After Dickinson

One half of everything is true,The part that don’t depend on you –God made the part that touches ground,The half with roots, that reacheth down. The other part that fills the air,Which meets bright hope, or dark despair –Is like the limbs of that Old Tree,Whose height and reach extends from me.

Song: Men of England, by Percy Bysshe Shelley (A Reading)

Men of England, wherefore ploughFor the lords who lay ye low?Wherefore weave with toil and careThe rich robes your tyrants wear? Wherefore feed and clothe and saveFrom the cradle to the graveThose ungrateful drones who wouldDrain your sweat—nay, drink your blood? Wherefore, Bees of England, forgeMany a weapon, chain, and scourge,That these stingless drones may […]

At Melville’s Tomb, by Hart Crane (A Reading)

Often beneath the wave, wide from this ledgeThe dice of drowned men’s bones he saw bequeathAn embassy. Their numbers as he watched,Beat on the dusty shore and were obscured. And wrecks passed without sound of bells,The calyx of death’s bounty giving backA scattered chapter, livid hieroglyph,The portent wound in corridors of shells. Then in the […]

Repose of Rivers, by Hart Crane (A Reading)

The willows carried a slow sound,A sarabande the wind mowed on the mead.I could never rememberThat seething, steady leveling of the marshesTill age had brought me to the sea. Flags, weeds. And remembrance of steep alcovesWhere cypresses shared the noon’sTyranny; they drew me into hades almost.And mammoth turtles climbing sulphur dreamsYielded, while sun-silt rippled themAsunder […]