''For brains there is no substitute. "Unless it's sweetbreads," you suggest With innuendo I detest.''
''The melancholy of having to count souls Where they grow fewer and fewer every year Is extreme where they shrink to none at all. It must be I want life to go on living.''
''“Unless you are educated in metaphor, you are not safe to be let loose in the world.” ''
''“The middle of the road is where the white line is—and that’s the worst place to drive.” ''
''He runs face forward. He is a pursuer. He seeks a seeker who in his turn seeks Another still, lost far into the distance.''
''I men a lady from the South who said (You won't believe she said it, but she said it): "None of my family ever worked, or had A thing to sell."''
''Go bring him home to his people. Lay him in state on a sepal. Wrap him for shroud in a petal. Embalm him with ichor of nettle. This is the word of your Queen."''
''Visions of half the world burned black And the sun shrunken yellow in smoke.''
''Let chaos storm! Let cloud shapes swarm! I wait for form.''
''He took the props down used for propping open, And set them up again for propping shut, The widespread double doors two stories high. The advantage-disadvantage of these doors Was that tramp taking sanctuary there Must leave them unlocked to betray his presence.''
''Summoning spirits isn't 'Button, button, Who's got the button,' I would have them know.''
''“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.” ''
''It doesn't seem so much to climb a mountain You've worked around the foot of all your life.''
''The play seems out for an almost infinite run. Don't mind a little thing like the actors fighting.''
''We mustn't touch them yet, but see and see! And what was green would by and by be gold. Their name was called the Gold Hesperidee.''
''Pilgrim-manned, the Mayflower in a dream Has been her anxious convoy in to shore.''
''Already determined dawn began to lay In place across a cloud the slender ray For prying beneath and forcing the lids of sight, And loosing the pent-up music of overnight.''
''When I see birches bend to left and right Across the lines of straighter darker trees, I like to think some boy's been swinging them.''
''Word I was in my life alone, Word I had no one left but God.''
''I turned and repented, but coming back I saw no window but that was black.''
''When there was no more lantern in the kitchen, The fire got out through crannies in the stove And danced in yellow wrigglers on the ceiling, As much at home as if they'd always danced there.''
''And work was little in the house, She was free,''
''He is said to have been the last Red Man In Acton. And the Miller is said to have laughed If you like to call such a sound a laugh.''
''Faster or slower as he chanced, Sitting or standing as he chose, According as he feared to risk His neck, or thought to spare his clothes.''
''"... John's no threatener Like some menfolk. No one's afraid of him; All is, he's made up his mind not to stand What he has got to stand."''
''And oh, I knew, I knew, And said out loud, I couldn't bide the smother And heat so close in; but the thought of all The woods and town on fire by me, and all The town turned out to fight for me that held me.''
''The buzz saw snarled and rattled in the yard And made dust and dropped stove-length sticks of wood, Sweet-scented stuff when the breeze drew across it.''
''Sarcastic Science, she would like to know, In her complacent ministry of fear, How we propose to get away from here When she has made things so we have to go Or be wiped out.''
''It was too lonely for her there, And too wild, And since there were but two of them, And no child....''
''Our missiles always make too short an arc: They fall, they rip the grass, they intersect The curve of earth, and striking, break their own;''
''Magnified apples appear and disappear, Stem end and blossom end, And every fleck of russet showing clear.''
''For I have had too much Of apple-picking: I am overtired Of the great harvest I myself desired.''
''“The best things and best people rise out of their separateness; Im against a homogenized society because I want the cream to rise.” ''
''No burst of nuclear phenomenon That put an end to what was going on Could make much difference to the dead and gone.''
''There stood the purple spires with no breath of air Nor headlong bee To disturb their perfect poise the livelong day 'Neath the alder tree.''
''Firm in our beliefs without dismay, In any game the nations want to play. A golden age of poetry and power Of which this noonday's the beginning hour.''
''Afterward I went past what you had passed Before we met, and you what I had passed.''
''“Poetry is a way of taking life by the throat.” ''
''So she looked for herself, as everyone Looks for himself, more or less outwardly.''
''They were not on the table with their elbows. They were not sleeping in the shelves of bunks. I saw no men there and no bones of men there.''
''When they sometimes Come down the stairs at night and stand perplexed Behind the door and headboard of the bed, Brushing their chalky skull with chalky fingers, With sounds like the dry rattling of a shutter,''
''They are tireless folk, but slow and sad Though two, close-keeping, are lass and lad With none among them that ever sings....''
''Poor egotist, he has no way of knowing But he's as good as anybody going.''
''Take a timber That you shall find lies in the cellar, charred Among the raspberries, and hew and shape it For a doorsill or other corner piece In a new cottage on the ancient spot. The life is not yet all gone out of it. And come and make your summer dwelling here....''
''And yet for all this help of head and brain How happily instinctive we remain, Our best guide upward further to the light, Passionate preference such as love at sight.''
''The only native tree that dares to lean, Relying on its beauty, to the air. (Less brave perhaps than trusting are the fair.)''
''Teach those Asians mass production? Teach your grandmother egg suction.''
''It is cotter-pinned, it is bedded true. Everything its parts can do Has been thought out and accounted for. Your least touch sets it going round, And when top stop it rests with you.''
''I was to taste in little the grief That comes of dogs' lives being so brief....''
''But the bones didn't try The door; they halted helpless on the landing, Waiting for things to happen in their favor.''
''(Nothing could draw her after those two sons. She valued the considerate neglect She had at some cost taught them after years.)''
''I detest the thought of him With his ten children under ten years old. I hate his wretched little Racker Sect, All's ever I heard of it, which isn't much.''
''A man must partly give up being a man With womenfolk.''
''At last the gathered show lets down as white As may be in dark woods, and with a song It shall not make again all winter long Of hissing on the yet uncovered ground,''
''What is this talked-of mystery of birth But being mounted bareback on the earth?''
''The surest thing there is is we are riders....''
''Let's get my incantation right: "I wish I may, I wish I might" Give earth another satellite.''
''Yes, revolutions are the only salves, But they're one thing that should be done by halves.''
''The farmhouse lingers, though averse to square With the new city street it has to wear A number in. But what about the brook That held the house as in an elbow-crook?''
''I went to turn the grass once after one Who mowed it in the dew before the sun.''
''When I see young men doing so wonderfully well in athletics, I don't feel angry at them. I feel jealous of them. I wish that some of my boys in writing would do the same thing.... You must have form—performance. The thing itself is indescribable, but it is felt like athletic form. To have form, feel form in sports—and by analogy feel form in verse. One works and waits for form in both. As I said, the person who spends his time criticizing the play around him will never write poetry. He will write criticism.''
''The world has room to make a bear feel free; The universe seems cramped to you and me.''
''“Oh, come forth into the storm and rout And be my love in the rain.” ''
''We saw the risk we took in doing good, But dared not spare to do the best we could Though harm should come of it''
''We don't know where we are, or who we are. We don't know one another; don't know You; Don't know what time it is. We don't know, don't we?''
''On every tree a bucket with a lid, And on black ground a bear-skin rug of snow. The sparks made no attempt to be the moon. They were content to figure in the trees As Leo, Orion, and the Pleiades. And that was what the boughs were full of soon.''
''They mean to tell us all was rolling blind Till accidentally it hit on mind''
''Even while we talk some chemist at Columbia Is stealthily contriving wool from jute....''
''For these have governed in our lives, And see how men have warred. The Cross, the Crown, the Scales may all As well have been the Sword.''
''I'm what is called a sensibilitist, Or otherwise an environmentalist.''
''That only needs a finger touch from God To spring it like a deadfall and the fault In nature would wipe out all human fault.''
''One age is like another for the soul.''
''I wish I could promise to lie in the night And think of an orchard's arboreal plight When slowly (and nobody comes with a light) Its heart sinks lower under the sod. But something has to be left to God.''
''"New order of the ages" did we say? If it looks none too orderly today, 'Tis a confusion it was ours to start So in it have to take courageous part.''
''To drive Paul out of any lumber camp All that was needed was to say to him, "How is the wife, Paul?" and he'd disappear.''
''You can't get too much winter in the winter.''
''Never tell me that not one star of all That slip from heaven at night and softly fall Has been picked up with stones to build a wall.''
''He might have been the dream of a ghost In spite of the way his tail had smacked My floor so hard and matter-of-fact.''
''He said the dead had souls, but when I asked him How could that be—I thought the dead were souls, He broke my trance. Don't that make you suspicious That there's something the dead are keeping back?''
''His farm was "grounds," and not a farm at all; His house among the local sheds and shanties Rose like a factor's at a trading station.''
''I told him this is a pleasant life, To set your breast to the bark of trees That all your days are dim beneath, And reaching up with a little knife, To loose the resin and take it down And bring it to market when you please.''
''I could stand whole dayfuls of it. Wind she brews a heady kettle. Human beings love it love it. Gods above are not above it.''
''And then the voice again: "You seem afraid. I saw by the way you whipped up the horse. I'll just come forward in the lantern-light And let you see."''
''And comes that other fall we name the fall.''
''Mind you, we are mind. We are not the kind To stay too confined.''
''He writes free verse, I'm told, and he is thought To be the author of the Seven Freedoms: Free Will, Trade, Verse, Thought, Love, Speech, Coinage.''
