This Month's Theme
Poetry After the Vows
Poetry about marriage, for better or for worse.


This Month's Featured Poems
"Sonnet CXVI" by William Shakepeare
"Love on the Farm" by D. H. Lawrence
"The Skunk" by Seamus Heaney
"Eros Turannos" by Edwin Arlington Robinson
"Petals"
"Marriage" by Mathilde Blind

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Last month's theme: Poetry Springs Forth
Theme Archive


Sonnett CXVI
by: William Shakespeare

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

The complete Sonnets of Shakespeare

Mr. Shakespeare and the Internet


Love on the Farm
By DH Lawrence

What large, dark hands are those at the window
Grasping in the golden light
Which weaves its way through the evening wind
At my heart's delight?

Ah, only the leaves! But in the west
I see a redness suddenly come
Into the evening's anxious breast --
'Tis the wound of love goes home!

The woodbine creeps abroad
Calling low to her lover:
The sunlit flirt who all the day
Has poised above her lips in play
And stolen kisses, shallow and gay
Of pollen, now has gone away --
She woos the moth with her sweet, low word;
And when above her his moth-wings hover
Then her bright breast she will uncover
And yield her honey-drop to her lover.

Into the yellow, evening glow
Saunters a man from the farm below;
Leans, and looks in at the low-built shed
Where the swallow has hung her marriage bed.
The bird lies warm against the wall.
She glances quick her startled eyes
Towards him, then she turns away
Her small head, making warm display
Of red upon the throat. Her terrors sway
Her out of the nest's warm, busy ball,
Whose plaintive cry is heard as she flies
In one blue stoop from out the sties
Into the twilight's empty hall.

Oh, water-hen, beside the rushes
Ride your quaintly scarlet blushes,
Still your quick tail, lie still as dead,
Till the distance folds over his ominous tread!

The rabbit presses back her ears,
Turns back her liquid, anguished eyes
And crouches low; then with wild spring
Spurts from the terror of his oncoming;
To be choked back, the wire ring
Her frantic effort throttling:
Piteous brown ball of quivering fears!
Ah, soon in his large, hard hands she dies,
And swings all loose from the swing of his walk!
Yet calm and kindly are his eyes
And ready to open in brown surprise
Should I not answer to his talk
Or should he my tears surmise.

I hear his hand on the latch, and rise from my chair
Watching the door open; he flashes bare
His strong teeth in a smile, and flashes his eyes
In a smile like triumph upon me; then careless-wise
He flings the rabbit soft on the table board
And comes towards me: ah! the uplifted sword
Of his hand against my bosom! and oh, the broad
Blade of his glance that asks me to applaud
His coming! With his hand he turns my face to him
And caresses me with his fingers that still smell grim
Of the rabbit's fur! God, I am caught in a snare!
I know not what fine wire is round my throat;
I only know I let him finger there
My pulse of life, and let him nose like a stoat
Who sniffs with joy before he drinks the blood.

And down his mouth comes to my mouth! and down
His bright dark eyes come over me, like a hood
Upon my mind! his lips meet mine, and a flood
Of sweet fire sweeps across me, so I drown
Against him, die, and find death good.

A page on D. H Lawrence


The Skunk
by Seamus Heaney

Up, black, striped and damasked like the chasuble
At a funeral mass, the skunk's tail
Paraded the skunk. Night after night
I expected her like a visitor.

The refrigerator whinnied into silence.
My desk light softened beyond the verandah.
Small oranges loomed in the orange tree.
I began to be tense as a voyeur.

After eleven years I was composing
Love-letters again, broaching the word "wife"
Like a stored cask, as if its slender vowel
Had mutated into the night earth and air

Of California. The beautiful, useless
Tang of eucalyptus spelt your absence.
The aftermath of a mouthful of wine
Was like inhaling you off a cold pillow.

And there she was, the intent and glamorous,
Ordinary, mysterious skunk,
Mythologized, demythologized,
Snuffing the boards five feet beyond me.

It all came back to me last night, stirred
By the sootfall of your things at bedtime,
Your head-down, tail-up hunt in a bottom drawer
For the black plunge-line nightdress.

Seamus Heaney


Eros Turannos
by Edwin Arlington Robinson

She fears him, and will always ask
What fated her to choose him;
She meets in his engaging mask
All reasons to refuse him;
But what she meets and what she fears
Are less than are the downward years,
Drawn slowly to the foamless weirs
Of age, were she to loose him.

Between a blurred sagacity
That once had power to sound him,
And Love, that will not let him be
The Judas that she found him,
Her pride assuages her almost,
As if it were alone the cost.
He sees that he will not be lost,
And waits and looks around him.

A sense of ocean and old trees
Envelops and allures him;
Tradition, touching all he sees,
Beguiles and reassures him;
And all her doubts of what he says
Are dimmed with what she knows of days-
And fades, and she secures him.

The falling leaf inaugurates
The reign of her confusion;
The pounding wave reverberates
The dirge of her illusion;
And home, where passion lived and died,
Becomes a place where she can hide,
While all the town and harbour-side
Vibrate with her seclusion.

We tell you, tapping on our brows,
The story as it should be,
As if the story of a house
Were told, or ever could be;
We'll have no kindly veil between
Her visions and those we have seen,-
As if we guessed what hers have been,
Or what they are or would be.

Meanwhile we do no harm; for they
That with a god have striven
Not hearing much of what we say,
Take what the god has given;
Though like waves breaking it may be,
Or like a changeed familiar tree,
Or like a stairway to the sea
Where down the blind are driven.

Edwin Arlington Robinson


petals
by Thomas Courtney

and so
after gaining all the world
we shall lose each other?

we failed to heed the admonition:
putting our stores in earthly treasures
coveting our bodies and our minds
losing the spirit we shared?

when we had vowed
in the depths of our hearts
in the holy sanctuary
and before God and family
we shall part our company?

and become again
what we once were
not so very long ago-
strangers only now-
once lovers and dreamers?

we spoke the words
repeated so often before:
you and i for all eternity?
you and i-
we need another word for "we"
we are not "we" as once together
we are only you and i for time

perhaps like petals
tossed before the winds
of the same flower
we bid the stem farewell
cast adrift and lost
amidst the tumbling rains

the petals fall
and find an easy rest
they will some day find the soil rich and sweet
becoming part of it themselves
once again

and even as the flower
finally melts into the sun
the old stalk turns
and falls to the side
the roots wither and turn to dust,

another flower will come
and new petals will spring forth
again
there when the elements are right
as surely and inevitably they must be

as the meadow is large
and the sky is ever full

Poetry by Thomas Courtney


Marriage
by Mathilde Blind

LOVE springs as lightly from the human heart
As springs the lovely rose upon the brier,
Which turns the common hedge to floral fire,
As Love wings Time with rosy-feathered dart.
But marriage is the subtlest work of art
Of all the arts which lift the spirit higher;
The incarnation of the heart's desire--
Which masters Time--set on Man's will apart.

The Many try, but oh! how few are they
To whom that finest of the arts is given
Which shall teach Love, the rosy runaway,
To bide from bridal Morn to brooding Even.
Yet this--this only--is the narrow way
By which, while yet on earth, we enter heaven.

Songs and Sonnets by Mathilde Blind


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