cf. Video by Welton Souza via Pexels
ALAS! so all things now do hold their peace!
Heaven and earth disturbed in no thing;
The beasts, the air, the birds their song do cease,
The nightès car the stars about doth bring.
Calm is the sea; the waves work less and less:
So am not I, whom love, alas! doth wring,
Bringing before my face the great increase
Of my desires, whereat I weep and sing,
In joy and woe, as in a doubtful ease.
For my sweet thoughts sometime do pleasure bring;
But by and by, the cause of my disease
Gives me a pang, that inwardly doth sting,
When that I think what grief it is again,
To live and lack the thing should rid my pain.
— Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, “A Complaint by Night of the Lover not beloved”
Nights Are Forever Without You
Maclean’s Magazine (1969)
But Minerva resolved to help Ulysses, so she bound the ways of all the winds except one, and made them lie quite still; but she roused a good stiff breeze from the North that should lay the waters till Ulysses reached the land of the Phaeacians where he would be safe…
While he was thus in two minds a wave caught him and took him with such force against the rocks that he would have been smashed and torn to pieces if Minerva had not shown him what to do…
Here poor Ulysses would have certainly perished even in spite of his own destiny, if Minerva had not helped him to keep his wits about him…
Then, as one who lives alone in the country, far from any neighbor, hides a brand as fire-seed in the ashes to save himself from having to get a light elsewhere, even so did Ulysses cover himself up with leaves; and Minerva shed a sweet sleep upon his eyes, closed his eyelids, and made him lose all memories of his sorrows.
Shadows Of The Night
Maclean’s Magazine (1976)
Jill: I’m not so sure you can’t hurt him. Maybe more than anybody. (Crosses above table.) I think you deserve all the credit you can get for turning out a pretty marvelous guy—but bringing up a son—even a blind one—isn’t a lifetime occupation. (Mrs. Baker turns U., away from Jill.) Now the more you help him, the more you hurt him. It was Linda Fletcher—not you— (Mrs. Baker turns and looks at Jill Slowly.) who gave him the thing he needed most—confidence in himself. (Crossing away L.) You’re always dwelling on the negative—always what he needs, never what he wants … always what he can’t do, never what he can. (Crosses D. end of sofa.) What about his music? Have you heard the song he wrote? I’ll bet you didn’t even know he could write songs! (Crosses above table.) You’re probably dead right about me. I’m not the ideal girl for Don, but I know one thing—neither are you!! And if I’m going to tell anyone to go home, it’ll be you, Mrs. Baker. YOU go home!! (Turns and exits into her apartment, closing door behind her. Mrs. Baker watches her go.)
Bright Star (2009)
The time is passed when I had power to advise and warn you against the unpromising morning of my Life—My love has made me selfish.
— Letter from Keats to Fanny Brawne
Love Lies Bleeding
Wild Strawberries (1957)
But now he was an over-the-hill actor playing his younger self, and the setting was all wrong…
— Jonathan Rose, “The Literary Churchill”
Out of Touch
cf. Maclean’s Magazine (1971)
Drink to me only with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss but in the cup,
And I’ll not look for wine…
— Ben Jonson
One Night Stand
Charlotte Brooks, “Teenage driver Bill Kolb…driving his date in an MG convertible” (1958)
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie…
— Sonnet LXXIII
Top of the World
Photograph by Les Anderson via Unsplash
I WHISPERED, ‘I am too young,’
And then, ‘I am old enough’;
Wherefore I threw a penny
To find out if I might love.
‘Go and love, go and love, young man,
If the lady be young and fair,’
Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny,
I am looped in the loops of her hair.
Oh, love is the crooked thing,
There is nobody wise enough
To find out all that is in it,
For he would be thinking of love
Till the stars had run away,
And the shadows eaten the moon.
Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny,
One cannot begin it too soon.
— Yeats, The Young Man’s Song
Image by Myriam Zilles via Pixabay
MY Wheel is in the dark,—
I cannot see a spoke,
Yet know its dripping feet
Go round and round.
My foot is on the tide—
An unfrequented road,
Yet have all roads
A “clearing” at the end.
Some have resigned the Loom,
Some in the busy tomb
Find quaint employ,
Some with new, stately feet
Pass royal through the gate,
Flinging the problem back at you and I.
— Emily Dickinson
Part of the Plan
cf. Maclean’s Magazine (1968)
She laughed: ‘No, surely; am I not with you?’
