Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Rondeau by Jessie Redmon Fauset


When April's here and meadows wide
Once more with spring's sweet growths are pied
I close each book, drop each pursuit,
And past the brook, no longer mute,
I joyous roam the countryside.

Look, here the violets shy abide
And there the mating robins hide-
How keen my sense, how acute,
When April's here!

And list! down where the shimmering tide
Hard by that farthest hill doth glide,
Rise faint strains from shepherd's flute,
Pan's pipes and Berecyntian lute.
Each sight, each sound fresh joys provide
When April's here.

- Jessie Redmon Fauset


Monday, April 27, 2015

A Summer Love Poem by Nikki Giovanni

A Summer Love Poem
Clouds float by on a summer sky
I hop scotch over to you
Rainbows arch from ground to gold
I climb over to you
Thunder grumbles, lightning tumbles
And I bounce over to you
Sun beams back and catches me
Smiling over at you

- Nikki Giovanni


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Happy Shakespeare Day

Happy Thursday, my friends. I hope you are enjoying Poetry month here. It has been a treat to share poems that I love and new ones that delighted me. Today is also Shakespeare Day aka Shakespeare's Birthday.

I have talked about good old Will before here. And how I adore his sonnets. Today, I'm going to share not one of poems, one of his pieces from one of his most famous plays: Romeo and Juliet. I love Juliet's speech .

It is a beautiful piece full of longing, desire and love. This is from Act 3, scene 2. Here is Juliet's speech read by me. I know some of Juliet's speech, not all of it. I did this spontaneously, I hope you all enjoy it.

Here is the text below to follow along.

Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds,
Towards Phoebus’ lodging: such a wagoner
As Phaethon would whip you to the west,
And bring in cloudy night immediately.
Spread thy close curtain, love-performing night,
That runaway’s eyes may wink and Romeo
Leap to these arms, untalk’d of and unseen.
Lovers can see to do their amorous rites
By their own beauties; or, if love be blind,
It best agrees with night. Come, civil night,
Thou sober-suited matron, all in black,
And learn me how to lose a winning match,
Play’d for a pair of stainless maidenhoods:
Hood my unmann’d blood, bating in my cheeks,
With thy black mantle; till strange love, grown bold,
Think true love acted simple modesty.
Come, night; come, Romeo; come, thou day in night;
For thou wilt lie upon the wings of night
Whiter than new snow on a raven’s back.
Come, gentle night, come, loving, black-brow’d night,
Give me my Romeo; and, when he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun.
O, I have bought the mansion of a love,
But not possess’d it, and, though I am sold,
Not yet enjoy’d: so tedious is this day
As is the night before some festival
To an impatient child that hath new robes
And may not wear them. O, here comes my nurse,
And she brings news; and every tongue that speaks
But Romeo’s name speaks heavenly eloquence.

PS. I know some people are having trouble hearing the audio, click on the word Juliet here. This should work hopefully


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Like the Sweet Apple by Sappho

Like the sweet apple that reddens
At end of the bough--
Far end of the bough--
Left by the gatherer's swaying,
Forgotten, so thou.
Nay, not forgotten, ungotten,
Ungathered (till now).


Monday, April 20, 2015

Song of the Open Road by Walt Whitman

From the ‘Song of the Open Road’

From this hour I ordain myself loos’d of limits and imaginary lines,
Going where I list, my own master total and absolute,
Listening to others, considering well what they say,
Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating,
Gently,but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me.
I inhale great draughts of space,
The east and the west are mine, and the north and the south are mine.

I am larger, better than I thought,
I did not know I held so much goodness.

All seems beautiful to me,
I can repeat over to men and women You have done such good to me I would do the same to you,
I will recruit for myself and you as I go,
I will scatter myself among men and women as I go,
I will toss a new gladness and roughness among them,
Whoever denies me it shall not trouble me,
Whoever accepts me he or she shall be blessed and shall bless me.


Friday, April 17, 2015

The Pool by HD (Hilda Doolittle)

The Pool by HD (Hilda Doolittle)

Are you alive?
I touch you.
You quiver like a sea-fish.
I cover you with my net.
What are you - banded one?


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Canary Poem by Rita Dove

Billie Holiday's burned voice
had as many shadows as lights,
a mournful candelabra against a sleek piano,
the gardenia her signature under that ruined face.

(Now you're cooking, drummer to bass,
magic spoon, magic needle.
Take all day if you have to
with your mirror and your bracelet of song.)
Fact is, the invention of women under siege
has been to sharpen love in the service of myth.
If you can't be free, be a mystery.
- Rita Dove