Sunday, May 26, 2013

May Evening in Central Park / Amy Lowell


May Evening in Central Park

Lines of lamp-light
Splinter the black water,
And all through
The dim park
Are lamps      
Hanging among the trees.
But they are only like fire-flies
Pricking the darkness,
And I lean my body against it
And spread out my fingers    
To let it drift through them.
I am a swimmer
In the damp night,
Or a bird
Floating over the sucking grasses.    
I am a lover
Tracking the silver foot-prints
Of the moon.
I am a young man,
In Central Park,    
With Spring
Bursting over me.

The trees push out their young leaves,
Although this is not the country;
And I whisper beautiful, hot words,    
Although I am alone,
And a few more steps
Will bring me
The glare and suffocation
Of bright streets.      

~~
Amy Lowell
from Poetry, September 1915

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

Amy Lowell biography

Saturday, May 25, 2013

May / John Clare


May

Come, Queen of Months! in company
With all thy merry minstrelsy:—
The restless cuckoo, absent long,
And twittering swallows’ chimney-song;
With hedge-row crickets’ notes, that run
From every bank that fronts the sun;
And swarthy bees, about the grass,
That stop with every bloom they pass,
And every minute, every hour,
Keep teazing weeds that wear a flower;                
And Toil, and Childhood’s humming joys!
For there is music in the noise
When village children, wild for sport,
In school-time’s leisure, ever short,
Alternate catch the bounding ball;
Or run along the church-yard wall,
Capp’d with rude figured slabs, whose claims
In time’s bad memory have no names;
Or race around the nooky church;
Or raise loud echoes in the porch;                    
Throw pebbles o’er the weather-cock,
Viewing with jealous eyes the clock;
Or leap o’er grave-stones’ leaning heights,
Uncheck’d by melancholy sights,
Though green grass swells in many a heap
Where kin, and friends, and parents sleep.
They think not, in their jovial cry,
The time will come, when they shall lie
As lowly and as still as they;
While other boys above them play,                      
Heedless, as they are now, to know
The unconscious dust that lies below.

   The driving boy, beside his team,
Of May-month’s beauty now will dream,
And cock his hat, and turn his eye
On flower, and tree, and deepening sky;
And oft burst loud in fits of song,
And whistle as he reels along;
Cracking his whip in starts of joy —
A happy, dirty, driving boy.                          
The youth, who leaves his corner stool
Betimes for neighbouring village-school,
Where, as a mark to guide him right,
The church spire’s all the way in sight,
With cheerings from his parents given,
Beneath the joyous smiles of Heaven
Saunters, with many an idle stand,
With satchel swinging in his hand,
And gazes, as he passes by,
On every thing that meets his eye.                    
Young lambs seem tempting him to play,
Dancing and bleating in his way;
With trembling tails and pointed ears
They follow him, and lose their fears;
He smiles upon their sunny faces,
And fain would join their happy races.
The birds, that sing on bush and tree,
Seem chirping for his company;—
And all — in fancy’s idle whim —
Seem keeping holiday, but him.                        
He lolls upon each resting stile,
To see the fields so sweetly smile —
To see the wheat grow green and long;
And lists the weeder’s toiling song,
Or short note of the changing thrush
Above him in the white-thorn bush,
That o’er the leaning stile bends low
Its blooming mockery of snow.

   Each hedge is cover’d thick with green;
And where the hedger late hath been,                  
Young tender shoots begin to grow
From out the mossy stumps below.
But woodmen still on Spring intrude,
And thin the shadow’s solitude;
With sharpen’d axes felling down
The oak-trees budding into brown,
Which, as they crash upon the ground,
A crowd of labourers gather round.
These, mixing ’mong the shadows dark,
Rip off the crackling, staining bark;                  
Depriving yearly, when they come,
The green woodpecker of his home,
Who early in the Spring began,
Far from the sight of troubling man,
To bore his round holes in each tree
In fancy’s sweet security;
Now, startled by the woodman’s noise,
He wakes from all his dreary joys.
The blue-bells too, that thickly bloom
Where man was never known to come;                    
And stooping lilies of the valley,
That love with shades and dews to dally,
And bending droop on slender threads,
With broad hood-leaves above their heads,
Like white-robed maids, in summer hours,
Beneath umbrellas shunning showers;—
These, from the bark-men’s crushing treads,
Oft perish in their blooming beds.
Stripp’d of its boughs and bark, in white
The trunk shines in the mellow light                  
Beneath the green surviving trees,
That wave above it in the breeze,
And, waking whispers, slowly bend,
As if they mourn’d their fallen friend.

