Sunday, June 26, 2016

Summer: A fragment / Margaret Deland

A fragment 

High on the crest of the blossoming grasses,
Bending and swaying with face toward the sky,
Stirred by the lightest west wind as it passes,
Hosts of the silver-white daisy-stars lie!

I, looking up through the mists of the flowers,
I, lying low on the earth thrilled with June,
Give not a thought to the vanishing hours,
Save that they melt into twilight too soon!

Blossoms of peaches float down for my cover,
Snow-flakes that blushed to be kissed by the sun,
Blossoms of apples drift over and over,
White they with grief that their short day is done!

Buttercup's lanterns are lighted about me,
Burly red clover's warm cheek presses mine;
Powdery Bee never once seems to doubt me,
Tipping each chalice for Summer's new wine!

Tiny white butterflies ("Brides" children name them)
Flicker and glimmer, and turn in their flight;
Surely the sunshine suffices to tame them,
Close to my hand they will swing and alight !

Small timid breezes, than butterflies shyer,
Just for a moment soft buffet my face,
Then fly away to the tree-tops and higher,
Shaking down shadows o'er every bright space.

Margaret Deland 
from The Old Garden, and other verses, 1889

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

Margaret Deland biography

Saturday, June 25, 2016

For Now Comes Summer / Louis Golding

For Now Comes Summer

For now comes Summer with a thousand birds.
And I must add up figures all the day.
And I must drive a tram the whole day long.
And I must make a living out of words.
For now comes Summer with a thousand birds;
And in green fields the little lambs will play,
Brown birds will lift so loud a storm of song,
For now comes Summer with a thousand birds.

For now comes Summer with a thousand birds.
And I must make munitions right away.
And I must check the biscuits at the base.
And I must plan to slaughter men in herds,
For now comes Summer with a thousand birds.
My brother's lying quiet on his face.
And I must sit and wait to die to-day,
For now comes Summer with a thousand birds.

Louis Golding (1895-1958)
from Sorrow of War, 1919

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

Louis Golding biography

Sunday, June 19, 2016

A Midsummer Night's Storm / W.H. Davies

A Midsummer Night's Storm

Night, Lightning, Thunder, Rain.
     I see black Night
Open her lips;
     Her teeth gleam bright,
A moment seen;
     Then comes rich laughter;
And happy tears,
     That follow after,
Fall on the bosoms
Of birds and blossoms.

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, June 18, 2016

A Summer Shower / Henry Timrod

A Summer Shower

       Welcome, rain or tempest
          From yon airy powers.
       We have languished for them
          Many sultry hours,
And earth is sick and wan, and pines with all her flowers.

       What have they been doing
          In the burning June?
       Siding with the genii?
          Visiting the moon?
Or sleeping on the ice amid an arctic noon?

       Bring they with them jewels
          From the sunset lands?
       What are these they scatter
          With such lavish hands?
There are no brighter gems in Raolconda's sands.

       Pattering on the gravel,
          Dropping from the eaves,
       Glancing in the grass, and
          Tinkling on the leaves,
They flash the liquid pearls as flung from fairy sieves.

       Meanwhile, unreluctant,
          Earth like Danae lies;
       Listen! is it fancy,
          That beneath us sighs,
As that warm lap receives the largesse of the skies?

       Jove, it is, descendeth
          In those crystal rills;
       And this world-wide tremor
          Is a pulse that thrills
To a god's life infused through veins of velvet hills.

       Wait, thou jealous sunshine,
          Break not on their bliss;
       Earth will blush in roses
          Many a day for this.
And bend a brighter brow beneath thy burning kiss.

Henry Timrod (1828-1867)
from The Poems of Henry Timrod, 1873

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Henry Timrod biography

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Frayed Page Soaked in Rain / Will Dockery

Frayed Page Soaked in Rain 

In the beginning with this road fever
silver rose for a brief gaudy hour
on the peaks with this frayed page
we parked at the graveyard.

Mugged out summer night
Cody at the wheel
Sweating on the road
in this cool scene
on the moonlit avenue.

