Sunday, March 18, 2018

Spring's Immortality / Mackenzie Bell

Spring's Immortality

The buds awake at touch of Spring
  From Winter’s joyless dream;
From many a stone the ouzels sing
  By yonder mossy stream.

The cuckoo’s voice, from copse and vale,      
  Lingers, as if to meet
The music of the nightingale
  Across the rising wheat —

The bird whom ancient Solitude
  Hath kept forever young,    
Unaltered since in studious mood
  Calm Milton mused and sung.

Ah, strange it is, dear heart, to know
  Spring’s gladsome mystery
Was sweet to lovers long ago —      
  Most sweet to such as we —

That fresh new leaves and meadow flowers
  Bloomed when the south wind came;
While hands of Spring caressed the bowers,
  The throstle sang the same.      

Unchanged, unchanged the throstle’s song,
  Unchanged Spring’s answering breath,
Unchanged, though cruel Time was strong,
  And stilled our love in death.

Mackenzie Bell (1856-1930)
from Spring's Immortality, and other poems, 1893

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada, the United States, and the European Union]

Saturday, March 17, 2018

There Will Come Soft Rains / Sara Teasdale

There Will Come Soft Rains

(For war time)

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white,

Robins will wear their feathery fire
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.

Sara Teasdale (1884-1933), 1918
from Flame and Shadow, 1920

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada, the United States, and the European Union]

Sara Teasdale biography

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Green Boughs / Frank Pearce Sturm

Green Boughs

Dark boughs of trees are reawakening,
A ripple of shadowy green moves on the earth,
A light wind lifts the boughs, the wind of birth,
Blowing to bud the tremulous flames of Spring.

Music of youth, fill the green earth, the grey sea;
White plover, cry your low, sweet-throated cry;
And be you silent, voices of prophecy,–
I remember, too, when it was spring with me.

Frank Pearce Sturm (1879-1942)
from An Hour of Reverie, 1905

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada, the United States, and the European Union]

Frank Pearce Sturm biography

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Heart Winter / James Lewis Milligan

Heart Winter

I know that Spring will soon be here again,
     Her vital breath pervades the morning air;
Old Winter soon shall end his ruthless reign,
     And all the world, as ever, shall be fair:

But what avails the coming of the Spring?
     Can she the Winter's ravages repay?
What though the sun shall garnish everything,
     And Summer robe the world in raiment gay?

Still in my heart shall Winter reign supreme,
     Bleak winds of woe shall wail about my soul;
Fast lock'd in ice shall be joy's laughing stream,
     And I shall huddle o'er hope's meagre coal!

For Death has hid thy glory from my sight,
Who wert my only source of warmth and light!

James Lewis Milligan (1876-1961)
from Songs in Time's Despite, 1910

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada and the United States]

James Lewis Milligan biography

Sunday, March 4, 2018

The Conjurer / George J. Dance

The Conjurer

   First I will conjure autumn,
   To turn the green to brown.
The birds and beasts shall disappear
   And every leaf drop down.

   Then I will conjure winter,
   To turn the brown to white,
To lock you in a frozen waste
   Of dark, deep, deadly night,

   Surrounded by the blackness,
   The only living thing;
Till you repent, and call to me,
   And I will conjure spring.

George J. Dance

[All rights reserved - used with permission]

George J. Dance biography

Friday, March 2, 2018

Penny's Top 20 / February 2018

Penny's Top 20
The most-visited poems on  The Penny Blog in January 2018:

  1.  Twice a week the winter thorough, A.E. Housman
  2.  Esthetique du Mal, Wallace Stevens
  3.  The Brook in February, Charles G.D. Roberts
  4.  Because, one night, my soul reached out, G.K. Chettur
  5.  Song of the Ski, Wilson MacDonald
  6.  Ode to Sport, Pierre de Coubertin
  7.  February, William Morris
  8.  Winter Night, John Reed
  9.  Waking in Winter, Sylvia Plath

10.  Premonition, George J. Dance

11.  The Reader, Wallace Stevens
12.  Cynara, Ernest Dowson
13.  A Miracle, George J. Dance
14.  Lana Turner has collapsed!, Frank O'Hara
15.  Card Game, Frank Prewitt
16.  There Was a Time, George J. Dance
17.  Penny, or Penny's Hat, George J. Dance  
18.  The Unnamed Lake, Frederick George Scott
19.  Autumn, T.E. Hulme
20.  Lucky Penny, George J. Dance

Source: Blogger, "Stats"

Sunday, February 25, 2018

The Brook in February / Charles G.D. Roberts

The Brook in February

A snowy path for squirrel and fox,
    It winds between the wintry firs.
Snow-muffled are its iron rocks,
    And o’er its stillness nothing stirs.

But low, bend low a listening ear!
    Beneath the mask of moveless white
A babbling whisper you shall hear
    Of birds and blossoms, leaves and light.

Charles G.D. Roberts (1860-1943)
from The Book of the Native, 1896

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada, the United States, and the European Union]

Charles G.D. Roberts biography