   Each morning, now, the weeders meet
To cut the thistle from the wheat,
And ruin, in the sunny hours,
Full many a wild weed with its flowers;—
Corn-poppies, that in crimson dwell,
Call’d “Head-aches,” from their sickly smell;        
And charlocks, yellow as the sun,
That o’er the May-fields quickly run;
And “Iron-weed,” content to share
The meanest spot that Spring can spare —
E’en roads, where danger hourly comes,
Are not without its purple blooms,
Whose leaves, with threat’ning thistles round
Thick set, that have no strength to wound,
Shrink into childhood’s eager hold
Like hair; and, with its eye of gold                  
And scarlet-starry points of flowers,
Pimpernel, dreading nights and showers,
Oft call’d “the Shepherd’s Weather-glass,”
That sleeps till suns have dried the grass,
Then wakes, and spreads its creeping bloom
Till clouds with threatening shadows come —
Then close it shuts to sleep again:
Which weeders see, and talk of rain;
And boys, that mark them shut so soon,
Call “John that goes to bed at noon:”                  
And fumitory too — a name
That Superstition holds to fame —
Whose red and purple mottled flowers
Are cropp’d by maids in weeding hours,
To boil in water, milk, and whey,
For washes on a holiday,
To make their beauty fair and sleek,
And scare the tan from Summer’s cheek;
And simple small “Forget-me-not,”
Eyed with a pin’s-head yellow spot                    
I’ the middle of its tender blue,
That gains from poets notice due:—
These flowers, that toil by crowds destroys,
Robbing them of their lowly joys,
Had met the May with hopes as sweet
As those her suns in gardens meet;
And oft the dame will feel inclined,
As Childhood’s memory comes to mind,
To turn her hook away, and spare
The blooms it loved to gather there!                  
— Now young girls whisper things of love,
And from the old dames’ hearing move;
Oft making “love-knots” in the shade,
Of blue-green oat or wheaten blade;
Or, trying simple charms and spells
Which rural Superstition tells,
They pull the little blossom threads
From out the knotweed’s button heads,
And put the husk, with many a smile,
In their white bosoms for a while,—
Then, if they guess aright the swain
Their loves’ sweet fancies try to gain,
’Tis said, that ere it lies an hour,
’Twill blossom with a second flower,
And from their bosom’s handkerchief
Bloom as it ne’er had lost a leaf.
—But signs appear that token wet,
While they are ’neath the bushes met;
The girls are glad with hopes of play,
And harp upon the holiday:—            
A high blue bird is seen to swim
Along the wheat, when skies grow dim
With clouds; slow as the gales of Spring
In motion, with dark-shadow’d wing
Beneath the coming storm he sails:
And lonely chirp the wheat-hid quails,
That come to live with Spring again,
But leave when Summer browns the grain;
They start the young girl’s joys afloat,
With “wet my foot” — their yearly note:—              
So fancy doth the sound explain,
And oft it proves a sign of rain!

   The thresher, dull as winter days,
And lost to all that Spring displays,
Still ’mid his barn-dust forced to stand,
Swings round his flail with weary hand;
While o’er his head shades thickly creep,
That hide the blinking owl asleep,
And bats, in cobweb-corners bred,
Sharing till night their murky bed.                    
The sunshine trickles on the floor
Through ev’ry crevice of the door:
This makes his barn, where shadows dwell,
As irksome as a prisoner’s cell;
And, whilst he seeks his daily meal,
As school-boys from their task will steal,
So will he stand with fond delay
To see the daisy in his way,
Or wild weeds flowering on the wall;—
For these to memory still recall                      
The joys, the sports that come with Spring,—
The twirling top, the marble ring,
The jingling halfpence hustled up
At pitch and toss, the eager stoop
To pick up heads, the smuggled plays
’Neath hovels upon sabbath-days,—
The sitting down, when school was o’er,
Upon the threshold of the door,
Picking from mallows, sport to please,
Each crumpled seed he call’d a cheese,                
And hunting from the stack-yard sod
The stinking henbane’s belted pod,
By youth’s warm fancies sweetly led
To christen them his loaves of bread.
He sees, while rocking down the street
With weary hands and crimpling feet,
Young children at the self-same games,
And hears the self-same boyish names
Still floating on each happy tongue:
Touch’d with the simple scene so strong,              
Tears almost start, and many a sigh
Regrets the happiness gone by;
Thus, in sweet Nature’s holiday,
His heart is sad while all is gay.