'''Tis the world-old way of the rain When it comes to a mountain farm To exact for a present gain A little of future harm.''
''But all he did was spread the room Of our enacting out the doom Of being in each other's way, And so put off the weary day When we would have to put our mind On how to crowd but still be kind.''
''I'm not confused, I'm just well mixed.''
''The bird would cease and be as other birds But that he knows in singing not to sing. The question that he frames in all but words Is what to make of a diminished thing.''
''The already known had once more been confirmed By psychological experiment....''
''Then for the house that is no more a house, But only a belilaced cellar hole,''
''Our life runs down in sending up the clock. The brook runs down in sending up our life. The sun runs down in sending up the brook. And there is something sending up the sun.''
''the absolute flight and rest The universal blue And local green suggest.''
''What will we come to With all this pride of ancestry, we Yankees? I think we're all mad.''
''It lives less in the present Than in the future always, And less in both together Than in the past.''
''The best way out is always through.''
''The west was getting out of gold, The breath of air had died of cold....''
''There were three in the meadow by the brook Gathering up windrows, piling cocks of hay, With an eye always lifted toward the west Where an irregular sun-bordered cloud Darkly advanced with a perpetual dagger Flickering across its bosom.''
''When I was young my teachers were the old. I gave up fire for form till I was cold.''
''The mind is not the heart. I may yet live, as I know others live, To wish in vain to let go with the mind Of cares, at night, to sleep; but nothing tells me That I need learn to let go with the heart.''
''The latest creed that has to be believed And entered in our childish catechism Is that the All's a concept self-conceived, Which is no more than good old Pantheism.''
''"... But don't you think we sometimes make too much Of the old stock? What counts is the ideals, And those will bear some keeping still about."''
''“I am a writer of books in retrospect. I talk in order to understand; I teach in order to learn” ''
''It's God. I'd know Him by Blake's picture anywhere. Now what's He doing?''
''The land may vary more; But wherever the truth may be— The water comes ashore, And the people look at the sea.''
''Oh, some as soon would throw it all As throw a part away. And some will say all sorts of things, But some mean what they say.''
''Hard if, though cast away for life with Yankees, A Frenchman couldn't get his human rating!''
''Far star that tickles for me my sensitive plate And fries a couple of ebon atoms white....''
''Where had I heard this wind before Change like this to a deeper roar?''
''But with one step backward taken I saved myself from going. A world torn loose went by me.''
''Thus truth's established and borne out, Though circumstanced with dark and doubt— Though by a world of doubt surrounded.''
''Slow, slow! For the grapes' sake, if they were all, Whose leaves already are burnt with frost, Whose clustered fruit must else be lost For the grapes' sake along the wall.''
''The sister's face Fell all in wrinkles of responsibility. She wanted to do right. She'd have to think.''
''I met a traveler from Arkansas Who boasted of his state as beautiful For diamonds and apples.''
''“I am not a teacher, but an awakener.” ''
''I have none of the tenderer-than-thou Collectivistic regimenting love With which the modern world is being swept.''
''What comes over a man, is it soul or mind That to no limits and bounds he can stay confined? You would say his ambition was to extend the reach Clear to the Arctic of every living kind. Why is his nature forever so hard to teach That though there is no fixed line between wrong and right, There are roughly zones whose laws must be obeyed?''
''For, dear me, why abandon a belief Merely because it ceases to be true. Cling to it long enough, and not a doubt It will turn true again, for so it goes.''
''And lonely as it is, that loneliness Will be more lonely ere it will be less—''
''I have remained resentful to this day When any but myself presumed to say That there was anything I couldn't be.''
''Not even New Hampshire farms are much for sale. The farm I made my home on in the mountains I had to take by force rather than buy.''
''“These woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.” ''
''“The world is full of willing people, some willing to work, the rest willing to let them.” ''
''I looked on it as a Carnegie grant For him to make a poet of himself on If such a thing is possible with money.''
''Some may know what they seek in school and church, And why they seek it there; for what I search I must go measuring stone walls, perch on perch....''
''All for me? And not a question For the faded flowers gay That could take me from beside you For the ages of a day?''
''And from a cliff top is proclaimed The gathering of the souls for birth, The trial by existence named, The obscuration upon earth.''
''Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down.''
''And every acre good enough to eat, As fine as flour put through a baker's sieve.''
''Courage is in the air in bracing whiffs Better than all the stalemate an's and ifs.''
''The last step taken found your heft Decidedly upon the left. One more would throw you on the right. Another still you see your plight.''
''We raised a simple prayer Before we left the spot, That in the general mowing That place might be forgot; Or if not all so favored, Obtain such grace of hours That none should mow the grass there While so confused with flowers.''
''And yet 'twould seem that what is sung In happy sadness by the young, Fate has no choice but to fulfill.''
''But now he brushed the shavings from his knee And stood the ax there on its horse's hoof, Erect, but not without its waves, as when The snake stood up for evil in the Garden....''
''A plow, they say, to plow the snow. They cannot mean to plant it, no....''
''"Warm in December, cold in June, you say?" "I don't suppose the water's changed at all. You and I know enough to know it's warm Compared with cold, and cold compared with warm. But all the fun's in how you say a thing."''
''I saw the strange position of his hands Up at his shoulders, dragging yellow strands Of wire with something in it from men to men. "You here?" I said. "Where aren't you nowadays?..."''
''A light he was to no one but himself.''
''Anything I can say about New Hampshire Will serve almost as well about Vermont, Excepting that they differ in their mountains. The Vermont mountains stretch extended straight; New Hampshire mountains curl up in a coil.''
''"A baby's crying! Frantic it sounds, though muffled and far off. Its mother wouldn't let it cry like that, Not if she's there."''
''"... What are you seeing out the window, lady?" "What I'll be seeing more of in the years To come as here I stand and go the round Of many plates with towels many times."''
''This I saw when waking late, Going by at a railroad rate, Looking through wreaths of engine smoke Far into the lives of other folk.''
''For I thought Epicurus and Lucretius By Nature meant the Whole Goddam Machinery.''
''Everyone asks for freedom for himself, The man free love, the businessman free trade, The writer and talker free speech and free press.''
''We stood a moment so, in a strange world, Myself as one his own pretense deceives; And then I said the truth (and we moved on). A young beech clinging to its last year's leaves.''
''Summary riposte To the dreary wail There's no knowing what Love is all about. Poets know a lot.''
''"Who cares what they say? It's a nice way to live, Just taking what Nature is willing to give, Not forcing her hand with harrow and plow."''
''"... He thinks you ought to pay me for my flowers. You don't know what I mean about the flowers. Don't stop to try to now. You'll miss your train. Good-by." He flung his arms around his face.''
''Let's holler and ask him if he won't prescribe For all humanity a complete rest From all this wagery. But what's the use Of asking any sympathy of him? That class of people don't know what work is....''
''“Something we were withholding made us weak, until we found it was ourselves.” ''
''The line-storm clouds fly tattered and swift. The road is forlorn all day....''
''What we live by we die by.''
''The universe may or may not be very immense. As a matter of fact there are times when I am apt To feel it close in tight against my sense Like a caul in which I was born and still am wrapped.''
''“Good fences make good neighbors.” ''
''A name with meaning could bring up a child, Taking the child out of the parents' hands. Better a meaningless name, I should say, As leaving more to nature and happy chance. Name children some names and see what you do.''
'''twas by making sweetbreads do I passed with such a high I.Q.''
''We took one look round, Then sank out of sight like trolls underground....''
''I have wished a bird would fly away, And not sing by my house all day....''
''The question is whether they've reached a depth Of desperation that would warrant poetry's Leaving love's alternations, joy and grief, The weather's alternations, summer and winter, Our age-long theme, for the uncertainty Of judging who is a contemporary liar....''
''But if it is destined never again to grow, It can blame this limitless trait in the hearts of men.''
''Free verse leaves out the meter and makes up For the deficiency by church intoning. Free verse, so called, is really cherished prose....''
''Having tasted fruit, She scorns a pasture withering to the root.''
''One ought not to have to care So much as you and I Care when the birds come round the house To seem to say good-by;''
''The reason artists show so little interest In public freedom is because the freedom They've come to feel the need of is a kind No one can give them they can scarce attain The freedom of their own material....''
''A breeze discovered my open book And began to flutter the leaves to look For a poem there used to be on Spring.''
''But waste was of the essence of the scheme. And all the good they did for man or god To all those flowers they passionately trod Was leave as their posterity one pod With an inheritance of restless dream.''
''Did you stay up last night (the Magi did) To see the star shower known as Leonid That once a year by hand or apparatus Is so mysteriously pelted at us?''
''Now no joy but lacks salt That is not dashed with pain And weariness and fault;''
''"There's something I should like to ask you, dear." "You don't know how to ask it." "Help me, then." Her fingers moved the latch for all reply.''
''You could not tell, and yet it looked as if The shore was lucky in being backed by cliff, The cliff in being backed by continent; It looked as if a night of dark intent Was coming, and not only a night, an age.''
''"If you do!" She was opening the door wider. "Where do you mean to go? First tell me that. I'll follow and bring you back by force. I will!"''
''He had been given to behold The race's future trial place, A fresh start for the human race.''
