Archived Poems of the Month (2001-2002)

Archived Poems for 2001-2002
Archived Poems for 2003-2004
Archived Poems for 2005-2006
Archived Poems for 2007-2008
Archived Poems for 2009-2010
March '01The Puffin April '01Spring Comes to America
May '01Loveliest of trees, the cherry now June '01The Sea and the Hills
July '01The Tiger August '01"You wear her livery"
September '01Kipling's Vermont October '01"under a grey sky"
November '01Mirage December '01from "Ulysses"
January '02Auld Lang Syne February '02Dust of Snow
March '02The Daffodils April '02Spring
May '02"Tonight I've watched" June '02Nothing Gold Can Stay
July '02"clear moonlight" August '02"long night over"
September '02Composed Upon Westminster Bridge,
September 3, 1802
October '02Ocober
November '02Another Way December '02Christmas in India


Poem of the Month: March 2001

puffin
The Puffin
by florence jacques

There once was a puffin just the shape of a muffin,
And he lived on an island in the deep blue sea,
He ate little fishes, which were most delicious,
And he ate them for breakfast and he ate them for tea.

But this poor little puffin, he couldn't play nothin',
'Cause he didn't have no-one to play with at all.
So he sat on his island and he cried for a while, and
He felt very lonesome and he felt very small.

Then along came the fishes and they said, "If you wishes,
You can have us for playmates, instead of for tea."
Now they all play together in all kinds of weather,
And the puffin eats pancakes, like you and like me.

puffin
puffin puffin


Poem of the Month: April 2001

Camden Yards
Spring comes to America

Almost imperceptably the days
Have lengthened and the sky has grown more blue.
Unclipped forsythia tangles in a blaze
Of gold; bright jonquils shine, and crocus too,
Amidst the paler shades of blooming trees:
The pinks and whites of apple, cherry, pear,
And darker redbud in the pastel seas
Of tossing blossomed limbs so lately bare.
Grass reborn spreads its imperial jade
In carpets envied by a monarch's throne,
And birds from dawn to dusk sing out their hearts.
And in each town some space is found or made
For that sure sign that winter's truly flown:
With that first pitch, at last the summer starts.

-Karen Davis


Poem of the Month: May 2001

Lovliest of trees, the cherry now
cherries
Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.
—A E Housman


Poem of the Month: June 2001

The Sea and The Hills
sea Who hath desired the Sea?—the sight of salt water unbounded—
The heave and the halt and the hurl and the crash of the comber wind-hounded?
The sleek-barrelled swell before storm, grey, foamless, enormous, and growing—
Stark calm on the lap of the Line or the crazy-eyed hurricane blowing—
His Sea in no showing the same—his Sea and the same 'neath each showing:
       His Sea as she slackens or thrills?
So and no otherwise—so and no otherwise—hillmen desire their Hills!
 
waves Who hath desired the Sea?—the immense and contemptuous surges?
The shudder, the stumble, the swerve, as the star-stabbing bow-sprit emerges?
The orderly clouds of the Trades, the ridged, roaring sapphire thereunder —
Unheralded cliff-haunting flaws and the headsail's low-volleying thunder—
His Sea in no wonder the same—his Sea and the same through each wonder:
       His Sea as she rages or stills?
So and no otherwise—so and no otherwise—hillmen desire their Hills.
 
iceberg Who hath desired the Sea? Her menaces swift as her mercies?
The in-rolling walls of the fog and the silver-winged breeze that disperses?
The unstable mined berg going South and the calvings and groans that declare it—
White water half-guessed overside and the moon breaking timely to bare it—
His Sea as his fathers have dared—his Sea as his children shall dare it:
       His Sea as she serves him or kills?
So and no otherwise—so and no otherwise—hillmen desire their Hills.
 
