Poems

William Blake (1757-1827)

"To see the world in a grain of sand,
And heaven in a wildflower;
Hold the universe in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour."

Oh, to Be in England

By Robert Browning (1812-1889)

Oh, to be in England
Now that April's there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England - now!

And after April, when May follows,
And the white throat builds, and all the swallows
Hark! where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops - at the bent spray's edge
That's the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!

And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children's dower, -
Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!

Andrea del Sarto

Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp. Or what's a heaven for?

A Red, Red Rose

By Robert Burns (1759-1796)

O my Luve's like a red, red rose
That's newly sprung in June
O my Luve's like the melodie
That's sweetly play'd in tune!

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry:

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only Luve,
And fare thee weel a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho' it were ten thousand mile.

Geoffrey Chaucer (1343-1400)

That though the radiance which was once so bright be now forever taken from my sight. Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass, glory in the flower. We will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind

The flower that smells the sweetest is shy and lowly.

To me the meanest flower that blows can give thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears

And she was fair as is the rose in May.

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

32 Circa 1858

When Roses cease to bloom, Sir,
And Violets are done -
When Bumblebees in solemn flight
Have passed beyond the Sun -
The hand that paused to gather
Upon this Summer's day
Will Idle lie - in Auburn -
Then take my flowers - pray!

81 Circa 1859

We should not mind so small a flower -
Except it quiet bring
Our little garden that we lost
Back to the Lawn again.

So spicy her Carnations nod -
So drunken, reel her Bees -
So Silver steal a hundred flutes
From out a hundred trees -

That whoso sees this little flower
By faith may clear behold
The Bobolinks around the throne
And Dandelions gold.

1456 Circa 1879

So gay a Flower
Bereaves the Mind
As if it were a Woe -
Is Beauty an Affliction - then?
Tradition ought to know -

Garden Thoughts

Dorothy Frances Gurney

The Kiss of the Sun for pardon, the song
of the birds for mirth, one is nearer
God's heart in a garden, Than anywhere
else on earth.

To Daffodils

By Robert Herrick (1591-1674)

Fair Daffodils, we weep to see
You haste away so soon;
As yet the early-rising sun
Has not attain'd his noon.
Stay, stay,
Until the hasting day
Has run
But to the even-song;
And, having pray'd together, we
Will go with you along.

We have short time to stay, as you,
We have as short a spring;
As quick a growth to meet decay,
As you, or anything.
We die
As your hours do, and dry
Away,
Like to the summer's rain;
Or as the pearls of morning's dew,
Ne'er to be found again.

Endymion

By John Keats (1795-1821)

A thing of beauty is a joy forever: its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness.

Ode to A Grecian Urn

Beauty is truth, truth beauty,' - that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

Red Poppy

By Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda from Gathering Light

Still-in a way-nobody sees a flower-really-it is so small-we haven't time-and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.

Georgia O'Keefe (1887-1986)

To see the flower,
to really see it
takes time: knowing
what to praise
and for how long. Suppose
the poppy's a scarlet
ibis afloat on a bed
of leaves, cardinals
in flight, a tanager calling
its mate. The artist
enlivened this flower
so you could know it.
Yet here you stand
befuddled by a poppy:
recognizable, small
delicate as a robin.
Relax. Try not to stare
so hard. It knows
you're here admiring
its birdlike petals.
Opalescent, the red
poppy shines from within
dark, oval center
clipped from a swath
of velvet cloth.
You can feel the wings
sway: five of them
on a huge scale
gathering sun.
Not one of us
can ignore their
willful beauty.

The Rubaiyat

By Omar Khayyam (1048-1131)

Oh, come with old Khayyam, and leave the wise
To talk; one thing is certain that life flies;
One thing is certain, and the rest is lies;
The flower that once hath blown for ever dies.

Rebecca Lilly (1969 - )

Haiku

Autumn dusk grows cool…
Humps of great oak roots shadow
The path through the woods

Fields upon fields, clear
Yellow in the cool; some geese
Rise; the moon is full

Cedars scenting from
Woods hollows; boulders hold moon-
Glow; this time alone

In Flanders Fields

By John McCrae (1872 - 1918)

In Flanders field the poppies blow between the crosses
row on row that mark our place; and in the sky the larks,
still bravely singing, fly scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead. Short days ago we lived, felt dawn,
saw sunset glow, loved and were loved, and now we lie in
Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe; to you
from failing hands we throw the torch; be yours to hold high.
If ye break faith with us who die we shall not sleep, though
poppies grow in Flanders fields.

