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Those Emergency Blues: Favourite Poems LVI: Three Short Poems on Spring

Song on a May Morning

Now the bright morning-star, Day’s harbinger, Comes dancing from the East, and leads with her The flowery May, who from her green lap throws The yellow cowslip and the pale primrose. Hail, bounteous May, that dost inspire Mirth, and youth, and warm desire! Woods and groves are of thy dressing; Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing. Thus we salute thee with our early song, And welcome thee, and wish thee long.

— Milton (1660)

*** *** ***

The year is ended, and it only adds to

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Those Emergency Blues: Favourite Poems LV: If You Forget Me

If You Forget Me

I want you to know one thing.

You know how this is: if I look at the crystal moon, at the red branch of the slow autumn at my window, if I touch near the fire the impalpable ash or the wrinkled body of the log, everything carries me to you, as if everything that exists, aromas, light, metals, were little boats that sail toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now, if little by little you stop loving me I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly you forget me

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Those Emergency Blues: Favourite Poems LVIV: The Curate Thinks You Have No Soul

Was thinking, by-the-by, about some dogs I have loved, and how I get along with (and like, if truth be known) dogs better than most people. So sentimentalism be damned: here’s a dog poem.

St John Lucas was an early 20th century anthologist of poetry and friend and mentor to Rupert Brooke.

The Curate Thinks You have No Soul

The curate thinks you have no soul; I know that he has none. But you, Dear friend, whose solemn self-control, In our foursquare familiar pew, Was pattern to my youth — whose bark Called me in summer dawns to rove —

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Those Emergency Blues: Favourite Poems LVIII: And You as Well Must Die, Belovèd Dust | Edna St. Vincent Millay

You sometimes forget about authors. They sort of fall out of your head. Expect more Millay in the future.

And You as Well Must Die, Belovèd Dust

And you as well must die, belovèd dust, And all your beauty stand you in no stead; This flawless, vital hand, this perfect head, This body of flame and steel, before the gust Of Death, or under his autumnal frost, Shall be as any leaf, be no less dead Than the first leaf that fell,this wonder fled, Altered, estranged, disintegrated, lost. Nor shall my love avail you in your hour. In spite of

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Those Emergency Blues: Favourite Poems LII

The execution of Sir Walter Raleigh. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Raleigh wrote this poem as he awaited execution, the victim of the wrath of a monarch and of some treacherous diplomatic expediency between England and Spain.

The Lie

Go, Soul, the body’s guest, Upon a thankless errand: Fear not to touch the best; The truth shall be thy warrant Go, since I needs must die, And give the world the lie.

Say to the court, it glows And shines like rotten wood; Say to the church, it shows What’s good, and doth no good: If church and court reply, Then give them

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Those Emergency Blues: A Poem for Easter

My own, with at least Easterish themes of death and rebirth. Originally published on 7/10/10.

VSA

You came to us, no vital signs, no breath Found dead, or nearly so, by the mall You last saw cars, careening carts, a child. Then falling, hard pavement, blood, a void empty Of consciousness when help came, skin mottled. (And paramedics glared and muttered Too late) But still by breaking bones your heart caressing Blood returned, with oxygen, drugs and life. No life did we see, but a purple face, (Though never we speak it, we thought Too Late,) V fib, we worked

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Those Emergency Blues: Favourite Poems LI

Easter in Pittsburgh

Even on Easter Sunday jungle of lilies and

ferns fat Uncle Paul who loved his liquor

so would pound away with both fists on the

when the church was a stone pulpit shouting

sin sin sin and the fiery fires of hell

and I cried all after- noon the first time I

heard what they did to Jesus it was something

the children shouldn’t know about till they

were older but the new maid told me and both

of us cried a lot and so mother got another one

right away & she sent away Miss Richardson

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Those Emergency Blues: Favourite Poems L

Yes, the fiftieth edition of Favourite Poems. You might wonder why a blog about nurses and nursing (and some other stuff, but mostly nursing) does poetry. The answer is simple: because nursing is far more than all the mundane tasks we need to do to care for our patients. Poetry by its nature forces you to think in a different way, better understand the human condition, ourselves and, yes, our patients. If I had my druthers, I would have a poem read before every shift — though my colleagues might object.

Anyway, a few short comical poems by Ogden Nash.

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Those Emergency Blues: Favourite Poems XLIX

Eight haiku by Matsuo Bashō, translated by R. K. Blyth. Wikipedia tells us the Shinto priesthood deified Basho in 1793, a sort of minor god of poetry, and for a time critical evaluation of his work was literally considered blasphemous.

1

Moonlight slants through The vast bamboo grove: A cuckoo cries

2

Ah, summer grasses! All that remains Of the warriors dreams.

3

Along this road Goes no one; This autumn evening.

4

From time to time The clouds give rest To the moon beholders.

5

The butterfly is perfuming It’s wings in the scent Of the orchid.