''I wonder how I should like you to come to me And offer to put me gently out of my pain.''
''It was the obstinately gentle air That may be clamored at by cause and sect, But it will have its moment to reflect.''
''One sickness of the body and the soul.''
''another parasite Shall come to end the blight.''
''Still they stood, A great wave from it going over them, As if the earth in one unlooked-for favor Had made them certain earth returned their love.''
''Till we came to be There was not a trace Of a thinking race Anywhere in space.''
''And when we get too far apart in wealth, 'Twas his idea that for the public health, So that the poor won't have to steal by stealth, We now and then should take an equalizer.''
''It must be the brook Can trust itself to go by contraries The way I can with you—and you with me— Because we're—we're—I don't know What we are.''
''For Thought has a pair of dauntless wings.''
''But the flower leaned aside And thought of naught to say, And morning found the breeze A hundred miles away.''
''The old dog barks backward without getting up. I can remember when he was a pup.''
''A half a dozen major wars, And forty-five presidents.''
''Many lovers have been divorced By having what is free enforced.''
''An hour of winter day might seem too short To make it worth life's while to wake and sport.''
''First there's the children's house of make believe, Some shattered dishes underneath a pine, The playthings in the playhouse of the children. Weep for what little things could make them glad.''
''Something there is that doesn't love a wall,''
''"The wonder is I didn't see at once. I never noticed it from here before. I must be wonted to it that's the reason. The little graveyard where my people are!..."''
''I would have written of me on my stone: I had a lover's quarrel with the world.''
''Live and let live, believe and let believe. 'Twas said the lesser gods were only traits Of the one awful God. Just so the saints Are God's white light refracted into colors.''
''I could give all to Time except—except What I myself have held.''
''Well, if I have to choose one or the other, I choose to be a plain New Hampshire farmer With an income in cash of, say, a thousand (From, say, a publisher in New York City). It's restful to arrive at a decision, And restful just to think about New Hampshire. At present I am living in Vermont.''
''You don't have to deserve your mother's love. You have to deserve your father's. He's more particular.... The father is always a Republican towards his son, and his mother's always a Democrat.''
''“Families break up when they get hints you dont intend and miss hints that you do.” ''
''Bright-black-eyed silvery creature, brushed with brown, The wings not folded in repose, but spread.''
''But not gold in commercial quantities, Just enough gold to make the engagement rings And marriage rings of those who owned the farm. What gold more innocent could one have asked for?''
''Well, something for a snowstorm to have shown The country's singing strength thus brought together, That though repressed and moody with the weather Was nonetheless there ready to be freed And sing the wild flowers up from root and seed.''
''And everybody to the saddest Laughed the loud laugh the big laugh at the little.''
'''Twas Age imposed on poems Their gather-roses burden To warn against the danger That overtakes lovers From being overflooded With happiness should have it And yet not know they have it.''
''Mrs. Baptiste came in and rocked a chair That had as many motions as the world:''
''Tree at my window, window tree, My sash is lowered when night comes on; But let there never be curtain drawn Between you and me.''
''I found a dimpled spider, fat and white, On a white heal-all, holding up a moth Like a white piece of rigid satin cloth— Assorted characters of death and blight''
''It is the future that creates his present. All is an interminable chain of longing.''
''We reflected If one by one we counted people out For the least sin, it wouldn't take us long To get so we had no one left to live with, For to be social is to be forgiving.''
''The city is all right. To live in one Is to be civilized, stay up and read Or sing and dance all night and see sunrise By waiting up instead of getting up.''
''Pan came out of the woods one day His skin and his hair and his eyes were gray....''
''Eyes seeking the response of eyes Bring out the stars, bring out the flowers, Thus concentrating earth and skies So none need be afraid of size. All revelation has been ours.''
''It was a thing of beauty and was sent To live its life out as an ornament.''
''“Im not confused. Im just well mixed.” ''
''Since ever they flung abroad in spring The leaves had promised themselves this flight, Who now would fain seek sheltering wall, Or thicket, or hollow place for the night.''
''Coming on such an ancient human trace Seems as expressive of the human race As meeting someone living, face to face.''
''Won't this whole instinct matter bear revision? Won't almost any theory bear revision? To err is human, not to, animal.''
''And if so (And science ought to know) We well may raise our heads From weeding garden beds And annotating books To watch this end deluxe.''
''Then for years and years And for miles and miles 'Cross the Aegean Isles, Athens, Rome, France, Britain, Always West-Northwest ...''
''Your mother named you. You and she just saw Each other in passing in the room upstairs, One coming this way into life, and one Going the other out of life you know?''
''One had to be versed in country things Not to believe the phoebes wept.''
''You don't have to deserve your mother's love. You have to deserve your father's. He's more particular.... The father is always a Republican towards his son, and his mother's always a Democrat.''
''One of the lies would make it out that nothing Ever presents itself before us twice. Where would we be at last if that were so? Our very life depends on everything's Recurring till we answer from within.''
''But whenever the roof came white The head in the dark below Was a shade less the color of night, A shade more the color of snow.''
''I never dared be radical when young For fear it would make me conservative when old.''
''Sea waves are green and wet, But up from where they die Rise others vaster yet, And those are brown and dry.''
''Thinking isn't agreeing or disagreeing. That's voting.''
''A darkness out of Asia that had crossed Old Attic grace and Spartan discipline With violence.''
''We meet I don't say when But must bring to the meeting the maturest, The longest-saved-up, raciest, localest We have strength of reserve in us to bring.''
''Come over the hills and far with me, And be my love in the rain.''
''Poetry is what is lost in translation.''
''But I may be one who does not care Ever to have tree bloom or bear.''
''For months it hasn't known the taste of steel Washed down with rusty water in a tin. But standing outdoors hungry, in the cold, Except in towns at night, is not a sin.''
''By measure. It was word and note, The wind the wind had meant to be A little through the lips and throat. The aim was song the wind could see.''
''God once declared He was true And then took the veil and withdrew....''
''“Freedom lies in being bold.” ''
''No one was anxious to get rid of Paul. He'd been the hero of the mountain camps Ever since, just to show them, he had slipped The bark of a whole tamarack off whole....''
''"... But if you shrink from being scared, What would you say to war if it should come? That's what for reasons I should like to know If you can comfort me by any answer." "Oh, but war's not for children it's for men."''
''For every parcel I stoop down to seize I lose some other off my arms and knees, And the whole pile is slipping, bottles, buns ...''
''As a great buck it powerfully appeared, Pushing the crumpled water up ahead, And landed pouring like a waterfall, And stumbled through the rocks with horny tread, And forced the underbrush—and that was all.''
''The Demon arose from his wallow to laugh, Brushing the dirt from his eye as he went; And well I knew what the Demon meant.''
''We made a day of it out of the world, Ascending to descend to reascend.''
''You, of course, are a rose— But were always a rose.''
''I'm going out to fetch the little calf That's standing by the mother. It's so young, It totters when she licks it with her tongue. I sha'n't be gone long.—You come too.''
''I have been one acquainted with the night. I have walked out in rain—and back in rain. I have outwalked the furthest city light.''
''I wonder about the trees. Why do we wish to bear Forever the noise of these More than another noise So close to our dwelling place?''
'''Men work together,' I told him from the heart, 'Whether they work together or apart.'''
''We've looked and looked, but after all where are we? Do we know any better where we are, And how it stands between the night tonight And a man with a smoky lantern chimney? How different from the way it ever stood?''
''The leaves are all dead on the ground, Save those that the oak is keeping''
''When clever people ask me where I get a poem, I despair.''
''Than smoke and mist who better could appraise The kindred spirit of an inner haze?''
''The Sun is satisfied with days.''
''Ants are a curious race;''
''"... Me? I'm not off for anywhere at all. Sometimes I wander out of beaten ways Half looking for the orchid Calypso."''
''Back out of all this now too much for us, Back in a time made simple by the loss Of detail, burned, dissolved, and broken off Like graveyard marble sculpture in the weather,''
''Still it wouldn't reward the watcher to stay awake In hopes of seeing the calm of heaven break On his particular time and personal sight. That calm seems certainly safe to last tonight.''
''"You know Orion always comes up sideways. Throwing a leg up over our fence of mountains, And rising on his hands...."''
''A bird half wakened in the lunar noon Sang halfway through its little inborn tune.''
''The rangey bough anticipated fruit With snowballs cupped in every opening bud. The road alone maintained itself in mud....''
''"... You can hear the small buzz saws whine, the big saw Caterwaul to the hills around the village As they both bite the wood. It's all our music. One ought as a good villager to like it. No doubt it has a sort of prosperous sound, And it's our life." "Yes, when it's not our death."''
''“Forgive me my nonsense as I also forgive the nonsense of those who think they talk sense.” ''
''We're too unseparate. And going home From company means coming to our senses.''
''But whether or not a man was asked To mar the love of two By harboring woe in the bridal house, The bridegroom wished he knew.''
''“My sorrow, when shes here with me, thinks these dark days of autumn rain are beautiful as days can be; she loves the bare, the withered tree; she walks the sodden pasture lane.” ''
''"... A nation has to take its natural course Of Progress round and round in circles From King to Mob to King to Mob to King Until the eddy of it eddies out."''
