Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Well, Honest John

Well, honest John, how fare you now at home?
The spring is come, and birds are building nests.

~ John Clare

Photo: John Clare Cottage, Helpston, Peterborough, England.

The Oak Tree

The oak tree:
not interested
in cherry blossoms.

~ Basho

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

There Is A Yew-Tree

There is a Yew-tree, pride of Lorton Vale,
Which to this day stands single, in the midst
Of its own darkness, as it stood of yore.

~ William Wordsworth

Painting: The Great Yew Tree At Lorton by William Green

Send Home My Long Strayed Eyes

Send home my long strayed eyes to me,
Which, O! too long have dwelt on thee.

~ John Donne

Painting: Self Portrait by George Richmond

Happiness Is A Vine

Happiness is a vine that takes root and grows within the heart, never outside it.

~ Khalil Gibran

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Flower That Smiles Today

The flower that smiles today
Tomorrow dies;
All that we wish to stay
Tempts and then flies.

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley

The Wood Is Sweet

The wood is sweet – I love it well,
In spending there my leisure hours,
To seek the snail its painted shell,
And look about for curious flowers.

~ John Clare

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Where The Rubies Grew

Some asked me where the rubies grew:
And nothing I did say,
But with my finger pointed to
The lips of Julia.

~ Robert Herrick

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Fair Singer

To make a final conquest of all me,
Love did compose so sweet an enemy,
In whom both beauties to my death agree,
Joining themselves in fatal harmony;
That while she with her eyes my heart does bind,
She with her voice might captivate my mind.

~ Andrew Marvell

Drawing: Arabella Hunt (1662-1705) - An English vocalist and lutenist, celebrated for her beauty and talents - by John Smith.

There Is A Harmony In Autumn

There is a harmony
In autumn, and a lustre in its sky,
Which through the summer is not heard or seen,
As if it could not be, as if it had not been!

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley

Friday, September 25, 2015

What Is A Kiss?

What is a kiss? Why this, as some approve:
The sure, sweet cement, glue, and lime of love.

~ Robert Herrick

Painting: The Stolen Kiss by Jean-Honoré Fragonard

Resolve To Be Thyself

Resolve to be thyself; and know that he,
Who finds himself, loses his misery!

~ Matthew Arnold

Painting: Soria Moria Castle by Theodor Kittelsen

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Deeper Roots

Storms make the oak grow deeper roots.

~ George Herbert

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Cherry Ripe

Cherry ripe, ripe, ripe, I cry,
Full and fair ones; come and buy!
If so be you ask me where
They do grow, I answer, there,
Where my Julia's lips do smile;
There's the land, or cherry-isle.

~ Robert Herrick

If I Could Write

If I could write the beauty of your eyes,
And in fresh numbers number all your graces,
The age to come would say "This poet lies;
Such heavenly touches ne'er touched earthly faces."

~ William Shakespeare

Photo: Tom Bateman as William Shakespeare and Lucy Briggs-Owen as Viola de Lesseps in the 2014 play Shakespeare In Love

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Sparrow Singing

Sparrow singing –
its tiny mouth

~ Buson

A Pleasant Hill

I have a pleasant hill
Which I sit upon for hours,
Where she cropt some sprigs of thyme
And other little flowers.

~ John Clare

Monday, September 21, 2015

That's My Last Duchess

That's my last Duchess painted on the wall,
Looking as if she were alive.

~ Robert Browning

Painting: Grand Duchess Marie Fiodorovna by Alexander Roslin

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Corinthian Maid

Hail, to the fair Corinthian Maid,
Who first the human face portrayed,
She saw her Lover's shadow fall,
And traced it on the illumined wall.

~ Elizabeth Cobbold

Painting: The Corinthian Maid by Joseph Wright of Derby

Please Please Me

Sexual intercourse began
In nineteen sixty-three
(which was rather late for me) –
Between the end of the Chatterley ban
And the Beatles' first LP.

~ Philip Larkin

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Come Live With Me

Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove.

~ Christopher Marlowe

Painting: Shepherd and Shepherdess by François Boucher

All Nature Has A Feeling

All nature has a feeling: woods, fields, brooks
Are life eternal: and in silence they
Speak happiness beyond the reach of books.

~ John Clare


Thus happiness depends, as Nature shows,
Less on exterior things than most suppose.