cades cove Who hath desired the Sea? Her excellent loneliness rather
Than forecourts of kings, and her outermost pits than the streets where men gather
Inland, among dust, under trees—inland where the slayer may slay him—
Inland, out of reach of her arms, and the bosom whereon he must lay him
His Sea from the first that betrayed—at the last that shall never betray him:
       His Sea that his being fulfils?
So and no otherwise—so and no otherwise—hillmen desire their Hills.
—Rudyard Kipling


Poem of the Month: July 2001

The Tiger
tiger Tiger, Tiger, burning bright
In the forest of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dared frame thy fearful symmetry?
tiger In what distant deeps or skies
Burned that fire within thine eyes?
On what wings dared he aspire?
What the hand dared sieze the fire?
tiger And what shoulder, and what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
When thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand formed thy dread feet?
tiger What the hammer, what the chain,
Knit thy strength and forged thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dared thy deadly terrors clasp?
tiger When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the lamb make thee?
— William Blake


Poem of the Month: August 2001

moon altar You wear her livery
Shining with gold,
you, too, Hecate,
Queen of Night, hand-
maid to Aphrodite

Sappho (translation Mary Barnard)

Poem of the Month: September 2001

autumn fire Kipling's Vermont

The summer like a rajah dies,
And every widowed tree
Kindles for Congregationalist eyes
An alien suttee.

—Ogden Nash

Poem of the Month: October 2001

geese in flight under a grey sky
flocks of geese passing
no shadows at all

—Carlos Fleitas

Poem of the Month: November 2001

bilibin moon Mirage

The hope I dreamed of was a dream,
Was but a dream; and now I wake,
Exceeding comfortless, and worn, and old,
For a dream's sake.

I hang my harp upon a tree,
A weeping willow in a lake;
I hang my silent harp there, wrung and snapped
For a dream's sake.

Lie still, lie still, my breaking heart;
My silent heart, lie still and break:
Life, and the world, and mine own self, are changed
For a dream's sake.

—Cristina Rosetti

Poem of the Month: December 2001

from "Ulysses" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
sunpillar at lake tahoe
There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail:
There gloom the dark broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toiled, and wrought, and thought with me—
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free hearts, free foreheads—you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;
Death closes all: but something ere the end,

Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
pleiades

Poem of the Month: January 2002

"Auld Lang Syne"
snowy trees Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days of auld lang syne?
And days of auld lang syne, my dear,
And days of auld lang syne.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days of auld lang syne?

We twa hae run aboot the braes
And pu'd the gowans fine.
We've wandered mony a weary foot,
Sin' auld lang syne.
Sin' auld lang syne, my dear,
Sin' auld lang syne,
We've wandered mony a weary foot,
Sin' auld lang syne.

We twa hae sported i' the burn,
From morning sun till dine,
But seas between us braid hae roared
Sin' auld lang syne.
Sin' auld lang syne, my dear,
Sin' auld lang syne.
But seas between us braid hae roared
Sin' auld lang syne.

And ther's a hand, my trusty friend,
And gie's a hand o' thine;
We'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
lone cypress
collected and augmented by Robert Burns

Poem of the Month: February 2002

"Dust of Snow"
snowy trees The way a crow
Shook down on me
A dusting of snow
From a hemlock tree

Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.

—Robert Frost

Poem of the Month: March 2002

"The Daffodils"
daffodils I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils,
Beside the lake, beneath the trees
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
daffodils Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
daffodils The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay
In such a jocund company!
I gazed - and gazed - but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
daffodils For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

—William Wordsworth

Poem of the Month: April 2002

"Spring"
arboretum TO what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily.
I know what I know.
The sun is hot on my neck as I observe
The spikes of the crocus.
The smell of the earth is good.
It is apparent that there is no death.
But what does that signify?
Not only under ground are the brains of men
Eaten by maggots.
Life in itself
Is nothing,
An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
April
Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.

—Edna St. Vincent Millay

spring woods

Poem of the Month: May 2002

bilibin moon Tonight I've watched
the moon and then
the Pleiades
go down

The night is now
half-gone; youth
goes; I am

in bed alone.