''Trust him to have his bitter politics Against his unacquaintances the rich Who sleep in houses of their own, though mortgaged. Conservatives, they don't know what to save.''
''Love and forgetting might have carried them A little further up the mountainside With night so near, but not much further up.''
''“I hold it to be the inalienable right of anybody to go to hell in his own way.” ''
''A town debars Much notice of what's going on in stars.''
''Thought product and food product are to me Nothing compared to the producing of them.''
''The maples Stood uniform in buckets, and the steam Of sap and snow rolled off the sugarhouse.''
''She drew back; he was calm 'It is this that had the power,' And he lashed his open palm With the tender-headed flower.''
''If you should rise from Nowhere up to Somewhere, From being No one up to being Someone, Be sure to keep repeating to yourself You owe it to an arbitrary god....''
''There is much in nature against us. But we forget: Take nature altogether since time began, Including human nature, in peace and war, And it must be a little more in favor of man....''
''"... You're searching, Joe, For things that don't exist; I mean beginnings. Ends and beginnings there are no such things. There are only middles."''
''I'd like to get away from earth awhile And then come back to it and begin over. May no fate willfully misunderstand me And half grant what I wish and snatch me away Not to return. Earth's the right place for love: I don't know where it's likely to go better.''
''Pressed into service means pressed out of shape.''
''A girl could only see That a flower had marred a man, But what she could not see Was that the flower might be Other than base and fetid:''
''It is speckled with grime as if Small print overspread it, The news of a day I've forgotten If I ever read it.''
''Nothing not built with hands of course is sacred. But here is not a question of what's sacred; Rather of what to face or run away from. I'd hate to be a runaway from nature.''
''The land was ours before we were the land's. She was our land more than a hundred years Before we were her people.''
''Owning a wife with him meant owning her. She wasn't anybody else's business, Either to praise her or so much as name her, And he'd thank people not to think of her.''
''“Thinking is not to agree or disagree. Thats voting.” ''
''Moisture and color and odor thicken here. The hours of daylight gather atmosphere.''
''Since man began To drag down man And nation nation.''
''A little Morgan had one forefoot on the wall, The other curled at his breast. He dipped his head And snorted at us. And then he had to bolt. We heard the miniature thunder where he fled,''
''"... You could sit there with the stains on your shoes Of the fresh earth from your own baby's grave And talk about your everyday concerns. You had stood the spade up against the wall Outside there in the entry, for I saw it."''
''The rain to the wind said, "You push and I'll pelt."''
''You're no feminist. You have it in for women, she believes. Kipling invokes You as Lord God of Hosts. She'd like to know how You would take a prayer That started off Lord God of Hostesses.''
''I own I never really warmed To the reformer or reformed. And yet conversion has its place Not halfway down the scale of grace.''
''Just so before we're international, We're national and act as nationals.''
''Steal away and stay away. Don't join too many gangs. Join few if any. Join the United States and join the family But not much in between unless a college.''
''"When was I ever anything but kind to him? But I'll not have the fellow back," he said. "I told him so last haying, didn't I? 'If he left then,' I said, 'that ended it.' What good is he? Who else will harbor him At his age for the little he can do?''
''Forgive, O Lord, my little jokes on Thee And I'll forgive Thy great big one on me.''
''Slave to a springtime passion for the earth. How Love burns through the Putting in the Seed On through the watching for that early birth When, just as the soil tarnishes with weed, The sturdy seedling with arched body comes Shouldering its way and shedding the earth crumbs.''
''Nothing to say to all those marriages! She had made three herself to three of his. The score was even for them, three to three.''
''“A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness.” ''
''It may be a mercy the dark closes round us So broodingly soon in every direction.''
''I could be worse employed Than as watcher of the void, Whose part should be to tell What star if any fell.''
''He thought he kept the universe alone;''
''“There are two kinds of teachers: the kind that fill you with so much quail shot that you cant move, and the kind that just gives you a little prod behind and you jump to the skies.” ''
''Memento mori and obey the Lord. Art and religion love the somber chord.''
''My right might be love but theirs was need. And where the two exist in twain Theirs was the better right—agreed.''
''Take care to sell your horse before he dies. The art of life is passing losses on.''
''"... The state's one function is to give. The bud must bloom till blowsy blown Its petals loosen and are strown; And that's a fate it can't evade Unless 'twould rather wilt than fade."''
''The light was what it was all about: I would not go in till the light went out; It would not go out till I came in.''
''"Well, who begun it?" That's what at the end of a war We always say not who won it, Or what it was foughten for.''
''I sympathize, I know just how it feels To think of the right thing to say too late.''
''Nobody was ever meant To remember or invent What he did with every cent.''
''How the cold creeps as the fire dies at length How drifts are piled, Dooryard and road ungraded, Till even the comforting barn grows far away, And my heart owns a doubt Whether 'tis in us to arise with day And save ourselves unaided.''
''The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.''
''The land was our before we were the land's. She was our land more than a hundred years Before we were her people.''
''The only house Beyond where they were was a shattered seedpod. And below roared a brook hidden in trees, The sound of which was silence for the place.''
''What but design of darkness to appall?— If design govern in a thing so small.''
''Man's ingenuity was good. He saw it plainly where he stood, Yet found it easy to resist.''
''Where my imaginary line Bends square in woods, an iron spine And pile of real rocks have been founded.''
''“Most of the change we think we see in life is due to truths being in and out of favor.” ''
''People are inexterminable—like flies and bed-bugs. There will always be some that survive in cracks and crevices—that's us.''
''What things for dream there are when specter-like, Moving among tall haycocks lightly piled, I enter alone upon the stubble field....''
''“How many things have to happen to you before something occurs to you?” ''
''And they lie like wedges, Thick end to thin end and thin end to thick end, And are a figure of the way the strong Of mind and strong of arm should fit together, One thick where one is thin and vice versa.''
''Satan, what ails you? Where's the famous tongue? Thou onetime Prince of Conversationists?''
''"... There, there, What you complain of, all the nations share. Their effort is a mounting ecstasy That when it gets too exquisite to bear Will find relief in one burst. You shall see. That's what a certain bomb was sent to be."''
''I had to prosper good and punish evil. You changed all that. You set me free to reign. You are the Emancipator of your God, And as such I promote you to a saint.''
''“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” ''
''You made the eolith, you grew the bone, The second more peculiarly your own, And likely to have been enough alone.''
''It is getting dark and time he drew to a house, But the blizzard blinds him to any house ahead. The storm gets down his neck in any icy souse That sucks his breath like a wicked cat in bed.''
''My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree Toward heaven still, And there's a barrel that I didn't fill Beside it, and there may be two or three Apples I didn't pick upon some bough. But I am done with apple-picking now.''
''Before the last went, heavy with dew, Back to the place from which she came Where the bird was before it flew, Where the flower was before it grew, Where bird and flower were one and the same.''
''A theory if you hold it hard enough And long enough gets rated as a creed....''
''The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill, And off a blossom in mid-air stands still.''
''May I in my brief bolt across the scene Not be misunderstood in what I mean.''
''"Speaking of contraries, see how the brook In that white wave runs counter to itself. It is from that in water we were from Long, long before we were from any creature.''
''The Moon for all her light and grace Has never learned to know her place.''
''Church neglect And figurative use have pretty well Reduced him to a shadow of himself.''
''A man? A brute. Naked above the waist, He sat there creased and shining in the light, Fumbling the buttons in a well-starched shirt.''
''Have I not walked without an upward look Of caution under stars....''
''If there was one egg in it there were nine, Torpedo-like, with shell of gritty leather, All packed in sand to wait the trump together.''
''No, in your rural letter box I leave this note without a stamp To tell you it was just a tramp Who used your pasture for a camp.''
''I totter, And did I not take steps would be tipped over Like the ideal of some mistaken lover.''
''"... I only see the years. They come and go In alternation with the weeds, the field, The wood." "What kind of years?" "Why, latter years Different from early years."''
''You don't know Paul: he's in the Bible too. He is the fellow who theologized Christ almost out of Christianity.''
''I verily believe My fair impression may Be all from that one day No shadow crossed but ours....''
''But I was going to say when Truth broke in With all her matter-of-fact about the ice-storm''
''The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected''
''I had not taken the first step in knowledge; I had not learned to let go with the hands, As still I have not learned to with the heart....''
''They must have seen ahead what now appears: They would bring empires down about our ears And by the example of our Declaration Make everybody want to be a nation.''
''As long as lightly all their livelong sessions, Like a yardful of schoolboys out at recess Before their plays and games were organized, They yelling mix tag, hide-and-seek, hopscotch, And leapfrog in each other's way all's well.''
''But this we know, the obstacle that checked And tripped the body, shot the spirit on Further than target ever showed or shone.''
''"If he thinks all the fruit that grows wild is for him, He'll find he's mistaken...."''
''There is no love. There's only love of men and women, love Of children, love of friends, of men, of God: Divine love, human love, parental love, Roughly discriminated for the rough.''
''"A thousand Christmas trees! at what apiece?" He felt some need of softening that to me: "A thousand trees would come to thirty dollars." Then I was certain I had never meant To let him have them.''
'''Whoever it is that leaves him out so late, When other creatures have gone to stall and bine, Ought to be told to come and take him in.'''
''You'll wait a long, long time for anything much To happen in heaven beyond the floats of cloud And the Northern Lights that run like tingling nerves.''
''He showed me that the lines of a good helve Were native to the grain before the knife Expressed them, and its curves were no false curves Put on it from without.''
''“A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel. ”''
''I can't express my feelings, any more Than I can raise my voice or want to lift My hand (oh, I can lift it when I have to).''
''Behind her was confusion in the room, Of chairs turned upside down to sit like people In other chairs, and something, come to look, For every room a house has parlor, bedroom, And dining room thrown pell-mell in the kitchen.''
''"... Estelle's run off." "Yes, what's it all about? When did she go?" "Two weeks since." "She's in earnest, it appears."''
''"It looks as if Some pallid thing had squashed its features flat And its eyes shut with overeagerness To see what people found so interesting In one another, and had gone to sleep Of its own stupid lack of understanding, Or broken its white neck of mushroom stuff Short off, and died against the windowpane."''
''The hand that knows his business won't be told To do work better or faster....''
''"... The slave will never thank his manumitter; Which often makes the manumitter bitter."''
''The chisel work of an enormous Glacier That braced his feet against the Arctic Pole.''
''Scholars and artists thrown together are often annoyed at the puzzle of where they differ. Both work from knowledge; but I suspect they differ most importantly in the way their knowledge is come by. Scholars get theirs with conscientious thoroughness along projected lines of logic; poets theirs cavalierly and as it happens in and out of books. They stick to nothing deliberately, but let what will stick to them like burrs where they walk in the fields.''
''"... It is not the stones, But the child's mound ..." "Don't, don't, don't, don't," she cried.''
''I have safely trodden underfoot the leaves of another year.''
''I fail to see what fun, what satisfaction A God can find in laughing at how badly Men fumble at the possibilities....''
''He wasn't off a mere degree; His reckoning was off a sea.''
''Don't discount our powers; We have made a pass At the infinite,''
''"... We need the interruption of the night To ease attention off when overtight, To break our logic in too long a flight, And ask us if our premises are right."''
''As for his evil tidings, Belshazzar's overthrow, Why hurry to tell Belshazzar What soon enough he would know?''
''My apple trees will never get across And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him. He only says, "Good fences make good neighbors."''
''they seem not to break; though once they are bowed So low for long, they never right themselves:''
''Wind goes from farm to farm in wave on wave, But carries no cry of what is hoped to be. There may be little or much beyond the grave, But the strong are saying nothing until they see.''
''It was the bad ax-helve someone had sold me "Made on machine," he said, plowing the grain With thick thumbnail to show how it ran Across the handle's long-drawn serpentine, Like the two strokes across a dollar sign.''
''These anyway might think it was important That human history should not be shortened.''
''May something go always unharvested! May much stay out of our stated plan, Apples or something forgotten and left, So smelling their sweetness would be no theft.''
''“A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back when it begins to rain.” ''
''The white-tailed hornet lives in a balloon That floats against the ceiling of the woodshed.''
''I wish that everything on earth were just As certain as the meals we've had. I wish The meals we haven't had were, anyway.''
''The thing that made me more and more afraid Was that we'd ground it sharp and hadn't known, And now were only wasting precious blade.''
''Here come the line-gang pioneering by. They throw a forest down less cut than broken. They plant dead trees for living, and the dead They string together with a living thread.''
''To market 'tis our destiny to go.''
''It is blue-butterfly day here in spring....''
''And what I pity in you is something human, The old incurable untimeliness, Only begetter of all ills that are.''
''“Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length.” ''
''Our lives laid down in war and peace may not Be found acceptable in Heaven's sight. And that they may be is the only prayer Worth praying. May my sacrifice Be found acceptable in Heaven's sight.''
''Our venture in revolution and outlawry Has justified itself in freedom's story Right down to now in glory upon glory.''
''“Dancing is a vertical expression of a horizontal desire.” ''
''I dwell in a lonely house I know That vanished many a summer ago....''
''A leaping tongue of bloom the scythe had spared Beside a reedy brook the scythe had bared. The mower in the dew had loved them thus, By leaving them to flourish, not for us, Nor yet to draw one thought of ours to him, But from sheer morning gladness at the brim.''
''My Sorrow, when she's here with me, Thinks these dark days of autumn rain Are beautiful as days can be; She loves the bare, the withered tree; She walks the sodden pasture lane.''
''Yet oh! the tempting flatness of a book, To send it sailing out the attic window Till it caught wind and, opening out its covers, Tried to improve on sailing like a tile By flying like a bird (silent in flight, But all the burden of its body song)....''
''Leaves and bark, leaves and bark, To lean against and hear in the dark. Petals I may have once pursued. Leaves are all my darker mood.''
''But he sent her Good-by, And said to be good, And wear her red hood, And look for skunk tracks In the snow with an ax— And do everything!''
''A poet would a-wishing go, And he wished love were thus and so. "If but it were," he said, said he, "And one thing more that may not be, This world were good enough for me."''
''What was that whiteness? Truth? A pebble of quartz? For once, then, something.''
''“By faithfully working eight hours a day you may eventually get to be boss and work twelve hours a day.” ''
''Of all crimes the worst Is to steal the glory From the great and brave, Even more accursed Than to rob the grave.''
''He said he couldn't make the boy believe He could find water with a hazel prong— Which showed how much good school had ever done him.''
''"Safe! Now let the night be dark for all of me. Let the night be too dark for me to see Into the future. Let what will be, be."''
''Something inspires the only cow of late To make no more of a wall than an open gate, And think no more of wall-builders than fools.''
''"... War is for everyone, for children too. I wasn't going to tell you and I mustn't. The best way is to come uphill with me And have our fire and laugh and be afraid."''
''There's no such thing as socialism pure Except as an abstraction of the mind. There's only democratic socialism, Monarchic socialism, oligarchic The last being what they seem to have in Russia.''
''Poetry is a way of taking life by the throat.''
''He only says, 'Good fences make good neighbors.'''
''I had a glimpse through curtain laces Of youthful forms and youthful faces.''
''The kind of Unitarian Who having by elimination got From many gods to Three, and Three to One, Thinks why not taper off to none at all.''
''"... he's helpless In ways that I can hardly tell you of. Sometimes he gets possessed to keep accounts To see where all the money goes so fast. You know how men will be ridiculous. But it's just fun the way he gets bedeviled If he's untidy now, what will he be?"''
''If I have a defect It's a wish to comply And see as I'm bid.''
''"It's hard to tell you how I managed it. When I saw the shaft had me by the coat, I didn't try too long to pull away, Or fumble for my knife to cut away, I just embraced the shaft and rode it out...."''
''Tell me about it if it's something human. Let me into your grief.''
''When at times the mob is swayed To carry praise or blame too far, We may take something like a star To stay our minds on and be staid.''
''How are we to write The Russian novel in America As long as life goes so unterribly?''
''"It's good luck when you move in to begin With good luck with your stovepipe. Never mind, It's not so bad in the country, settled down, When people're getting on in life. You'll like it."''
''Out alone in the winter rain, Intent on giving and taking pain.''
''And of course there must be something wrong In wanting to silence any song.''
''You mean about success, And how by its own logic it concentrates All wealth and power in too few hands?''
''The water for which we may have to look In summertime with a witching wand, In every wheelrut's now a brook, In every print of a hoof a pond.''
''Often he bid me come and have a look Up the brass barrel, velvet black inside, At a star quaking in the other end.''
''"There are bees in this wall." He struck the clapboards, Fierce heads looked out; small bodies pivoted. We rose to go. Sunset blazed on the windows.''
''He slapped his breast to verify his purse And hugged himself for all his universe.''
''As I came to the edge of the woods, Thrush music—hark! Now if it was dusk outside, Inside it was dark.''
''I see for Nature no defeat In one tree's overthrow Or for myself in my retreat For yet another blow.''
''He thought that I was after him for a feather— The white one in his tail; like one who takes Everything said as personal to himself.''
''"... You ought to have seen how it looked in the rain, The fruit mixed with water in layers of leaves, Like two kinds of jewels, a vision for thieves."''
''Westerners inherit A design for living Deeper into matter— Not without due patter Of a great misgiving.''
''"Well then, it's Granny speaking: 'I dunnow! Mebbe I'm wrong to take it as I do. There ain't no names quite like the old ones, though, Nor never will be to my way of thinking. One mustn't bear too hard on the newcomers, But there's a dite too many of them for comfort....'"''
''The moon was waiting for her chill effect. I looked at nine: the swarm was turned to rock In every lifelike posture of the swarm, Transfixed on mountain slopes almost erect.''
''Some mistake had been made No book can explain, Some change in the law That nobody saw Except as a gain.''
''Home is the place where, when you have to go there, They have to take you in.''
''May my application so close To so endless a repetition Not make me tired and morose And resentful of man's condition.''
''As one who overtaken by the end Gives up his errand, and lets death descend Upon him where he is, with nothing done To evil, no important triumph won, More than if life had never been begun.''
''I see the callus on his sole, The disappearing last of him And of his race starvation slim, Oh, years ago—ten thousand years.''
''"... I have to take What I can get. You see they have the feet, Which gives them the advantage in the trade. I can't get back the feet in any case."''
