EppsNet Archive: Poetry

2 Weeks

12 Sep 2016 /

Sometimes I feel I know
how the story ends
But I go
through the motions anyways
And try to forget

— Arlene Kim Suda, “2 Weeks”

For My Daughter

10 Aug 2016 /

When I die choose a star
and name it after me
that you may know
I have not abandoned
or forgotten you.
You were such a star to me,
following you through birth
and childhood, my hand
in your hand.

When I die
choose a star and name it
after me so that I may shine
down on you, until you join
me in darkness and silence

— David Ignatow, “For My Daughter”

Jesus at Gethsemane

19 Jun 2016 /

For those not familiar with the story: Jesus knows he’s going to die. He prays to God for help in the garden of Gethsemane, at the Mount of Olives. But there is no answer.

If it is true that in the sacred Garden of the Scriptures,
The Son of Man said what we see reported;
Mute, blind and deaf to the cry of all creatures,
If Heaven abandons us like an aborted world,
The just will oppose disdain to this absence,
And will answer from now on with only cold silence
The eternal silence of the Divinity.

Jesus at Gethsemane


27 May 2016 /

That is the difference between me and you.
You pack an umbrella, #30 sun goo
And a red flannel shirt. That’s not what I do.
I put the top down as soon as we arrive.
The temperature’s trying to pass fifty-five.
I’m freezing but at least I’m alive.
Nothing on earth can diminish my glee.
This is Florida, Florida, land of euphoria,
Florida in the highest degree.
You dig in the garden. I swim in the pool.
I like to wear cotton. You like to wear wool.
You’re always hot. I’m usually cool.

You want to get married. I want to be free.
You don’t seem to mind that we disagree.
And that is the difference between you and me.

— Laurel Blossom

Shut Not Your Doors to Me Proud Libraries

7 Feb 2016 /
Walt Whitman

Steel engraving of Walt Whitman. Published in 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass

Shut not your doors to me, proud libraries,
For that which was lacking among you all, yet needed most, I bring;
A book I have made for your dear sake, O soldiers,
And for you, O soul of man, and you, love of comrades;
The words of my book nothing, the life of it everything;
A book separate, not link’d with the rest, nor felt by the intellect;
But you will feel every word, O Libertad! arm’d Libertad!
It shall pass by the intellect to swim the sea, the air,
With joy with you, O soul of man.

— Walt Whitman, “Shut Not Your Doors to Me Proud Libraries”


5 Jan 2016 /
William Carlos Williams

Again I reply to the triple winds
running chromatic fifths of derision
outside my window:
                                        Play louder.
You will not succeed. I am
bound more to my sentences
the more you batter at me
to follow you.
                                        And the wind,
as before, fingers perfectly
its derisive music.

— William Carlos Williams, “January”

A Man’s a Man For A’ That

9 Dec 2015 /
Robert Burns

What though on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hoddin grey, an’ a that;
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine;
A Man’s a Man for a’ that:
For a’ that, and a’ that,
Their tinsel show, an’ a’ that;
The honest man, tho’ e’er sae poor,
Is king o’ men for a’ that.

— Robert Burns, “A Man’s a Man For A’ That”

Overheard (Samuel T. Coleridge Edition)

22 Sep 2015 /

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

HIM: Sir Leoline, the Baron rich– Hath a toothless mastiff bitch–
HER: Which.
HIM: I beg your pardon.
HER: Which, not bitch.
HIM: We’ll look it up.

“Nature” is What We See

18 Sep 2015 /

Emily Dickinson

“Nature” is what we see—
The Hill—the Afternoon—
Squirrel—Eclipse—the Bumble bee—
Nay—Nature is Heaven—
Nature is what we hear—
The Bobolink—the Sea—
Thunder—the Cricket—
Nay—Nature is Harmony—
Nature is what we know—
Yet have no art to say—
So impotent Our Wisdom is
To her Simplicity.

How Can You Ever Be Sure?

1 Sep 2015 /

W.S. Merwin

I asked how can you ever be sure
that what you write is really
any good at all and he said you can’t

you can’t you can never be sure
you die without knowing
whether anything you wrote was any good
if you have to be sure don’t write

— W.S. Merwin, “Berryman”


25 Aug 2015 /

Photo by Siderola

Guess what, Dad and I finally figured out Pandora,
and after all those years of silence, our old music
fills the air. It fills the air, and somehow, here,
at this instant and for this instant only
—perhaps three bars—what I recall
equals all I feel, and I remember all the words.

— Rebecca Foust, “Abeyance”

All Joy Wants Eternity

26 Jul 2015 /

O man, take care!
What does the deep midnight declare?
“I was asleep—
From a deep dream I woke and swear:—
The world is deep,
Deeper than day had been aware.
Deep is its woe—
Joy—deeper yet than agony:
Woe implores: Go!
But all joy wants eternity—
Wants deep, wants deep eternity.

— Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

e e cummings wishes you a happy fathers day

21 Jun 2015 /

e. e. cummings

my father moved through dooms of love
through sames of am through haves of give,
singing each morning out of each night
my father moved through depths of height

this motionless forgetful where
turned at his glance to shining here;
that if (so timid air is firm)
under his eyes would stir and squirm

newly as from unburied which
floats the first who, his april touch
drove sleeping selves to swarm their fates
woke dreamers to their ghostly roots

and should some why completely weep
my father’s fingers brought her sleep:
vainly no smallest voice might cry
for he could feel the mountains grow.

