Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Haunted Palace / Edgar Allan Poe

The Haunted Palace

In the greenest of our valleys
    By good angels tenanted,
Once a fair and stately palace —
    Radiant palace — reared its head.
In the monarch Thought’s dominion —
    It stood there!
Never seraph spread a pinion
    Over fabric half so fair!

Banners yellow, glorious, golden,
    On its roof did float and flow,
(This — all this — was in the olden
    Time long ago,)
And every gentle air that dallied,
    In that sweet day,
Along the ramparts plumed and pallid,
    A wingéd odour went away.

Wanderers in that happy valley,
    Through two luminous windows, saw
Spirits moving musically,
    To a lute’s well-tunéd law,
Round about a throne where, sitting
In state his glory well befitting,
    The ruler of the realm was seen.

And all with pearl and ruby glowing
    Was the fair palace door,
Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing,
    And sparkling evermore,
A troop of Echoes, whose sweet duty
    Was but to sing,
In voices of surpassing beauty,
    The wit and wisdom of their king.

But evil things, in robes of sorrow,
    Assailed the monarch’s high estate.
(Ah, let us mourn! — for never morrow
    Shall dawn upon him desolate!)
And round about his home the glory
    That blushed and bloomed,
Is but a dim-remembered story
    Of the old time entombed.

And travellers, now, within that valley,
    Through the red-litten windows see
Vast forms, that move fantastically
    To a discordant melody,
While, like a ghastly rapid river,
    Through the pale door
A hideous throng rush out forever
    And laugh — but smile no more.

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), 1839
from The Raven, and other poems, 1845

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Edgar Allan Poe biography

Sunday, October 29, 2017

October / Margaret Veley


Long looked for was the summer. Anxious eyes
     Noted the budding bough, the crocus flame,
That told its coming. Now, 'neath autumn skies
     The leaves fall slowly, slowly as they came.

There is no need to watch while winter weaves
     Fair buds to crown another golden prime,
For something heavier than the autumn leaves
     Has hidden eyes that looked for summer-time.

The trees shall wake from their forgetful sleep
     Unto new blossom and a tender green –
The countless trees! – but never one will keep
     A little leaf or flower that she has seen!

Margaret Veley (1843-1887), 1880
from A Marriage of Shadows, and other poems, 1888

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Margaret Veley biography

Saturday, October 28, 2017

October (Once More at Home) / J. Ashby-Sterry


Once more at Home! We've ploughed the main,
We've gone by diligence and train;
     Endured the oft-repeated snub
     Of insolent official cub —
In Switzerland, in France, and Spain.

For weeks we've struggled, all in vain,
Some toilet comforts to obtain;
     But now we hail our roomy "tub"
          Once more at Home.

Though back we come to fog and rain
And chills and bills, we don't complain!
     We've heaps of friends, a quiet "rub",
     A pleasant dinner at the Club —
True happiness we now regain,
          Once more at Home!

J. Ashby-Sterry (1836-1917)
from The Lazy Minstrel, 1886

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

J. Ashby-Sterry biography

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Autumnal / Ernest Dowson


Pale amber sunlight falls across
     The reddening October trees,
     That hardly sway before a breeze
As soft as summer: summer's loss
     Seems little, dear! on days like these!

Let misty autumn be our part!
     The twilight of the year is sweet:
     Where shadow and the darkness meet
Our love, a twilight of the heart
     Eludes a little time's deceit.

Are we not better and at home
     In dreamful Autumn, we who deem
     No harvest joy is worth a dream?
A little while and night shall come,
     A little while, then, let us dream.

Beyond the pearled horizons lie
     Winter and night: awaiting these
     We garner this poor hour of ease,
Until love turn from us and die
     Beneath the drear November trees.

Ernest Dowson (1867-1900)
from The Poems of Ernest Dowson, 1900

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Ernest Dowson biography

Saturday, October 21, 2017

North Wind in October / Robert Bridges


In the golden glade the chestnuts are fallen all;
From the sered boughs of the oak the acorns fall:
The beech scatters her ruddy fire;
The lime hath stripped to the cold,
And standeth naked above her yellow attire:
The larch thinneth her spire
To lay the ways of the wood with cloth of gold.