Raw, exotic artistry
illiterate poetics at dawn
remember her head on my lap.
Platonic blow job
just making things go right.

This is my extra special
double album of myth.
These are the poems
archetypes of my life.

We spent the summer nights
naked, crazy
ceiling fans.

In the rain at dark
freshly mowed grass on our feet.
The night is somehow chilly for June
out of town
out in the pines.

Will Dockery, 1996
from Hard Return, 1998

[All rights reserved by the author - used with permission]

Will Dockery biography

Saturday, June 11, 2016

June Rain / Louise Driscoll

June Rain

After the rain syringa bends
With scented blossoms at the ends
Of all its curving boughs. I think
That Pan himself might pause to drink
At such a fountain as I see.
The heavy headed peony
Drops silken petals, rosy sweet,
Upon a carpet for my feet.
And still the long wisteria drips
Its languid blossoms where the bee
In drowsiest contentment sips
From the deep wells of sweet that he
Has come so far to find. The rain
Sent him to hiding; with the sun
He shakes his pollen laden thighs
And lifts his strong, frail wings and flies
To see what harm the rain has done,
And tries the blossoms, one by one.

The meadow grass is growing long
It's silvered with the drops that cling
Like note that follows note in song
Or crystal beads upon a string.

There's beauty of the moon and sun,
And close of day and day begun,
And I have sung the Milky Way
And shining river, cool and gray,
And hills that are so near to me
I count them in my family;
But of the joys that I have had
In gifts the years bring back again,
Year after year to make me glad,
I love the clean green after rain
When yet there is no rust or stain
On any leaf, but all things are
As if we lived on some new star.

Louise Driscoll (1875-1957)

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada]

Louise Driscoll biography

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Who goes amid the green wood? / James Joyce


Who goes amid the green wood
With springtide all adorning her?
Who goes amid the merry green wood
To make it merrier?

Who passes in the sunlight
By ways that know the light footfall?
Who passes in the sweet sunlight
With mien so virginal?

The ways of all the woodland
Gleam with a soft and golden fire —
For whom does all the sunny woodland
Carry so brave attire?

O, it is for my true love
The woods their rich apparel wear —
O, it is for my own true love,
That is so young and fair.

James Joyce (1882-1941)
from Chamber Music, 1907

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

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Spring / Andrew Lang


(after Meleager)

Now the bright crocus flames, and now
The slim narcissus takes the rain,
And, straying o'er the mountain's brow,
The daffodilies bud again.
The thousand blossoms wax and wane
On wold, and heath, and fragrant bough,
But fairer than the flowers art thou,
Than any growth of hill or plain.

Ye gardens, cast your leafy crown,
That my Love's feet may tread it down,
Like lilies on the lilies set:
My Love, whose lips are softer far
Than drowsy poppy petals are,
And sweeter than the violet!

Andrew Lang (1844-1912)
from Ballades in Blue China, 1888

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Andrew Lang biography

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Penny's Top 20 / May 2016

Penny's Top 20
The most-visited poems on  The Penny Blog in May 2016:

  1.  The Enthusiast: An ode, William Whitehead
  2.  Esthetique du Mal, Wallace Stevens 
  3.  "Girls and Boys Come out to Play," Eliza Cook
  4.  What is the World Trying to Say?, Henry C. Beeching
  5.  May and Death, Robert Browning
  6.  The Songster, Pauline Johnson
In May, W.H. Davies
  8.  Mid-May, Charles R. Murphy

To the Spring, John Davies
10.  Domesday, Robert Hillyer

11.  Long May You Live, George J. Dance
12.  April, Odell Sheppard

13.  Penny, or Penny's Hat, George J. Dance
14.  The Reader, Wallace Stevens
15.  A Winter's Tale, D.H. Lawrence

16.  Snow, John Davidson
17.  When June is Come, Robert Bridges
18.  Large Red Man Reading, Wallace Stevens
19.  Puella Parvula, Wallace Stevens
20.  November, F.W. Harvey

Source: Blogger, "Stats"