Charles Reznikoff, “Millinery District”

Charles Reznikoff, “Millinery District” The clouds, piled in rows like merchandise, become dark; lights are lit in the lofts; the milliners, tacking bright flowers on straw shapes, say, glancing out of the windows; It is going to snow; and soon they hear the snow scratching the panes. By night it is high on the sills….

Delmore Schwartz, “The Heavy Bear Who Goes With Me”

Delmore Schwartz, “The Heavy Bear Who Goes With Me” “the withness of the body” The heavy bear who goes with me, A manifold honey to smear his face, Clumsy and lumbering here and there, The central ton of every place, The hungry beating brutish one In love with candy, anger, and sleep, Crazy factotum, dishevelling…

Delmore Schwartz, “In the Naked Bed, in Plato’s Cave”

Delmore Schwartz, “In the Naked Bed, in Plato’s Cave” In the naked bed, in Plato’s cave, Reflected headlights slowly slid the wall, Carpenters hammered under the shaded window, Wind troubled the window curtains all night long, A fleet of trucks strained uphill, grinding, Their freights covered, as usual. The ceiling lightened again, the slanting diagram…

Walt Whitman, “A Sight in Camp in the Daybreak Gray and Dim”

Walt Whitman, “A Sight in Camp in the Daybreak Gray and Dim” A sight in camp in the daybreak gray and dim, As from my tent I emerge so early sleepless, As slow I walk in the cool fresh air the path near by the hospital tent, Three forms I see on stretchers lying, brought…

Yvor Winters, “Time and the Garden”

Yvor Winters, “Time and the Garden” The spring has darkened with activity. The future gathers in vine, bush, and tree: Persimmon, walnut, loquat, fig, and grape, Degrees and kinds of color, taste, and shape. These will advance in their due series, space The season like a tranquil dwelling-place. And yet excitement swells me, vein by…

Yvor Winters, “The Slow Pacific Swell”

Yvor Winters, “The Slow Pacific Swell” Far out of sight forever stands the sea, Bounding the land with pale tranquillity. When a small child, I watched it from a hill At thirty miles or more. The vision still Lies in the eye, soft blue and far away: The rain has washed the dust from April…

Laurie Sheck, “Pompeii”

Laurie Sheck, “Pompeii” Covered with lapilli we crouch preserved as we were on that first day The last one of our lives Our bodies black marginalia beneath the sky’s unstable searchlight They have unearthed the House of the Fawn the House of the Silver Wedding And the Surgeon’s House Our bread still in our ovens…

Czeslaw Milosz, “My Faithful Mother Tongue”

Czeslaw Milosz, “My Faithful Mother Tongue” Faithful mother tongue, I have been serving you. Every night, I used to set before you little bowls of colors so you could have your birch, your cricket, your finch as preserved in my memory. This lasted many years. You were my native land; I lacked any other. I…

Eavan Boland, “The Mother Tongue”

Eavan Boland, “The Mother Tongue” The old pale ditch can still be seen less than half a mile from my house – its ancient barrier of mud and brambles which mireth next unto Irishmen is now a mere rise of coarse grass, a rowan tree and some thinned-out spruce, where a child is playing at…

Genevieve Taggard, “To One Loved Wholly Within Wisdom”

Genevieve Taggard, “To One Loved Wholly Within Wisdom” Someone will reap you like a field, Pile your gathered plunder, Garner what you bring to yield, Turn your beauty under; In cruel usages, in such Sickle-cutting, heaping; Certain women toil too much, Wearing of their reaping; Someone else may winnow you; Someone else may plunder; I…