And uttering that soft starry ‘you,’ she leaned
Her gentle body near him, looking up;
And from her eyes, as from a poison-cup,
He drank until the flittering eyelids screened…
— George Meredith, Modern Love: IX
Hard To Laugh
Image by Arek Socha via Pixabay
Thin are the night-skirts left behind
By daybreak hours that onward creep,
And thin, alas! the shred of sleep
That wavers with the spirit’s wind:
But in half-dreams that shift and roll
And still remember and forget,
My soul this hour has drawn your soul
A little nearer yet.
Our lives, most dear, are never near,
Our thoughts are never far apart,
Though all that draws us heart to heart
Seems fainter now and now more clear.
To-night Love claims his full control,
And with desire and with regret
My soul this hour has drawn your soul
A little nearer yet.
Is there a home where heavy earth
Melts to bright air that breathes no pain,
Where water leaves no thirst again
And springing fire is Love’s new birth?
If faith long bound to one true goal
May there at length its hope beget,
My soul that hour shall draw your soul
For ever nearer yet.
— Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Insomnia
Sun And Moon
Photograph by Mateo Avila Chinchilla via Unsplash
So little cause for carollings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessèd Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware.
— Thomas Hardy, The Darkling Thrush (excerpt)
Photograph by John-Mark Smith via Unsplash (detail) (edit)
I hide behind simple things so you’ll find me;
if you don’t find me, you’ll find the things,
you’ll touch what my hand has touched,
our hand-prints will merge…
— Yannis Ritsos, “The Meaning of Simplicity” (Tr. Keeley)
cf. Edward Hopper, Nighthawks (1942) and Maclean’s Magazine (1971) and letter from Emily Dickinson to Mary Bowles, Spring, 1862
(Thank you to Marcy at Illustrated Poetry | Art by Marcy Erb for the quotation.)
If I Can’t Have You
cf. Maclean’s Magazine (1970)
Tide be runnin’ the great world over:
T’was only last June month I mind that we
Was thinkin’ the toss and the call in the breast of the lover
So everlastin’ as the sea.
Heer’s the same little fishes that sputter and swim,
Wi’ the moon’s old glim on the grey, wet sand;
An’ him no more to me nor me to him
Than the wind goin’ over my hand.
— Charlotte Mew, “Sea Love”
I Can’t Make You Love Me
David Stroble, “Students at Band Practice at Cathedral High School…” (ca. 1975)
Poetry was the memory of adolescence…
Poetry was Ayesha Akhter of my village school
with her long loose flowing hair.
— Al Mahmud, “Poetry Was Like This” (Tr. Chowdhury)
Baby, Now That I’ve Found You
Image by Niek Verlaan via Pixabay
Continually, a bell rings in my heart.
I was supposed to go somewhere, to some other place,
Tense from the long wait—
Where do you go, will you take me
“With you, on your horses, down the river, with the flame
of your torches?”
They burst out laughing.
“A tree wanting to move from place to place!”
Startled, I look at myself—
A tree, wanting to move from place to place, a tree
Wanting to move? Am I then—
Born here, to die here
Even die here?
Who rings the bell, then, inside my heart?
Who tells me to go, inside my heart?
Who agitates me, continually, inside my heart?
— Vijaya Mukhopadhyay, “Wanting to Move”
What Is Life
cf. Maclean’s Magazine (1970)
When you break your heart
All exits are open…
— Ruth Krauss, End Song
Break Up To Make Up
cf. Photographs via Unsplash and Pexels
Hundreds of open flowers
all come from
the one branch
all their colors
appear in my garden
I open the clattering gate
and in the wind
the spring sunlight
already it has reached
worlds without number
— Musō Soseki (Tr. Merwin & Shigematsu)
I Just Want To Celebrate
cf. National Geographic Magazine (1948)
EXERT thy voice, sweet harbinger of Spring!
This moment is thy time to sing,
This moment I attend to praise,
And set my numbers to thy lays.
Free as thine shall be my song;
As thy music, short or long.
Poets wild as thee were born,
Pleasing best when unconfined,
When to please is least designed,
Soothing but their cares to rest:
Cares do still their thoughts molest,
And still th’ unhappy poet’s breast,
Like thine, when best he sings, is placed against a thorn.
She begins, let all be still!
Muse, thy promise now fulfil!
Sweet, oh sweet! still sweeter yet!
— Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea, “To the Nightingale” (excerpt)
Jaroslav A. Polák, “…Old Couple”
This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
— Sonnet LXXIII
From the Beginning
cf. Maclean’s Magazine (1965)
Hear me, queen:
The strong necessity of time commands
Our services awhile, but my full heart
Remains in use with you.
— Antony and Cleopatra
Never Can Say Goodbye
Photograph by Ioannis Ioannidis via Pixabay
A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves…
— from Dubliners, James Joyce
cf. Maclean’s Magazine (1964) and Maclean’s Magazine (1961)
If seriously I may convey my thoughts
In this my light deliverance, I have spoke
With one that in her sex, her years, profession,
Wisdom, and constancy hath amazed me more
Than I dare blame my weakness…
— All’s Well That Ends Well
Takin’ Care Of Business
OSU Special Collections & Archives: Commons, “Woman slicing potatoes for potato chips” (2008)
[Enter Mistress Page and Mistress Ford.]
…Who comes here? My doe?
Sir John? Art thou there, my deer, my male deer?
…Let the sky rain potatoes,
let it thunder to the tune of “Greensleeves,”
hail kissing-comfits, and snow eryngoes;
let there come a tempest of provocation,
I will shelter me here.
[He embraces her.]
— The Merry Wives of Windsor
Love Potion Number Nine
Thomas J. O’Halloran, “Young people working in Library” (1964)
From women’s eyes this doctrine I derive.
They sparkle still the right Promethean fire.
They are the books, the arts, the academes
That show, contain, and nourish all the world.
Else none at all in ought proves excellent.
— Love’s Labor’s Lost
What A Wonderful World
cf. Thomas J. O’Halloran, “Christmas Shoppers…” (detail) (1969) (Edited by me)
FALSTAFF [to Doll]:
Thou dost give me flattering busses.
By my troth, I kiss thee with a most constant heart.
I am old, I am old.
I love thee better than I love e’er a scurvy young
boy of them all.
— Henry IV, Part 2
And The Beat Goes On
cf. Warren K. Leffler, “George Mason College, Va.” (detail) (1964)
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
Warren K. Leffler, “Teen age [i.e., teenage] economy” (detail) (1964)
Love, therefore, and tongue-tied simplicity
In least speak most, to my capacity.
— A Midsummer Night’s Dream
cf. Christina Rossetti, A Daughter of Eve (excerpt) and video by me
Fell On Black Days
cf. Gold Bell Catalog (1963)
O! CALL not me to justify the wrong
That thy unkindness lays upon my heart…
Photograph by Nathan Dumlao via Unsplash
This is the debt I pay
Just for one riotous day,
Years of regret and grief,
Sorrow without relief.
Pay it I will to the end —
Until the grave, my friend,
Gives me a true release —
Gives me the clasp of peace.
Slight was the thing I bought,
Small was the debt I thought,
Poor was the loan at best —
God! but the interest!
— Paul Laurence Dunbar, The Debt
The Real Me
cf. photograph by Thomas J. O’Halloran, “The Plum disco dancing [1119 21st St. NW]” (1977) and
video by Luiz-Jorge-Artista via Pixabay (edited and recomposed collage by me)
go away, you bitter cuss. it’s still 1980 somewhere, some corner
of your dark apartment
where the mystery of the lyric hasn’t faded. and love is in the
chorus waiting to be born
— D. A. Powell, meditating upon the meaning of the line “clams on the halfshell and rollerskates” in the song “good times” by chic (excerpt) (Poetry, September 2006)
Good Times by Chic
Thomas J. O’Halloran, “WFC-AM & WKYS-FM radio operation” (1977)
Come, my queen, take hands with me,
And rock the ground whereon these sleepers be…
[Titania and Oberon dance.]
— A Midsummer Night’s Dream
cf. Screen Magazine (2003)
Come, come, we are friends. Let’s have a
dance ere we are married, that we may lighten our
own hearts and our wives’ heels.
We’ll have dancing afterward.
First, of my word! Therefore play, music.—
Prince, thou art sad. Get thee a wife, get thee a wife…
— Much Ado About Nothing
Library of Congress, “Reflection” (ca. 1910)
COME to me in the silence of the night;
Come in the speaking silence of a dream;
Come with soft rounded cheeks and eyes as bright
As sunlight on a stream;
Come back in tears,
O memory, hope, love of finished years.
— Christina Rossetti, “Echo”
Body And Soul
magazine advertisement (1967)
“Your own feeling tells you that you were not what you are,” she returned. “I am. That which promised happiness when we were one in heart, is fraught with misery now that we are two. How often and how keenly I have thought of this, I will not say. It is enough that I have thought of it, and can release you.”
