Archive for November, 2014

Sunday, 30 November 2014

The Angel with the Broken Wing by Dana Gioia

I am the Angel with the Broken Wing,
The one large statue in this quiet room.
The staff finds me too fierce, and so they shut
Faith’s ardor in this air-conditioned tomb.

The docents praise my elegant design
Above the chatter of the gallery.
Perhaps I am a masterpiece of sorts—
The perfect emblem of futility.

Mendoza carved me for a country church.
(His name’s forgotten now except by me.)
I stood beside a gilded altar where
The hopeless offered God their misery.

I heard their women whispering at my feet—
Prayers for the lost, the dying, and the dead.
Their candles stretched my shadow up the wall,
And I became the hunger that they fed.

I broke my left wing in the Revolution
(Even a saint can savor irony)
When troops were sent to vandalize the chapel.
They hit me once—almost apologetically.

For even the godless feel something in a church,
A twinge of hope, fear? Who knows what it is?
A trembling unaccounted by their laws,
An ancient memory they can’t dismiss.

There are so many things I must tell God!
The howling of the dammed can’t reach so high.
But I stand like a dead thing nailed to a perch,
A crippled saint against a painted sky.


Date: 2010

By: Dana Gioia (1950- )

Saturday, 29 November 2014

The Lover’s Song by William Sidney Walker

Softly sinks the rosy sun,
And the toils of day are past and done;
And now is the time to think of thee,
My lost remember’d Emily!

Come dear Image, come for a while.
Come with thy own, thy evening smile;
— Not shaped and fashioned in fancy’s mould,
But such as thou wert in the days of old.

Come from that unvisited cell.
Where all day long thou lovest to dwell,
Hous’d amid Memory’s richest fraught,
Deep in the sunless caves of thought.

Come, with all thy company
Of mystic fancies, and musings high,
And griefs, that lay in the heart like treasures,
‘Till Time had tum’d them to solemn pleasures;

And thoughts of early virtues gone, —
For my best of days with thee were flown,
And their sad and soothing memory
Is mingled now with my dreams of thee.

Too solemn for day, too sweet for night,
Come not in darkness, come not in light;
But come in some twilight interim,
When the gloom is soft, and the light is dim:

And in the white and silent dawn,
When the curtains of night are half undrawn,
Or at evening time, when my task is done,
I will think of the lost remember’d one!

From: Walker, William Sidney and Moultrie, J. (ed.), The Poetical Remains of William Sidney Walker, Formerly Fellow of Trinity College Cambridge, Edited, with a Memoir of the Author by The Rev. J. Moultrie, M.A. Rector of Rugby, 1852, John W. Parker and Son: Rugby, pp. 32-33.

Date: 1821

By: William Sidney Walker (1795-1846)

Friday, 28 November 2014

The War by Robert Arthur (Bob) Mould

And all these songs I write for you
They tear me up, it’s not hard to do
Listen to my voice
It’s the only weapon I kept from the war

And I can soothe every ailment you endure
And I can see into the future most assured
I don’t have a choice
It’s the only life I know after the war

Everything we made, reduced to dust
You were the one who taught me most
I carry your remains
Your emblem and your name
Nothing left will ever be the same

And this war we fought was violent and long
Weeks turned into years but we kept on keeping on
The ringing in my brain
Is what remains

This war has worn me down
Broken dreams and a hole in the ground
Don’t give up
And don’t give in.

From: file:///C:/Users/dse%2035/Downloads/mrg520.lyrics.pdf

Date: 2014

By: Robert Arthur (Bob) Mould (1960- )

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Thoughts Whilst Thinkin’ of a Thanksgivin’ Day Turkey by Nixon Waterman

O Eagle! emblem of my country, thou,
Who art the boss of every other bird,
My muse, to find the highfalutin word
With which to name thee, dost not know just how.
Yet ’tis not thee who hast, I must allow,
My patriotic breast the deepest stirred,
And they who planned our country’s banner erred
In makin’ thee the sign to which we bow.

For whilst, O Eagle, thou dost dare to climb
The highest mountain peak and greet the sun,
It is the turkey that dost nearest rhyme
With all the lofty thrills that through us run;
He beats thee to a standstill every time,
For, stuffed and roasted—say! he takes the bun!

From: Waterman, Nixon, Sonnets of a Budding Bard, 1907, Forbes & Company: Chicago, p. 27.

