Sunday, April 28, 2013

In Just-spring / E.E. Cummings

from Chansons Innocentes


in Just-
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles far and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far and  wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and


balloonMan whistles

E.E. Cummings, 1920
from Tulips and Chimneys, 1923

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

E.E. Cummings biography

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Piping Mountainy Man / Edward J. O'Brien

The Piping Mountainy Man

To Josephine Peabody Marks.
As I came over the April hills
And over the April plain,
I saw a twinkle of white-limbed boys
In a shower of April rain.

A drift of shining fair-limbed boys
In the light of an April shower
Were dancing around a mountainy man
Like the petals of a flower.

A wind came over the April hills
And over the April rain;
The sunlight laughed from an April cloud
And the Spring laughed back again.

The mountainy man arose and piped
A skirling on the wind,
And the drift of shining white-limbed boys
Came skipping along behind.

They followed him over the meadows,
And sang by the running rills,
And danced with him in the sunlight,
And laughed with him on the hills,

Till they came to the edge of the ocean,
And ran to the end of the lea,
Where they dance on the rippling waters,
And run on the sands of the sea.

Edward J. O'Brien
from White Fountain: Odes and lyrics, 1917

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

Edward J. O'Brien biography

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Lines Written in Early Spring / William Wordsworth

Lines Written in Early Spring

I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.

To her fair works did nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it griev'd my heart to think
What man has made of man.

Through primrose-tufts, in that sweet bower,
The periwinkle trail'd its wreathes;
And 'tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.

The birds around me hopp'd and play'd:
Their thoughts I cannot measure,
But the least motion which they made,
It seem'd a thrill of pleasure.

The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.

If I these thoughts may not prevent,
If such be of my creed the plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?

William Wordsworth
from Lyrical Ballads, 1798

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Saturday, April 20, 2013

April / John Clare


Now infant April joins the Spring,
   And views the watery sky,
As youngling linnet tries its wing,
   And fears at first to fly;
With timid step she ventures on,
   And hardly dares to smile,
Till blossoms open one by one,
   And sunny hours beguile.

But finer days are coming yet,
   With scenes more sweet to charm,                  
And suns arrive that rise and set
   Bright strangers to a storm:
Then, as the birds with louder song
   Each morning’s glory cheer,
With bolder step she speeds along,
   And loses all her fear.

In wanton gambols, like a child,
   She tends her early toils,
And seeks the buds along the wild,
   That blossoms while she smiles;                    
Or, laughing on, with nought to chide,
   She races with the Hours,
Or sports by Nature’s lovely side,
   And fills her lap with flowers.

The shepherd on his pasture walks
   The first fair cowslip finds,
Whose tufted flowers, on slender stalks,
   Keep nodding to the winds.
And though the thorns withhold the May,
   Their shades the violets bring.                    
Which children stoop for in their play
   As tokens of the Spring.

Those joys which childhood calls its own,
   Would they were kin to men!
Those treasures to the world unknown,
   When known, are wither’d then!
But hovering round our growing years,
   To gild Care’s sable shroud,
Their spirit through the gloom appears
   As suns behind a cloud.      
Since thou didst meet my infant eyes,
   As through the fields I flew,
Whose distance, where they meet the skies,
   Was all the world I knew;
That warmth of Fancy’s wildest hours,
   Which fill’d all things with life,
Which heard a voice in trees and flowers,
   Has swoon’d in Reason’s strife.

Sweet Month! thy pleasures bid thee be
   The fairest child of Spring;                      
And every hour, that comes with thee,
   Comes some new joy to bring:
The trees still deepen in their bloom,
   Grass greens the meadow-lands,
And flowers with every morning come,
   As dropt by fairy hands.

The field and garden’s lovely hours
   Begin and end with thee;
For what’s so sweet, as peeping flowers
   And bursting buds to see,                          
What time the dew’s unsullied drops,
   In burnish’d gold, distil
On crocus flowers’ unclosing tops,
   And drooping daffodil?

To see thee come, all hearts rejoice;
   And, warm with feelings strong,
With thee all Nature finds a voice,
   And hums a waking song.
The lover views thy welcome hours,
   And thinks of summer come,                        
And takes the maid thy early flowers,
   To tempt her steps from home.

Along each hedge and sprouting bush
   The singing birds are blest,
And linnet green and speckled thrush
   Prepare their mossy nest;
On the warm bed thy plains supply,
   The young lambs find repose,
And ’mid thy green hills basking lie
   Like spots of ling’ring snows.
Thy open’d leaves and ripen’d buds
   The cuckoo makes his choice,
And shepherds in thy greening woods
   First hear his cheering voice:
And to thy ripen’d blooming bowers
   The nightingale belongs;
And, singing to thy parting hours,
   Keeps night awake with songs!

With thee the swallow dares to come,
   And cool his sultry wing;                          
And, urged to seek his yearly home,
   Thy suns the martin bring.
Oh! lovely Month! be leisure mine
   Thy yearly mate to be;
Though May-day scenes may brighter shine,
   Their birth belongs to thee.

