Archives For *Poetry*

 

William_Shakespeare

Yesterday (April 23) marked the birthday of William Shakespeare…
 
Here are a few of our favorite of his sonnets:

Download The Complete Series of Shakespeare’s Sonnets as a FREE ebook: For Kindle | A variety of other formats

 

Sonnet 147
William Shakespeare

My love is as a fever longing still,
For that which longer nurseth the disease,
Feeding on that which doth preserve the ill,
Th’ uncertain sickly appetite to please:
My reason the physician to my love,
Angry that his prescriptions are not kept
Hath left me, and I desperate now approve,
Desire is death, which physic did except.
Past cure I am, now reason is past care,
And frantic-mad with evermore unrest,
My thoughts and my discourse as mad men’s are,
At random from the truth vainly expressed.
For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright,
Who art as black as hell, as dark as night.

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Crocus

Today (March 20) is the first day of spring…
Here are a few of our favorite spring poems:

 

Another Spring

Christina Rossetti

If I might see another Spring
I’d not plant summer flowers and wait:
I’d have my crocuses at once,
My leafless pink mezereons,
My chill-veined snowdrops, choicer yet
My white or azure violet,
Leaf-nested primrose; anything
To blow at once not late.

If I might see another Spring
I’d listen to the daylight birds
That build their nests and pair and sing,
Nor wait for mateless nightingale;
I’d listen to the lusty herds,
The ewes with lambs as white as snow,
I’d find out music in the hail
And all the winds that blow.

If I might see another Spring–
O stinging comment on my past
That all my past results in “if”–
If I might see another Spring
I’d laugh to-day, to-day is brief;
I would not wait for anything:
I’d use to-day that cannot last,
Be glad to-day and sing.

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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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