Sunday, January 31, 2016

Winter Evening / Archibald Lampman

Winter Evening

To-night the very horses springing by
Toss gold from whitened nostrils. In a dream
The streets that narrow to the westward gleam
Like rows of golden palaces; and high
From all the crowded chimneys tower and die
A thousand aureoles. Down in the west
The brimming plains beneath the sunset rest,
One burning sea of gold. Soon, soon shall fly
The glorious vision, and the hours shall feel
A mightier master; soon from height to height,
With silence and the sharp unpitying stars,
Stern creeping frosts, and winds that touch like steel,
Out of the depth beyond the eastern bars,
Glittering and still shall come the awful night.

Archibald Lampman (1861-1899)
from Alcyone, 1899

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Archibald Lampman biography

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Under the Snow / James Lewis Milligan

Under the Snow

Over the wall I look, and lo!
All the graves are under the snow:
A more appropriate pall, I ween,
Than Summer's embroider'd garb of green;
For Death is white, and cold, and dumb,
And on its waste there's ne'er a crumb
For the birds forlorn of yester-year,
That wait to see the Spring appear;
That wait and starve in perplex'd despair,
And dream of a world that once was fair.

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, January 24, 2016

Winter Dusk / Karle Wilson Baker

Winter Dusk

The black pines, and the pale-gold moon,
And the cold blue sky,
And the drumming whir of small hid wings
In the bush close by;

And the sober rose in the leaden sheen
Of the sedgy lake –
This beauty feeds and heals my heart
It used to break.

This joy that was a restless pang,
Pain-edged, sword-bright,
Now wraps me in stern tenderness,
Secure delight.

I have come home to the heart of things,
Made friends with pain,
And God has given me sevenfold
My joy again.

Karle Wilson Baker (1878-1960)
from Burning Bush, 1922

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

Karle Wilson Baker biography

Saturday, January 23, 2016

A Winter Night / Arthur Symons

A Winter Night

The pale moon shining from a pallid sky
Lit half the street, and over half she laid
Her folded mantle; through the dark-browed shade
White windows glittered, each a watchful eye.
The dim wet pavement lit irregularly
With shimmering streaks of gaslight, faint and frayed,
Shone luminous green where sheets of glass displayed
Long breadths of faded blinds mechanically.

The night was very still; above, below,
No sound, no breath, no change in anything;
Only, across the squares of damp lit street,
Shooting a mocking double from his feet,
With vague uncertain steps went to and fro
A solitary shadow wandering.

Arthur Symons (1865-1945)
from Days and Nights, 1889

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

Arthur Symons biography

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Snow Monotones / Ben Hecht

Snow Monotones

A great white leopard prowling silently
Over the house-tops, up and down the sky,
Trailing its ermine and its ivory —
The lithe and sinuous snow creeps softly by.

The air is crowded and the day alight;      
The houses etched in stuccoed boundaries
Loom radiant, while in capricious flight
The snow paints ghostly summer on the trees.

With opals and with lustered silks inlaid
The snow spreads out its long unbroken seas,
And frames each house in candied masquerade
Of quaint and crystaline geometries.

Perhaps the snow is an enchanted rain,
Or, swarming white and gently to and fro,
The souls of little birds come back again  
And searching for the sky they used to know.

The snow falls thicker, and a spectral night
Bursts without sunset in a wind-whirled glow,
Blotting the day and leaving more alight
The glistening white nocturne of the snow.

The stiff and tangled avenues become
Like some vague field of dreams that hides behind
A strange and delicate delirium
Of labyrinthine pallors, swift and blind.

The snow seems rising — a fantastic spray      
Some sharp and sinister wind has given wing;
And all the world is blowing fast away,
The houses and the trees first vanishing.

The world is but a shimmering pastel,
A whimsically chiseled cameo    
Whose life seems only the ephemeral
And pale diaphonous music of the snow.

The snow has ended and the highways lie
In lacquered desolation; and outthrown
The blue and staring shadow of the sky    
Appears above the emptied air — alone.

The night is not so silent as the snow
And yet the night is dark and mute and deep —
The faery stains that wander to and fro
Are what the night is dreaming in its sleep.

Ben Hecht (1894-1964)
from Poetry, February 1918

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

Ben Hecht biography

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Winter / Charles R. Murphy


Now are ye lean, O trees, and shaped for soaring
  Over the sacred snow that hides the land;
Now after stress of bitter storms endured
  On the spent earth unmutinous ye stand.

Only your faces now are turned not earthward,  
  However deep your roots are clasped there.
With the gaunt gesture of a saint’s uprising,
  Ye are the resurrection that is prayer.