6

Yes, spring

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Those Emergency Blues: Favourite Poems XLVIII

In Winter in My Room

In Winter in my Room I came upon a Worm – Pink, lank and warm – But as he was a worm And worms presume Not quite with him at home – Secured him by a string To something neighboring And went along.

A Trifle afterward A thing occurred I’d not believe it if I heard But state with creeping blood – A snake with mottles rare Surveyed my chamber floor In feature as the worm before But ringed with power –

The very string with which I tied him — too When he was

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Those Emergency Blues: Favourite Poems XLVI

Winter Night

It snowed and snowed, the whole world over, Snow swept the world from end to end. A candle burned on the table; A candle burned.

As during summer midges swarm To beat their wings against a flame Out in the yard the snowflakes swarmed To beat against the window pane

The blizzard sculptured on the glass Designs of arrows and of whorls. A candle burned on the table; A candle burned.

Distorted shadows fell Upon the lighted ceiling: Shadows of crossed arms,of crossed legs- Of crossed destiny.

Two tiny shoes fell to the floor And thudded. A candle

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Those Emergency Blues: Favourite Poems XLV

An Old Man’s Winter Night

All out of doors looked darkly in at him Through the thin frost, almost in separate stars, That gathers on the pane in empty rooms. What kept his eyes from giving back the gaze Was the lamp tilted near them in his hand. What kept him from remembering what it was That brought him to that creaking room was age. He stood with barrels round him—at a loss. And having scared the cellar under him In clomping there, he scared it once again In clomping off;—and scared the outer night, Which has its sounds, familiar,

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Those Emergency Blues: Favourite Poems XLIV

To a Locomotive in Winter

Thee for my recitative, Thee in the driving storm even as now, the snow, the winter-day declining, Thee in thy panoply, thy measur’d dual throbbing and thy beat convulsive, Thy black cylindric body, golden brass and silvery steel, Thy ponderous side-bars, parallel and connecting rods, gyrating, shuttling at thy sides, Thy metrical, now swelling pant and roar, now tapering in the distance, Thy great protruding head-light fix’d in front, Thy long, pale, floating vapor-pennants, tinged with delicate purple, The dense and murky clouds out-belching from thy smoke-stack, Thy knitted frame, thy springs and valves, the

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Those Emergency Blues: Favourite Poems XLIII

Now Winter Nights Enlarge

Now winter nights enlarge The number of their hours, And clouds their storms discharge Upon the airy towers. Let now the chimneys blaze, And cups o’erflow with wine; Let well-tuned words amaze With harmony divine. yellow waxen lights Shall wait on honey love, While youthful revels, masques, and courtly sights Sleep’s leaden spells remove.

This time doth well dispense With lovers’ long discourse; Much speech hath some defence, Though beauty no remorse. All do not all things well; Some measures comely tread, Some knotted riddles tell, Some poems smoothly read. The summer hath his joys And

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Those Emergency Blues: Favourite Poems XLII

Two poems on the theme of Autumn. Autumn Valentine In May my heart was breaking- Oh, wide the wound, and deep! And bitter it beat at waking, And sore it split in sleep. And when it came November, I sought my heart, and sighed, “Poor thing, do you remember?” “What heart was that?” it cried. [...] . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Favourite Poems XLII

Those Emergency Blues: Favourite Poems XLI

She Walks in Beauty She walks in beauty, like the night Of cloudless climes and starry skies; And all that’s best of dark and bright Meet in her aspect and her eyes: Thus mellow’d to that tender light Which heaven to gaudy day denies. One shade the more, one ray the less, Had half impair’d [...] . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Favourite Poems XLI

Those Emergency Blues: Favourite Poems XL

For the fortieth poem in the series, something a little different. Okay, not seasonal, but what the hell. (The Simpsons’ classic version can be found here.) Filed under: Favourite Poems, Random Thoughts Tagged: Poe, poems, poetry . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Favourite Poems XL

Those Emergency Blues: Favourite Poems XXXIX

The story of how Coleridge came to write this famous poem is probably too well known to bear repeating (but nonetheless is found here, for example.) I have sometimes wondered if one could write a poem considered (maybe) one of the ten or twenty greatest in the English language intoxicated with opium; I know there [...] . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Favourite Poems XXXIX

Those Emergency Blues: Favourite Poems XXXVIII

Because everyone, even nurses, deserve poetry. Silent Noon Your hands lie open in the long fresh grass,– The finger-points look through like rosy blooms: Your eyes smile peace. The pasture gleams and glooms ‘Neath billowing skies that scatter and amass. All round our nest, far as the eye can pass, Are golden kingcup-fields with silver [...] . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Favourite Poems XXXVIII

Those Emergency Blues: A Poem for Victoria Day

By a poet hostile to her reign. “Good, you were good, we say,” he writes. “You had no wit to be evil.” Probably worth remembering on the commemoration of her birthday Victoria herself was not immune from controversy, and that debate on the value of monarchy is very old indeed. (No nursy or any other blog posts [...] . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: A Poem for Victoria Day