Category Archives: Poetry I Like

In My Sky At Twilight ~Pablo Neruda

sunset

In my sky at twilight you are like a cloud
and your form and colour are the way I love them.
You are mine, mine, woman with sweet lips
and in your life my infinite dreams live.

The lamp of my soul dyes your feet,
the sour wine is sweeter on your lips,
oh reaper of my evening song,
how solitary dreams believe you to be mine!

You are mine, mine, I go shouting it to the afternoon’s
wind, and the wind hauls on my widowed voice.
Huntress of the depth of my eyes, your plunder
stills your nocturnal regard as though it were water.

You are taken in the net of my music, my love,
and my nets of music are wide as the sky.
My soul is born on the shore of your eyes of mourning.
In your eyes of mourning the land of dreams begin.

~Pablo Neruda
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glittering soot on her eyelashes

I’m excited to introduce a blogger friend whose poetry I have admired for some time.  She agreed to guest post and share an original poem from her collection.  She is an talented artist who weaves beautiful imagery and creativity into her poetry.  She writes about relationships, nature,  love, lost loves, and the bottom line?  She moves me!  Check out her site at glittering soot on her eyelashes and show her some love!

 

 

 

 

 

 

i flow in gold rivulets
alike a slowly setting sun,
skin tingling, lost in blistering air
of the never tomorrows and never agains.
we gulp it down,
unwillingly,
laughing,
saline waters still trapped in alveoli
aftertaste of sea spray on the lips
and
i remember all that you were
and all that you weren’t.

 

 © glittering soot on her eyelashes

 

we never really lose lost loves.
the moral of the story? cut the thread you torture yourself with every once and again or sleep soundly knowing you managed to love again.


[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(a poem by E. E. Cummings for you both, I love you)
 
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
 

Ashes of Soldiers

 
 
ASHES of soldiers!
As I muse, retrospective, murmuring a chant in thought,
Lo! the war resumes—again to my sense your shapes,
And again the advance of armies.Noiseless as mists and vapors,
From their graves in the trenches ascending,
From the cemeteries all through Virginia and Tennessee,
From every point of the compass, out of the countless unnamed graves,
In wafted clouds, in myraids large, or squads of twos or threes, or single ones, they
come,
And silently gather round me.Now sound no note, O trumpeters!
Not at the head of my cavalry, parading on spirited horses,
With sabres drawn and glist’ning, and carbines by their thighs—(ah, my brave
horsemen!
My handsome, tan-faced horsemen! what life, what joy and pride,
With all the perils, were yours!)Nor you drummers—neither at reveille, at dawn,
Nor the long roll alarming the camp—nor even the muffled beat for a burial;
Nothing from you, this time, O drummers, bearing my warlike drums.But aside from these, and the marts of wealth, and the crowded promenade,
Admitting around me comrades close, unseen by the rest, and voiceless,
The slain elate and alive again—the dust and debris alive,
I chant this chant of my silent soul, in the name of all dead soldiers.Faces so pale, with wondrous eyes, very dear, gather closer yet;
Draw close, but speak not.

Phantoms of countless lost!
Invisible to the rest, henceforth become my companions!
Follow me ever! desert me not, while I live.

Sweet are the blooming cheeks of the living! sweet are the musical voices sounding!
But sweet, ah sweet, are the dead, with their silent eyes.

Dearest comrades! all is over and long gone;
But love is not over—and what love, O comrades!
Perfume from battle-fields rising—up from foetor arising.

Perfume therefore my chant, O love! immortal Love!
Give me to bathe the memories of all dead soldiers,
Shroud them, embalm them, cover them all over with tender pride!

Perfume all! make all wholesome!
Make these ashes to nourish and blossom,
O love! O chant! solve all, fructify all with the last chemistry.

Give me exhaustless—make me a fountain,
That I exhale love from me wherever I go, like a moist perennial dew,
For the ashes of all dead soldiers.

 ~Walt Whitman

Soul Mates

If soul mates do exist, then Elizabeth Barrett Browning and her husband, Robert, seemed to have been such.  Elizabeth penned possibly my favorite poem (number 43) from her Sonnets of the Portuguese.  We’re still celebrating Poetry Month so here you are!

 

 

 

 

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height

My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight

For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.

I love thee to the level of everyday’s

Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.

I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;

I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.

I love thee with the passion put to use

In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.

