Queer Little Poem

I happened upon this little poem the other day & it struck me as so spare and so shocked with emotion.

He would not stay for me, and who can wonder

by A. E. Housman

He would not stay for me, and who can wonder?
He would not stay for me to stand and gaze.
I shook his hand, and tore my heart in sunder,
And went with half my life about my ways.

It is so spare and yet gets at that thing of love, no?

Not Lovelier Than Lilacs, — no.

Some of you know she’s where I got my name. But really, how much more punk rock could a 1920s poet be?

Thou art not lovelier than lilacs,–no,
Nor honeysuckle; thou art not more fair

Than small white single poppies,–I can bear
Thy beauty; though I bend before thee, though
From left to right, not knowing where to go,
I turn my troubled eyes, nor here nor there
Find any refuge from thee, yet I swear
So has it been with mist,–with moonlight so.
Like him who day by day unto his draught
Of delicate poison adds him one drop more
Till he may drink unharmed the death of ten,
Even so, inured to beauty, who have quaffed
Each hour more deeply than the hour before,
I drink–and live–what has destroyed some men.

Lots more here.

RIP: Adrienne Rich

Adrienne Rich died, and the world is a little less poetic – and a little less political – as a result.

By Adrienne Rich

You show me the poems of some woman
my age, or younger
translated from your language

Certain words occur: enemy, oven, sorrow
enough to let me know
she’s a woman of my time


with Love, our subject:
we’ve trained it like ivy to our walls
baked it like bread in our ovens
worn it like lead on our ankles
watched it through binoculars as if
it were a helicopter
bringing food to our famine
or the satellite
of a hostile power

I begin to see that woman
doing things: stirring rice
ironing a skirt
typing a manuscript till dawn

trying to make a call
from a phonebooth

The phone rings unanswered
in a man’s bedroom
she hears him telling someone else
Never mind. She’ll get tired.
hears him telling her story to her sister
who becomes her enemy
and will in her own time
light her own way to sorrow

ignorant of the fact this way of grief
is shared, unnecessary
and political

Getting Married

We’re with some friends today who are getting married, and with other friends, friends of friends, family of friends. It’s lovely to be around all these people celebrating the love & commitment of two fantastic people.

There are two poems that will be part of their ceremony below the break.

Continue reading “Getting Married”