April 14th: Read Poetry

Some of these have always been my favorites, some I found today. There is a great site to check out- Top 50 Poems.

I also signed up for daily poems emailed to me from Poets.org.

Acquainted with the Night
By Robert Frost

I have been one acquainted with the night. 

I have walked out in rain—and back in rain. 

I have outwalked the furthest city light. 
I have looked down the saddest city lane. 

I have passed by the watchman on his beat 

And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain. 
I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet 

When far away an interrupted cry 

Came over houses from another street, 
But not to call me back or say good-bye; 

And further still at an unearthly height, 

One luminary clock against the sky 
Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right. 

I have been one acquainted with the night.

A Dream Within A Dream

By Edgar Allan Poe

Take this kiss upon the brow!

And, in parting from you now,

Thus much let me avow–

You are not wrong, who deem

That my days have been a dream;

Yet if hope has flown away

In a night, or in a day,

In a vision, or in none,

Is it therefore the less gone?

All that we see or seem

Is but a dream within a dream.
I stand amid the roar

Of a surf-tormented shore,

And I hold within my hand

Grains of the golden sand–

How few! yet how they creep

Through my fingers to the deep,

While I weep–while I weep!

O God! can I not grasp

Them with a tighter clasp?

O God! can I not save

One from the pitiless wave?

Is all that we see or seem

But a dream within a dream?

Let America Be America Again

By Langston Hughes

Let America be America again.

Let it be the dream it used to be.

Let it be the pioneer on the plain

Seeking a home where he himself is free.
(America never was America to me.)
Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed–

Let it be that great strong land of love

Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme

That any man be crushed by one above.
(It never was America to me.)
O, let my land be a land where Liberty

Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,

But opportunity is real, and life is free,

Equality is in the air we breathe.
(There’s never been equality for me,

Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)
Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark? 

And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?
I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,

I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.

I am the red man driven from the land,

I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek–

And finding only the same old stupid plan

Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.
I am the young man, full of strength and hope,

Tangled in that ancient endless chain

Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!

Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!

Of work the men! Of take the pay!

Of owning everything for one’s own greed!
I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.

I am the worker sold to the machine.

I am the Negro, servant to you all.

I am the people, humble, hungry, mean–

Hungry yet today despite the dream.

Beaten yet today–O, Pioneers!

I am the man who never got ahead,

The poorest worker bartered through the years.
Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream

In the Old World while still a serf of kings,

Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,

That even yet its mighty daring sings

In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned

That’s made America the land it has become.

O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas

In search of what I meant to be my home–

For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,

And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,

And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came

To build a “homeland of the free.”
The free?
Who said the free? Not me?

Surely not me? The millions on relief today?

The millions shot down when we strike?

The millions who have nothing for our pay?

For all the dreams we’ve dreamed

And all the songs we’ve sung

And all the hopes we’ve held

And all the flags we’ve hung,

The millions who have nothing for our pay–

Except the dream that’s almost dead today.
O, let America be America again–

The land that never has been yet–

And yet must be–the land where every man is free.

The land that’s mine–the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME–

Who made America,

Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,

Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,

Must bring back our mighty dream again.
Sure, call me any ugly name you choose–

The steel of freedom does not stain.

From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,

We must take back our land again,

America!
O, yes,

I say it plain,

America never was America to me,

And yet I swear this oath–

America will be!
Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,

The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,

We, the people, must redeem

The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.

The mountains and the endless plain–

All, all the stretch of these great green states–

And make America again!

Phenomenal Woman

By Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.

I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size

But when I start to tell them,

They think I’m telling lies.

I say,

It’s in the reach of my arms

The span of my hips,

The stride of my step,

The curl of my lips.

I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.


I walk into a room

Just as cool as you please,

And to a man,

The fellows stand or

Fall down on their knees.

Then they swarm around me,

A hive of honey bees.

I say,

It’s the fire in my eyes,

And the flash of my teeth,

The swing in my waist,

And the joy in my feet.

I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.


Men themselves have wondered

What they see in me.

They try so much

But they can’t touch

My inner mystery.

When I try to show them

They say they still can’t see.

I say,

It’s in the arch of my back,

The sun of my smile,

The ride of my breasts,

The grace of my style.

I’m a woman


Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.


Now you understand

Just why my head’s not bowed.

I don’t shout or jump about

Or have to talk real loud.

When you see me passing

It ought to make you proud.

I say,

It’s in the click of my heels,

The bend of my hair,

the palm of my hand,

The need of my care,

‘Cause I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

Fire and Ice

By Robert Frost

Some say the world will end in fire, 
Some say in ice. 

From what I’ve tasted of desire 

I hold with those who favor fire. 

But if it had to perish twice, 

I think I know enough of hate 

To say that for destruction ice 

Is also great 

And would suffice.

Birches

By Robert Frost

When I see birches bend to left and right 

Across the lines of straighter darker trees, 

I like to think some boy’s been swinging them. 

But swinging doesn’t bend them down to stay 

As ice-storms do. Often you must have seen them 

Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning 

After a rain. They click upon themselves 

As the breeze rises, and turn many-colored 

As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel. 

Soon the sun’s warmth makes them shed crystal shells 

Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust— 

Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away 

You’d think the inner dome of heaven had fallen. 

They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load, 

And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed 

So low for long, they never right themselves: 

You may see their trunks arching in the woods 

Years afterwards, trailing their leaves on the ground 

Like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair 

Before them over their heads to dry in the sun. 

But I was going to say when Truth broke in 

With all her matter-of-fact about the ice-storm 

I should prefer to have some boy bend them 

As he went out and in to fetch the cows— 

Some boy too far from town to learn baseball, 

Whose only play was what he found himself, 

Summer or winter, and could play alone. 

One by one he subdued his father’s trees 

By riding them down over and over again 

Until he took the stiffness out of them, 

And not one but hung limp, not one was left 

For him to conquer. He learned all there was 

To learn about not launching out too soon 

And so not carrying the tree away 

Clear to the ground. He always kept his poise 

To the top branches, climbing carefully 

With the same pains you use to fill a cup 

Up to the brim, and even above the brim. 

Then he flung outward, feet first, with a swish, 

Kicking his way down through the air to the ground. 

So was I once myself a swinger of birches. 

And so I dream of going back to be. 

It’s when I’m weary of considerations, 

And life is too much like a pathless wood 

Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs 

Broken across it, and one eye is weeping 

From a twig’s having lashed across it open. 

I’d like to get away from earth awhile 

And then come back to it and begin over. 

May no fate willfully misunderstand me 

And half grant what I wish and snatch me away

Not to return. Earth’s the right place for love: 

I don’t know where it’s likely to go better. 

I’d like to go by climbing a birch tree, 

And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk 

Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more, 

But dipped its top and set me down again. 

That would be good both going and coming back. 

One could do worse than be a swinger of birches. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s