—Sappho


Poem of the Month: June 2002

Nothing Gold Can Stay
daffodils Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her first leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
—Robert Frost

Poem of the Month: July 2002

Haiku
moon clear moonlight

drawing a ring around the pond -

deep silence

—Jasminka Diordievic

Poem of the Month: August 2002

Haiku
moon long night over —

the same morning stars

in the locust tree

—Ann K. Schwader

Poem of the Month: September 2002

Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802
westminster bridge Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!
—William Wordsworth

Poem of the Month: October 2002

October
autumn on the Little Pigeon Beauty has a tarnished dress,
And a patchwork cloak of cloth
Dipped deep in mournfulness,
Striped like a moth.

Wet grass where it trails
Dyes it green along the hem;
She has seven silver veils
With cracked bells on them.

She is tired of all these—
Grey gauze, translucent lawn;
The broad cloak of Herakles
Is tangled flame and fawn.

Water and light are wearing thin:
She has drawn above her head
The warm enormous lion skin
Rough red and gold.
—Elinor Wylie

Poem of the Month: November 2002

Another Way
rose I lay in silence, dead. A woman came
   And laid a rose upon my breast, and said,
"May God be merciful." She spoke my name,
   And added, "It is strange to think him dead.
"He loved me well enough, but 't was his way
   To speak it lightly." Then, beneath her breath:
"Besides" —I knew what further she would say,
   But then a footfall broke my dream of death.
To-day the words are mine. I lay the rose
   Upon her breast, and speak her name, and deem
It strange indeed that she is dead. God knows
   I had more pleasure in the other dream.
—Ambrose Bierce

Poem of the Month: December 2002

Christmas in India
border Dim dawn behind the tamarisks—the sky is saffron-yellow—
  As the women in the village grind the corn,
And the parrots seek the riverside, each calling to his fellow
  That the Day, the staring Eastern Day, is born.
     O the white dust on the highway! O the stenches in the byway!
         O the clammy fog that hovers over earth!
     And at Home they're making merry 'neath the white and scarlet berry—
         What part have India's exiles in their mirth?

Full day behind the tamarisks—the sky is blue and staring—
  As the cattle crawl afield beneath the yoke,
And they bear One o'er the field-path, who is past all hope or caring,
  To the ghat below the curling wreaths of smoke.
     Call on Rama, going slowly, as ye bear a brother lowly—
         Call on Rama—he may hear, perhaps, your voice!
     With our hymn-books and our psalters we appeal to other altars,
         And to-day we bid "good Christian men rejoice!"

High noon behind the tamarisks—the sun is hot above us—
  As at Home the Christmas Day is breaking wan.
They will drink our healths at dinner—those who tell us how they love us,
  And forget us till another year be gone!
     Oh the toil that knows no breaking! Oh the Heimweh, ceaseless, aching!
         Oh the black dividing Sea and alien Plain!
     Youth was cheap—wherefore we sold it. Gold was good—we hoped to hold it,
         And to-day we know the fulness of our gain!

Grey dusk behind the tamarisks—the parrots fly together—
  As the sun is sinking slowly over Home;
And his last ray seems to mock us shackled in a lifelong tether.
  That drags us back howe'er so far we roam.
     Hard her service, poor her payment—she in ancient, tattered raiment—
         India, she the grim Stepmother of our kind.
     If a year of life be lent her, if her temple's shrine we enter,
         The door is shut—we may not look behind.

Black night behind the tamarisks—the owls begin their chorus—
  As the conches from the temple scream and bray.
With the fruitless years behind us and the hopeless years before us,
  Let us honor, O my brother, Christmas Day!
     Call a truce, then, to our labours—let us feast with friends and neighbours,
         And be merry as the custom of our caste;
     For, if "faint and forced the laughter," and if sadness follow after,
         We are richer by one mocking Christmas past.

—Rudyard Kipling


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