''Len says one steady pull more ought to do it. He says the best way out is always through.''
''The mountain pushed us off her knees. And now her lap is full of trees.''
''“A poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom. ” ''
''All out of doors looked darkly in at him Through the thin frost, almost in separate stars, That gathers on the pane in empty rooms.''
''And soon it is neither here nor there Whether time's rewards are fair or unfair.''
''He would cry out on life, that what it wants Is not its own love back in copy speech, But counter-love, original response.''
''“Youre always believing ahead of your evidence. What was the evidence I could write a poem? I just believed it. The most creative thing in us is to believe in a thing.” ''
''Apples? New Hampshire has them, but unsprayed, With no suspicion in stem end or blossom end Of vitriol or arsenate of lead, And so not good for anything but cider.''
''Good fences make good neighbors.''
''"Well, She has him, then, though what she wants him for I don't see." "Possibly not for herself. Maybe she only wants him for the children."''
''So at a knock I emptied my cage To hide in the world And alter with age.''
''Were they told they were free And persuaded to see Something in it for them?''
''Deliver us from committees.''
''Earth would soon Be uninhabitable as the moon. What for that matter had it ever been? Who advised man to come and live therein?''
''He took him down below a cramping rafter, And showed him, through a manhole in the floor, The water in desperate straits like frantic fish, Salmon and sturgeon, lashing with their tails.''
''I write real verse in numbers, as they say. I'm talking not free verse but blank verse now.''
''"Our snowstorms as a rule Aren't looked on as man-killers, and although I'd rather be the beast that sleeps the sleep Under it all, his door sealed up and lost, Than the man fighting it to keep above it, Yet think of the small birds at roost and not In nests...."''
''“Anything more than the truth would be too much.” ''
''I want to ask You if it stands to reason That women prophets should be burned as witches, Whereas men prophets are received with honor.''
''Something there is that doesn't love a wall, And wants it down.''
''What if it should turn out eternity Was but the steeple on our house of life That made our house of life a house of worship?''
''The only asylum Was the poorhouse, and those who could afford, Rather than send their folks to such a place, Kept them at home; and it does seem more human. But it's not so: the place is the asylum. There they have every means proper to do with, And you aren't darkening other people's lives....''
''While greedy good-doers, beneficent beasts of prey, Swarm over their lives enforcing benefits ...''
''Builder, in building the little house, In every way you may please yourself; But please please me in the kitchen chimney: Don't build me a chimney upon a shelf.''
''"Try speaking. Say 'Hello!'" "Hello. Hello." "What do you hear?" "I hear an empty room— You know it sounds that way. And yes, I hear I think I hear a clock and windows rattling...."''
''I had to drop the armful in the road And try to stack them in a better load.''
''The rose is a rose, And was always a rose. But the theory now goes That the apple's a rose,''
''loosely bound By countless silken ties of love and thought To everything on earth the compass round,''
''"A sigh for every so many breath, And for every so many sigh a death. That's what I always tell my wife Is the multiplication table of life."''
''To Time it never seems that he is brave To set himself against the peaks of snow To lay them level with the running wave, Nor is he overjoyed when they lie low, But only grave, contemplative and grave.''
''I only hope that when I am free, As they are free, to go in quest Of the knowledge beyond the bounds of life It may not seem better to me to rest.''
''Thin emulous fond flowers are dead, too, And the daft sun-assaulter, he That frighted thee so oft, is fled or dead....''
''Forget the myth. There is no one I Am put out with Or put out by.''
''It must have looked as if the course He steered was really straight away From that which he was headed for Not much concerned for them, I say; No more so than became a man And politician at odd seasons.''
''Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could''
''Someone had literally run to earth In an old cellar hole in a byroad The origin of all the family there. Thence they were sprung, so numerous a tribe That now not all the houses left in town Made shift to shelter them without the help Of here and there a tent in grove and orchard.''
''" ...He spoke to his wife in the door, 'Let me see, Mame, we don't know any good berrying place?' It was all he could do to keep a straight face."''
''Then for a moment all there was was size, Confusion, and a roar that drowned the cries He raised against the gods in the machine.''
''Inside the brain Two memories that long had lain Now quivered toward each other, lipped Together, and together slipped; And for a moment all was plain That men have thought about in vain.''
''They sat together halfway up a cliff In a small niche let into it, the girl Brightly, as if a star played on the place, Paul darkly, like her shadow.''
'''Tis not enough on roots and in the mouth, But give me water heavy on the head In all the passion of a broken drouth.''
''And this school wasn't keeping anymore, Unless for penitents who took their seat Upon its doorsteps as at mercy's feet To make up for a lack of meditation.''
''God of the machine, Peregrine machine, Some still think is Satan, Unto you the thanks For this token flight, Thanks to you and thanks To the brothers Wright....''
''There isn't any universal reason; And no one but a man would think there was. You don't catch women trying to be Plato.''
''“The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office.” ''
''But that beginning was wiped out in fear The day I swung suspended with the grapes, And was come after like Eurydice And brought down safely from the upper regions; And the life I live now's an extra life I can waste as I please on whom I please.''
''With a laugh, An oath of towns that set the wild at naught, They bring the telephone and telegraph.''
''I didn't like the way he went away. That smile! It never came of being gay. Still he smiled did you see him? I was sure! Perhaps because we gave him only bread....''
''It looked as if The shore was lucky in being backed by cliff, The cliff in being backed by continent; It looked as if a night of dark intent Was coming, and not only a night, an age.''
''She hadn't found the finger-bone she wanted Among the buttons poured out in her lap.''
''“We ran as if to meet the moon.” ''
''If it was not wise, Tell me why the East Seemingly has ceased From its long stagnation In mere meditation.''
''The shattered water made a misty din. Great waves looked over others coming in, And thought of doing something to the shore That water never did to land before.''
''As they get more nuclear And more bigoted in reliance On the gospel of modern science ...''
''He knew a path that wanted walking; He knew a spring that wanted drinking; A thought that wanted further thinking; A love that wanted re-renewing.''
''“When I was young, I was so interested in baseball that my family was afraid Id waste my life and be a pitcher. Later they were afraid Id waste my life and be a poet. They were right.” ''
'''Twas something we knew all about to begin with And needn't have fared into space like his master To find 'twas the effort, the essay of love.''
''In that grave One They spoke of the sun And moon and stars,''
''I can but wonder whence I get the lasting sense Of so much warmth and light.''
'''Twas a nest full of young birds on the ground The cutter bar had just gone champing over (Miraculously without tasting flesh) And left defenseless to the heat and light.''
''The fact is the sweetest dream that labor knows. My long scythe whispered and left the hay to make.''
''Baptiste knew how to make a short job long For love of it, and yet not waste time either.''
''The mountain held the town as in a shadow.''
''Yet I suppose what seems to us confusion Is not confusion, but the form of forms, The serpent's tail stuck down the serpent's throat....''
''"It's you," she said. "I can't get up. Forgive me Not answering your knock. I can no more Let people in than I can keep them out. I'm getting too old for my size, I tell them...."''
''Space ails us moderns: we are sick with space.''
''She said, "as the light on the dashboard ran Along the bushes at the roadside a man's face. You must have seen it too."''
''Nothing will be left white but here a birch, And there a clump of houses with a church.''
''He knows he's kinder than the run of men. Better than married ought to be as good As married....''
''"Oh, let's go up the hill and scare ourselves, As reckless as the best of them tonight, By setting fire to all the brush we piled With pitchy hands to wait for rain or snow...."''
''Happiness makes up in height what it lacks in length.''
''Far as we aim our signs to reach, Far as we often make them reach, Across the soul-from-soul abyss, There is an aeon-limit set Beyond which they are doomed to miss.''
''At anchor she rides the sunny sod, As full to the gunnel of flowers growing As ever she turned her home with cod From Georges Bank when winds were blowing.''
''having its undeviable say.''
''The hurt is not enough: I long for weight and strength To feel the earth as rough To all my length.''
''I have a mind myself and recognize Mind when I meet with it in any guise. No one can know how glad I am to find On any sheet the least display of mind.''
''"As liberals we're willing to give place To any demonstrably better race, No matter what the color of its skin. (But what a human race the white has been!)..."''
''Nothing can make injustice just but mercy.''
''Her crop was a miscellany When all was said and done, A little bit of everything, A great deal of none.''
''“A mother takes twenty years to make a man of her boy, and another woman makes a fool of him in twenty minutes.” ''
''The house one story high in front, three stories On the end it presented to the road.''
''I've tried the new moon tilted in the air Above a hazy tree-and-farmhouse cluster As you might try a jewel in your hair.''
''Oh, never this whelming east wind swells But it seems like the sea's return To the ancient lands where it left the shells Before the age of the fern....''
''“The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work.” ''
''The telescope at one end of his beat, And at the other end the microscope....''
''“Home is the place where, when you have to go there, They have to take you in.” ''
''And I away in my opposite wood Am touched by that unintimate light And made feel less alone than I rightly should, For traveler there could do me no good Were I in trouble with night tonight.''
''The Muse mourns one who went to his retreat Long since in some abysmal city street....''
''The truth is the river flows into the canyon Of Ceasing-to-Question-What-Doesn't-Concern-Us, As sooner or later we have to cease somewhere.''
''TAKE CARE TO SELL YOUR HORSE BEFORE HE DIES THE ART OF LIFE IS PASSING LOSSES ON.''
''But the worst one of all to leave uncurbed, Unsocialized, is ingenuity: Which for no sordid self-aggrandizement, For nothing but its own blind satisfaction ...''
''I turned and looked back up at the sky, Where we still look to ask the why Of everything below.''
''You went to meet the shell's embrace of fire On Vimy Ridge; and when you fell that day The war seemed over more for you than me, But now for me than you the other way.''
''We turned to other things. I haven't any memory have you? Of ever coming to the place again To see if the birds lived the first night through. And so at last to learn to use their wings.''
''It's the old captain's dark fate Who failed to find or force a strait In its two-thousand-mile coast; And his crew left him where he failed, And nothing came of all he sailed.''
''“Every poem is a momentary stay against the confusion of the world.” ''
''This saying good-by on the edge of the dark And the cold to an orchard so young in the bark Reminds me of all that can happen to harm An orchard away at the end of the farm....''
''That primitive head So ambitiously vast, Yet so rude in its art, Is as easily read For the woes of the past As a clinical chart.''
''“Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and cant, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it.”''
''Between us two it's not a star at all. It's a new patented electric light, Put up on trial by that Jerseyite So much is being now expected of....''
''"A man has got to keep his extrication. The important thing is not to get bogged down In what he has to do to earn a living...."''
''One aged man—one man—can't keep a house, A farm, a countryside, or if he can, It's thus he does it of a winter night.''
''Artists the minute they set up as artists, Before, that is, they are themselves accepted, And boys the minute they get out of college. I can't help thinking those are tests to go by.''
''And offered her a home to rest awhile Before she went the poor man's widow's way, Housekeeping for the next man out of wedlock.''
''He is that fallen lance that lies as hurled, That lies unlifted now, come dew, come rust, But still lies pointed as it plowed the dust.''
''The road became a channel running flocks Of glossy birds like ripples over rocks.''
''At the end of the row I stepped on the toe Of an unemployed hoe.''
''It is turning three hundred years On our cisatlantic shore For family after family name. We'll make it three hundred more''
''Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village though; He will not see me stopping here To watch his woods fill up with snow.''
''But what would interest you about the brook, It's always cold in summer, warm in winter.''
''(The black stream, catching on a sunken rock, Flung backward on itself in one white wave, And the white water rode the black forever.''
''"... Keep cold, young orchard. Good-by and keep cold. Dread fifty above more than fifty below."''
''We dance round in a ring and suppose, But the Secret sits in the middle and knows.''
''“And were an epitaph to be my story Id have a short one ready for my own. I would have written of me on my stone: I had a lovers quarrel with the world.” ''
''It takes the moon for this. The sun's a wizard By all I tell; but so's the moon a witch.''
''Once they came on a maple in a glade, Standing alone with smooth arms lifted up, And every leaf of foliage she'd worn Laid scarlet and pale pink about her feet.''
''And now it is once more the tidal wave That when it was swept by, leaves summits stained. Oh, blood will out. It cannot be contained.''
''Then leaf subsides to leaf. So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay.''
''No state can build A literature that shall at once be sound And sad on a foundation of well-being.''
''“What we live by we die by.” ''
''All those who try to go it sole alone, Too proud to be beholden for relief, Are absolutely sure to come to grief.''
''States strong enough to do good are but few. Their number would seem limited to three.''
''"Good boys they seemed, and let them love the city. All they could say was 'God!' when you proposed Their coming out and making useful farmers."''
''We can't appraise the time in which we act. But for the folly of it, let's pretend We know enough to know it for adverse. One more millennium's about to end.''
''But judging by what little of it stands, Not even the ingenuities of debt Could save it from its losses being met.''
''The path was a vague parting in the grass That led us to a weathered windowsill. We pressed our faces to the pane. "You see," he said, "Everything's as she left it when she died...."''
''“Before I built a wall Id ask to know what I was walling in or walling out.” ''
''He never did a thing so very bad. He don't know why he isn't quite as good As anyone. Worthless though he is, He won't be made ashamed to please his brother."''
''Then word goes forth in Formic: "Death's come to Jerry McCormic, Our selfless forager Jerry.''
''The artist in me cries out for design.''
''He was too young to go, Not over four or so.''
''The winter owl banked just in time to pass And save herself from breaking window glass.''
''The chance is the remotest Of its going much longer unnoticed That I'm not keeping pace With the headlong human race.''
''The tower said, "One!" And then a steeple. They spoke to themselves....''
''On the bare upland pasture there had spread O'ernight 'twixt mullein stalks a wheel of thread And straining cables wet with silver dew.''
''No memory of having starred Atones for later disregard, Or keeps the end from being hard.''
''... never seeing Deeper down in the well than where the water Gives me back in a shining surface picture Me myself in the summer heaven, godlike....''
''“A poem begins with a lump in the throat; a homesickness or a love sickness. It is a reaching-out toward expression; an effort to find fulfillment. A complete poem is one where an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” ''
''To warm the frozen swamp as best it could With the slow smokeless burning of decay.''
''The problem for the King is just how strict The lack of liberty, the squeeze of the law And discipline should be in school and state....''
''Its flowers' distilled honey is so sweet It makes the butterflies intemperate.''
''“A civilized society is one which tolerates eccentricity to the point of doubtful sanity.” ''
''Not yesterday I learned to know The love of bare November days Before the coming of the snow....''
''“Come over the hills and far with me And be my love in the rain.” ''
''But now he snapped his eyes three times; Then shook his lantern, saying, "He's 'Bout out!" and took the long way home By road, a matter of several miles.''
''And now he comes again with clatter of stone, And mounts the wall again with whited eyes And all his tail that isn't hair up straight.''
''Provision there had been for just such meeting Of stranger-cousins, in a family tree Drawn on a sort of passport with the branch Of the one bearing it done in detail''
''Hear the soft bombs of dust It bursts against us at the chimney mouth, And at the eaves. I like it from inside More than I shall out in it. But the horses Are rested and it's time to say Good-night, And let you get to bed again,''
''Die early and avoid the fate. Of if predestined to die late, Make up your mind to die in state.''
''Patience and looking away ahead, And leaving some things to take their course. Hope may not nourish a cow or horse, But spes alit agricolam 'tis said.''
''Yours are no common feet. The lawyer don't know what it is he's buying: So many miles you might have walked you won't walk. You haven't run your forty orchids down.''
''Before the leaves can mount again To fill the trees with another shade, They must go down past things coming up. They must go down into the dark decayed.''
''With their ever breaking newness And their courage to be new.''
''"Three foggy mornings and one rainy day Will rot the best birch fence a man can build."''
''"Don't touch me, please I say, don't touch me, please. I'll not be put to bed by you, my man." "Just as you say. Have it your own way, then. 'My man is it?' You talk like a professor...."''
''There was never a sound beside the wood but one, And that was my long scythe whispering to the ground.''
''Oh, there had once been night the first, But this was night the last.''
''We are all doomed to broken-off careers, And so's the nation, so's the total race. The earth itself is liable to the fate Of meaninglessly being broken off. (And hence so many literary tears At which my inclination is to scoff.)''
''I make a virtue of my suffering From nearly everything that goes on round me. In other words, I know wherever I am, Being the creature of literature I am, I shall not lack for pain to keep me awake.''
''He's got hay down that's been rained on three times. He hoed a little yesterday for me: I thought the growing things would do him good. Something went wrong. I saw him throw the hoe Sky-high with both hands.''
''And so on into winter Till even I have ceased To come as a foot printer, And only some slight beast So mousy or so foxy Shall print there as my proxy.''
''Always fall in with what you're asked to accept. Take what is given, and make it over your way. My aim in life has always been to hold my own with whatever's going. Not against: with.''
''And a man came out of the trees And took our horse by the head And reaching back to his ribs Deliberately stabbed him dead.''
''You know how cunningly mankind is planned: We have one loving and one hating hand. The loving's made to hold each other like, While with the hating other hand we strike.''
''And turned on him with such a daunting look, He said twice over before he knew himself: "Can't a man speak of his own child he's lost?"''
''There was never naught, There was always thought.''
''So all who hide too well away Must speak and tell us where they are.''
''The light of heaven falls whole and white And is not shattered into dyes....''
''Blood has been harder to dam back than water. Just when we think we have it impounded safe Behind new barrier walls (and let it chafe!), It breaks away in some new kind of slaughter.''
''"The best way to hate is the worst. 'Tis to find what the hated need, Never mind of what actual worth, And wipe that out of the earth. Let them die of unsatisfied greed...."''
''There is a call to life a little sterner, And braver for the earner, learner, yearner. Less criticism of the field and court And more preoccupation with the sport.''
''They are that that talks of going But never gets away; And that talks no less for knowing, As it grows wiser and older, That now it means to stay.''
''They listen for me in the bedroom To ask me a thing or two About who is too old to go walking, With too much stress on the who.''
''I wonder how far down the road he's got. He's watching from the woods as like as not.''
''"Don't let him cut my hand off— The doctor, when he comes. Don't let him, sister!" So. But the hand was gone already.''
