Poem Of The Week

Just a collection of my favourite poems, put up weekly to share with others.

Week One.

January 1st 2017 – William Wordsworth, 536.Ode. Intimations of Immortality.

“With light upon him from his father’s eyes!
See, at his feet, some little plan or chart,
Shaped by himself with newly-learnèd art;
A wedding or a festival, A mourning or a funeral;
And this hath now his heart,
And unto this he frames his song:
Then will he fit his tongue
To dialogues of business, love, or strife;
But it will not be long”


Week Two.

January 8th 2017 – Sylvia Plath, Magnolia Shoals

“bow, and recover their look
of the imperishable
gardens in an antique book
or tapestries on a wall,
leaves behind us warp and lapse.
The late month withers, as well.”


Week Three.

January 15th 2017 – Mary Oliver, In Blackwater Woods

“you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it
to let it go.”


Week Four.

January 22nd 2017 – William Butler Yeats, The Second Coming

“Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.”


Week Five.

January 29th 2017 – The Raven, Edgar Allen Poe

“And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted—nevermore!”


Week Six.

February 5th 2017 – Forrest Gander, Abscess

“Jars incubate tomato plants. His mother sweeps the dirt
yard away from flowering vinca and bottle tree.
Straightens up, one-eyed by ragged hens. As her boy
ambles away to the steady pulse
in his skull.”


Week Seven.

February 12th 2017 – Christina Rossetti, Remember

“Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:

For if the darkness and corruption leave

A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
       Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.”


Week Eight.

February 19th 2017 – John Donne, A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning

“Moving of th’ earth brings harms and fears,
Men reckon what it did, and meant;

But trepidation of the spheres,
Though greater far, is innocent.

Dull sublunary lovers’ love
(Whose soul is sense) cannot admit

Absence, because it doth remove
Those things which elemented it.”


Week Nine.

February 26th 2017 – Trumbull Stickney, Loneliness

“These autumn gardens, russet, gray and brown,
The sward with shrivelled foliage strown,
The shrubs and trees
By weary wings of sunshine overflown
And timid silences,–

Since first you, darling, called my spirit yours,
Seem happy, and the gladness pours
From day to day,
And yester-year across this year endures
Unto next year away.”


Week Ten.

March 4th 2017 – Edgar Lee Masters, Lucinda Matlock

“At ninety-six I had lived enough, that is all,
And passed to a sweet repose.
What is this I hear of sorrow and weariness,
Anger, discontent and drooping hopes?
Degenerate sons and daughters,
Life is too strong for you —
It takes life to love Life.”


Week Eleven.

March 11th 2017 – Cole Swensen, Chaïm Soutine: The Errant Road

“In this case
can you say that a man is lost just because
you cannot distinguish him from the background.”


Week Twelve.

March 18th 2017 – Alice Dunbar-Nelson, Sonnet

“I had not thought of violets late,
The wild, shy kind that spring beneath your feet
In wistful April days, when lovers mate
And wander through the fields in raptures sweet.”


Week Thirteen.

March 25th 2017 – Linda Hogan, When The Body

“Still, think of the willows
made into a fence that began to root and leaf,
then tore off the wires as they grew.
A human does throw off bonds if she can, if she tries, if it’s possible,
the body so finely a miracle of its own, created of the elements
and anything that lived on earth where everything that was
still is.”


Week Fourteen.

April 1st 2017 – Dominique Christina, Chain Gang

“So you dig and
Pound and
Snatch and
Haul and
Scrape and
Lift and
Tote and


Week Fifteen.

April 8th 2017 – Pablo Neruda, If You Forget Me

“I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.”


Week Sixteen.

April 15th 2017 – Edgar Allen Poe, Imitation

“A dark unfathomed tide
Of interminable pride –
A mystery, and a dream,
Should my early life seem;
I say that dream was fraught
With a wild and waking thought
Of beings that have been,
Which my spirit hath not seen,
Had I let them pass me by,
With a dreaming eye!”