~ William Cowper

Friday, September 18, 2015

Words Are Like Leaves

Words are like leaves; and where they most abound,
Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found.

~ Alexander Pope

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Autumn Days

Sweet and smiling are thy ways,
Beauteous, golden Autumn days.

~ Will Carleton

The Power Of Harmony

With an eye made quiet by the power
Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,
We see into the life of things.

~ William Wordsworth

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Say, Sea, Take Me!

Say, sea,
Take me!

~ Emily Dickinson

To Kindle A Fire

To kindle a fire,
the autumn winds have piled
a few dead leaves.

~ Ryokan

The Thief Left It Behind

The thief left it behind:
the moon
at my window.

~ Ryokan

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Bare Word "Kiss"

The bare word "kiss" hath made my inner soul
To tremble like a lute string, ere the note
Hath melted in the silence that it broke.

~ Alfred Lord Tennyson

Painting: Francesca And Her Lute by Charles Edward Hallé

Monday, September 14, 2015

One Is Both And Both Are One In Love

For verily love knows not "mine" or "thine";
With separate "I" and "thou" free love has done,
For one is both and both are one in love.

~ Christina Rossetti

Sunday, September 13, 2015

You Open Always Petal By Petal

you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skillfully,mysteriously)her first rose

~ e. e. cummings

Go Rose

Go rose, my Chloe's bosom grace:
How happy should I prove,
Could I supply that envied place
With never-fading love.

~ John Clare

Painting: Young Lady With A Rose by Unkown 19th Century Artist

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Time's Wingèd Chariot

But at my back I always hear
Time's wingèd chariot hurrying near.

~ Andrew Marvell

Painting: A Dance To The Music Of Time by Nicholas Poussin

That Sweet Odour

O how much more doth beauty beauteous seem,
By that sweet ornament which truth doth give!
The rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem
For that sweet odour which doth in it live.

~ William Shakespeare

Painting: The Soul Of The Rose by John William Waterhouse

No Man Ever Steps In The Same River Twice

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.

~ Heraclitus

Friday, September 11, 2015

Dripping Water Hollows Out Stone

Dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but through persistence.

~ Ovid

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Here's Eglantine, Here's Ivy!

Here's eglantine,
Here's ivy! – take them, as I used to do
Thy flowers, and keep them where they shall not pine.
Instruct thine eyes to keep their colours true,
And tell thy soul, their roots are left in mine.

~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning

A Dainty Plant Is The Ivy Green

Oh, a dainty plant is the Ivy green,
That creepeth o'er ruins old!

~ Charles Dickens

Photo: Breastfeeding Statue in Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

I Found The Poems In The Fields

I found the poems in the fields,
And only wrote them down.

~ John Clare

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

O Solitude!

O Solitude! if I must with thee dwell,
Let it not be among the jumbled heap
Of murky buildings.

~ John Keats

Photo: Buildings in the City of London

A Blossom Passing Fair

Love, whose month is ever May,
Spied a blossom passing fair
Playing in the wanton air.

~ William Shakespeare

This Green Earth

Therefore am I still
A lover of the meadows and the woods,
And mountains; and of all that we behold
From this green earth.

~ William Wordsworth

So Sweet A Kiss

So sweet a kiss the golden sun gives not
To those fresh morning drops upon the rose,
As thy eye-beams, when their fresh rays have smote
The night of dew that on my cheeks down flows.

~ William Shakespeare

Monday, September 07, 2015

I Love The Fitful Gust

I love the fitful gust that shakes
The casement all the day,
And from the mossy elm tree takes
The faded leaves away,
Twirling them by the window pane
With thousand others down the lane.

~ John Clare

Kiss Me

Kiss me, and you will see how important I am.

~ Sylvia Plath

Photo: Sylvia Plath - 1953

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Neptune Taming A Sea-Horse

Notice Neptune, though,
Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity,
Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me!

~ Robert Browning

The Siren Sings So Sweetly

The siren sings so sweetly that she lulls the mariners to sleep.

~ Leonardo Da Vinci

Nymph Of The Sea

Go make thyself like a nymph o' the sea: be subject
To no sight but thine and mine.

~ William Shakespeare

Though Inland Far We Be

Though inland far we be,
Our Souls have sight of that immortal sea
Which brought us hither.

~ William Wordsworth