Tag Archives: Poetry

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, poet plus

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, a well renowned Victorian poet was born on March 6, 1806 in Durham, England, the eldest of 12 siblings, to a wealthy family. She is well known for many of her works, not the least of which being Sonnet 43, How do I love thee. 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 every day’s Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light. 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 […]

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Phillis Wheatley, first female black poet

Phillis Wheatley, the first known published female black poet in the United States, was born 1753 in West Africa.  In 1761, against her will she brought to New England and sold to John Wheatley of Boston.  The Wheatley’s, taking an interest in her education and her precocious nature, allowed her to learn to read and write, in which she became proficient by the age of nine.  Modelling her works after John Milton, Thomas Gray, and Alexander Pope, she began writing poetry at the age of thirteen.  Her first published poem “On the Death the Rev. Mr. George Whitefield” was published in many major cities including Boston, New York, Philadelphia and London.  Over the course of the next few years, she continued to print a number of such broadsides elegizing prominent British and colonial leaders. In 1771, at the suggestion of her doctor, she accompanied Nathalie Wheatley to London where she […]

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To Posterity by Bertolt Brecht

1. Indeed I live in the dark ages! A guileless word is an absurdity. A smooth forehead betokens A hard heart. He who laughs Has not yet heard The terrible tidings. Ah, what an age it is When to speak of trees is almost a crime For it is a kind of silence about injustice! And he who walks calmly across the street, Is he not out of reach of his friends In trouble? It is true: I earn my living But, believe me, it is only an accident. Nothing that I do entitles me to eat my fill. By chance I was spared. (If my luck leaves me I am lost.) They tell me: eat and drink. Be glad you have it! But how can I eat and drink When my food is snatched from the hungry And my glass of water belongs to the thirsty? And yet I […]

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Two poems for the road

The Road Not Takenby Robert Frost TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,And sorry I could not travel bothAnd be one traveler, long I stoodAnd looked down one as far as I couldTo where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair,And having perhaps the better claim,Because it was grassy and wanted wear;Though as for that the passing thereHad worn them really about the same, And both that morning equally layIn leaves no step had trodden black.Oh, I kept the first for another day!Yet knowing how way leads on to way,I doubted if I should ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sighSomewhere ages and ages hence:Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by,And that has made all the difference. Ifby Rudyard Kipling If you can keep your head when all about youAre losing theirs and blaming it […]

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“Museum Piece” by Hayden Carruth

One of the things I love most about reading literary non-fiction is that the works become cryptic maps to other great works.  Thanks to Wendell Berry (WHAT ARE People FOR?, (1990)) for the introduction. I’ve only just started exploring his works, but this one touched me deeply this morning.  Good poetry does that…touches you where you don’t know you are raw. Museum Piece The eye that made this saw no pallor,But golden and blue paint;Now on the dry wood the colorIs tenuous and faint. Yet under the scratches our close studyRetrieves for our curious eyesGod raising the small from the larger body,And there the new Eve lies. Would we smile fondly in our pride?Ours is a long descent,Worked in the flesh of a tiny brideScarce fit for ravishment, And she, discovering she was woman,Measured her strength of will,By which we estimate the humanAnd sorrow and courage still. But listen.  Beneath the […]

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