Charles R. Murphy (1864-1936)
from Poetry, August 1921

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

Charles R. Murphy biography

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Snow Rain / Raymond Holden

Snow Rain

I am not one to mind the rain when it comes
Fingering the sinking snow and leaving prints
Of passage hard to tell from the touch of grass
Bent by a rabbit's frenzy or the wind.
Days like to-day there is something very near
Always upon the point of breaking through.
Men of the mountain towns in the milk-train
Quicken the air with tales of leaping deer
And myths of caribou gone fifty years
Come back to visions straining beyond sight.
Something of me goes out into their talk
For I have lain upon the quiet snow
Watching for flying feet and listening
For the murmuring trees to burst with sudden wings,
And I have felt the drops, as they fall now
Come down almost in passion for a world
Made beautiful by the presence of glad men.
Even now I think there is something very close
Ready to sweep like rainfall over me,–
These men, the lingering patterns of the snow,
The wet that alters them, the purple river,
I climb upon these things almost to touch
The beauty of that power I almost know.

Raymond Holden (1894-1972)
from Granite and Alabaster, 1922

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

Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Snow-fall / Ethelwyn Wetherald

The Snow-fall

The great, soft, downy snow-fall like a cloak
     Descends to wrap the lean world head to feet;
     It gives the dead another winding-sheet,
It buries all the roofs until the smoke
Seems like a soul that from its clay has broke;
     Is broods moon-like upon the autumn wheat,
     And visits all he trees in their retreat,
To hood and mantle that poor shivering folk.

With wintry bloom it fills the harshest grooves
     In jagged pine stump fences; every sound
          It hushes to the footstep of a nun;
Sweet Charity, that brightens where it moves,
     Inducing darkest bits of churlish ground
          To give a radiant answer to the sun.

Ethelwyn Wetherald (1857-1940)
from The Last Robin: Lyrics and sonnets, 1907

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

Ethelwyn Wetherald biography

Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Faun Sees Snow for the First Time /
Richard Aldington

The Faun Sees Snow for the First Time

Cloud-whirler, son-of-Kronos,
Send vengeance on these Oreads
Who strew
White frozen flecks of mist and cloud
Over the brown trees and the tufted grass
Of the meadows, where the stream
Runs black through shining banks
Of bluish white.

Are the halls of heaven broken up
That you flake down upon me
Feather-strips of marble?

Dis and Styx!
When I stamp my hoof
The frozen-cloud-specks jam into the cleft
So that I reel upon two slippery points....

Fool, to stand here cursing
When I might be running!

Richard Aldington (1892-1962)
from Images Old and New, 1916

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

Richard Aldington biography

Friday, January 1, 2016

The New Year / Edward Thomas

The New Year

He was the one man I met up in the woods
That stormy New Year's morning; and at first sight,
Fifty yards off, I could not tell how much
Of the strange tripod was a man. His body,
Bowed horizontal, was supported equally
By legs at one end, by a rake at the other:
Thus he rested, far less like a man than
His wheel-barrow in profile was like a pig.
But when I saw it was an old man bent,
At the same moment came into my mind
The games at which boys bend thus, High-Cockalorum,
Or Fly-the-garter, and Leap-frog. At the sound
Of footsteps he began to straighten himself;
His head rolled under his cape like a tortoise's;
He took an unlit pipe out of his mouth
Politely ere I wished him "A Happy New Year,"
And with his head cast upward sideways muttered —
So far as I could hear through the trees' roar —
"Happy New Year, and may it come fastish, too,"
While I strode by and he turned to raking leaves.

Edward Thomas (1878-1917)
from Last Poems, 1918

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

Penny's Top 20 / December 2015

Penny's Top 20
The most-visited poems on  The Penny Blog in December 2015:

  1.  A Christmas Symphony, Helen Hunt Jackson
  2.  Penny, or Penny's Hat, George J. Dance
  3.  Dead Leaves, Ethelwyn Wetherald
  4.  Last Week in October, Thomas Hardy
  5.  Lady of Autumn, C.F. MacIntyre
  6.  Esthetique du Mal, Wallace Stevens 
  7.  Ode: Autumn, Thomas Hood

  8.  The winter night is hard as glass, Robert Hillyer

  9.  Late Autumn in the Hills, Laura Sherry

10.  Christmas, 1917, Stella Benson

11.  The Reader, Wallace Stevens
12.  A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens

13.  Psalm 98 (Joy to the World), Isaac Watts
14.  Paradise Lost, James Lewis Milligan
15.  After Christmas, Charles O'Donnell

16.  The Angels' Anthem, Harry Kemp
17.  Bird Cage, Hector de Saint-Denys Garneau
18.  My November Guest, Robert Frost
19.  The night is freezing fast, A.E. Housman
20.  Wind and Silver, Amy Lowell

Source: Blogger, "Stats"

Penny's Top 100 / 2015

Penny's Top 100
The most-visited poems on  The Penny Blog in 2015:

  1.  Penny, or Penny's Hat, George J. Dance
  2.  Esthetique du Mal, Wallace Stevens
  3.  Last Week in October, Thomas Hardy
  4.  Woodman, Spare That Tree!, George P. Morris
  5.  Autumn, Walter de la Mare

