Rhyme LII (Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer)

Rhyme LII Giant waves that braying break upon remote, deserted beaches, wrapped in your sheets of foam, take me with you! Hurricane blasts that rip away from the towering woods their withered leaves, dragged along in your blind whirlwind, take me with you! Tempest clouds that the sunbeam breaks and…

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In the Wilds There Is a Dead Doe

From the Shi Jing or Holy Book of Songs, a collection of ancient Chinese poetry written between 1600 and 600 B.C.E. (the collection may have been edited down to its present 305 pieces by Kung Fu-Tzu [Confucius]): 23. In the wilds there is a dead doe In the wilds there…

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Ode 1.5 (Horace)

Ode 1.5 What slender boy bathed in a flowing smell Courts you, Pyrrha, on roses Within some pleasant cave? Whom do you braid that golden hair for, Simple and neat? Ah, how often He’ll weep at how faith and gods change, And he’ll marvel, unaccustomed, At this rough sea that’s…

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XLII (Catullus)

Here’s a put-down poem by one of my favorites, Catullus, one of a group of young Roman poets who revolutionized poetry in the 1st century BCE: XLII Come, Hendecasyllables, come one and all, From everywhere, as many as you may be, For an ugly, skanky slut thinks I’m a joke…

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A Prayer to Aphrodite (Sappho)

A Prayer to Aphrodite On your dappled throne, Aphrodite—deathless, Ruse-devising daughter of Zeus: O Lady Never crush my spirit with pain and needless Sorrow, I beg you. Rather come—if ever some moment, years past, Hearing from afar my despairing voice, you Listened, left your father’s great golden halls, and Came…

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The Fall of Bagdad

The Fall of Bagdad[1] Don Pedro wakes this autumn day, Descends the stairs to his bar, And wiping down the rough-hewn wood, Prepares to pour the drinks. For years his cantina thrived on gold That cotton transport culled From slaves that Texas cruelly worked Throughout the Civil War. In fact,…

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Lyrics from Philosophical Zombie

Silence Silence creeps like a thick, white fog To fill her ears and her mind with naught. In the stillness of the blackest night, It amplifies her every fright. Silence— She hates the silence: She wants to fill that void with a joyous sound. The skittering sounds that silence makes…

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Lyrics from This Insubstantial Pageant

Huckleberry Juju Huckleberry juju. Magnolia fire. Bayou flatboat. Palmetto moon. Black snake napping Up in a mossy oak. Hound in the swamp. Cottonmouth rainstorm. Sweetgrass baskets. Catching sense. Brotherhood mended Through taking of hands. Gospel elevation At backwoods church. Gullah conversation With the hoodoo man. Sip some sun-brewed tea, Barbequed…

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