   How lovely now are lanes and balks,
For lovers in their Sunday-walks!
The daisy and the butter-cup —
For which the laughing children stoop
A hundred times throughout the day,
In their rude romping Summer play —                    
So thickly now the pasture crowd,
As if the drops of April showers
Had woo’d the sun, and changed to flowers.
The brook resumes her Summer dresses,
Purling ’neath grass and water-cresses,
And mint and flagleaf, swording high
Their blooms to the unheeding eye;
The Summer tracks about its brink
Are fresh again where cattle drink;                    
And on its sunny bank the swain
Stretches his idle length again;
While all that lives enjoys the birth
Of frolic Summer’s laughing mirth.


~~
John Clare
from The Shepherd's Calendar, 1827

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Read The Shepherd's Calendar complete
John Clare biography

Monday, May 20, 2013

How true love is likened to summer /
Thomas Malory


How true love is likened to summer

And thus it passed on from Candlemass until after Easter, that the month of May was come, when every lusty heart beginneth to blossom, and to bring forth fruit; for like as herbs and trees bring forth fruit and flourish in May, in like wise every lusty heart that is in any manner a lover, springeth and flourisheth in lusty deeds. For it giveth unto all lovers courage, that lusty month of May, in something to constrain him to some manner of thing more in that month than in any other month, for divers causes. For then all herbs and trees renew a man and woman, and likewise lovers call again to their mind old gentleness and old service, and many kind deeds that were forgotten by negligence. For like as winter rasure doth alway erase and deface green summer, so fareth it by unstable love in man and woman. For in many persons there is no stability; for we may see all day, for a little blast of winter’s rasure, anon we shall deface and lay apart true love for little or nought, that cost much thing; this is no wisdom nor stability, but it is feebleness of nature and great disworship, whosomever useth this. Therefore, like as May month flowereth and flourisheth in many gardens, so in like wise let every man of worship flourish his heart in this world, first unto God, and next unto the joy of them that he promised his faith unto; for there was never worshipful man or worshipful woman, but they loved one better than another; and worship in arms may never be foiled, but first reserve the honour to God, and secondly the quarrel must come of thy lady: and such love I call virtuous love.

~~
Thomas Malory
from Le Morte d'Arthur (edited by Edward Strachey), 1897

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Thomas Malory biography

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Barbara Allen's Cruelty


Barbara Allen's Cruelty

In Scarlet town where I was born,
   There was a fair maid dwellin’,
Made every youth cry, "Well-away!"
   Her name was Barbara Allen.

All in the merry month of May,
   When green buds they were swellin’,
Young Jemmy Grove on his death-bed lay,
   For love of Barbara Allen.

He sent his man unto her then,
   To the town where she was dwellin’;
"O haste and come to my master dear,
   If your name be Barbara Allen.

"For death is printed in his face,
   And o'er his heart is stealin';
Then haste away to comfort him,
   O lovely Barbara Allen."

"Though death be printed on his face,
   And o'er his heart is stealin',
Yet little better shall he be
   For bonny Barbara Allen."

So slowly, slowly she came up,
   And slowly she came nigh him,
And all she said, when there she came,
   "Young man, I think you’re dying."

He turned his face unto her straight,
   With deadly sorrow sighing:
"O lovely maid, come pity me,
   I'm on my death-bed lying."

"If on your death-bed you do lie,
   What needs the tale you are tellin'?
I cannot keep you from your death;
   Farewell," said Barbara Allen.

He turned his face unto the wall,
   As deadly pangs he fell in:
"Adieu, adieu, adieu to you all,
   Adieu to Barbara Allen!"

As she was walking o’er the fields,
   She heard the bell a-knellin’;
And every stroke did seem to say,
   "Unworthy Barbara Allen!"

She turned her body round about,
   And spied the corpse a-comin':
"Lay down, lay down the corpse," she said,
   "That I may look upon him."

With scornful eye she looked down,
   Her cheeks with laughter swellin',
Whilst all her friends cried out amain,
   "Unworthy Barbara Allen!"

When he was dead, and laid in grave,
   Her heart was struck with sorrow;
"O mother, mother, make my bed,
   For I shall die tomorrow.

"Hard-hearted creature him to slight,
   Who loved me so dearly:
O that I had been more kind to him,
   When he was alive and near me!"

She, on her death-bed as she lay,
   Begged to be buried by him,
And sore repented of the day,
   That she did ere deny him.

"Farewell," she said, "ye virgins all,
   And shun the fault I fell in:
Henceforth take warning by the fall
   Of cruel Barbara Allen."

~~
Anonymous 
From Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, 1765

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Reliques of Ancient English Poetry

Saturday, May 18, 2013

May Wind / Sara Teasdale


May Wind

I said, "I have shut my heart
   As one shuts an open door,
That Love may starve within
   And trouble me no more."

But over the roofs there came
   The wet new wind of May,
And a tune blew up from the curb
   Where the street-pianos play.

My room was white as the sun
   And Love cried out to me,
"I am strong, I will break your heart
   Unless you set me free."

~~
Sara Teasdale
from Love Songs, 1917

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

Sara Teasdale biography

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother / Lola Ridge


Mother

Your love was like moonlight
turning harsh things to beauty,
so that little wry souls
reflecting each other obliquely
as in cracked mirrors . . .
beheld in your luminous spirit
their own reflection,
transfigured as in a shining stream,
and loved you for what they are not.

You are less an image in my mind
than a luster
I see you in gleams
pale as star-light on a gray wall . . .
evanescent as the reflection of a white swan
shimmering in broken water.

~~
Lola Ridge
from Sun-Up and other poems, 1920

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

Lola Ridge biography
Mother on The Penny Blog.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

To Blossoms / Robert Herrick


To Blossoms

Fair pledges of a fruitful tree,
   Why do ye fall so fast?
   Your date is not so past,
But you may stay yet here awhile
   To blush and gently smile,
      And go at last.

What, were ye born to be
   An hour or half's delight,
   And so to bid good-night?
'Twas pity Nature brought ye forth
   Merely to show your worth,
      And lose you quite.

But you are lovely leaves, where we
   May read how soon things have
   Their end, though ne'er so brave:
And after they have shown their pride
   Like you, awhile, they glide
      Into the grave.

~~
Robert Herrick
from Hesperides, 1648

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Robert Herrick biography

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Cherry Tree / A.E. Housman


II

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

~~
A.E. Housman (1859-1936)
from A Shropshire Lad, 1896

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

A.E. Houseman biography

Sunday, May 5, 2013

When the Ash-Tree Buds and the Maples /
Duncan Cambell Scott


When the Ash-Tree Buds and the Maples

When the ash-tree buds and the maples,
And the osier wands are red,
And the fairy sunlight dapples
Dales where the leaves are spread,
The pools are full of spring water,
Winter is dead.

When the bloodroot blows in the tangle,
And the lithe brooks run,
And the violets gleam and spangle
The glades in the golden sun,
The showers are bright as the sunlight,
April has won.

When the color is free in the grasses,
And the martins whip the mere,
And the Maryland-yellow-throat passes,
With his whistle quick and clear,
The willow is full of catkins;
May is here.

Then cut a reed by the river,
Make a song beneath the lime,
And blow with your lips a-quiver,
While your sweetheart carols the rhyme;
The glamour of love, the lyric of life,
The springtime - the springtime.

~~
Duncan Campbell Scott
from Labour and the Angel, 1898

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

Duncan Campbell Scott biography

Saturday, May 4, 2013

In May / F. Sackett


In May

In May, sweet roses scent the air,
And glistening insects dart and blare.
Sweet springtime blossoms far and wide.
Dame Nature leaves stern tasks aside,
To garnish earth with tender care.

This happy month is ever fair;
As all things take the utmost care
To honor God's own Virgin Bride
In May.

At dusk, sweet Aves, heavenly prayer,
Attest men's love and are their share
In praising her, while side by side
Their voices sound to show their pride
In Mary, Queen of all that's fair
In May.

~~
F. Sackett
from Mary Immaculate, 1946

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada]

Friday, May 3, 2013

Penny's Top 20 / April 2013


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

  1.  Esthétique du Mal, Wallace Stevens
  2.  Penny (or Penny's Hat), George Dance
  3.  Men Made Out of Words, Wallace Stevens
  4.  The Reader, Wallace Stevens
  5.  Things, Aline Kilmer
  6.  Spring Floods, Arthur Springer

  7.  
Mars & Avril, George Dance
  8.  Lines Written in Early Spring, William Wordsworth

  9.  In Just-spring, E.E. Cummings

10. 
The Blue Heron, Theodore Goodridge Roberts

11.  The Spring Returns!, Charles Leonard Moore

12.  Autumn, T.E. Hulme
13.  The Piping Mountainy Man, Edward O'Brien
14.  When Spring Comes On, Charles Leonard Moore

15.  Bird Cage / Cage d'oiseauHector de Saint-Denys Garneau
16.  In Spring, Aline Kilmer

17.  April, John Clare

18.  Easter Day, Oscar Wilde

19.  Easter Week, Joyce Kilmer

20.  
Wind and Silver, Amy Lowell

Source: Blogger, "Stats"

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Penny's Top 100 of 2010


The 100 most-visited poems on  The Penny Blog during 2010, ranked in order:

   1. Penny (or Penny’s Hat), George J. Dance
   2. Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction, Wallace Stevens
   3. Mars & Avril, George J. Dance
   4. Esthétique du Mal, Wallace Stevens
   5. Romance Novel, Arthur Rimbaud

   6. Large Red Man Reading, Wallace Stevens
   7. Penny’s OS, George J. Dance
   8. Ganesha Girl on Rankin, Will Dockery
   9. Autumn Song, George J. Dance
 10. Bird Cage / Cage d’oiseau, Hector de Saint-Denys Garneau

 11. The Cup, Duncan Campbell Scott
 12. September Night, George J. Dance
 13. Penny’s OS 2.0, George J. Dance
 14. A Sonnet of the Moon, Charles Best
 15. Vowels / Voyelles, Arthur Rimbaud

 16. Meditations in Time of Civil War, W.B. Yeats
 17. A Meadow in Spring, Tom Bishop
 18. baguette, David Rutkowski
 19. Nebula, Desi DiNardo
20. Fuji-san, George J. Dance

21. A Vagabond Song, Bliss Carman
22. March, George J. Dance
23. The Weary Man, Crystal Matteau
24 .High Flight, John Gillespie Magee, Jr.
25. White Sands Meet the Blue/Green Sea, Jeanne Ames

26. 4 poems, Tom Hendricks
27. In the Garden, George J. Dance
28. December, George J. Dance
29. Lorelei’s Song / Das Loreleylied, Heinrich Heine
30. Only the Lonely, George J. Dance

31. Always There, George J. Dance
32. You Are My Thorn, Kasia Lachowska
33. Puella Parvula, Wallace Stevens
34. To Autumn, William Blake
35. Threat, R.K. Singh

36. Men Made Out of Words, Wallace Stevens
37. Concrete, Ray Heinrich
38. Portrait, Shaun Hull
39. Jumbo Park, Stuart Leichter
40. Remembrance, George J. Dance

41. The Height of Land, Duncan Campbell Scott
42. Plow Sharing, Hieronymous707
43. The Smoker, nounofme
44. I know I am but summer to your heart, Edna St. Vincent Millay
45. Hero, Maureen Dance

46. 1914, Rupert Brooke
47. May, George J. Dance
48. News, A.E. Reiff
49. A Scroll, George J. Dance
50. Maui ‘70, Matt E.

