Sunday, March 25, 2012

March / Camilla Doyle


Green triangles have come on the ground,
     Green fretted things that we shall see
Grown to wild parsley soon. The hens
     Are talking news excitedly.

Big dimples stay in the sparrows' fluff,
     They preen with such fine energy.
The very dust's alert. His songs
     The blackbird stirs from memory —

The prettiest one he knew last year
     Is still a soft uncertainty.
The catkins drip like honey spilt,
     The cock crows twice as frequently.

And the wind rises, tossing back
     The spring. "You'll like it more," says he,
"For twisting aside, like the blackbird's song,
     And vexing you with, 'Presently.'"

Camilla Doyle (1888-1944)
from Poems, 1923

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada]

Camilla Doyle biography

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Early Spring / John Clare

Early Spring

The Spring is come, and Spring flowers coming too,
    The crocus, patty kay, the rich hearts' ease;
The polyanthus peeps with blebs of dew,
    And daisy flowers; the buds swell on the trees;
    While oer the odd flowers swim grandfather bees
In the old homestead rests the cottage cow;
    The dogs sit on their haunches near the pail,
The least one to the stranger growls "bow wow,"
    Then hurries to the door and cocks his tail,
To knaw the unfinished bone; the placid cow
    Looks oer the gate; the thresher's lumping flail
Is all the noise the spring encounters now.

John Clare
from Poems Chiefly in Manuscript, 1920.

[Poem is in the public domain]

John Clare biography

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Winter / AE


A diamond glow of winter o'er the world;
Amid the chilly halo nigh the west
Flickers a phantom violet bloom unfurled
       Dim on the twilight's breast.

Only phantasmal blooms but for an hour,
A transient beauty; then the white stars shine
Chilling the heart: I long for thee to flower,
      O bud of light divine.

But never visible to sense or thought
The flower of Beauty blooms afar withdrawn;
If in our being then we know it not,
     Or, knowing, it is gone.

AE (George William Russell, 1867-1935)
from Collected Poems, 1913.

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

AE biography

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Lake Isle of Innisfree / W.B. Yeats

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

William Butler Yeats, 1888
from The Countess Kathleen, 1892

[All rights reserved by the author's estate - Please do not copy]

W.B. Yeats biography
Notes on The Lake Isle of Innisfree

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Winter in Durnover Field / Thomas Hardy

Winter in Durnover Field 

Scene.--A wide stretch of fallow ground recently sown with wheat, and frozen to iron hardness. Three large birds walking about thereon, and wistfully eyeing the surface. Wind keen from north-east: sky a dull grey.

Rook: Throughout the field I find no grain;
The cruel frost encrusts the cornland!
Starling: Aye: patient pecking now is vain
Throughout the field, I find . . .
Rook:                                                    No grain!
Pigeon: Nor will be, comrade, till it rain,
Or genial thawings loose the lorn land
Throughout the field.
Rook:                                I find no grain:
The cruel frost encrusts the cornland!

Thomas Hardy
from Poems of the Past and Present, 1901

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

Thomas Hardy biography

Saturday, March 10, 2012

March / Helen Hunt Jackson


Month which the warring ancients strangely styled
The month of war, – as if in their fierce ways
Were any month of peace! – in thy rough days
I find no war in Nature, though the wild
 Winds clash and clang, and broken boughs are piled
 As feet of writhing trees. The violets raise
 Their heads without affright, without amaze,
 And sleep through all the din, as sleeps a child.
 And he who watches well may well discern
 Sweet expectation in each living thing.
 Like pregnant mother the sweet earth doth yearn;
 In secret joy makes ready for the spring;
 And hidden, sacred, in her breast doth bear
 Annunciation lilies for the year.

Helen Hunt Jackson
from A Calendar of Sonnets, 1891

[Poem is in the public domain]

Helen Hunt Jackson biography

Friday, March 9, 2012

Penny's Top 20 / February 2012

Penny's Top 20

The most-visited poems on  The Penny Blog in February 2012:

  1.  Penny (or Penny's Hat), George Dance
  2.  Esthétique du Mal, Wallace Stevens 
  3.  Afterglow, George Dance
  4.  February, Helen Hunt Jackson
  5.  Whiteout, George Dance

  6.  The Reader, Wallace Stevens
  7.  Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction, Wallace Stevens
  8.  When Yon Full Moon, W.H. Davies
  9.  Songs, Demonspawn
10.  Wind and Silver, Amy Lowell

11.  The Huron Carol, trans. J. Edgar Middleton
12.  The Winter Fields, Charles G.D. Roberts
13.  Now winter nights enlarge, Thomas Campion
To Winter, Claude McKay 
November, F.W. Harvey 

Large Red Man Reading, Wallace Stevens 
Ballade of Tristram's Last Harping, Gertrude Bartlett 
18.  Last Week in October, Thomas Hardy
To February, Ethelwyn Wetherald 
20.  Afternoon in February, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Source: Blogger, "Stats"

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sea Lily / H.D.

Sea Lily

slashed and torn,
but doubly rich —
such great heads as yours
drift upon temple-steps,
but you are shattered
in the wind.

is flecked from you,
scales are dashed
from your stem,
sand cuts your petal,
furrows it with hard edge,
like flint
on a bright stone.

Yet though the whole wind
slash at your bark,
you are lifted up,
aye — though it hiss
to cover you with froth.

from Some Imagist Poets, 1915

[All rights reserved by the author's estate - Please do not copy]

H.D. biography

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The winter eve is clear and chill / Christopher Brennan

The winter eve is clear and chill;
the world of air is folded still;
the quiet hour expects the moon;
and yon my home awaits me soon
behind the panes that come and go
with dusk and firelight wavering low;
and I must bid the prompting cease
that bids me, in this charmed peace,
– as though the hour would last my will –
follow the roads and follow still
the dream that holds my heart in trance
and lures it to the fabled chance
to find, beyond these evening ways,
the morning and the woodland days
and meadows clear with gold, and you
as once, ere I might dare to woo.

Christopher Brennan, 1906
from Poems, 1913

[All rights reserved by the author's estate - Please do not copy]

Christopher Brennan biography