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.
Notes from the Golden Orange
EppsNet Archive: Poetry
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.
us was a thing hard to
come by. We would have to make due with
we had: these
were pills and a pencil,
blue earplugs to block out the voices
our heads, which
would tell us time passed and
these thoughts that would shine like soft lights on
our brains would
one day fade
relief. We would write in our binders,
a moment of grief. We
were deeply aware we would have to
make up for
lost time, but
when we took our pills, the
world would seem fine, seem as if it had
fine. Once we
had adequate supplies
we’d sell, but until then we decid-
ed to re-
fill. We had
determined that we would
not brood. Instead we charted out our
moods and light-
ened up our
loads. Before the rest of
time unfolds, we would like to hold on-
to this life,
feel like it’s
beating, there, deep inside
of our chests, not out of fear. We are
The crimson dawn breaks through the clouded east,
And waking breezes round the casement pipe;
They blow the globes of dew from opening buds,
And steal the odors of the sleeping flowers.
The swallow calls its young ones from the eaves,
To dart above their shadows on the lake,
Till its long rollers redden in the sun,
And bend the lances of the mirrored pines.
Who knows the miracle that brings the morn?
Still in my house I linger, though the night—
The night that hides me from myself is gone.
Light robes the world, but strips me bare again.
I will not follow on the paths of day.
I know the dregs within its crystal hours;
The bearers of my cups have served me well;
I drained them, and the bearers come no more.
Rise, morning, rise, for those believing souls
Who seek completion in day’s garish light.
My casement I will close, keep shut my door,
Till day and night are only dreams to me.
Bravery is doing
the same thing every day when you don’t want to.
Not the marvelous but the familiar, over and over again.
Do that, and the magic will come.
I had lunch over the weekend with Robert Hass — Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, UC Berkeley professor and former Poet Laureate of the United States. When I say I had lunch with him, I mean he was one of five people seated at our table.
I asked to take a photo with him, which he graciously consented to. I don’t have any photos of myself with Pulitzer Prize winners and still don’t because the photo didn’t come out at all. I completely botched it somehow.
So that was probably the lowlight of my weekend, except for Cal getting blown out by Washington on the gridiron 31-7, while four Husky fans sat directly behind us screaming the whole game.
Football at Cal unfortunately is like academics at Washington: not terribly distinguished.
If you know me, and you outlive me, and you want to say something on the occasion of my demise, please do not quote a snippet of poetry or other literary material, e.g., “He did not go gently into that good night.” Or: “I think Wordsworth said it best . . .”
Bullshit . . . Wordsworth did not say it best. Wordsworth didn’t know me. You knew me. Go ahead and say something from the heart if you have something. Keep it real.
He was not a good person.
He had the most appalling social skills, which is why he had no close friends.
After his son moved out, he just unraveled like an old sock.
I remember at Jackie O’s funeral, her kids — was it just one kid, or both? I think both — read a poem. A poem! That’s when you really know that your life was not well-lived, when your own children have nothing to say about you.
Don’t you hope to god that your children at least will have some personal remembrance to share after you’re gone?
I remember when we used to go to the park and he pitched baseballs to me.
He spent a year of his life helping me with algebra homework.
He always believed in me.
To anyone tempted to eulogize me with a literary reference, I swear I will rise from the grave — in spirit if not in body, although body will be my preference — and cast a shadow upon your soul.
The way we are living,
timorous or bold,
will have been our life.
- In Memoriam Seamus Heaney (text-patterns.thenewatlantis.com)
Our skills are finally in demand.
If you mock us, Pan,
In whom we also believe, do it
As gently as you can.
here was an old woman tossed up in a basket,
Nineteen times as high as the moon;
Where she was going I couldn’t but ask it,
For in her hand she carried a broom.
“Old woman, old woman, old woman,” quoth I,
“Oh whither, oh whither, oh whither so high?”
“To brush the cobwebs off the sky!”
“Shall I go with thee?”
Stop one heart from breaking. Ease one life the aching or cool one pain. Or help one fainting robin unto his nest again.
What’s the billing code for that?
everything is permitted
absolute freedom of movement
that is, without leaving the cage
2+2 doesn’t make 4:
once it made 4 but
today nothing is known in this regard
Powell’s Books has a Poetry Madness bracket online to determine the Best Poet of All Time. Unfortunately, along with some really obvious omissions, they don’t understand the concept of seeding, so while minor poets face off in a number of first round matchups, there are inexplicable heavyweight pairings like T.S. Eliot vs. Emily Dickinson . . .
We must make do with today’s
Happenings, and stoop and somehow glue together
The silly little shards of our lives, so that
Our children can drink water from broken bowls,
Not from cupped hands
Coursera‘s been around long enough now that some classes are being offered for a second time, including a couple that I’ve taken and recommend: