Sunday, July 27, 2014

July / Lionel Johnson


To More Adey

Summer lightning, and rich rain:
Roses perfume the hot air.
All the breathless night is faint,
All the flowery night is fair.
Philomel her joy or plaint
Sings, and sings, and sings again.

What comes now? The earth awaits
What fierce wonder from those skies?
Thunder, trampling through the night?
Morning, with illustrious eyes?
Morning, from the springs of light:
Thunder, round Heaven's opening gates.

Lionel Johnson (1867-1902), 1889
from Ireland, with other poems, 1897

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Lionel Johnson biography

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Light of Day / George J. Dance

Light of Day

The clouds of heaven roaming whitely by,
exotic beasts across a cyan sky,
black clouds stampeding on the ground – they rule
this sauna world – they dim but do not cool
     & as they pass it blows my mind:
     a silent symphony I find
     when shadows fold & drop away
     into the lemon light of day.

The trees are fountaining: cascades of green
declare their beauty for my dear Maureen;
the green is falling, flooding all the ground,
a verdant sea in which I long to drown
     & as it falls, I want to cry
     to know that all of this will die,
     that everything must wash away
     beneath the liquid light of day.

Her body fits me like a silken glove –
the sun is burning on my back with love –
past life sustains anew life, layer on layer,
while brass of birdsong blows throughout the air
     & as it blows thoughts pass my mind:
     this light outside is hers & mine
     for it will always be this way,
     right here, right now where we will stay
     within the living light of day.

George J. Dance, 2014
from Doggerel and other doggerel, 2015

[All rights reserved - Used with permission]

George J. Dance biography

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Summer / Mortimer Collins (2 poems)



O golden, golden Summer!
     Over the hills I see
The track of thy flying footsteps
     As the soft south wind blows free,
And I hear the tender cadence
Of youths and of laughing maidens
     As they chant a song to thee.

O linger, linger Summer !
     And let thy south winds blow.
And bind thyself a garland
     Of the ruddiest flowers that glow,
For neither sprite nor mortal.
Till he pass the unseen portal,
     Unending joy can know.


Come to the wild wood, come!
     Where it slopes to the restless sea.
Where the leaves are bright with an azure light.
And the quick winds hurry the falcon's flight.
     Poised amid ether free.

Purple the sunset dies
     Over shadowy hills afar,
And the lamp doth burn for which mortals yearn,
Incense of grief in a golden urn —
     Hesper — the Evening Star.

Mortimer Collins (1827-1876)
from Idyls and Rhymes, 1855

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Mortimer Collins biography

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Summer Night / Laurence Binyon


Summer Night

Come let us forth, and wander the rich, the murmuring night!
The shy, blue dusk of summer trembles above the street;
On either side uprising glimmer houses pale:
But me the turbulent babble and voice of crowds delight;
For me the wheels make music, the mingled cries are sweet;
Motion and laughter call: we hear, we will not fail.

For see, in secret vista, with soft, retiring stars,
With clustered suns, that stare upon the throngs below,
With pendent dazzling moons, that cast a noon-day white.
The full streets beckon : Come, for toil has burst his bars,
And idle eyes rejoice, and feet unhasting go.
O let us out and wander the gay and golden night.

Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)
from First Book of London Visions, 1896

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

Laurence Binyon biography

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Crepuscule / E.E. Cummings


I will wade out
                                       till my thighs are steeped in burn-
ing flowers
I will take the sun in my mouth
and leap into the ripe air
                                                                      with closed eyes
to dash against darkness
                                                     in the sleeping curves of my
Shall enter fingers of smooth mastery
with chasteness of sea-girls
                                                         Will I complete the mystery
of my flesh
I will rise
                          After a thousand years
                   And set my teeth in the silver of the moon

E.E. Cummings (1894-1962)
from Eight Harvard Poets, 1917

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

E.E. Cummings biography

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Saturday Afternoon in the Garden /
Caroline Blanche Elizabeth Lindsay

Saturday Afternoon in the Garden

Peace o'er the landscape; through the high thin air
"God's bows and arrows," dark-wing'd swallows, cleave.
And on the warm hillside the green hops weave
Their graceful garlands that full harvest bear.
Here, in the border, rain-washed, all things fair
Incline their heads to rest, for herald eve
Thus early doth the Sabbath hours perceive,
And every fragrant blossom breathes a prayer.

Then fret no more, my heart, but steep thyself
In tender twilight and refreshing dew,
And with calm Nature vigil keep awhile ;
Put by all daily toil, all thought of pelf;
Not less for grace 'mid leafy alleys sue
Than in some grand cathedral's vaulted aisle.