Date: 1907

By: Nixon Waterman (1859-1944)

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Photo by Joan Larkin

Everyone in it dead now—Dad,
three, in a skirt—and I see her

again, the unnamed woman.  She
is me.  No one to introduce us:

Hello, Me.  Unruly eyebrow woman,
eyes sepia but blue—they must be;

hair pulled slant, frame bent
lensward, skeptical mouth

smiling—I know you.  How did you
leash your mind, when you

looked through the small window
or stared through water

at your veined hand?


Date: 2011

By: Joan Larkin (1939- )

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Poetry is Happiness by Charles Wrey Gardiner

Poetry is happiness; and happiness is the shadow of poetry
Like the shape of Orion in the midnight sky
Spread across the darkening and dreadful future,
A cold icicle pure as our merciless nature.

I am the idiot lost on a winter’s morning
Bedevilled by despair of the ancient works of man,
Ink on my fingers and murder in my heart,
Lonely as angels or the ghost of time.

Love is my happiness and love my learning,
Words are my undiluted wisdom, not hard my meaning,
Clear as the unseen blackbird singing alone.
Poetry is life and life lies lazy in the sun.

From: Rexroth, Kenneth (ed.), The New British Poets, 1947, New Directions: London, p. 73.

Date: 1947

By: Charles Wrey Gardiner (1901-1981)

Monday, 24 November 2014

Leave Of Yee Pittying Friends; Leave Of In Vaine by Lucy Apsley Hutchinson

Leave of yee pittying freinds; leave of in vaine
Doe you perswade the dead to live againe
In vaine to me your comforts are applied
For, ‘twas not he; twas only I that died
In that Cold Grave which his deare reliques keeps
My light is quite extinct where he but Sleepes
My substance into the darke vault was laide
And now I am my owne pale Empty Shade
If this your mirth or admiration moove
Know tis but the least miracle of Love
The effect of humane passion shuch as mine
Which ends in woe & death; But Love devine
Whose Sacred flame did his pure bosome fire
With more Stupendious working doth aspire
Untill it life & Victory Compleates
Fixing transformed men in blessed seates
This holy fire refind his happy Soule
And first did naturs Strong Impulse Controwl
Brought the wild passions Under Servitude
The haught fless & rebell Sence Subdued
Maide Carnall reason freely to lay downe
At the lords feete her Scepture & her Crowne
When this pure flame had burnt away the drosse
It maide him rich by universall Losse
Out of the Pile a Pheanix did arise
Enlightned with quick penetrating Eies
Which distant heaven into the mind did draw
And the disgiuzd world in its owne forme saw
At the emission of their pwerfull Ray
Th’ old Sorcerers Strong enchants fled away
The Groves the Pallaces the pleasant Pooles
Arbours sweetes musick beauties feast that fooles
Charmd by the mighty witch reale Esteeme
Appeard a loathsome dunghill unto him
Whoe through their deformd vizards too
And the dark mantle Sine about them threw
In prisons exile Sollitude disgrace
And death itselfe beheld a lovely face
On God alone he fixt his steadfast looke
Till God into himselfe his Creature tooke
Who all things elce with God like eies now viewd
And seeing them in God Saw they were good
Thus was delighted in the Creature Streames
While they were guilt with the Creators beames
But when that heavenly Sun withdrew no more
Did he the Inreflecting glasse adore
Nor in the Shadow Stayd but wheresoere
The glorious substance pleasd next to appeare
Thither did his attending heart remove
And Sollacd theire his Chaste his Constant love
Love which alone best relishes its sweetes
Where it least of the worlds disturbance meets
By whose Greate power he free in prison remand
And in the Bloody Tower with triumph reignd
Dispising his oppressors rage while they
By lusts enslavd in sadder Thralldome lay
This Conqured the assaults of wrath greife feare
This did his head above the wild waves reare
This Painted dismall rocks & barrin Sands
With beauties equall to the fruitefull Lands
This gave Calamity a lovely face
And put on honours Crowne upon disgrace
This did the feavers force & fire abate
His Soule in her last conflicts recreate
His perfect Sence from feeling paine did keepe
And gave him rest without the ayd of Sleepe
This sweetely carried of expiring Breath
And brought him new life in approaching death
Which Could not fix its horrors in his face
That Pale & Cold reteind a Smiling grace.

