Poem of the day

Rondeau
by Charles d’Orléans (1394-1465)

Le temps a laissié son manteau
De vent, de froidure et de pluie,
Et s’est vestu de broderie,
De soleil luyant, cler et beau.

Il n’y a beste ne oiseau,
Qu’en son jargon ne chante ou crie:
«Le temps a laissié son manteau.»

Rivière, fontaine et ruisseau
Portent, en livree jolie,
Gouttes d’argent d’orfeverie,
Chascun s’abille de nouveau :
Le temps a laissié son manteau.

Poem of the day

From Pippa Passes
by Robert Browning (1812-1889)

The year’s at the spring,
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hill-side’s dew-pearled;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in His heaven—
All’s right with the world!

Poem of the day

The Funeral Bell
by Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

One more is gone
Out of the busy throng
      That tread these paths;
The church-bell tolls,
Its sad knell rolls
      To many hearths.

Flower-bells toll not,
Their echoes roll not
      Upon my ear;
There still, perchance,
That gentle spirit haunts
      A fragrant bier.

Low lies the pall,
Lowly the mourners all
      Their passage grope;
No sable hue
Mars the serene blue
      Of heaven’s cope.

In distant dell
Faint sounds the funeral bell;
      A heavenly chime;
Some poet there
Weaves the light-burthened air
      Into sweet rhyme.

Poem of the day

A su retrato
by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1651-1695)

Este que ves, engaño colorido,
que, del arte ostentando los primores,
con falsos silogismos de colores
es cauteloso engaño del sentido;

Éste, en quien la lisonja ha pretendido
excusar de los años los horrores,
y venciendo del tiempo los rigores
triunfar de la vejez y del olvido,

Es un vano artificio del cuidado,
es una flor al viento delicada,
es un resguardo inútil para el hado:

Es una necia diligencia errada,
es un afán caduco y, bien mirado,
es cadáver, es polvo, es sombra, es nada.

Poem of the day

Rondeau
by Guillaume de Machault (c. 1300-1377)

Blanche com lis, plus que rose vermeille,
Resplendissant com rubis d’Oriant,

En remirant vo viauté nonpareille,
Blanche com lis, plus que rose vermeille,

Sui si ravis que mes cuers toudis veille
Afin que serve a loy de fin amant,
Blanche com lys, plus que rose vermeille,
Resplendissant com rubis d’Oriant.

Poem of the day

Skaldens Morgonpsalm
by Esaias Tegnér (1782-1846)

Sol, som från mig flytt!
Över bergets topp
Lyfter du på nytt
Strålig hjässa opp.
Jag vill bedja med de myriader.
Hör mig sångens, hör mig ljusets fader.

Tag mig med i skyn
På din himmelsfärd!
Öppna för min syn
Diktens sköna värld!
Låt dess gudabilder i det höga
Sväva klara för ett dödligt öga!

Lär mig måla se’n
För den dunkla jord
Varje himlascen:
Giv mig språk och ord,
Att de flyktiga gestalter stanna
På mitt papper, levande och sanna.

Giv mig kraft och mod
Att förakta rätt
Dårars övermod,
Tidens kloka ätt,
Som beler vad skaldens pensel målar,
Fåfängt doppad uti dina strålar!

För den bleka nöd
Stäng igen min dörr;
Giv i dag mig bröd
Som du givit förr;
Att den höga himlakraft ej rymmer
Ur mitt bröst för jordiska bekymmer!

O! du vet det väl,
Hur jag älskar dig.
Därför fyll min själ,
Fyll den helt med dig!
Ärans, guldets, maktens åtrå vike
Från mitt rena hjärta, från ditt rike!

Se, du hör min bön,
Hör mitt lov också!
Jorden syns mer skön,
Himlen mera blå.
Andar viska i de svala lunder,
jag hör harpor, jag ser skaparns under.

Tiden flyger bort,
Konsten är så lång,
Livet är så kort.
Upp min själ till sång!
Guden kommer. Lyssnen myriader
Det är sångens, det är ljusets fader.

Poem of the day

Gegen Verführung
by Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956)

Laßt Euch nicht verführen!
Es gibt keine Wiederkehr.
Der Tag steht in den Türen,
Ihr könnt schon Nachtwind spüren:
Es kommt kein Morgen mehr.

Laßt Euch nicht betrügen!
Das Leben wenig ist.
Schlürft es in vollen Zügen!
Es wird Euch nicht genügen,
Wenn Ihr es lassen müßt!

Laßt Euch nicht vertrösten!
Ihr habt nicht zu viel Zeit!
Laßt Moder den Erlösten!
Das Leben ist am größten:
Es steht nicht mehr bereit.

Laßt Euch nicht verführen
Zu Fron und Ausgezehr!
Was kann Euch Angst noch rühren?
Ihr sterbt mit allen Tieren
Und es kommt nichts nachher.

Poem of the day

The Man with the Hoe
by Edwin Markham (1852-1940)

Bowed by the weight of centuries he leans
Upon his hoe and gazes on the ground,
The emptiness of ages in his face,
And on his back the burden of the world.
Who made him dead to rapture and despair,
A thing that grieves not and that never hopes.
Stolid and stunned, a brother to the ox?
Who loosened and let down this brutal jaw?
Whose was the hand that slanted back this brow?
Whose breath blew out the light within this brain?

Is this the Thing the Lord God made and gave
To have dominion over sea and land;
To trace the stars and search the heavens for power;
To feel the passion of Eternity?
Is this the Dream He dreamed who shaped the suns
And marked their ways upon the ancient deep?
Down all the caverns of Hell to their last gulf
There is no shape more terrible than this —
More tongued with censure of the world’s blind greed —
More filled with signs and portents for the soul—
More packed with danger to the universe.

What gulfs between him and the seraphim!
Slave of the wheel of labor, what to him
Are Plato and the swing of Pleiades?
What the long reaches of the peaks of song,
The rift of dawn, the reddening of the rose?
Through this dread shape the suffering ages look;
Time’s tragedy is in that aching stoop;
Through this dread shape humanity betrayed,
Plundered, profaned and disinherited,
Cries protest to the Judges of the World,
A protest that is also prophecy.

O masters, lords, and rulers in all lands,
Is this the handiwork you give to God,
This monstrous thing distorted and soul-quenched?
How will you ever straighten up this shape;
Touch it again with immortality;
Give back the upward looking and the light;
Rebuild in it the music and the dream;
Make right the immemorial infamies,
Perfidious wrongs, immedicable woes?

O masters, lords, and rulers in all lands,
How will the Future reckon with this Man?
How answer his brute question in that hour
When whirlwinds of rebellion shake all shores?
How will it be with kingdoms and with kings—
With those who shaped him to the thing he is—–
When this dumb Terror shall rise to judge the world,
After the silence of the centuries?

Poem of the day

Bells for John Whiteside’s Daughter
by John Ransom Crowe (1888-1974)

There was such speed in her little body,
And such lightness in her footfall,
It is no wonder her brown study
Astonishes us all.

Her wars were bruited in our high window.
We looked among orchard trees and beyond
Where she took arms against her shadow,
Or harried unto the pond

The lazy geese, like a snow cloud
Dripping their snow on the green grass,
Tricking and stopping, sleepy and proud,
Who cried in goose, Alas,

For the tireless heart within the little
Lady with rod that made them rise
From their noon apple-dreams and scuttle
Goose-fashion under the skies!

But now go the bells, and we are ready,
In one house we are sternly stopped
To say we are vexed at her brown study,
Lying so primly propped.

Poem of the day

Trees
by Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918)
because today is Arbor Day

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.