Colm's Favorite Poems

The River by Ralf Waldo Emerson

And I behold once more
My old familiar haunts; here the blue river,
The same blue wonder that my infant eye
Admired, sage doubting whence the traveller came,—
Whence brought his sunny bubbles ere he washed
The fragrant flag-roots in my father’s fields,
And where thereafter in the world he went.
Look, here he is, unaltered, save that now
He hath broke his banks and flooded all the vales
With his redundant waves.
Here is the rock where, yet a simple child,
I caught with bended pin my earliest fish,
Much triumphing, —and these the fields
Over whose flowers I chased the butterfly,
A blooming hunter of a fairy fine.
And hark! where overhead the ancient crows
Hold their sour conversation in the sky:—
These are the same, but I am not the same,
But wiser than I was, and wise enough
Not to regret the changes, tho’ they cost
Me many a sigh. Oh, call not Nature dumb;
These trees and stones are audible to me,
These idle flowers, that tremble in the wind,
I understand their faery syllables,
And all their sad significance. The wind,
That rustles down the well-known forest road—
It hath a sound more eloquent than speech.
The stream, the trees, the grass, the sighing wind,
All of them utter sounds of ’monishment
And grave parental love.
They are not of our race, they seem to say,
And yet have knowledge of our moral race,
And somewhat of majestic sympathy,
Something of pity for the puny clay,
That holds and boasts the immeasurable mind.
I feel as I were welcome to these trees
After long months of weary wandering,
Acknowledged by their hospitable boughs;
They know me as their son, for side by side,
They were coeval with my ancestors,
Adorned with them my country’s primitive times,
And soon may give my dust their funeral shade.

Autum by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

With what a glory comes and goes the year!
The buds of spring, those beautiful harbingers
Of sunny skies and cloudless times, enjoy
Life’s newness, and earth’s garniture spread out;
And when the silver habit of the clouds
Comes down upon the autumn sun, and with
A sober gladness the old year takes up
His bright inheritance of golden fruits,
A pomp and pageant fill the splendid scene.

There is a beautiful spirit breathing now
Its mellow richness on the clustered trees,
And, from a beaker full of richest dyes,
Pouring new glory on the autumn woods,
And dipping in warm light the pillared clouds.
Morn on the mountain, like a summer bird,
Lifts up her purple wing, and in the vales
The gentle wind, a sweet and passionate wooer,
Kisses the blushing leaf, and stirs up life
Within the solemn woods of ash deep-crimsoned,
And silver beech, and maple yellow-leaved,
Where Autumn, like a faint old man, sits down
By the wayside a-weary. Through the trees
The golden robin moves; the purple finch,
That on wild cherry and red cedar feeds,
A winter bird, comes with its plaintive whistle,
And pecks by the witch-hazel, whilst aloud
From cottage roofs the warbling blue-bird sings;
And merrily, with oft-repeated stroke,
Sounds from the threshing-floor the busy flail.

O what a glory doth this world put on
For him who, with a fervent heart, goes forth
Under the bright and glorious sky, and looks
On duties well performed, and days well spent!
For him the wind, ay, and the yellow leaves
Shall have a voice, and give him eloquent teachings.
He shall so hear the solemn hymn, that Death
Has lifted up for all, that he shall go
To his long resting-place without a tear.

Offwprld by Anne Waldman

this was a vision: humans
create
world emerging from an egg
a shepherdess is our voice victim of sorrow
victim of sorrow is our own mind
took our stations to the street
buildings on fire, create the anterior mindset
anywhere out of this world

there was a phony adolescent incident: “Jim Morrison stripped down
as the Antinomians mocked Mormon pedagogy”

worlds in collision, dreams logic

a raid, a disaster
Blake sits naked in his garden
devotees depart in a senseless frenzy

you might chisel your way into existence
and the sweat of your labor become rain

you might be Nature chuckling back at herself

who completes you?

and this is the story:

four strums of a tetrachord

innocence turns gods into stones
a good idea
Aristharchus had an idea once too

about the sun
that it would be fine without him

syntaxis, Almagest
Mikołaj Kopernik

astronomers always have their day

exact curve of feeling isn’t identifiable yet
perhaps it will come
in study of parallel universes

imitate me she sang, singing in harmony with her own self
enclosures within enclosures. New planets and stars

what wasn’t said of Thel didn’t tell you didn’t warn you of Thel wouldn’t do it
what if they said Thel you would be hampered you would be diminished

microcosmic paratactic
small inkling this would end. soon.
in special language enclosed
without ties, a lover ties you down
adolescent idea of “orienting”
and the gypsy reads all our getaway cards

without religion but better than that
harsh discourse is mosaic intention
shattering all downplay stress mode tesserae
but you will rise in the house of choosing
you are all content today, gauzy is another
length of human
companion to a 1,000 year plan
abundant inflections complicate the strife
tone is tautological
taut is my generation
we had enough of it today
we are author and roam as such
as such discern to listen
do we have tomorrow?
you are divine
hypnagogic playmate, Thel
and your dangerous
withdrawal of my study plan
willful in origin is
unguarded, help me out here

Nature by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

As a fond mother, when the day is o’er,
Leads by the hand her little child to bed,
Half willing, half reluctant to be led,
And leave his broken playthings on the floor,
Still gazing at them through the open door,
Nor wholly reassured and comforted
By promises of others in their stead,
Which, though more splendid, may not please him more;
So Nature deals with us, and takes away
Our playthings one by one, and by the hand
Leads us to rest so gently, that we go
Scarce knowing if we wish to go or stay,
Being too full of sleep to understand
How far the unknown transcends the what we know.