     Out of the golden-green and white
Of the brake the fir-trees stand upright
In the forest of flame, and wave aloft
To the blue of heaven their blue-green tuftings soft.

     But swiftly in shuddering gloom the splendours fail,
As the harrying North-wind beareth
A cloud of skirmishing hail
The grieved woodland to smite:
In a hurricane through the trees he teareth,
Raking the boughs and the leaves rending,
And whistleth to the descending
Blows of his icy flail.
Gold and snow he mixeth in spite,
And whirleth afar; as away on his winnowing flight
He passeth, and all again for awhile is bright.

Robert Bridges (1844-1930)
from Shorter Poems, Book V, 1893

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

Robert Bridges biography

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Winterworld Descending / Will Dockery (4 poems)

Winterworld Descending

1. Stopwatch 

My wayward muse,
I am still in the bewilderness.
Leave it to me,
A mute passing notes to a blind man.

Time has a demand – she's yelling
Through shutdown clocks frozen at noon.
The memories here are snow dust
Under a low rust moon.

Time for Winterworld descending –
Ignite time with a Werewolf bullet so slow,
Flaky leaves spinning by me,
Past the ceramic building down below.

In front of a wet breeze
I think its time to leave your smile.
Even if I am wrong,
Please sit by me for a little while.

Time to draw another picture,
Manufacture memories forever gone.
Somewhere on some red October morning,
We'll meet on that field, alone.

2. She Loves Bossa Nova 

She loves Bossa Nova
rare steaks
rain sticks
And red red wine.

She's real
and sometimes sparks
with spoken words
spoken loud.
Just like the
Statue of Liberty
standing tall and proud
along the long way
long way around.

Brown sugar baby
backyard blues
maybe it was intimidation
quiet infatuation.
I was coming down home
fell down, down, down
into silver blazing dawn.

On the long way
overheard on the sidewalk
she said "I love you" –
somehow I did not understand
overheard on the street
out on the sidewalk
taking the long way
long way around.

I didn't know
she was crying.
I didn't think
it'd be that way
didn't think
she would get so serious.
The guitar played
C, D, . . .

She likes city lights
she could name all the saints
and the darkness
she said it made her so lonely.

She loves Bossa Nova
rare steaks
rain sticks
And red red wine
On the long way
long way around.

3. Black and Blue Night

I know I'll never see
blue eyes again.
In fact I may never see
anything again

In that corridor
of memory and dream
I saw someone slipping in

On a black and blue night
poker faced with tears blinding my sight
on a black and blue night

I pull the shutters
crank up that light
Something in here
and I want it in plain sight.

She walks with me
like Jesus used to do
in a shivering rendezvous

On a black and blue night
raining again and it's blinding my sight
on a black and blue night

Never seen a place like Hazelton
pirouetting hoodlums dancing round
never seen such a dirty town

She said we must do something for the cause
sacrifice the ghost of Santa Claus
To fit the battle of Jericho
Toss the gauntlet and the ass's jaw

On a black and blue night . . .

4. Swamp Street Exile 

Winterworld descends
Night owl on my back.
Your eyes are bleary
You won't be coming back.

Time ... Demands.
She's yelling.
Shut down clocks
at Noon.

In front of the Dead River
Time to leave your smile.
If I'm wrong dear lady
Come sit with me a while.

Memories ...
like Snowdust.
Swamp Street Exile

Draw another picture
Of a perfect storm,
A red October morning,
A field forever gone.

My wayward muse,
Leave it all to me.
Still in the bewilderness,
Still too blind to see.

Time demands, she's yelling
Shutdown clocks at noon
Memories like snowdust
Frozen Stopwatch moon.

Will Dockery, 

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

Will Dockery biography


Saturday, October 14, 2017

The woods shake in an ague-fit / Mathilde Blind

from Love in Exile:


The woods shake in an ague‐fit,
     The mad wind rocks the pine,
From sea to sea the white gulls flit
     Into the roaring brine.

The moon as if in panic grief
     Darts through the clouds on high,
Blown like a wild autumnal leaf
     Across the wilder sky.

The gusty rain is driving fast,
     And through the rain we hear,
Above the equinoctial blast,
     The thunder of the Weir.

