Friday, June 26, 2015

Denise Levertov / The Rights

Photo by Flor Garduño

The Rights

by Denise Levertov

I want to give you
something I’ve made

some words on a page-as if
to say ‘Here are some blue beads’

or, ‘Here’s a bright red leaf I found on
the sidewalk’ (because

to find is to choose, and choice
is made.)           But it’s difficult:

so far I’ve found
nothing but the wish to give. Or

copies of old words? Cheap
and cruel; also senseless:

this instead, perhaps--a half-
promise: If

I ever write a poem of a certain temper
         (willful, tender, evasive,
          sad & rakish)

I’ll give it to you.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Denise Levertov / What She Could Not Tell Him

What She Could Not Tell Him
by Denise Levertov

I wanted

 to know all the bones of your spine, all

 the pores of your skin,

 tendrils of body hair.

To let

all of my skin, my hands,

ankles, shoulders, breasts,

even my shadow,

be forever imprinted

with whatever of you

is forever unknown to me.

To cradle your sleep. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Edwin Arlington Robinson / Richard Cory

Richard Cory
Edwin Arlington Robinson
Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favored and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked,
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
“Good-morning," and he glittered when he walked.

And he was rich--yes, richer than a king--
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Edwin Arlington Robinson / The House on the Hill

The House on the Hill
by Edwin Arlington Robinson
They are all gone away,
   The House is shut and still,
There is nothing more to say.

Through broken walls and gray
   The winds blow bleak and shrill:
They are all gone away.

Nor is there one to-day
   To speak them good or ill:
There is nothing more to say.

Why is it then we stray
   Around the sunken sill?
They are all gone away,

And our poor fancy-play
   For them is wasted skill:
There is nothing more to say.

There is ruin and decay
   In the House on the Hill:
They are all gone away,
There is nothing more to say.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Edwin Arlinton Robinson / An Old Story

Photo by Karl Blossfeldt


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Edwin Arlington Robinson / A Happy Man


When these graven lines you see,
Traveller, do not pity me;
Though I be among the dead,
Let no mournful word be said.

Children that I leave behind,
And their children, all were kind;
Near to them and to my wife,
I was happy all my life.

My three sons I married right,
And their sons I rocked at night;
Death nor sorrow never brought
Cause for one unhappy thought.

Now, and with no need of tears,
Here they leave me, full of years,--
Leave me to my quiet rest
In the region of the blest.