Caroline Blanche Elizabeth Lindsay (1844-1912)
from Poems (Selected), 1907

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Caroline Blanche Elizabeth Lindsay biography

Sunday, July 6, 2014

When on a Summer's Morn / W.H. Davies

When on a Summer's Morn

When on a summer's morn I wake,
     And open my two eyes,
Out to the clear, born-singing rills
     My bird-like spirit flies.

To hear the Blackbird, Cuckoo, Thrush,
     Or any bird in song;
And common leaves that hum all day,
     Without a throat or tongue.

And when Time strikes the hour for sleep,
     Back in my room alone,
My heart has many a sweet bird's song —
     And one that's all my own.

W.H. Davies (1871-1940)
from The Bird of Paradise, and other poems, 1914

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

W.H. Davies biography

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Summer Song / William Carlos Williams

Summer Song

Wanderer moon
smiling a
faintly ironical smile
at this
brilliant, dew-moistened
summer morning,
a detached
sleepily indifferent
smile, a
wanderer s smile,
if I should
buy a shirt
your color and
put on a necktie
sky blue
where would they carry me?

William Carlos Williams (1883-1963)
from A Book of Poems: Al que quiere!, 1917

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

William Carlos Williams biography

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Canada / Charles G.D. Roberts


O Child of Nations, giant-limbed,
   Who stand’st among the nations now
Unheeded, unadored, unhymned,
   With unanointed brow,—

How long the ignoble sloth, how long
   The trust in greatness not thine own?
Surely the lion’s brood is strong
   To front the world alone!

How long the indolence, ere thou dare
   Achieve thy destiny, seize thy fame,—
Ere our proud eyes behold thee bear
   A nation’s franchise, nation’s name?

The Saxon force, the Celtic fire,
   These are thy manhood’s heritage!
Why rest with babes and slaves? Seek higher
   The place of race and age.

I see to every wind unfurled
   The flag that bears the Maple-Wreath;
Thy swift keels furrow round the world
   Its blood-red folds beneath;

Thy swift keels cleave the furthest seas;
   Thy white sails swell with alien gales;
To stream on each remotest breeze
   The black smoke of thy pipes exhales.

O Falterer, let thy past convince
   Thy future,— all the growth, the gain,
The fame since Cartier knew thee, since
   Thy shores beheld Champlain!

Montcalm and Wolfe! Wolfe and Montcalm!
   Quebec, thy storied citadel
Attest in burning song and psalm
   How here thy heroes fell!

O Thou that bor’st the battle’s brunt
   At Queenston and at Lundy’s Lane,—
On whose scant ranks but iron front
   The battle broke in vain!—

Whose was the danger, whose the day,
   From whose triumphant throats the cheers,
At Chrysler’s Farm, at Chateauguay,
   Storming like clarion-bursts our ears?

On soft Pacific slopes — beside
   Strange floods that northward rave and fall,—
Where chafes Acadia’s chainless tide —
   Thy sons await thy call.

They wait; but some in exile, some
   With strangers housed, in stranger lands,—
And some Canadian lips are dumb
   Beneath Egyptian sands.

O mystic Nile! Thy secret yields
   Before us; thy most ancient dreams
Are mixed with far Canadian fields
   And murmur of Canadian streams.

But thou, my Country, dream not thou!
   Wake, and behold how night is done,—
How on thy breast, and o’er thy brow,
   Bursts the uprising sun!

Charles G.D. Roberts (1860-1943)
from In Divers Tones, 1886

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

Charles G.D. Roberts biography

Penny's Top 20 / June 2014

Penny's Top 20
The most-visited poems on  The Penny Blog in June 2014:

  1.  Penny (or Penny's Hat), George J. Dance
  2.  Esthétique du Mal, Wallace Stevens
  3.  When June is come (2 poems), Robert Bridges
  4.  Red Clover, Elaine & Dora Goodale
  5.  Spring Posy, Radclyffe Hall
  6.  The Bobolinks, Christopher Pearse Cranch
  7.  A Summer Wind, Michael Field

  8.  The Green Roads, Edward Thomas

  9.  June, Guy Wetmore Carryl

The Blue Heron, Theodore Goodridge Roberts

11.  Sleeping with Open Eyes, A.Y. Campbell
12.  June Leisure, Bliss Carman

13.  Last Week in October, Thomas Hardy
14.  Petit the Poet, Edgar Lee Masters
15.  Poem in October, Dylan Thomas

16.  Icicle Drops, Arthur John Lockhart
Spring Again, George J. Dance
18.  A May Morning, John Davidson
Spring Among the Ruins, J. Lewis Milligan
Puck's Song, Rudyard Kipling

Source: Blogger, "Stats"