O Nightingale Thou Surely Art

O Nightingale! thou surely art
A creature of a "fiery heart":--
These notes of thine--they pierce and pierce;
Tumultuous harmony and fierce!
Thou sing'st as if the God of wine
Had helped thee to a Valentine;
A song in mockery and despite
Of shades, and dews, and silent night;
And steady bliss, and all the loves
Now sleeping in these peaceful groves.
I heard a Stock-dove sing or say
His homely tale, this very day;
His voice was buried among trees,
Yet to be come at by the breeze:


Ninth Inning

He woke up in New York City on Valentine's Day,
Speeding. The body in the booth next to his was still warm,
Was gone. He had bought her a sweater, a box of chocolate
Said her life wasn't working he looked stricken she said
You're all bent out of shape, accusingly, and when he
She went from being an Ivy League professor of French
To an illustrator for a slick midtown magazine
They agreed it was his fault. But for now they needed
To sharpen to a point like a pencil the way
The Empire State Building does. What I really want to say


News Of The Gold World Of May

News of the Gold World of May in Holland Michigan:
"Wooden shoes will clatter again
on freshly scrubbed streets--"

The tulip will arise and reign again from awnings and
windows
of all colors and forms
its vine, verve and valentine curves

upon the city streets, the public grounds
and private lawns
(wherever it is conceivable
that a bulb might take root
and the two lips, softly curved, come up


Magpiety

You pull over to the shoulder
of the two-lane
road and sit for a moment wondering
where you were going
in such a hurry. The valley is burned
out, the oaks
dream day and night of rain
that never comes.
At noon or just before noon
the short shadows
are gray and hold what little
life survives.
In the still heat the engine
clicks, although
the real heat is hours ahead.
You get out and step
cautiously over a low wire


July 10

The sky was a midnight blue
velvet cloth draping
a birdcage and no moon
but the breeze was whistling
and the sound of a car
on Valentine Place was
the rush of a waterfall
on the phone in New York City
and that's when the muse
turned up with curly brown locks
she was a poet, too, and wanted
me to give her an assignment
she was willing to trade
fifteen minutes of inspiration
in return for a phone call
from Frank O'Hara in heaven
sipping espresso and Irish whiskey
and then a morning swim


Hugh Selwyn Mauberly Part I

"Vocat aestus in umbram"
Nemesianus Es. IV.

E. P. Ode pour l'élection de son sépulchre

For three years, out of key with his time,
He strove to resuscitate the dead art
Of poetry; to maintain "the sublime"
In the old sense. Wrong from the start --

No, hardly, but, seeing he had been born
In a half savage country, out of date;
Bent resolutely on wringing lilies from the acorn;
Capaneus; trout for factitious bait:

"Idmen gar toi panth, os eni Troie
Caught in the unstopped ear;


Go, Valentine

Go, Valentine, and tell that lovely maid
Whom fancy still will portray to my sight,
How here I linger in this sullen shade,
This dreary gloom of dull monastic night;
Say, that every joy of life remote
At evening's closing hour I quit the throng,
Listening in solitude the ring-dome's note,
Who pours like me her solitary song;
Say, that of her absence calls the sorrowing sigh;
Say, that of all her charms I love to speak,
In fancy feel the magic of her eye,
In fancy view the smile illume her cheek,


Blue

See my colors fall apart? Green
to yellow with just one shade gone,
the changing tints of your sun-struck eyes,
if there were sun. Today the prism held to mine’s

a prison, locking in the light. In one of those mirrors
the colors are true. In one of these pictures the pigment’s
my own. The sound there is aquarelle and indigo,
and dripping distant water, the day’s habitual failure

to be anything substantial. Today a blank like color
by numbers, filled in with fog that frames the lake


Awake ye muses nine, sing me a strain divine

1

Awake ye muses nine, sing me a strain divine,
Unwind the solemn twine, and tie my Valentine!

Oh the Earth was made for lovers, for damsel, and hopeless swain,
For sighing, and gentle whispering, and unity made of twain.
All things do go a courting, in earth, or sea, or air,
God hath made nothing single but thee in His world so fair!
The bride, and then the bridegroom, the two, and then the one,
Adam, and Eve, his consort, the moon, and then the sun;
The life doth prove the precept, who obey shall happy be,


Autumn Valentine

In May my heart was breaking-
Oh, wide the wound, and deep!
And bitter it beat at waking,
And sore it split in sleep.

And when it came November,
I sought my heart, and sighed,
"Poor thing, do you remember?"
"What heart was that?" it cried.


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