photograph by Ben Koorengevel via Unsplash
I can see the house on the hill where we make our own vegetables out back
and drink warm wine out of jam jars
and sing songs in the kitchen until the sun comes up
wena you make me feel like myself again.
— Yrsa Daley-Ward, “sthandwa sami (my beloved, isiZulu)” (excerpt)
Nationaal Archief, “Enjoying the sunshine” (1965)
WHEN in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featur’d like him, like him with friends possess’d,
Desiring this man’s art, and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee,—and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remember’d such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.
— Sonnet XXIX
photograph by Matheus Bertelli via Pexels
“I am certain of nothing but of the holiness of the Heart’s affections and the truth of Imagination…”
— Letter from John Keats to Benjamin Bailey, November 22, 1817
photograph by Pesce Huang via Unsplash
i found myself
in european sculpture and decorative arts
lost in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries
with so much to learn
and you resplendently reverberant
in a white blouse
like an impressionist painting
photograph by RODNAE Productions via Pexels
I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it…
— The Great Gatsby
Walk On Water
photograph by Maksym Kaharlytskyi via Unsplash
Gatsby, his hands still in his pockets, was reclining against the mantelpiece in a strained counterfeit of perfect ease, even of boredom. His head leaned back so far that it rested against the face of a defunct mantelpiece clock and from this position his distraught eyes stared down at Daisy who was sitting frightened but graceful on the edge of a stiff chair.
— The Great Gatsby
photograph by Jonathan Borba via Pexels
Someone will walk into your life,
Leave a footprint on your heart…
— Gary Lenhart
Look What You’ve Done To Me
photograph by Andrik Langfield via Unsplash
The horses started up, amid farewells and hand-wavings from the bystanders; and then, as Frau Chauchat sank smilingly back against the cushions of the sleigh, her eyes swept the facade of the Berghof, and rested for the fraction of a second upon Hans Castorp’s face. In pallid haste he sought his loggia, thence to get a last glimpse of the sleigh as it went jingling down the drive toward the Dorf. Then he flung himself into his chair…
— The Magic Mountain (Tr. H. T. Lowe-Porter)
Every Time You Go Away
photograph by Meghan Holmes via Unsplash
The silhouette of a moving cat wavered across the moonlight and turning my head to watch it I saw that I was not alone—fifty feet away a figure had emerged from the shadow of my neighbor’s mansion and was standing with his hands in his pockets regarding the silver pepper of the stars.
— The Great Gatsby
I’ll Be Over You
cf. photograph taken from video by cottonbro studio via Pexels
The highway is full of big cars
going nowhere fast
And folks is smoking anything that’ll burn
Some people wrap their lies around a cocktail glass
And you sit wondering
where you’re going to turn
I got it.
Come. And be my baby.
— Maya Angelou
Prayers for Roberta Flack
photograph by Dids via Pexels
“It was a strange coincidence,” I said.
“But it wasn’t a coincidence at all.”
“Gatsby bought that house so that Daisy would be just across the bay.”
Then it had not been merely the stars to which he had aspired on that June night. He came alive to me, delivered suddenly from the womb of his purposeless splendor…
— The Great Gatsby
photograph by Joshua Teichroew via Pexels
THY gift, thy tables, are within my brain
Full character’d with lasting memory,
Which shall above that idle rank remain,
Beyond all date, even to eternity…
— Sonnet CXXII
photograph by Inga Seliverstova via Pexels
THAT time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire
Consum’d with that which it was nourish’d by.
This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
— Sonnet LXXIII
And the Wichita Lineman is still on the line…
photograph by Jared Sluyter via Unsplash
To be in love, where scorn is bought with groans,
Coy looks with heart-sore sighs, one fading
With twenty watchful, weary, tedious nights;
If haply won, perhaps a hapless gain;
If lost, why then a grievous labor won;
How ever, but a folly bought with wit,
Or else a wit by folly vanquishèd.
— The Two Gentlemen of Verona
photograph by Antoine Da cunha via Unsplash
To live without the one you love
an empty dream never known
true happiness except as such youth
watching snow at window
listening to old music through morning.
Riding down that deserted street
by evening in a lonely cab
past a blighted theatre
oh god yes, I missed the chance of my life
when I gasped, when I got up and
rushed out the room
away from you.
— John Wieners
photograph by Anthony Tran via Unsplash
TO me, fair friend, you never can be old
For as you were when first your eye I ey’d,
Such seems your beauty still. Three winters cold
Have from the forests shook three summers’ pride,
Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn turn’d
In process of the seasons have I seen,
Three April perfumes in three hot Junes burn’d,
Since first I saw you fresh, which yet are green.
