31/108: spring to summer

Young lady reading the book in the hammock on tropical beach at sunsetA few lovely quotes for the first day of summer:

I know I am but summer to your heart, and not the full four seasons of the year. ― Edna St. Vincent Millay

Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language. ― Henry James

And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer. ― F. Scott FitzgeraldThe Great Gatsby

Sweet, sweet burn of sun and summer wind, and you my friend, my new fun thing, my summer fling. ― k.d. lang

I almost wish we were butterflies and liv’d but three summer days – three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain. ― John Keats

Press close, bare-bosomed Night! 
Press close, magnetic, nourishing Night!
Night of south winds! Night of the large, few stars!
Still, nodding Night! Mad, naked, Summer Night!
― Walt WhitmanLeaves of Grass

 

Full Blog Series: The Joyful Path
Image: Bigstock

Souls of September: A Pastiche

purple patchworkThere is a deeper life
than the life
we see and hear
with the open ear
and the open eye

and this is the life important
and the life everlasting. (1)

Now is the time
in spite of the “wrong note”
I love you. My heart is
innocent.
And this the first
(and last) day of the world (2)

And on this moral sea
of grass or dreams lie flowers
or baskets of desires (3)

The woman in the picture…
was only a ghost in a frame,
and a sad,
pretty story from old times. (4)

Words are the only things that last forever;
they are more durable than the eternal hills (5)

I watch the white stars darken;
the day comes and the
white stars dim
and lessen
and the lights fade in the city. (6)

Image from Google

Note: Over the years, I have learned that a few of our great writers possess an anniversary of their birth and/or death during the month of September. This pastiche, or patchwork, poem included pieces from:

(1) Seán O’Casey
(2) William Carlos Williams, The Orchestra
(3) William Carlos Williams, On Gay Wallpaper
(4) Katherine Anne PorterThe Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter
(5) William Hazlitt
(6) Hilda “H.D.” Doolittle

To My Father on His Birthday

Amidst the days of pleasant mirth,
That throw their halo round our earth;
Amidst the tender thoughts that rise
To call bright tears to happy eyes;
Amidst the silken words that move
To syllable the names we love;
There glides no day of gentle bliss
More soothing to the heart than this!
No thoughts of fondness e’er appear
More fond, than those I write of here!
No name can e’er on tablet shine,
My father! more beloved than thine!
‘Tis sweet, adown the shady past,
A lingering look of love to cast—
Back th’ enchanted world to call,
That beamed around us first of all;
And walk with Memory fondly o’er
The paths where Hope had been before—
Sweet to receive the sylphic sound
That breathes in tenderness around,
Repeating to the listening ear
The names that made our childhood dear—
For parted Joy, like Echo, kind,
Will leave her dulcet voice behind,
To tell, amidst the magic air,
How oft she smiled and lingered there.

 

To My Father on His Birthday

Poem written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

In loving memory, Craig Stewart Fifield, 11/20/1949 – 4/14/2013

Poetry Beyond All Praise – No. 30

Antique Typewriter Qwerty IXa celebration of great poets during april’s national poetry month

 

 

 

 

Lines on the Mermaid Tavern
by John Keats

Souls of Poets dead and gone,
What Elysium have ye known,
Happy field or mossy cavern,
Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern?
Have ye tippled drink more fine
Than mine host’s Canary wine?
Or are fruits of Paradise
Sweeter than those dainty pies
Of venison? O generous food!
Drest as though bold Robin Hood
Would, with his maid Marian,
Sup and bowse from horn and can.
 
I have heard that on a day
Mine host’s sign-board flew away,
Nobody knew whither, till
An astrologer’s old quill
To a sheepskin gave the story,
Said he saw you in your glory,
Underneath a new old sign
Sipping beverage divine,
And pledging with contented smack
The Mermaid in the Zodiac.
 
Souls of Poets dead and gone,
What Elysium have ye known,
Happy field or mossy cavern,
Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern?

 

See full list of poems on My Favorite Poets

Poetry Beyond All Praise – No. 29

Antique Typewriter Qwerty IXa celebration of great poets during april’s national poetry month

 

 

 

 

Let Me Tell You What a Poem Brings
by Juan Felipe Herrera

for Charles Fishman

Before you go further,
let me tell you what a poem brings,
first, you must know the secret, there is no poem
to speak of, it is a way to attain a life without boundaries,
yes, it is that easy, a poem, imagine me telling you this,
instead of going day by day against the razors, well,
the judgments, all the tick-tock bronze, a leather jacket
sizing you up, the fashion mall, for example, from
the outside you think you are being entertained,
when you enter, things change, you get caught by surprise,
your mouth goes sour, you get thirsty, your legs grow cold
standing still in the middle of a storm, a poem, of course,
is always open for business too, except, as you can see,
it isn’t exactly business that pulls your spirit into
the alarming waters, there you can bathe, you can play,
you can even join in on the gossip—the mist, that is,
the mist becomes central to your existence.

 

See full list of poems on My Favorite Poets

Poetry Beyond All Praise – No. 28

Antique Typewriter Qwerty IXa celebration of great poets during april’s national poetry month

 

 

 

 

Out of the Rolling Ocean the Crowd
by Walt Whitman

Out of the rolling ocean the crowd came a drop gently to me,
Whispering, I love you, before long I die,
I have travell’d a long way merely to look on you to touch you,
For I could not die till I once look’d on you,
For I fear’d I might afterward lose you.

Now we have met, we have look’d, we are safe,
Return in peace to the ocean my love,
I too am part of that ocean, my love, we are not so much separated,
Behold the great rondure, the cohesion of all, how perfect!
But as for me, for you, the irresistible sea is to separate us,
As for an hour carrying us diverse, yet cannot carry us diverse forever;
Be not impatient – a little space – know you I salute the air, the ocean and the land,
Every day at sundown for your dear sake, my love.

 

See full list of poems on My Favorite Poets

Poetry Beyond All Praise – No. 27

Antique Typewriter Qwerty IXa celebration of great poets during april’s national poetry month

 

 

 

 

On Hearing of Robin Williams’ Diagnosis
by Lynne Knight

My mother had Lewy body dementia, too, a late
diagnosis. Eight years of losing all trace
of herself, like someone following her shadow
into a forest that got deeper and deeper
until it became what Thoreau called
standing night. Her name was Knight,

so sometimes I would think of her as
Standing Night, her shadow lost altogether
by then. Her words, her understanding.
So when I heard that Robin Williams
had the same ruinous disease, I thought
what a generous thing he had done,

what a courageous thing, without the help
of drugs or alcohol or anyone, not wanting
to implicate anyone in his death in a state
where assisted suicide is forbidden.
I thought if there were an afterworld
where the soul is restored to its original

form, my mother would find her way
to Robin Williams and tell him he’d done
the right thing, the thing she would have done
if she’d known all she had coming.
But I don’t believe the soul continues.
The spirit lives on in the hearts of others,

so Robin Williams will live as close
as it gets to forever. As for my mother,
she’d be content to know how much
my sister and I miss her, how we still
talk to her, how we rely on her wisdom
to stand us by on darkest nights.

 

See full list of poems on My Favorite Poets