Week Seventeen.

April 22nd 2017 – William Butler Yeats, The Fisherman

“And the reality;
The living men that I hate,
The dead man that I loved,
The craven man in his seat,
The insolent unreproved,
And no knave brought to book
Who has won a drunken cheer,
The witty man and his joke
Aimed at the commonest ear,
The clever man who cries
The catch-cries of the clown,
The beating down of the wise
And great Art beaten down.”


Week Eighteen.

April 29th 2017 – Theodore Roethke, In A Dark Time

“A steady storm of correspondences!
A night flowing with birds, a ragged moon,
And in broad day the midnight come again!
A man goes far to find out what he is–
Death of the self in a long, tearless night,
All natural shapes blazing unnatural light.”



MAY 6TH 2017 – Evie Shockley, — Shall Become As —

You put this pen
in my hand and you
take the pen from
my hand. the night
before the full moon

the moon seems
full. what is missing
is a dark hungry
sickle, the sliver
of shadow eating

us up inside. after
the mountains breathe
their mint-and-sorrow
green against the long
summer sky, they burst



MAY 13TH 2017 – Robert Herrick, A Hymn To Love

No, no, I’ll be
In fetters free;
While others they sit wringing
Their hands for pain,
I’ll entertain
The wounds of love with singing.

With flowers and wine,
And cakes divine,
To strike me I will tempt thee;
Which done, no more
I’ll come before
Thee and thine altars empty.



MAY 20TH 2017 – Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Sometime During Eternity

They stretch him on the Tree to cool
And everybody after that
is always making models
of this Tree
with Him hung up
and always crooning His name
and calling Him to come down
and sit in
on their combo
as if he is THE king cat
who’s got to blow
or they can’t quite make it

Only he don’t come down
from His Tree

Him just hang there
on His Tree
looking real Petered out
and real cool
and also
according to a roundup
of late world news
from the usual unreliable sources
real dead



MAY 27TH 2017 – William Wordsworth, I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud (Daffodils)

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed- and gazed- but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.



JUNE 3RD 2017 – Brian Russell, Wild Silk

the meticulous work
it took to shape a pattern out of
patience wore down a continent’s

grasses into paths and passed
through dangerous terrain for what
for something so indisputably beautiful

you’d be willing to trade everything for it
you’d be willing to go to war to wear it
under your armor as close as anything

might get to your heart, it’s hard to believe
something so small so easy
to kill for even less could produce this dress
this red mess it makes of my senses



JUNE 10TH 2017 – Jillian Weise, Some Rights

Be something for sale
Be a strategy
Last fall was tough on us
Ask after me
Ask after me again
Small business owners
Big pharma
There are said to be 7000
   bodies buried under
   that university
If we write, it’s identity
If they write, it’s Reflections
on American Legacy

Those aren’t just letters
Punk a bunch of coffins



JUNE 17TH 2017 – Czesław Miłosz, Letter Beginning with Two Lines

I had one student
who opened a door and died. 

It was the front
door to his house, but

it could have been any door,
and the bullet could have written

any name. The shooter
was thirteen years old

and was aiming
at someone else. But

a bullet doesn’t care
about “aim,” it doesn’t

distinguish between
the innocent and the innocent,

and how was the bullet
supposed to know this

child would open the door
at the exact wrong moment



JUNE 24TH 2017 – Naomi Shihab Nye, All the Names We Will Not Know

Before dawn, trembling in air down to the old river,

circulating gently as a new season

delicate still in its softness, rustling raiment

of hopes never stitched tightly enough to any hour.

I was almost, maybe, just about, going to do that.

A girl’s thick dark hair, brushed over one shoulder

so regularly no one could imagine it not being there.

Hair as a monument.   Hovering – pitched.

Beloved sister, maker of plans, main branch,

we needed you desperately, where have you gone?