Ah! yet doth beauty, like a dial-hand,
Steal from his figure, and no pace perceiv’d;
So your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand,
— Sonnet CIV
Roll with the Changes
photograph by Christian Lue via Unsplash
Outside the sun
has rolled up her rugs
and night strewn salt
across the sky. My heart
is humming a tune
I haven’t heard in years!
— Rita Dove (excerpt)
cf. Charles O’Rear, “Passengers enjoy the view in the observation car…” (1974)
WINE comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That’s all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,
I look at you, and I sigh.
cf. LIFE Magazine (1963)
I LEFT you in the morning,
And in the morning glow,
You walked a way beside me
To make me sad to go.
Do you know me in the gloaming,
Gaunt and dusty grey with roaming?
Are you dumb because you know me not,
Or dumb because you know?
All for me? And not a question
For the faded flowers gay
That could take me from beside you
For the ages of a day?
They are yours, and be the measure
Of their worth for you to treasure,
The measure of the little while
That I’ve been long away.
— Robert Frost
Just Don’t Want to Be Lonely
cf. photograph by Christian Wiediger via Unsplash
He hadde moore tow on his distaf
Than Gerveys knew…
— Chaucer, “The Milleres Tale”
Love with a Thinker
photograph by Ron Lach via Pexels
If this be error, and upon me prov’d,
I never writ, nor no man ever lov’d.
— Sonnet CXVI
You Can Close Your Eyes
photograph by Les Anderson via Unsplash
Once when I was among the young men …
And they said I was quite strong, among the young men …
Once there was a woman …
… but I forget … she was …
… I hope she will not come again.
… I do not remember …
I think she hurt me once, but …
That was very long ago.
— Ezra Pound
photograph from “Documerica” via Unsplash
Orpheus in the underworld
I turned back
seeing the sun again
and you were gone
Send Her My Love
photograph by Alisa Anton via Unsplash
The barge she sat in like a burnished throne
Burned on the water. The poop was beaten gold,
Purple the sails, and so perfumed that
The winds were lovesick with them. The oars were
Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made
The water which they beat to follow faster,
As amorous of their strokes. For her own person,
It beggared all description: she did lie
In her pavilion—cloth-of-gold, of tissue—
O’erpicturing that Venus where we see
The fancy outwork nature. On each side her
Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids,
With divers-colored fans, whose wind did seem
To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool,
And what they undid did.
— Antony and Cleopatra
photograph by Andrej Nihil via Unsplash
Time hath, my lord, a wallet at his back
Wherein he puts alms for oblivion…
— Troilus and Cressida
photograph by Hello Revival via Unsplash
Kind are her answers,
But her performance keeps no day;
Breaks time, as dancers
From their own music when they stray:
All her free favors
And smooth words wing my hopes in vain.
O did ever voice so sweet but only feign?
Can true love yield such delay,
Converting joy to pain?
— Thomas Campion
photograph by Jizo via Pexels
upon the stage
the time gives it proof —
I did love you once
photograph by Riccardo Mion via Unsplash
Icicles filled the long window
With barbaric glass.
The shadow of the blackbird
Crossed it, to and fro.
Traced in the shadow
An indecipherable cause.
— Wallace Stevens
What Is Life
photograph by John Moeses Bauan via Unsplash
The passions that we fought with and subdued
Never quite die…
— Trumbull Stickney
Rock And Roll Never Forgets
photograph by Manuel Meurisse via Unsplash
swim in your iris
the rocks at low tide
Öd’ und leer das Meer
photograph by Mariano Nocetti via Unsplash
Could not once blinding me, cruel, suffice?
When first I look’d on thee, I lost mine eyes.
— Richard Crashaw
Modern Day Delilah
photograph by Scott Webb via Unsplash
They have no song, the sedges dry,
And still they sing.
It is within my breast they sing,
As I pass by.
Within my breast they touch a string,
They wake a sigh.
There is but sound of sedges dry;
In me they sing.
— George Meredith
Paris, 1984 by John Sapiro
No donkey can cart
what weighs down your heart.
— Anonymous, East African Proverb (Tr. A. M. Juster)
Even a Fool Can See
cf. photograph by Joanna Nix-Walkup via Unsplash
turning point II
where did you park your car?
Right On Track
Texas State University Flickr Commons, Unidentified Negatives (1963)
I CANNOT live with you,
It would be life,
And life is over there
Behind the shelf
The sexton keeps the key to,
Our life, his porcelain,
Like a cup…
So we must keep apart,
You there, I here,
With just the door ajar
That oceans are,
And that pale sustenance,
— Emily Dickinson
Here You Come Again
Carol Highsmith, “Family Day on the grounds of the Alabama River Pulp Company” (2010)
Long neglect has worn away
Half the sweet enchanting smile;
Time has turned the bloom to gray;
Mold and damp the face defile.
But that lock of silky hair,
Still beneath the picture twined,
Tells what once those features were,
Paints their image on the mind.
Fair the hand that traced that line,
“Dearest, ever deem me true”;
Swiftly flew the fingers fine
When the pen that motto drew.
— Emily Brontë
photograph by Scott Broome via Unsplash
Aristotle and Pythias
I know not seems
photograph by Artem Maltsev via Unsplash
SO, we’ll go no more a-roving
So late into the night,
Though the heart be still as loving,
And the moon be still as bright.
For the sword outwears its sheath,
And the soul wears out the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe,
And love itself have rest.
Though the night was made for loving,
And the day returns too soon,
Yet we’ll go no more a-roving
By the light of the moon.
Bluer Than Blue
Maclean’s Magazine (1966)
SHALL I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st;
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
— Sonnet XVIII
photograph by Tim Foster via Unsplash
Carthago adhuc vivit
bells in the distant temple
winds on the water
the ghosts of Hannibal
you read to me of Hanno the Navigator
on the sands of hours
and held me spellbound
We’ll Never Have to Say Goodbye Again
photograph by pasja1000 via Pixabay
With the love of the storm he burns,
He sings, he laughs, well I know how,
But forgets when he returns
As I shall not forget her ‘Go now’.
— Edward Thomas
Almost Hear You Sigh
cf. photograph by Ana Markovych via Unsplash
I so liked Spring last year
Because you were here; –
The thrushes too –
Because it was these you so liked to hear –
I so liked you.
This year’s a different thing, –
I’ll not think of you.
But I’ll like the Spring because it is simply Spring
As the thrushes do.
— Charlotte Mew
Touch and Go
Chris Clogg, “Busy Wall” (2010) (edit)
Then is courtesy a turncoat. But it is certain
I am loved of all ladies, only you excepted; and
I would I could find in my heart that I had not a
hard heart, for truly I love none.
A dear happiness to women. They would
else have been troubled with a pernicious suitor. I
thank God and my cold blood I am of your humor
for that. I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow
than a man swear he loves me.
— Much Ado About Nothing
cf. video by cottonbro via pexels
Gramercies, Tranio, well dost thou advise.
If, Biondello, thou wert come ashore,
We could at once put us in readiness
And take a lodging fit to entertain
Such friends as time in Padua shall beget.
[Enter Baptista with his two daughters, Katherine and
Bianca; Gremio, a pantaloon, and Hortensio, suitors
But stay awhile! What company is this?
Master, some show to welcome us to town.
— The Taming of the Shrew
Boom! There She Was
photograph by Priscilla Du Preez via Unsplash
Do you still remember: falling stars,
how they leapt slantwise through the sky
like horses over suddenly held-out hurdles
of our wishes—did we have so many?—
for stars, innumerable, leapt everywhere;
almost every gaze upward became
wedded to the swift hazard of their play,
and our heart felt like a single thing
beneath that vast disintegration of their brilliance—
and was whole, as if it would survive them!
photograph by Yerlan Sadvakassov via Unsplash
WHY didst thou promise such a beauteous day
And make me travel forth without my cloak,
To let base clouds o’ertake me in my way,
Hiding thy bravery in their rotten smoke?
’Tis not enough that through the cloud thou break,
To dry the rain on my storm-beaten face,
For no man well of such a salve can speak
That heals the wound and cures not the disgrace:
Nor can thy shame give physic to my grief;
Though thou repent, yet I have still the loss:
The offender’s sorrow lends but weak relief
To him that bears the strong offence’s cross.
Ah! but those tears are pearl which thy love sheds,
And they are rich and ransom all ill deeds.
— Sonnet XXXIV
Mimi Gets Mad
photograph by Abigail via Unsplash
FAREWELL! thou art too dear for my possessing
And like enough thou know’st thy estimate:
The charter of thy worth gives thee releasing;
My bonds in thee are all determinate.
For how do I hold thee but by thy granting?
And for that riches where is my deserving?
The cause of this fair gift in me is wanting,
And so my patent back again is swerving.
Thyself thou gav’st, thy own worth then not knowing,
Or me, to whom thou gav’st it, else mistaking;
So thy great gift, upon misprision growing,
Comes home again, on better judgment making.
Thus have I had thee, as a dream doth flatter,
In sleep a king, but, waking, no such matter.
— Sonnet LXXXVII
Maclean’s Magazine (1967)
Unto the boundless Ocean of thy beauty
Runs this poor river, charged with streams of zeal:
Returning thee the tribute of my duty,
Which here my love, my youth, my plaints reveal.
Here I unclasp the book of my charged soul,
Where I have cast th’accounts of all my care:
Here have I summed my sighs, here I enroll
How they were spent for thee; look what they are.
Look on the dear expenses of my youth,
And see how just I reckon with thine eyes:
Examine well thy beauty with my truth,
And cross my cares ere greater sum arise.
Read it sweet maid, though it be done but slightly;
Who can show all his love, doth love but lightly.
— Samuel Daniel, “Delia 1: Unto the boundless Ocean of thy beauty”
The Strawberry Blonde
cf. photographs by Caseen Kyle Registos via Unsplash and Matheus Bertelli via Pexels (edited digital collage)
WEARY with toil, I haste me to my bed
The dear repose for limbs with travel tired;
But then begins a journey in my head
To work my mind, when body’s work’s expir’d:
For then my thoughts—from far where I abide—
Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee,
And keep my drooping eyelids open wide,
Looking on darkness which the blind do see:
Save that my soul’s imaginary sight
Presents thy shadow to my sightless view,
Which, like a jewel hung in ghastly night,
Makes black night beauteous and her old face new.
Lo! thus, by day my limbs, by night my mind,
For thee, and for myself no quiet find.
— Sonnet XXVII
Whenever You’re On My Mind
photograph by Harold Wijnholds via Unsplash
WILD nights! Wild nights!
Were I with thee,
Wild nights should be
Futile the winds
To a heart in port,—
Done with the compass,
Done with the chart.
Rowing in Eden!
Ah! the sea!
Might I but moor
To-night in thee!
— Emily Dickinson
photograph by Matthew Hamilton via Unsplash
O ME! what eyes hath Love put in my head
Which have no correspondence with true sight;
Or, if they have, where is my judgment fled,
That censures falsely what they see aright?
If that be fair whereon my false eyes dote,
What means the world to say it is not so?
If it be not, then love doth well denote
Love’s eye is not so true as all men’s: no.
How can it? O! how can Love’s eye be true,
That is so vex’d with watching and with tears?
No marvel then, though I mistake my view;
The sun itself sees not till heaven clears.
O cunning Love! with tears thou keep’st me blind,
Lest eyes well-seeing thy foul faults should find.
— Sonnet CXLVIII
Open My Eyes
Northeastern University Course Catalog (1985-86)
hearing your voice
so long ago
was that me
as the radio played
nothing stands between love and you
Girl Can’t Help It
cf. photograph by Ivan Samkov via Pexels
He talked a lot about the past and I gathered that he wanted to recover something, some idea of himself perhaps, that had gone into loving Daisy. His life had been confused and disordered since then, but if he could once return to a certain starting place and go over it all slowly, he could find out what that thing was…
— The Great Gatsby
Image by Gerd Altmann via Pixabay
And next day she actually did know the name, and uttered it the moment the glass door slammed. Frau Chauchat’s name was Clavdia.
Hans Castorp did not grasp it at first. He had to have her repeat the name, even to spell it, before he understood. Then he pronounced it twice or thrice, turning his bloodshot eyes in Frau Chauchat’s direction, in order, as it were, to try if it suited.
“Clavdia,” he said. “ Yes, that is probably it; it fits her quite well.” He could not hide his pleasure in the degree of intimacy thus achieved, and from now on referred always to Frau Chauchat as Clavdia…
— The Magic Mountain
A Girl Like You
Northeastern University Course Catalog (1982-83)
10 people in a canoe
each is wearing a different colored hat
how far away is the man in the blue hat
So Very Hard To Go
Photograph by Daniel Monteiro via Unsplash
Ceci n’est pas une intersection.
In the warm twilight
I am translated
at the red light
the song on the radio
holding, as ‘twere,
the mirror up to nature
and unravels my heart
photograph by Inga Seliverstova via Pexels
He came back from France when Tom and Daisy were still on their wedding trip, and made a miserable but irresistible journey to Louisville on the last of his army pay. He stayed there a week, walking the streets where their footsteps had clicked together through the November night and revisiting the out-of-the-way places to which they had driven in her white car. Just as Daisy’s house had always seemed to him more mysterious and gay than other houses so his idea of the city itself, even though she was gone from it, was pervaded with a melancholy beauty.
He left feeling that if he had searched harder he might have found her—that he was leaving her behind…
— The Great Gatsby
photograph by Leon Bublitz via Unsplash
the train rolled around the bend
Life Savers refracting in the glass
I ran all the way down the station stop
my heart in my head
I love you
photograph by Ahmad Jajuli via Unsplash
Once upon a time a line saw itself
clear to its end. I have seen the shape
of happiness. (y=mx+b)
I am holding it. It is your hand.
— TC Tolbert, “What Space Faith Can Occupy”
Your Smiling Face
photograph by SUHAIL RA via Unsplash
in another life
I would see
your ordained eyes
O brave new world,
That has you in’t!
I Wanna Go Back
cf. yearbook page by Bruce Detorres via flickr
“And she doesn’t understand,” he said. “She used to be able to understand. We’d sit for hours—”
He broke off and began to walk up and down a desolate path of fruit rinds and discarded favors and crushed flowers.
— The Great Gatsby