catacomb where early Christians pray.

And of my silence I have much pain,
But of these pangs I have great gain;
For I must take to drugs or drink,
Or I must write the things I think.

If my sex would let me speak,
I would be very lazy and most weak;
I should speak only, and the things I spoke
Would fill the air awhile, and clear like smoke.

The things I think now I write down,
And some day I will show them to the Town.
When I am sad I make thought clear;
I can re-read it all next year.

I have to thank God I’m a woman,
For in these ordered days a woman only
Is free to be very hungry, very lonely.


Date: 1915

By: Anna Wickham (Edith Alice Mary Harper) (1884-1947)

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

That Music Always Round Me by Walt Whitman

That music always round me, unceasing, unbeginning, yet long untaught I did not hear,
But now the chorus I hear and am elated,
A tenor, strong, ascending with power and health, with glad notes of daybreak I hear,
A soprano at intervals sailing buoyantly over the tops of immense waves,
A transparent base shuddering lusciously under and through the universe,
The triumphant tutti, the funeral wailings with sweet flutes and violins, all these I fill myself with,
I hear not the volumes of sound merely, I am moved by the exquisite meanings,
I listen to the different voices winding in and out, striving, contending with fiery vehemence to excel each other in emotion;
I do not think the performers know themselves—but now I think begin to know them.


Date: 1855

By: Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

A new Courtly Sonet, of the Lady Greensleeues. To the new tune of Greensleeues by Unknown

Greensleeues was all my ioy,
  Greensleeues was my delight:
Greensleeues was my hart of gold,
  And who but Ladie Greensleeues.

Alas my loue, ye do me wrong,
  to cast me off discurteously:
And I haue loued you so long
  Delighting in your companie.
Greensleeues was all my ioy,
  Greensleeues was my delight:
Greensleeues was my heart of gold,
  And who but Ladie Greensleeues.

I haue been readie at your hand,
  to grant what euer you would craue.
I haue both waged life and land,
  your loue and good will for to haue.
    Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

I bought three kerchers to thy head,
  that were wrought fine and gallantly:
I kept thee both boord and bed,
  Which cost my purse wel fauouredly,
    Greensleeues was all my ioie, &c.

I bought thee peticotes of the best,
  the cloth so fine as might be:
I gaue thee iewels for thy chest,
  and all this cost I spent on thee.
    Greensleeues was all my ioie, &c.

Thy smock of silk, both faire and white,
  with gold embrodered gorgeously:
Thy peticote of Sendall right:
  and thus I bought thee gladly.
    Greensleeues was all my ioie, &c.

Thy girdle of gold so red,
  with pearles bedecked sumptuously:
The like no other lasses had,
  and yet thou wouldst not loue me,
    Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

Thy purse and eke thy gay guilt kniues,
  thy pincase gallant to the eie:
No better wore the Burgesse wiues,
  and yet thou wouldst not loue me.
    Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

Thy crimson stockings all of silk,
  with golde all wrought aboue the knee,
Thy pumps as white as was the milk,
  and yet thou wouldst not loue me.
    Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

Thy gown was of the grossie green,
  thy sleeues of Satten hanging by:
Which made thee be our haruest Queen,
  and yet thou wouldst not loue me.
    Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

Thy garters fringed with the golde,
  And siluer aglets hanging by,
Which made thee blithe for to beholde,
  And yet thou wouldst not loue me.
    Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

My gayest gelding I thee gaue,
  To ride where euer liked thee,
No Ladie euer was so braue,
  And yet thou wouldst not loue me.
    Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

My men were clothed all in green,
  And they did euer wait on thee:
Al this was gallant to be seen,
  and yet thou wouldst not loue me.
    Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

They set thee vp, they took thee downe,
  they serued thee with humilitie,
Thy foote might not once touch the ground,
  and yet thou wouldst not loue me.
    Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

For euerie morning when thou rose,
  I sent thee dainties orderly:
To cheare thy stomack from all woes,
  and yet thou wouldst not loue me.
    Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

Thou couldst desire no earthly thing.
  But stil thou hadst it readily:
Thy musicke still to play and sing,
  And yet thou wouldst not loue me.
    Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

And who did pay for all this geare,
  that thou didst spend when pleased thee?
Euen I that am reiected here,
  and thou disdainst to loue me.
    Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

Wel, I wil pray to God on hie,
  that thou my constancie maist see:
And that yet once before I die,
  thou wilt vouchsafe to loue me.
    Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

Greensleeues now farewel adue,
  God I pray to prosper thee:
For I am stil thy louer true,
  come once againe and loue me.
    Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.


Date: 1584

By: Unknown

Monday, 23 July 2012

A Stradivarius Violin by May Riley Smith

The music of this ancient violin
   Is haunted as men’s chambers sometimes are.
Along the liquid ladder of each bar
   Phantoms of pleasure dance; Regret steals in,
   With happier ghosts, and Fate her wheel doth spin.
Torn butterflies of hope a breath did mar
Here flutter, like the flame within a star.
   And if thou wouldst, O soul, nepenthe win,
   Pause not beside this portal, lest thou hear
   The voice of thy dead sorrow whispering near!
For every passion that thy life hath known, ―
Anguish benumbed, and love thou thought’st flown, ―
   Among these peerless octaves veilèd, wait
   To speak to thee across the stringed gate.

From: Smith, May Riley, Sometime and Other Poems, 1897, E P Dutton and Company: New York, pp. 74-75.

Date: 1897

By: May Riley Smith (1842-1927)

Sunday, 22 July 2012

You’ll Never Walk Alone by Oscar Hammerstein II

When you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark

At the end of the storm
Is a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of the lark

Walk on through the wind
Walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown

Walk on walk on with hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone
You’ll never walk alone.


Date: 1945

By: Oscar Hammerstein II (1895-1960)