Posts Tagged ‘blank verse’

Afield at dusk

What things for dream there are when specter-like,
Moving among tall haycocks lightly piled,
I enter alone upon the stubble field,
From which the laborers’ voices late have died,
And in the antiphony of afterglow
And rising full moon, sit me down
Upon the full moon’s side of the first haycock
And lose myself amid so many alike.

I dream upon the opposing lights of the hour,
Preventing shadow until the moon prevail;
I dream upon the nighthawks peopling heaven,
Each circling each with vague unearthly cry,
Or plunging headlong with fierce twang afar;
And on the bat’s mute antics, who would seem
Dimly to have made out my secret place,
Only to lose it when he pirouettes,
And seek it endlessly with purblind haste;
On the last swallow’s sweep; and on the rasp
In the abyss of odor and rustle at my back,
That, silenced by my advent, finds once more,
After an interval, his instrument.
And tries once – twice – and thrice if I be there;
And on the worn book of old-golden song
I brought not here to read, it seems, but hold
And freshen in this air of withering sweetness;
But on the memory of one absent, most,
For whom these lines when they shall greet her eye.


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Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow, and, driving o’er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air
Hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven,
And veils the farmhouse at the garden’s end.
The sled and traveler stopped, the courier’s feet
Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit
Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
In a tumultuous privacy of storm. 

Come see the north wind’s masonry,
Out of an unseen quarry evermore
Furnished with tile, the fierce artificer
Curves his white bastions with projected roof
Round every windward stake, or tree, or door.
Speeding, the myriad-handed, his wild work
So fanciful, so savage, nought cares he
For number or proportion. Mockingly,
On coop or kennel he hangs Parian wreaths;
A swanlike form invests the hidden thorn;
Fills up the farmer’s lane from wall to wall,
Mauger the farmer’s sighs; and at the gate
A tapering turret overtops the work.
And when his hours are numbered, and the world
Is all his own, retiring, as he were not,
Leaves, when the sun appears, astonished Art
To mimic in slow structures, stone by stone,
Built in an age, the mad wind’s night work,
The frolic architecture of the snow.


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Ilustration of "The Emperor's New Clothes...

Image via Wikipedia

The emperor rides streets without his clothes.
Though bard and critic value vapid verse,
He, modern poem, is naught but naked prose.

Contempt for poems reveals the public knows;
Like Scotsmen, they cling tightly to the purse.
The emperor rides streets without his clothes.

It’s only paragraphs put into rows,
As though a patient, lined, becomes a nurse.
He, modern poem, is naught but naked prose.

Blank verse leaves reader blank, dulled, in a doze;
Or, worse, in deep disgust, to mutter, curse.
The emperor rides streets without his clothes.

Perhaps it is the snob with upturned nose
Who blindly drives the barren poet hearse.
He, modern poem, is naught but naked prose.

The tiny poet crowd has inbred woes.
I, little child, will cry and tell it, terse:
The emperor rides streets without his clothes.
He, modern poem, is naught but naked prose.


© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2011.

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