  6.  A Christmas Symphony, Helen Hunt Jackson
  7.  Christmas Eve, Edgar Guest
  8.  Dejeuner sur l'herbe, Edith Sitwell
  9.  In Violet Light, George J. Dance
10.  The Reader, Wallace Stevens

11.  Accompaniment, Hector de Saint-Denys Garneau
12.  Episode of a Night in May, Arthur Symons
13.  Away from Town, Harry Kemp
14.  Last Week of February, 1890, Robert Bridges
15.  It sifts from Leaden Sieves, Emily Dickinson

16.  Young World, Louise Morey Bowman
17.  The World Well Lost, Ethelwyn Wetherald
18.  Autumn, T.E. Hulme
19.  Call Back Our Dead, F.G. Scott
20.  Wind and Silver, Amy Lowell

21.  The Dwarf, Wallace Stevens
22.  Love-songs of the Open Road, Kendall Banning
23.  My November Guest, Robert Frost
24.  Puella Parvula, Wallace Stevens
25.  The Ecchoing Green, William Blake

26.  The Coming of Spring: Madrid, Arthur Symons
27.  Snow, Edward Thomas
28.  Once Like a Light, AE Reiff
29.  On the First Morning of Spring, A.Y. Campbell
30.  Late Snow, J.C. Squire

31.  A Patch of Old Snow, Robert Frost
32.  The Snow Storm, Edna St. Vincent Millay
33.  The Wood-pile, Robert Frost
34.  An Easter Song, Richard Le Gallienne
35.  Blind, Harry Kemp

36.  Bear Mountain Morning, Michael Pendragon
37.  Spoils of the Dead, Robert Frost
38.  Song of a Second April, Edna St. Vincent Millay 
39.  Sonnet (Violets), Alice Dunbar-Nelson
40.  A City Sunset, T.E. Hulme

41.  Large Red Man Reading, Wallace Stevens
42.  The Poplars, Bernard Freeman Trotter
43.  Impressions, Beatrice Redpath
44.  In a Winter Wood, Clinton Scollard
45.  Chaos in Motion and Not in Motion, Wallace Stevens

46.  Lilies and Violets, Mary Gilmore
47.  Song at Summer's End, A.R.D. Fairbairn
48.  Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?, William Shakespeare
49.  Two Tramps in Mud Time, Robert Frost
50.  On a Ferry Passing New York in January, Michael Strange 

51.  Dead Leaves, Ethelwyn Wetherald
52.  father, david rutkowski
53.  April Again, James Lewis Milligan
55.  Morning on the Lievres, Archibald Lampman

56.  Any Woman, Hazel Hall
57.  The Summer Sea, Nathan Haskell Dole
58.  Tell All the World, Harry Kemp
59.  Summer Night, Riverside, Sara Teasdale
60.  Sacrament, Louise Morey Bowman

61.  Shepherd Singing Ragtime, Louis Golding
62.  The night is freezing fast, A.E. Housman
63.  March, Edward Thomas
64.  The Blue Heron, Theodore Goodridge Roberts
65.  Spring in the Shops, Bert Leston Taylor

66.  Summer Schemes, Thomas Hardy
67.  Autumn Dawn, Charles Hamilton Sorley
68.  This Lane in May, David Morton
69.  April Aubade, Sylvia Plath
70.  Beloved, Govinda Krishna Chettur

71.  Purple, Glenn Ward Dresbach
72.  She Sleeps Tight, Will Dockery
73.  The Falling of the Leaves, W.B. Yeats
74.  Garden, H.D.
75.  Bird Cage, Hector de Saint-Denys Garneau

76.  Dirge, Helen Dudley
77.  Summer Rain, John Davidson
78.  September 1913, W.B. Yeats
79.  As We Go On, Maxwell Struthers Burt
80.  The Soul of Summer, Edward Sapir

81.  Velardena Sunset, Grace Hazard Conking
82.  A Pastoral, Robert Hillyer
83.  The May Tree, Radclyffe Hall
84.  Twenty-old and Seven-wild, Annie Campbell Huestis
85.  In the Fields, Charlotte Mew

86.  June Rain, Richard Aldington
87.  September Idyl: In the hammock, Arthur Symons
88.  The Poet's Hat, Robert Fuller Murray
89.  October, Ethelwyn Wetherald
90.  Lines in Late March, John G. Neihardt

91.  Lady of Autumn, C.F. MacIntyre
92.  If Winter Remain, Clark Ashton Smith
93.  October, Robert Frost
94.  The Intruder, Grace Stone Coates
95.  Adlestrop, Edward Thomas

96.  Toward Evening, Margaret DeLaughter
97.  One Day in May, Clinton Scollard
98.  The Battle of Blenheim, Robert Southey
99.  Ode: Autumn, Thomas Hood