I waked me with thy rising sun,
   And thy first glories viewed,
And, as thy welcome hours begun,
   Their sunny steps pursued.                        
And now thy sun is on thee set,
   Like to a lovely eve,
I view thy parting with regret,
   And linger loth to leave.—

Though at her birth the northern gale
   Come with its withering sigh;
And hopeful blossoms, turning pale,
   Upon her bosom die;
Ere April seeks another place,
   And ends her reign in this,                        
She leaves us with as fair a face
   As e’er gave birth to bliss!

John Clare
from The Shepherd's Calendar, 1827

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Read The Shepherd's Calendar complete
John Clare biography

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Spring Floods / Arthur Stringer

Spring Floods

You stood alone
In the dusky window,
Watching the racing river.
Touched with a vague unrest,
And if tired of loving too much
More troubled at heart to find
That the flame of love could wither
And the wonder of love could pass,
You kneeled at the window-ledge
And stared through the black-topped maples
Where an April robin fluted,–
Stared idly out
At the flood-time sweep of the river,
Silver and paling gold
In the ghostly April twilight.

Shadowy there in the dusk
You watched with shadowy eyes
The racing, sad, unreasoning
Hurrying torrent of silver
Seeking its far-off sea.
Faintly I heard you sigh,
And faintly I heard the robin's flute,
And faintly from rooms remote
Came a broken murmur of voice.
And life, for a breath, stood bathed
In a wonder crowned with pain,
And immortal the moment hung;
And I know that the thought of you
There at the shadowy window,
And the matted black of the maples,
And the sunset call of a bird,
And the sad wide reaches of silver,
Will house in my haunted heart
Till the end of Time!

Arthur Stringer
from Open Water, 1914

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

Arthur Stringer biography

Saturday, April 13, 2013

In Spring / Aline Kilmer

In Spring

I do not know which is worse when you are away:
    Long grey days with the lisping sound of the rain
And when the lilac dusk is beginning to fall
    The thought that perhaps you may never come back again;

Or days when the world is a shimmer of blue and gold,
    Sparkling newly in all the dear spring weather,
When with a heart that is torn apart by pain
    I walk alone in ways that we went together.

Aline Kilmer
from Candles that Burn, 1919

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

Aline Kilmer biography

Sunday, April 7, 2013

When Spring comes on / Charles Leonard Moore


But when resistless, royal Spring comes on,
I have no need for thee, no, none at all;
The distant echo of her herald horn
Swells in my breast and drowns all other call.
The first, faint token of her presence told,
As, grass new-bladed on some margin field,
Arbutus breaking from its leafy mould,
Or crocus peering from some stony shield,
These lay the ghosts that threaten in my thought,
And bid dreams vanish and the senses live,
And bring my bride to me, the Spring, long sought,
Who swears and kisses and is fugitive,
     Spring, who makes quick the streams and trees and birds
     And put the eloquence in mortal words.

Charles Leonard Moore
from Book of Day-Dreams, 1888

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

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Spring Returns! / Charles Leonard Moore


The Spring returns!  What matters then that War
On the horizon like a beacon burns,
That Death ascends, man's most desired star,
That Darkness is his hope?  The Spring returns!
Triumphant through the wider-arched cope
She comes, she comes, unto her tyranny,
And at her coronation are set ope
The prisons of the mind, and man is free!
The beggar-garbed or over-bent with snows,
Each mortal, long defeated, disallowed,
Feeling her touch, grows stronger limbed, and knows
The purple on his shoulders and is proud.
     The Spring returns!  O madness beyond sense,
     Breed in our bones thine own omnipotence!

Charles Leonard Moore
from Book of Day-Dreams, 1888

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

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Penny's Top 20 / March 2013

Penny's Top 20
The most-visited poems on  The Penny Blog in March 2013:

  1.  Penny (or Penny's Hat), George Dance
  2.  Esthétique du Mal, Wallace Stevens
  3.  Dead or Alive / Clay Dreams, R.K. Singh
  4.  Mars & Avril, George Dance
  5.  Autumn, T.E. Hulme
The Blue Heron, Theodore Goodridge Roberts
Large Red Man Reading, Wallace Stevens
  8.  End of Winter in Long Island, Marjory Nicholls

  9.  Wind and Silver, Amy Lowell

10.  A City Sunset, T.E. Hulme

11.  The Winters are so short, Emily Dickinson

12.  March, John Clare
13.  Bird Cage / Cage d'oiseauHector de Saint-Denys Garneau
Accompaniment / Accompagnement, Hector de Saint-Denys Garneau
15.  In Memoriam (Easter, 1915), Edward Thomas
16.  The Poems of Our Climate, Wallace Stevens

17.  The Donkey, G.K. Chesterton

18.  Before Spring, Alice Duer Miller

19.  A March Day in London, Amy Levy

20.  For the Fallen, Laurence Binyon

Source: Blogger, "Stats"