From: Millman, Jill Seal and Wright, Gillian (eds.), Early Modern Women’s Manuscript Poetry with an Introduction by Elizabeth Clarke and Jonathan Gibson, 2005, Manchester University Press: Manchester, pp. 99-100.

Date: c1665

By: Lucy Apsley Hutchinson (1620-1681)

Sunday, 23 November 2014

The Piper’s Progress by Francis Sylvester Mahony (Father Prout)

When I was a boy
In my father’s mud edifice,
Tender and bare
As a pig in a sty:
Out of the door as I
Look’d with a steady phiz,
Who but Thade Murphy
The piper went by.
Says Thady, “But few play
This music – can you play?”
Says I, “I can’t tell,
For I never did try.”
So he told me that he had a charm
To make the pipes purtily speak;
Then squeezed a bag under his arm,
When sweetly they set up a squeak!
Och hone!
How he handled the drone!
And then the sweet music he blew
Would have melted the heart of a stone!

“Your pipe,” says I, “Thady,
So neatly comes o’er me,
Naked I’ll wander
Wherever it blows:
And if my poor parents
Should try to recover me,
Sure, it won’t be
By describing my clothes.
The music I hear now
Takes hold of my ear now,
And leads me all over
The world by the nose.”
So I follow’d his bagpipe so sweet,
And I sung as I leap’d like a frog,
“Adieu to my family seat,
So pleasantly placed in a bog.”
Och hone!
How we handled the drone!
And then the sweet music we blew
Would have melted the heart of a stone!

Full five years I follow’d him,
Nothing could sunder us;
Till he one morning
Had taken a sup,
And slipt from a bridge
In a river just under us
Souse to the bottom
Just like a blind pup.
He roar’d and he bawl’d out;
And I also call’d out,
“Now Thady, my friend,
Don’t you mean to come up?”
He was dead as a nail in a door –
Poor Thady was laid on the shelf.
So I took up his pipes on the shore,
And now I’ve set up for myself.
Och hone!
Don’t I handle the drone!
And play such sweet music? I, too,
Can’t I soften the heart of a stone!

From: Mahony, Francis and Kent, Charles (ed.), The Works of Father Prout (The Rev. Francis Mahony). Edited with Biographical Introduction and Notes by Charles Kent, 1881, George Routledge and Sons: London, pp. 487-488.

Date: 1837

By: Francis Sylvester Mahony (Father Prout) (1804-1866)

Saturday, 22 November 2014

The Heart Under Your Heart by Craig Arnold

Who gives his heart away too easily must have a heart under his heart.
—James Richardson

The heart under your heart
is not the one you share
so readily so full of pleasantry
& tenderness
it is a single blackberry
at the heart of a bramble
or else some larger fruit
heavy the size of a fist
it is full of things
you have never shared with me
broken engagements bruises
& baking dishes
the scars on top of scars
of sixteen thousand pinpricks
the melody you want so much to carry
& always fear black fear
or so I imagine you have never shown me
& how could I expect you to
I also have a heart beneath my heart
perhaps you have seen or guessed
it is a beach at night
where the waves lap & the wind hisses
over a bank of thin
translucent orange & yellow jingle shells
on the far side of the harbor
the lighthouse beacon
shivers across the black water
& someone stands there waiting.


Date: 2009

By: Craig Arnold (1967-2009)

Friday, 21 November 2014

The Expostulation by Elizabeth Singer Rowe (Philomela)

How long, great God, a wretched captive here,
Must I these hated marks of bondage wear?
How long shall these uneasy chains control
The willing flights of my impatient Soul?
How long shall her most pure intelligence
Be strain’d through an infectious screen of gross, corrupted sence?

When shall I leave this darksome house of clay;
And to a brighter mansion wing away?
There’s nothing here my thoughts to entertain,
But one Tyr’d revolution o’re again:
The Sun and Stars observe their wonted round,
The streams their former courses keep: No Novelty is found.

The same curst acts of false fruition o’re,
The same wild hopes and wishes as before;
Do men for this so fondly life caress,
(That airy huff of splendid emptiness?)
Unthinking sots: kind Heaven let me be gone,
I’m tyr’d, I’m sick of this dull Farce’s repetition.

From: Philomela, Poems on Several Occasions, 1696, John Dunton: London, pp. 12-13.

Date: 1696

By: Elizabeth Singer Rowe (Philomela) (1674-1737)