The Garden

By Andrew Marvell (1621-1678)

No white nor red was ever seen
So amorous as this lovely green.
Meanwhile the mind, from pleasure
Less,
Withdraws into its happiness;
Annihilating all that’s made
To a green Thought in a green shade -

The Roses

By Mary Oliver (1935 - )

One day in summer
when everything
has already been more than enough
the wild beds start
exploding open along the berm
of the sea; day after day
you sit fear them; day after day
the honey keeps on coming
in the red cups and the bees
like amber drops roll
in the petals: there is no end,
believe me! to the inventions of summer,
to the happiness your body
is willing to bear.

May

May, and among the miles of leafing,
blossoms storm out of the darkness -
windflowers and moccasin flowers. The bees
dive into them and I too, to gather
their spiritual honey. Mute and meek, yet theirs
is the deepest certainty that this existence too -
this sense of well-being, the flourishing
of the physical body - rides
near the hub of the miracle that everything
is a part of, is as good
as a poem or a prayer, can also make
luminous any dark place on earth.

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

From a Thousand Mornings

I don't where prayers go,
or what they do.
Do cats pray, while they sleep
half-asleep in the sun?
Does the opossum pray as it
crosses the street?
The sunflowers?
The old black oak
growing older every year?
I know I can walk through the world,
along the shore or under the trees,
with my mind filled with things
of little importance,
in full self attendance.
A condition I can't really call
being alive
is a prayer or gift, or a petition,
or does it matter?
The sunflowers blaze,
maybe that's their way.
Maybe the cats are sound asleep.
Maybe not.

While I was thinking this
I happened to be
standing just outside my door,
with my notebook open,
which is the way I begin every morning.
Then a wren in the privet began to sing.
he was positively drenched in enthusiasm,
I don't know why. And yet, why not.
I wouldn't persuade you from whatever you
believe
or whatever you don't.
That's your business.
But I thought, of the wren's singing, what could this be
if it isn't a prayer?
So I just listened, my pen in the air.

Alexander Pope (May 21, 1688 - May 30, 1744)

"To err is human; to forgive, divine."

"A little learning is a dangerous thing;
drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
and drinking largely sobers us again."

Man: the glory, jest and riddle of the world"

Autumn

By Carol L. Riser

When the trees their summer splendor
Change to raiment red and gold,
When the summer moon turns yellow,
And the nights are getting cold;
When the squirrels hide their acorns,
And the woodchucks disappear;
Then we know that it is Autumn,
Loveliest season of the year.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

"One touch of nature makes the whole world kin."

Alfred Lord Tennyson: (August 6, 1809 - October 6, 1892)

"If I had a flower for every time you made me smile and laugh,
I'd have a garden to walk in forever."

It's better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all.

Sweet is true love that is given in vain, and sweet is death that takes away pain.

There has fallen a splendid tear,
from the passion-flower at the gate.
She is coming my dove, my dear,
She is coming my life, my fate
The red rose cries 'she is near, she is near.:
And the white rose weeps 'she is late.'

The Daffodils

By William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never - ending line
Along the margin of a bay;
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out - did the sparkling waves in glee.
A poet could not be but gay.
In such a jocund company;
I gazed - and gazed - but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought

For often when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

How does the Meadow flower its bloom unfold? Because the lovely little flower is free down to its root, and in that freedom bold

That though the radiance which was once so bright be
now forever taken from my sight.
Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass,
glory in the flower.
We will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind.

That best portion of a man's life, his little,
nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love.

The flower that smells the sweetest is shy and lowly.

Yaitsu's: Death Poem, 1807

Paradise-
I see
from the cottage where I lie.

William Butler Yeats 1865-1939

The Rose of the World

Who dreamed that beauty passes like a dream?
For these red lips, with all their mournful pride,
Mournful that no new wonder may betide,
Troy passed away in one high funeral gleam,
And Usna's children died.

We and the labouring world are passing by:
Amid men's souls, that waver and give place
Like the pale waters in their wintry race,
Under the passing stars, foam of the sky,
Lives on this lonely face.

Bow down, archangels, in your dim abode:
Before you were, or any hearts to beat,
Weary and kind one lingered by His seat;
He made the world to be a grassy road
Before her wandering feet.

''Man can embody truth but he cannot know it.''

''I am of a healthy long lived race, and our minds improve with age.''