51. Prison, Dave Holloway
52. The Whitening, James D. Senetto
53. Indian Summer, William Wilfred Campbell
54. Sticky Sweaty, rickthecockroach
55. The Hawk, Raymond Knister

56. Knowing, David W. Lewry
57. The Dwarf, Wallace Stevens
58. Ground Zero, Shaun Hull
59. The Anxious Dead, John McCrae
60. S.I.W., Wilfred Owen

61. War is Kind, Stephen Crane
62. Sonny Rollins, Adam Lynn
63. Who Was Here First, David George
64. The Masterpiece of Dawn, Leslie Moon
65. Principia Poetica, Obsidian Eagle

66. Envoy, Ernest Dowson
67. Last Week in October, Thomas Hardy
68. Haiku and triolet, R.S. Mallari
69. A Christmas Greeting, Walt Whitman
70. When Mary the Mother kissed the Child, Charles G.D. Roberts

71. Snow, Madison Cawein
72. Poem with Rhythms, Wallace Stevens
73. The Book of Wisdom, Stephen Crane
74. Autumn’s Orchestra, Pauline Johnson
75. After the Winter, Claude McKay

76. The Gravedigger, Bliss Carman
77. The May Magnificat, Gerard Manley Hopkins
78. Shanghai, David Rutkowski
79. Mistletoe, Walter de la Mare
80. Ghost Yard of the Goldenrod, Bliss Carman

81. Good is Good. It is a Beautiful Night., Wallace Stevens
82. River of My Eyes / Rivière  de mes yeux, Hector de Saint-Denys
        Garneau
83. The Dying Philosopher To His Fiddler, John Drinkwater
84. July, George J. Dance
85. Sagacity, William Rose Benet

86. Boy Remembers in the Field, Raymond Knister
87. Tichborne’s Elegy, Chidiock Tichbourne
88. The Stretcher-Bearer, Robert Service
89. Break of Day in the Trenches, Isaac Rosenberg
90. O Holy Night / Minuit, chrétiens, Placide Cappeau

91. Christmas Bells, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
92. The Oxen, Thomas Hardy
93. The Flute of Spring, Bliss Carman
94. Let No Charitable Hope, Elinor Wylie
95. Minstrels, William Wordsworth

96. The Darkling Thrush, Thomas Hardy
97. Old Christmas, Mary Howitt
98. Things, Aline Kilmer
99. If I should learn, in some quite casual way, Edna St. Vincent
        Millay
100. Spring Breaks in Foam, Charles G.D. Roberts

Penny Blog changing copyright information tags


Effective this month,  The Penny Blog will be changing the copyright information tags displayed on some poems. Until now, we have been using four tags:
1) A Creative Commons tag, for poems that are under copyright but licensed under a Creative Commons license;
2) "[All rights reserved by the author [or the author's estate] - used with permission]" for other poems that are under copyright in Canada;
3) "[All rights reserved by the author's estate - Please do not copy]" for poems that are in the public domain in Canada, but still under copyright somewhere in the world'
4) "[Poem is in the public domain]" for poems that are in the public domain worldwide.

In the interest of providing our readers with more accurate information, we have decided to replace the third tagline with the following 4 tags:
3) "[Poem is in the public domain in Canada]" for poems published in their authors' lifetime, the authors of which died at least 50 years before last December 31 (that is, for this year, on or before December 31, 1962);
4) "[Poem is in the public domain in Canada and the European Union]" for poems published in their authors' lifetime, the authors of which died at least 70 years before last December 31 (that is, for this year, on or before December 31, 1942);
5) "[Poem is in the public domain in Canada and the United States]" for poems originally published in 1922 or earlier, the authors of which died at least 50 years before last December 31; and
6) "[Poem is in the public domain in Canada, the United States, and the European Union]" for poems originally published in 1922 or earlier, the authors of which died at least 70 years before last December 31.

In addition, the existing public domain tagline (for poems published in their authors' lifetime, the authors of which died at least 100 years before last December 31) will be replaced with the tag:
7) "[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]".

This will allow the majority of our readers to tell whether a poem can be copied or not in their jurisdictions. Readers outside those jurisdictions will also be able to use those notices: in Australia or Russia, for example, in which the copyright term is identical with the European Union.

These tags will be added to poems in the future, based on our own best knowledge. In addition, we will be working backwards to add them to poems previously published on the blog. The new tags have already been added to all poems published in 2013.

Penny and I hope that readers of  The Penny Blog will find these new tags both informative and useful.