“Have I ever sought release?”
“In words. No. Never.”
“In what, then?”
“In a changed nature; in an altered spirit; in another atmosphere of life; another Hope as its great end. In everything that made my love of any worth or value in your sight. If this had never been between us,” said the girl, looking mildly, but with steadiness, upon him; “tell me, would you seek me out and try to win me now? Ah, no!”
He seemed to yield to the justice of this supposition, in spite of himself. But he said with a struggle, “You think not.”
“I would gladly think otherwise if I could,” she answered, “Heaven knows! When I have learned a Truth like this, I know how strong and irresistible it must be. But if you were free to-day, to-morrow, yesterday, can even I believe that you would choose a dowerless girl— you who, in your very confidence with her, weigh everything by Gain: or, choosing her, if for a moment you were false enough to your one guiding principle to do so, do I not know that your repentance and regret would surely follow? I do; and I release you. With a full heart, for the love of him you once were.”
— Dickens, A Christmas Carol
Love Is The Answer
cf. “Shy Guy” (1947)
WHEN to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear times’ waste:
Then can I drown an eye, unus’d to flow,
For precious friends hid in death’s dateless night,
And weep afresh love’s long since cancell’d woe,
And moan the expense of many a vanish’d sight…
— Sonnet XXX
Whenever You’re On My Mind
SCORN not the Sonnet; Critic, you have frown’d,
Mindless of its just honours; with this key
Shakespeare unlock’d his heart…
a roman à clef disguised as a blog…
Still Writing Songs About You
LIFE Magazine, 1966
I would never see any thing but Pleasure in your eyes, love on your lips, and Happiness in your steps…
— Letter from Keats to Fanny Brawne, July, 1819
Cincinnati Magazine, 1982
They spoke in low tones, covered by the music. “Let us sit here, and look on, as though in a dream. For it is like a dream to me, that we are sitting like this…”
— The Magic Mountain
Roberta Flack – Feel Like Makin’ Love [The Reflex Revision] by The Reflex
National Geographic Magazine, 1954
All happy families are alike, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
— Anna Karenina (Tr. Bartlett)
Trouble in Paradise
Encyclopaedia Britannica Films, Inc., Beginning to Date (1953)
Out of your whole life give but one moment!
All of your life that has gone before,
All to come after it, – so you ignore,
So you make perfect the present, – condense,
In a rapture of rage, for perfection’s endowment,
Thought and feeling and soul and sense –
Merged in a moment which gives me at last
You around me for once, you beneath me, above me –
Me – sure that despite of time future, time past, –
This tick of our life-time’s one moment you love me!
How long such suspension may linger? Ah, Sweet –
The moment eternal – just that and no more –
When ecstasy’s utmost we clutch at the core
While cheeks burn, arms open, eyes shut and lips meet!
— Robert Browning, “Now”
Business Screen Magazine, 1973
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not express’d in fancy; rich, not gaudy;
For the apparel oft proclaims the man…
▶ I Got Ants In My Pants (And I Want To Dance) (Remix) by James Brown
cf. photograph by photosforyou via Pixabay
This is the very worst hour of the day. Vitality. Dull, gloomy: hate this hour. Feel as if I had been eaten and spewed.
— Joyce, Ulysses
cf. TV Commercial
PART II, Chapter X. Wherein is related the crafty device Sancho adopted to enchant The Lady Dulcinea, and other incidents as ludicrous as they are true.
— Cervantes, Don Quixote (Tr. Ormsby)
Train Kept On Rollin by The Yardbirds
Art Hanson, “Students Resting in the Hall Against Their Lockers Waiting for Class…” (1975)
At the inn, Coleridge emblazoned into his Notebook, in huge, drunken capital letters, two portentous words, “THE EPOCH”, followed by three pages of frantic scrawl…
— Richard Holmes, Coleridge: Darker Reflections
You Can’t Change That
cf. photograph by Nathan Dumlao via Unsplash and video by Vimeo-Free-Videos via Pixabay (edited collage)
My blue dream…
— Fitzgerald, The Last Tycoon
I remember the feeling…
Adrian Belew — “Heartbeat”
Photograph by Martino Pietropoli via Unsplash
I want my place! my own place! my true place in the world! my proper sphere! my thing to do, which Nature intended me to perform when she fashioned me thus awry, and which I have vainly sought all my lifetime!
— Hawthorne, The Intelligence Office
cf. Prelinger Archives: Home Movie
…I only regret, in my chilled age, certain occasions and possibilities I didn’t embrace.
— Letter from Henry James to Hugh Walpole, August 21, 1913
Advertising Arts, 1931
He beckoned coaxingly to the Pomeranian, and when the dog came up to him he shook his finger at it. The Pomeranian growled: Gurov shook his finger at it again.
The lady looked at him and at once dropped her eyes.
“He doesn’t bite,” she said, and blushed.
“May I give him a bone?” he asked…
— Chekhov, The Lady with the Dog
Nationaal Archief, “Presents at the top of a car” (detail)
His Notebooks, increasingly filled with intricate technical speculations on science and theology, lose much of their intimacy. But, at least until 1820, they are also far less painful and unhappy, apart from the occasional visitation of the ghosts and wolves of memory and loss.
In December 1816, after a long metaphysical speculation on “the three Protoplasms, or primary Forms” of Gravity, Light and Water, he suddenly stopped short and wrote:
“ASRA. Written as of yore. Christmas 1816. ASRA. Does the Past live with me alone? Coleridge.”
— Richard Holmes, Coleridge: Darker Reflections
portrait by Montmartre street artist, August, 1984
But Time, to make me grieve,
Part steals, lets part abide;
And shakes this fragile frame at eve
With throbbings of noontide.
— Thomas Hardy, “I Look into my Glass” (excerpt)
These sharp Springs
Will be time enough to sleep
Carefulness and tears
Now while life is raw and new,
Drink it clear, drink it deep!
Let the moonlight’s lunacy
Tear away your cautions…
Age will catch you…
Only graven in your soul
After all the rest is gone
There will be ecstasies,
— John Weaver, To Youth (excerpt)
cf. photograph by Sophia Baboolal via Unsplash and video by Coverr-Free-Footage via Pixabay (edited)
I can see them at this moment, those mountain meadows, if I rise from my writing-table, and open the old barred valves of the corner window of the Hotel Bellevue;—yes, and there is the very path we climbed that day together, apparently unchanged. But on what seemed then the everlasting hills, beyond which the dawn rose cloudless, and on the heaven in which it rose, and on all that we that day knew, of human mind and virtue,—how great the change, and sorrowful, I cannot measure, and, in this place, I will not speak.
— John Ruskin, Praeterita
Operator (That’s Not The Way It Feels)
cf. TV commercial, ca. 1970’s (edited)
I went in — after making every possible noise in the kitchen, short of pushing over the stove — but I don’t believe they heard a sound. They were sitting at either end of the couch, looking at each other as if some question had been asked, or was in the air, and every vestige of embarrassment was gone. Daisy’s face was smeared with tears, and when I came in she jumped up and began wiping at it with her handkerchief before a mirror. But there was a change in Gatsby that was simply confounding. He literally glowed; without a word or a gesture of exultation a new well-being radiated from him and filled the little room.
— The Great Gatsby
cf. TV commercial (edited)
From you have I been absent in the spring,
When proud-pied April, dressed in all his trim,
Hath put a spirit of youth in everything,
That heavy Saturn laughed and leaped with him.
Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell
Of different flowers in odour and in hue,
Could make me any summer’s story tell,
Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew:
Nor did I wonder at the lily’s white,
Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
They were but sweet, but figures of delight
Drawn after you, – you pattern of all those.
Yet seem’d it winter still, and, you away,
As with your shadow I with these did play.
cf. videos by MEISTERvideo (train) and Vimeo-Free-Videos (rain) both via Pixabay (edited)
Skylark was much like her father. She simply lived her life from day to day. But now, as the receding landscape, the alternating meadows made her think of what could never change, would always stay the same, her heart sank…
She set off back down the swaying corridor of the train hurrying anxiously as if in flight, as if in search of a more secure and secluded space in which to hide her pain.
When she reached the compartment where the young man and the old, gaunt Catholic priest sat in silence, she tried to return to her seat. But now she could no longer contain her suffering.
Her eyes filled with tears.
— Dezso Kosztolanyi, Skylark
If I Have To Be Alone
cf. video by Orpheline via Pixabay
Little Chandler remembered (and the remembrance brought a slight flush of pride to his cheek) one of Ignatius Gallaher’s sayings when he was in a tight corner:
“Half time now, boys,” he used to say light-heartedly. “Where’s my considering cap?”
— Joyce, A Little Cloud