Poetry anthology senior English Elective / Instructor: Mrs. Garcia



Download 298.41 Kb.
Page3/4
Date conversion29.04.2016
Size298.41 Kb.
1   2   3   4

Mad Girl’s Love Song


SYLVIA PLATH (1932-1963 suicide) She was born in Jamaica Plain, MA.

This poem is written in a closed form called a villanelle.


I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)
The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)
God topples from the sky, hell's fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan's men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
I fancied you'd return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)
I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

Ballad of Birmingham

DUDLEY RANDALL (1914-2000)
(On the bombing of a church in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963)
“Mother dear, may I go downtown

Instead of out to play,

And march the streets of Birmingham

In a Freedom March today?”


“No, baby, no, you may not go,

For the dogs are fierce and wild,

And clubs and hoses, guns and jails

Aren’t good for a little child.”


“But, mother, I won’t be alone.

Other children will go with me,

And march the streets of Birmingham

To make our country free.”


“No, baby, no, you may not go,

For I fear those guns will fire.

But you may go to church instead

And sing in the children’s choir.”


She has combed and brushed her night-dark hair,

And bathed rose petal sweet,

And drawn white gloves on her small brown hands,

And white shoes on her feet.


The mother smiled to know her child

Was in the sacred place,

But that smile was the last smile

To come upon her face.


For when she heard the explosion,

Her eyes grew wet and wild.

She raced through the streets of Birmingham

Calling for her child.


She clawed through bits of glass and brick,

Then lifted out a shoe.

“O, here’s the shoe my baby wore,

But, baby, where are you?”


from Cities Burning (1968)


Wanting to Die

ANNE SEXTON (1928-1974 suicide)


Since you ask, most days I cannot remember.

I walk in my clothing, unmarked by that voyage.

Then the almost unnameable lust returns.
Even then I have nothing against life.

I know well the grass blades you mention,

the furniture you have placed under the sun.
But suicides have a special language.

Like carpenters they want to know which tools.

They never ask why build.
Twice I have so simply declared myself,

have possessed the enemy, eaten the enemy,

have taken on his craft, his magic.
In this way, heavy and thoughtful,

warmer than oil or water,

I have rested, drooling at the mouth-hole.
I did not think of my body at needle point.

Even the cornea and the leftover urine were gone.

Suicides have already betrayed the body.
Still-born, they don't always die,

but dazzled, they can't forget a drug so sweet

that even children would look on and smile.
To thrust all that life under your tongue!—

that, all by itself, becomes a passion.

Death's a sad bone; bruised, you'd say,
and yet she waits for me, year after year,

to so delicately undo an old wound,

to empty my breath from its bad prison.
Balanced there, suicides sometimes meet,

raging at the fruit, a pumped-up moon,

leaving the bread they mistook for a kiss,
leaving the page of the book carelessly open,

something unsaid, the phone off the hook

and the love, whatever it was, an infection.

 

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? (Sonnet 18)



WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (1564-1616)
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 dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course untrimmed:
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.
My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun (Sonnet 130)
My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;

Coral is far more red than her lips' red;

If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;

If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.

I have seen roses damasked, red and white,

But no such roses see I in her cheeks;

And in some perfumes is there more delight

Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.

I love to hear her speak, yet well I know

That music hath a far more pleasing sound:

I grant I never saw a goddess go;

My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.

And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare

As any she belied with false compare.


My love is as a fever, longing still (Sonnet 147)
My love is as a fever, longing still
For that which longer nurseth the disease,
Feeding on that which doth preserve the ill,
The uncertain sickly appetite to please.
My reason, the physician to my love,
Angry that his prescriptions are not kept,
Hath left me, and I desperate now approve
Desire is death, which physic did except.
Past cure I am, now reason is past care,
And frantic-mad with evermore unrest;
My thoughts and my discourse as madmen's are,
At random from the truth vainly express'd;
For I have sworn thee fair and thought thee bright,
Who art as black as hell, as dark as night.

Saturday at the Canal

GARY SOTO
I was hoping to be happy by seventeen.

School was a sharp check mark in the roll book,

An obnoxious tuba playing at noon because our team

Was going to win at night. The teachers were

Too close to dying to understand. The hallways

Stank of poor grades and unwashed hair. Thus,

A friend and I sat watching the water on Saturday,

Neither of us talking much, just warming ourselves

By hurling large rocks at the dusty ground

And feeling awful because San Francisco was a postcard

On a bedroom wall. We wanted to go there,

Hitchhike under the last migrating birds

And be with people who knew more than three chords

On a guitar. We didn’t drink or smoke,

But our hair was shoulder length, wild when

The wind picked up and the shadows of

This loneliness gripped loose dirt. By bus or car,

By the sway of train over a long bridge,

We wanted to get out. The years froze

As we sat on the bank. Our eyes followed the water,

White-tipped but dark underneath, racing out of town.

From p. 229 of Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry (2003), edited by Billy Collins.


Brad Pitt

AARON SMITH


With cotton candy armpits and sugary
Crevices, sweat glazing your donut skin.
Have you ever been fat, Brad?
Have you ever wanted a Snickers
More than love and lain on your bed
While the phone rang and rolled one
On your tongue, afraid to eat it, afraid
It would make your jeans too tight? Have you
Barfed, Brad, because you ate it,
Ate all the take-out, licked
Brown sauce off the box while you sobbed?
Brad Pitt down in the pits chaining menthol
Ciggys in your thick-wallet life,
It’s not so bad Brad, sad Brad, is it?

From Blue on Blue Ground by Aaron Smith (2005)


Eating Poetry

MARK STRAND (1934- )


Ink runs from the corners of my mouth.

There is no happiness like mine.

I have been eating poetry.
The librarian does not believe what she sees.

Her eyes are sad

and she walks with her hands in her dress.
The poems are gone.

The light is dim.

The dogs are on the basement stairs and coming up.
Their eyeballs roll,

their blond legs burn like brush.

The poor librarian begins to stamp her feet and weep.

She does not understand.

When I get on my knees and lick her hand,

she screams.


I am a new man.

I snarl at her and bark.

I romp with joy in the bookish dark.

1   2   3   4


The database is protected by copyright ©essaydocs.org 2016
send message

    Main page