Archives For *Poetry*

 

George_Herbert

Today (Feb. 27) is the Feast Day of George Herbert in the Anglican Church…
Here are a few of our favorite poems of his:

 

Life

George Herbert

I made a posy, while the day ran by:
“Here will I smell my remnant out, and tie
                           My life within this band.”
But Time did beckon to the flowers, and they
By noon most cunningly did steal away,
                           And withered in my hand.

 

My hand was next to them, and then my heart;
I took, without more thinking, in good part
                           Time’s gentle admonition;
Who did so sweetly death’s sad taste convey,
Making my mind to smell my fatal day,
                           Yet, sug’ring the suspicion.

 

Farewell dear flowers, sweetly your time ye spent,
Fit, while ye lived, for smell or ornament,
                           And after death for cures.
I follow straight without complaints or grief,
Since, if my scent be good, I care not if
                           It be as short as yours.

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John Henry Newman

Tomorrow (Feb. 21) is the birthday of Cardinal John Henry Newman…
Here are a few of our favorite poems of his:

 

The Sign of the Cross

John Henry Newman

WHENE’ER across this sinful flesh of mine
I draw the Holy Sign,
All good thoughts stir within me, and renew
Their slumbering strength divine;
Till there springs up a courage high and true
To suffer and to do.

And who shall say, but hateful spirits around,
For their brief hour unbound,
Shudder to see, and wail their overthrow?
While on far heathen ground
Some lonely Saint hails the fresh odor, though
Its source he cannot know.
 

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Springtime_by_Pierre-August_Cot

Here are a few of our favorite love poems for Valentine’s Day:

All of these poems can be found in
Great Love Poems (Dover Thrift Editions)

(a 99c Bargain Kindle ebook!)

 

How Do I Love Thee?
(Sonnet 43)

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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 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.

 

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IMAGE CREDIT: Springtime by Pierre-August Cot
(via Wikimedia Commons)

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Mary Oliver

The poet Mary Oliver, 79, was recently interviewed for On Being.

As part of that interview, she read five poems that were recorded, and are now available as MP3′s to stream or download!!!

We are delighted to share these poems here with you for your weekend listening pleasure…

CLICK HERE to listen to the full episode…

“Wild Geese”

(Found in the collection: Dream Work [ PRINT | KINDLE ] )

 
 
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Robert Frost

Yesterday marked the anniversary of Robert Frost’s death in 1963.

In remembrance of Robert Frost, we offer five lesser known poems of his that we love…

*** Several FREE Ebooks and Audiobooks ***
by Robert Frost!

A TIME TO TALK
Robert Frost

 

When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don’t stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven’t hoed,
And shout from where I am, What is it?
No, not as there is a time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.

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Ernesto Cardenal

Today marks the 90th birthday of Nicaraguan poet Ernesto Cardenal…

Reviewing Pluriverse, the most through collection of his poems in English translation, Brent Aldrich described Cardenal as “[A] man who has been, at various times, a Catholic priest, a Sandinista revolutionary, Minister of Culture, and a contemplative after living as a novitiate under Thomas Merton.” [ This review is a great intro to Cardenal’s work! ]

In honor of Cardenal’s 90th birthday, we offer three videos that together offer a nice introduction to his poetry. The first video is a PBS interview, the second two videos are of him reading poems.

 

PBS Interview:




 

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Paul MuldoonFound this brief clip of Irish poet Paul Muldoon talking about why we have such a difficult time with poetry.

 

Paul Muldoon’s new collection of poems is:

One Thousand Things Worth Knowing: Poems

Hardback: FSG, 2015
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

*** One of our New Book Releases to Watch for this week!
 

“The fact of the matter is that most of us have a really bad time with poetry. For most of us, it begins in high school, if not earlier. “

 
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St. Stephen Today is the Feast of St. Stephen, whose story is told in Acts 6:8-8:2

 
 
Here is a poem of uncertain medieval origin for the occasion.

(This version in modern English is from The Oxford Book of Ballads, Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed., 1910)
 
 
 
 

St. Stephen and King Herod.

I

SAINT STEPHEN was a clerk
In King Herod’s hall,
And servéd him of bread and cloth
As every king befall.
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Christian WimanA poignant poem from Christian Wiman’s new collection:

Once in the West: Poems

Hardback: FSG Books, 2014
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

*** Reviewed by Jon M. Sweeney in
our Fall print issue… Are you a subscriber?

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Mary Oliver

This is a new weekly feature where we highlight 3 poems from a recent collection of poetry.

If you struggle to read poetry, I recommend checking out this little essay I wrote on why poetry is important.

“Like a rich and carefully crafted dessert, one must savor a poem in order to enjoy it fully—its images, its context, its sounds. A good poem is hospitable, inviting us to sit for awhile and enter into a conversation. Poetry, however, does not come naturally for us in our times; it is a discipline to which we must commit ourselves.”

This week’s collection of poems is:

Blue Horses: Poems

Mary Oliver

Hardback: The Penguin Press, 2014
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

 

Poem #1: What I Can Do

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