The voices of the wind and rain
     Wail echoing through my heart —
That love is ever dogged by pain
     And fondest souls must part.

You made heart’s summer, O my friend,
     But now we bid adieu,
There will be winter without end
     And tears for ever new.

Mathilde Blind (1841-1896)
from Songs and Sonnets, 1893

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Mathilde Blind biography

Sunday, October 8, 2017

October / John Reed


Langorous with heavy haze
Sinks the scarlet sun.  A drowsy hush
Hangs above the city ways,
And stills their rush.

Smoky mist of forest fires
Greyly palls the distance.  Pines long dead
Smoulder deep like dead desires —
Their gaunt arms spread.

Golden-red the honeyed moon,
Swarmed about with golden bees, hangs low,
Climbing to her silver noon
With blood-like glow —

Weirdly floats the echo down,
Tom-toms faintly throbbing far away,
Through the haze from Chinatown
Across the bay . . .

John Reed (1887-1920),  1906
from Tamberlaine, and other verses, 1917

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

John Reed biography

Saturday, October 7, 2017

October / Edward Thomas


The green elm with the one great bough of gold
Lets leaves into the grass slip, one by one, --
The short hill grass, the mushrooms small milk-white,
Harebell and scabious and tormentil,
That blackberry and gorse, in dew and sun,
Bow down to; and the wind travels too light
To shake the fallen birch leaves from the fern;
The gossamers wander at their own will.
At heavier steps than birds' the squirrels scold.
The rich scene has grown fresh again and new
As Spring and to the touch is not more cool
Than it is warm to the gaze; and now I might
As happy be as earth is beautiful,
Were I some other or with earth could turn
In alternation of violet and rose,
Harebell and snowdrop, at their season due,
And gorse that has no time not to be gay.
But if this be not happiness, -- who knows?
Some day I shall think this a happy day,
And this mood by the name of melancholy
Shall no more blackened and obscured be.

Edward Thomas (1878-1917)
from Poems, 1917

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

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Autumn / Kalidasa


The autumn comes, a maiden fair
In slenderness and grace,
With nodding rice-stems in her hair
And lilies in her face.
In flowers of grasses she is clad;
And as she moves along,
Birds greet her with their cooing glad
Like bracelets' tinkling song.

A diadem adorns the night
Of multitudinous stars;
Her silken robe is white moonlight,
Set free from cloudy bars;
And on her face (the radiant moon)
Bewitching smiles are shown:
She seems a slender maid, who soon
Will be a woman grown.

Over the rice-fields, laden plants
Are shivering to the breeze;
While in his brisk caresses dance
The blossomed-burdened trees;
He ruffles every lily-pond
Where blossoms kiss and part,
And stirs with lover's fancies fond
The young man's eager heart.

Kalidasa (circa 400)
translated by Arthur W. Ryder (1877-1938)
from Translations of Shkuntala, and other works, 1912

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

Kalidasa biography
Arthur W. Ryder biography

Penny's Top 20 / September 2017

Penny's Top 20
The most-visited poems on  The Penny Blog in September 2017:

  1.  Premonition, George J. Dance
  2.  The Bright Extensive Will, AE Reiff
  3.  The Reader, Wallace Stevens
  4.  The Dwarf, Wallace Stevens
  5.  An Indian Summer Day on the Prairie, Vachel Lindsay
  6.  There Was a Time, George J. Dance
  7.  Esthetique du Mal, Wallace Stevens
  8.  In a September Night, F. Wyville Home
  9.  Bavarian Gentians, D.H. Lawrence

10.  Farewell to Summer, Bernard McEvoy

11.   September (A Foreign Tour), J. Ashby-Sterry
12.  A Night Rain in Summer, Leigh Hunt
13.  A Dirge for Summer, Sebastian Evans

14.  Absence, John Arthur Blaikie
15.  Card Game, Frank Prewett
16.  Last Week in October, Thomas Hardy
17.  Evil, Arthur Rimbaud
18.  Penny, or Penny's Hat, George J. Dance  
19.  Chaos in Motion and Not in Motion, Wallace Stevens
20.  Alabanza, Martin Espada (video)

Source: Blogger, "Stats"