Lifting the valleys of the sea
my father moved through griefs of joy;
praising a forehead called the moon
singing desire into begin

joy was his song and joy so pure
a heart of star by him could steer
and pure so now and now so yes
the wrists of twilight would rejoice

keen as midsummer’s keen beyond
conceiving mind of sun will stand,
so strictly (over utmost him
so hugely) stood my father’s dream

his flesh was flesh his blood was blood:
no hungry man but wished him food;
no cripple wouldn’t creep one mile
uphill to only see him smile.

Scorning the Pomp of must and shall
my father moved through dooms of feel;
his anger was as right as rain
his pity was as green as grain

septembering arms of year extend
less humbly wealth to foe and friend
than he to foolish and to wise
offered immeasurable is

proudly and (by octobering flame
beckoned) as earth will downward climb,
so naked for immortal work
his shoulders marched against the dark

his sorrow was as true as bread:
no liar looked him in the head;
if every friend became his foe
he’d laugh and build a world with snow.

My father moved through theys of we,
singing each new leaf out of each tree
(and every child was sure that spring
danced when she heard my father sing)

then let men kill which cannot share,
let blood and flesh be mud and mire,
scheming imagine, passion willed,
freedom a drug that’s bought and sold

giving to steal and cruel kind,
a heart to fear, to doubt a mind,
to differ a disease of same,
conform the pinnacle of am

though dull were all we taste as bright,
bitter all utterly things sweet,
maggoty minus and dumb death
all we inherit, all bequeath

and nothing quite so least as truth
—i say though hate were why men breathe—
because my Father lived his soul
love is the whole and more than all

— e.e. cummings, “my father moved through dooms of love”

Summer Triptych

12 Jun 2015 /

The world is water
to these bronzed boys
on their surfboards,
riding the sexual waves
of Maui
like so many fearless
cowboys, challenging
death on bucking
broncos of foam.

On the beach at Santorini
we ate those tiny silverfish
grilled straight from the sea,
and when the sun went down
in the flaming west
there was applause
from all the sated diners,
as if it had done its acrobatic plunge
just for them.

Swathed from head to toe
in seeming veils of muslin,
the figure in the Nantucket fog
poles along the shoreline on a flat barge.
It could be Charon transporting souls
across the River Styx, or just
another fisherman in a hoodie,
trolling for bluefish
on the outgoing tide.

— Linda Pastan, “Summer Triptych”
Ho'okipa Beach Surfing Maui

Ho’okipa Beach Surfing Maui 

Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven

1 Jun 2015 /

William Butler Yeats

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

— W. B. Yeats, “Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven”


1 Feb 2015 /

Be still,—be still!
Midnight’s arch is broken
In thy ceaseless ripples.
Dark and cold below them
Runs the troubled water,—
Only on its bosom,
Shimmering and trembling,
Doth the glinted star-shine
Sparkle and cease.

Be still,—be still!
Boundless truth is shattered
On thy hurrying current.
Rest, with face uplifted,
Calm, serenely quiet;
Drink the deathless beauty—
Thrills of love and wonder
Sinking, shining, star-like;
Till the mirrored heaven
Hollow down within thee
Holy deeps unfathomed,
Where far thoughts go floating,
And low voices wander
Whispering peace.

— Edward Roland Sill, “Serenity”


15 Jan 2015 /

I will mix me a drink of stars,—
Large stars with polychrome needles,
Small stars jetting maroon and crimson,
Cool, quiet, green stars.
I will tear them out of the sky,
And squeeze them over an old silver cup,
And I will pour the cold scorn of my Beloved into it,
So that my drink shall be bubbled with ice.

It will lap and scratch
As I swallow it down;
And I shall feel it as a serpent of fire,
Coiling and twisting in my belly.
His snortings will rise to my head,
And I shall be hot, and laugh,
Forgetting that I have ever known a woman.

— Amy Lowell, “Vintage”


3 Jan 2015 /

Carl Sandburg

Out of your many faces
Flash memories to me
Now at the day end
Away from the sidewalks
Where your shoe soles traveled
And your voices rose and blent
To form the city’s afternoon roar
Hindering an old silence.

I remember lean ones among you,
Throats in the clutch of a hope,
Lips written over with strivings,
Mouths that kiss only for love,
Records of great wishes slept with,
Held long
And prayed and toiled for:

Written on
Your mouths
And your throats
I read them
When you passed by.

— Carl Sandburg, “Passers-by”

Within the Circuit of this Plodding Life

28 Dec 2014 /

Within the circuit of this plodding life,
There enter moments of an azure hue,
Untarnished fair as is the violet
Or anemone, when the spring strews them
By some meandering rivulet, which make
The best philosophy untrue that aims
But to console man for his grievances.
I have remembered when the winter came,
High in my chamber in the frosty nights,
When in the still light of the cheerful moon,
On every twig and rail and jutting spout,
The icy spears were adding to their length
Against the arrows of the coming sun,
How in the shimmering noon of summer past
Some unrecorded beam slanted across
The upland pastures where the Johnswort grew;
Or heard, amid the verdure of my mind,
The bee’s long smothered hum, on the blue flag
Loitering amidst the mead; or busy rill,
Which now through all its course stands still and dumb
Its own memorial,—purling at its play
Along the slopes, and through the meadows next,
Until its youthful sound was hushed at last
In the staid current of the lowland stream;
Or seen the furrows shine but late upturned,
And where the fieldfare followed in the rear,
When all the fields around lay bound and hoar
Beneath a thick integument of snow.
So by God’s cheap economy made rich
To go upon my winter’s task again.

— Henry David Thoreau, “Within the Circuit of this Plodding Life”

Old Wine

7 Dec 2014 /

If I could lift
    My heart but high enough
    My heart could fill with love:

But ah, my heart
    Too still and heavy stays
    Too brimming with old days.

Margaret Widdemer, “Old Wine”

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