I love thee with a love I seemed to lose

With my lost saints,—I love thee with the breath,

Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and, if God choose,

I shall but love thee better after death.

 ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Gray Day Musings & Neruda

 I am sitting at my desk taking a break from working. My heavy, thick glass window to the world is open. Life filters in. Jays screech about their dampened feathers, a male cardinal calls his absent mate, the wind blusters about, enters my room, restlessly rustles my papers, chills me. The sky is steel. An overt warning of hair raising, electric flashes and deep, shuddering anger that booms and bellows while raging torrents pummel.

I am swept up in the emotions of this gray afternoon. Poetry fills deep voids, gaping hollows with substance, meat, food. Then, I receive bad news. Perfect day for those pained, hurting. Falling tears may be disguised as precipitation.

Poetry is needed, read, to shake the shadows of the Grim Reaper, so close, so near my friend’s family. Attempts at poetic therapy, self-medication.  The following distracts me, a selection from one of my favorite poets filled with such passion his words often drip with seduction.

It’s good to feel you are close to me

It’s good to feel you are close to me in the night, love,
invisible in your sleep, intently nocturnal,
while I untangle my worries
as if they weretwisted nets. Withdrawn, your heart sails through dream,
but your body, relinquished so, breathes
seeking me without seeing me perfecting my dream
like a plant that seeds itself in the dark.Rising, you will be that other, alive in the dawn,
but from the frontiers lost in the night,
from the presence and the absence where we meet ourselves,something remains, drawing us into the light of life
as if the sign of the shadows had sealed
its secret creatures with flame.~Pablo Neruda

 

the lesson of the moth

A friend of mine, David LaGaccia, shared this poem with me today.  He is a gentleman and self-employed writer.  It is written by Don Marquis and I think it’s lovely.  Enjoy!


the lesson of the moth

i was talking to a moth
the other evening
he was trying to break into
an electric light bulb
and fry himself on the wires

why do you fellows
pull this stunt i asked him
because it is the conventional
thing for moths or why
if that had been an uncovered
candle instead of an electric
light bulb you would
now be a small unsightly cinder
have you no sense

plenty of it he answered
but at times we get tired
of using it
we get bored with the routine
and crave beauty
and excitement
fire is beautiful
and we know that if we get
too close it will kill us
but what does that matter
it is better to be happy
for a moment
and be burned up with beauty
than to live a long time
and be bored all the while
so we wad all our life up
into one little roll
and then we shoot the roll
that is what life is for
it is better to be a part of beauty
for one instant and then cease to
exist than to exist forever
and never be a part of beauty
our attitude toward life
is come easy go easy
we are like human beings
used to be before they became
too civilized to enjoy themselves

and before i could argue him
out of his philosophy
he went and immolated himself
on a patent cigar lighter
i do not agree with him
myself i would rather have
half the happiness and twice
the longevity

but at the same time i wish
there was something i wanted
as badly as he wanted to fry himself

~Don Marquis

The Brownings

Okay, I know love letter fest is technically over.  HOWEVER, I could not resist posting two, short letters exchanged between one of the most romantic, literary couples  (Robert and Elizabeth Browning) ever  (in my book THE most romantic, literary couple).  Of course, Elizabeth wrote my favorite poetry collection, Sonnets from the Portuguese, for her husband Robert Browning and I believe them to be the most beautiful poems (especially numbers I, XIV, XX, and the best, XLIII).  So enjoy and keep that passion alive every day, not just on Valentine’s Day!!!!

To Elizabeth Barrett Browning:                                                       

…would I,  if I could,  supplant one of any of the affections that I know to have taken root in you – that great and solemn one, for instance.
I feel that if I could get myself remade,  as if turned to gold,
I WOULD not even then desire to become more than the mere setting to that diamond you must always wear.

The regard and esteem you now give me,  in this letter,  and which I press to my heart and bow my head upon,  is all I can take and all too embarrassing,  using all my gratitude.

– Robert Browning
(1812-1889)


To Robert Browning:

And now listen to me in turn.
You have touched me more profoundly than I thought even you could have touched me – my heart was full when you came here today.
Henceforward I am yours for everything.

– Elizabeth Barrett Browning
(1806-1861)

Mother to Son~L. Hughes

One of my favorite poets:

Langston Hughes’
Mother to Son


 

Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor —
Bare.
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
‘Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now —
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.