by Leonard Cohen I Have Not Lingered In European Monasteries and discovered among the tall grasses tombs of knights who fell as beautifully as their ballads tell; I have not parted the grasses or purposefully left them thatched. I have … Continue reading →
Nearly two years ago, the poet and blogger Alan Sullivan died. His final project, a new translation of the Book of Psalms, has been published. The translation can be ordered here. His collaborator and advisor on this translation, Seree Zohar, was kind enough to send me a note to tell me this, and to gently correct my impression — as I wrote in my post about his death — that the work remained unfinished. Sullivan, in fact, completed the translation in the very last days of his life, and I am glad to make that correction.
More on Alan (Read more…)
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
. . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Favourite Poems LV: If You Forget Me
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 —
. . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Favourite Poems LVIV: The Curate Thinks You Have No Soul
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
. . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Favourite Poems LVIII: And You as Well Must Die, Belovèd Dust | Edna St. Vincent Millay
image source Invictus
Out of the night that covers me, Black as the Pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll. I am the master of my fate: I (Read more…)
My own, with at least Easterish themes of death and rebirth. Originally published on 7/10/10.
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
. . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: A Poem for Easter
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
. . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Favourite Poems LI
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.
. . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Favourite Poems L
image source An Almost Made Up Poem
I see you drinking at a fountain with tiny blue hands, no, your hands are not tiny they are small, and the fountain is in France where you wrote me that last letter and I answered and never heard from you again. you used to write insane poems about ANGELS AND GOD, all in upper case, and you knew famous artists and most of them were your lovers, and I wrote back, it’ all right, go ahead, enter their lives, I’ not jealous because we’ never met. we got close once in New (Read more…)
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
. . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Favourite Poems XLVIII
A poem for a Saturday morning. Just because.
O winter! bar thine adamantine doors: The north is thine; there hast thou built thy dark Deep-founded habitation. Shake not thy roofs Nor bend thy pillars with thine iron car.
He hears me not, but o’er the yawning deep Rides heavy; his storms are unchain’d, sheathed In ribbed steel; I dare not lift mine eyes; For he hath rear’d his sceptre o’er the world.
Lo! now the direful monster, whose skin clings To his strong bones, strides o’er the groaning rocks: He withers all in silence, and in his hand
. . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Favourite Poems LXVII
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
. . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Favourite Poems XLVI
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,
. . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Favourite Poems XLV
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
. . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Favourite Poems XLIV
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
. . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Favourite Poems XLIII
I am really pleased to offer another poem by Michèle Katrina Thorsen. I have a couple more to offer over the next while. my dreams of your recovery died waiting in windows, at last disbelieving the roar of medical swank; the unraveling, dazzling myth of an exquisite, impossible) remission. — Michèle Katrina Thorsen Filed under: Michèle [...] . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Poem for a Saturday
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
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
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
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
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
The Apocalypse having been postponed yet again — well, I tend to think sometimes we’re living it anyway. The Second Coming Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere [...] . . . → Read More: Those Emergency Blues: Favourite Poems XXXVII