This Month's Theme

Poetry on Poetry


This Month's Featured Poems
"A Plea to Girls and Boys" by Robert Graves
"Grace Us" by Cassia
"Adam's Curse" by William Butler Yeats
"Loosing the Art" by Gale A. Langley
"Transfiguration: a poem" by Carl McLuhan

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Last month's theme: The Cruelty of April
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A Plea to Girls and Boys
by Robert Graves

You learned Lear's Nonsense Rhymes by heart, not rote;
You learned Pope's Iliad by rote, not heart;
These terms should be distinguished if you quote
My verses, children--keep them poles apart--
And call the man a liar who says I wrote
All that I wrote in love, for love of art.

The Robert Graves Archive


Grace Us
by Cassia Pauli

Oh sisters,
do you think in times to come
poets will shake
their quills like spears,
lose mirth, and splendor, and good cheer,
restless to crown the best?

Oh Eris, cursed Discordia!
That apple doomed to kill
you poisened with the gild of vanity,
and helplessly we watched
goddesses stoop to get the prize,
each with a beauty uncompared
endowed,

we saw them fall,
them and the walls of Ilion.

All there was left to do for us
was lend a poet strength,
and grace to sing his song,
so that from blindness,
pain and treason
art would spring,
a monument for Ilion´s palace burnt
and roots to anchor memory in time,
bloom of two countries slain.

We care not who´s the fairest
among us,
in unity we dance
and bless the ones who serve their craft,
and only strive for mastery
to catch in words
the priceless beauty of the world.

These spheres of modest bronze
we pass
round and around,
join our circle, poets,
let us touch the hands
that write,
and praise,
and share.

Notes on this Poem

Cassia's Forum at All In A Pen


Adam's Curse
by William Butler Yeats

WE sat together at one summer's end,
That beautiful mild woman, your close friend,
And you and I, and talked of poetry.
I said, "A line will take us hours maybe;
Yet if it does not seem a moment's thought,
Our stitching and unstitching has been naught.
Better go down upon your marrow-bones
And scrub a kitchen pavement, or break stones
Like an old pauper, in all kinds of weather;
For to articulate sweet sounds together
Is to work harder than all these, and yet
Be thought an idler by the noisy set
Of bankers, schoolmasters, and clergymen
The martyrs call the world.'
And thereupon
That beautiful mild woman for whose sake
There's many a one shall find out all heartache
On finding that her voice is sweet and low
Replied, "To be born woman is to know --
Although they do not talk of it at school --
That we must labour to be beautiful.'
I said, "It's certain there is no fine thing
Since Adam's fall but needs much labouring.
There have been lovers who thought love should be
So much compounded of high courtesy
That they would sigh and quote with learned looks
Precedents out of beautiful old books;
Yet now it seems an idle trade enough.'
We sat grown quiet at the name of love;
We saw the last embers of daylight die,
And in the trembling blue-green of the sky
A moon, worn as if it had been a shell
Washed by time's waters as they rose and fell
About the stars and broke in days and years.
I had a thought for no one's but your ears:
That you were beautiful, and that I strove
To love you in the old high way of love;
That it had all seemed happy, and yet we'd grown
As weary-hearted as that hollow moon.

William Butler Yeats: Biography and Works


Loosing the Art
by Gale A. Langley

I started to write
a novel
but time and words
slipped through my fingers
and I was left with
a poem
with no rhyme
and no time for rythm

I long to write stories
like I did in the days
when I was lonely
and time flowed slowly
like ink from a pen

But...I don't want to be lonely

And every prayer
and kiss
and smile
is precious worth
the minutes

life flies
leaves hardly space for a sonnet
no less patience for a page
it is consumed with it's
own stories


Transfiguration
by Carl McLuhan

I sit and watch
the pine chair fill up with snow.
Flake by flake,
old man winter
takes shape,
lies back
with arms outstretched
and pock-marked by the
crinkling sun.
He catches my gaze.

I retreat into stillness;
I hear inner voices
that have been waiting
since the last days of summer
to articulate
great volumes of stories
gleaned from looking through
your dark quiet eyes,
from slipping into your skin
and feeling your blood
a-tingle in my finger tips.

While the numberless fragments
of heaven
fall into place,
and words drop delicately
into poems,
I am
transfigured.


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