''No wonder poets sometimes have to seem So much more business-like than business men. Their wares are so much harder to get rid of.''
''"I wanted there should be some there next year." "Of course you did. You left the rest for seed, And for the backwoods woodchuck. You're the girl! A Ram's Horn orchid seedpod for a woodchuck Sounds something like. Better than farmer's beans To a discriminating appetite...."''
''As I have known them passionate and fine, The gold for which they leave the golden line Of lyric is a golden light divine, Never the gold of darkness from a mine.''
''Arguments too stale to mention 'Gainst American invention Most of all the mass production Destined to prove our destruction.''
''You can't trust God to be unmerciful. There you have the beginning of all wisdom.''
''Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today; And give us not to think so far away As the uncertain harvest; keep us here All simply in the springing of the year.''
''Oh, may the tide be soon enough at high To keep our abstract verse from being dry.''
''Life is not so sinister-grave. Matter of fact has made them brave. He is husband, she is wife. She fears not him, they fear not life.''
''“A person will sometimes devote all his life to the development of one part of his body— the wishbone.” ''
''He bestows summer on us and escapes Before our realizing what we have To thank him for. He doesn't want our thanks.''
''Between the house and barn the gale Got him by something he had on And blew him out on the icy crust That cased the world, and he was gone!''
''it was older sure than this year's cutting, Or even last year's or the year's before. The wood was gray and the bark warping off it And the pile somewhat sunken. Clematis Had wound strings round and round it like a bundle.''
''No, the five hundred was the sum they named To pay the doctor's bill and tide me over. It's that or fight, and I don't want to fight I just want to get settled in my life....''
''What kept him from remembering what it was That brought him to that creaking room was age.''
''“If we couldnt laugh we would all go insane.” ''
''The way a crow Shook down on me The dust of snow From a hemlock tree.''
''They listened at his heart. Little—less—nothing!—and that ended it. No more to build on there. And they, since they Were not the one dead, turned to their affairs.''
''Hear my rigmarole. Science stuck a pole Down a likely hole And he got it bit.''
''Then now is the chance for the flowers That can't stand mowers and plowers. It must be now, though, in season Before the not mowing brings trees on....''
''Lately in converse with a New York alec About the new school of the pseudo-phallic ...''
''You linger your little hour and are gone, And still the woods sweep leafily on....''
''All we who prefer to live Have a little whistle we give, And flash, at the least alarm We dive down under the farm.''
''The bearer of evil tidings, When he was halfway there, Remembered that evil tidings Were a dangerous thing to bear.''
''"One thought in agony of strife The bravest would have by for friend, The memory that he chose the life ..."''
''Your head so much concerned with outer, Mine with inner, weather.''
''Then a small rainbow like a trellis gate, A very small moon-made prismatic bow, Stood closely over us through which to go.''
''By straightening out and lifting a forefinger, He pointed with his hand from where it lay Like a white crumpled spider on his knee:''
''You don't have to deserve your mother's love. You have to deserve your father's. He's more particular.... The father is always a Republican towards his son, and his mother's always a Democrat.''
''Lord, I have loved Your sky, Be it said against or for me, Have loved it clear and high, Or low and stormy....''
''The furthest bodies To which man sends his Speculation, Beyond which God is; The cosmic motes Of yawning lenses.''
''And as it measured in her calipers, The mountain stood exalted in its place. So love will take between the hands a face. . . .''
''Then came his little acknowledgment: He asked for a drink at the kitchen door, An errand he may have had to invent, But it made my property mine once more.''
''Strange how such innocence gets its own way. I shouldn't be surprised if in this world It were the force that would at last prevail.''
''No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.''
''“Always fall in with what youre asked to accept. Take what is given, and make it over your way. My aim in life has always been to hold my own with whatevers going. Not against: with.” ''
''Better to go down dignified With boughten friendship at your side Than none at all. Provide, provide!''
''“Dont ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up.” ''
''“How many things would you attempt If you knew you could not fail” ''
''Two such as you with such a master speed Cannot be parted nor be swept away From one another once you are agreed That life is only life forevermore Together wing to wing and oar to oar.''
''At least I will not have it systematic.''
''I've known ere now an interfering branch Of alder catch my lifted ax behind me. But that was in the woods, to hold my hand From striking at another alder's roots,''
''The author of these words, Whose lifelong unconcern Has been with flocks and herds For what they didn't earn.''
''Why make so much of fragmentary blue In here and there a bird, or butterfly, Or flower, or wearing-stone, or open eye, When heaven presents in sheets the solid hue?''
''Wind, the season-climate mixer, In my Witches' Weather Primer Says, to make this Fall Elixir First you let the summer simmer....''
''We met. But all We did that day was mingle great and small Footprints in summer dust as if we drew The figure of our being less than two But more than one as yet.''
''Pressed into service means pressed out of shape.''
''The birch begins to crack its outer sheath Of baby green and show the white beneath....''
''He meditates the breeder's art. He has a half a mind to start, With her for Mother Eve, a race That shall all living things displace.''
''Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I've tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice.''
''He stung me first and stung me afterward. He rolled me off the field head over heels And would not listen to my explanations.''
''The only certain freedom's in departure.''
''Never have I been sad or glad That there was such a thing as bad. There had to be, I understood, For there to have been any good.''
''"That's where I reckon Santa Claus comes in To be our parents' pseudonymity In Christmas giving, so they can escape The thanks and let him catch it as a scapegoat...."''
''It could not have come down to us so far, Through the interstices of things ajar On the long bead chain of repeated birth, To be a bird while we are men on earth,''
''Though a great scholar, he's a democrat, If not at heart, at least on principle.''
''Warren returned—too soon, it seemed to her, Slipped to her side, caught up her hand and waited. "Warren?" she questioned. "Dead," was all he answered.''
''The Milky Way perhaps Was woman's way of life.''
''Here come real stars to fill the upper skies, And here on earth come emulating flies....''
''Four or five whippoorwills Have come down from their native ledge To the open country edge To give us a piece of their bills.''
''But no, he only said, "Well, there's the storm. That says I must go on. That wants me as a war might if it came. Ask any man."''
''Heaven gives its glimpses only to those Not in position to look too close.''
''"... Call her Nausicaä, the unafraid Of an acquaintance made adventurously." "I let you way that on consideration."''
''A turning point in modern history.''
''The thing was to get now and then elated.''
''Spades take up leaves No better than spoons, And bags full of leaves Are light as balloons.''
''But while meditating What we can't or can Let's keep starring man In the royal role.''
''Love at the lips was touch As sweet as I could bear; And once that seemed too much; I lived on air''
''She always had to burn a light Beside her attic bed at night.''
''Yankees are what they always were.''
''We will not be put off the final goal We have it hidden in us to attain, Not though we have to seize the earth by the pole And, tired of aimless circling in one place, Steer straight off after something into space.''
''I skirted the margin alders for miles and miles In a sweeping line. The day was the day by every flower that blooms, But I saw no sign.''
''Not to sink under being man and wife, But get some color and music out of life?''
'''Tis of the essence of life here, Though we choose greatly, still to lack The lasting memory at all clear, That life has for us on the wrack Nothing but what we somehow chose; Thus are we wholly stripped of pride In the pain that has but one close, Bearing it crushed and mystified.''
''Small good to anything growing wild, They were crooking many a trillium That had budded before the boughs were piled And since it was coming up had to come.''
''So people and things don't pair anymore With what they used to pair with before.''
''They cannot scare me with their empty spaces Between stars—on stars where no human race is. I have it in me so much nearer home To scare myself with my own desert places.''
''Some say existence like a Pirouot And Pirouette, forever in one place, Stands still and dances, but it runs away; It seriously, sadly, runs away To fill the abyss's void with emptiness.''
''We have today and I could call their name Who know exactly what is out of joint To make their verse and their excuses lame. They've tried to grasp with too much social fact Too large a situation.''
''New is a word for fools in towns who think Style upon style in dress and thought at last Must get somewhere.''
''It snowed in spring on earth so dry and warm The flakes could find no landing place to form.''
''For any eye is an evil eye That looks in onto a mood apart.''
''"One ought not to be thrown into confusion By a plain statement of relationship...."''
''A Stranger came to the door at eve, And he spoke the bridegroom fair. He bore a green-white stick in his hand, And, for all burden, care.''
''Mrs. Someone's been to Asia. What she brought back would amaze ye.''
''“A diplomat is a man who always remembers a womans birthday but never remembers her age.” ''
''And, "Better defeat almost, If seen clear, Than life's victories of doubt That need endless talk-talk To make them out."''
''The final flat of the hoe's approval stamp Is reserved for the bed of a few selected seed.''
''The house had gone to bring again To the midnight sky a sunset glow. Now the chimney was all of the house that stood, Like a pistil after the petals go.''
''He will be starting pretty late. He'll find that Asiatic state Is about tired of being looted While having its beliefs disputed.''
''Such as even poets would admit perforce More practical than Pegasus the horse If it could put a star back in its course.''
''An ant on the tablecloth Ran into a dormant moth Of many times his size. He showed not the least surprise. His business wasn't with such. He gave it scarcely a touch,''
''I farm a pasture where the boulders lie As touching as a basketful of eggs....''
''Before I built a wall I'd ask to know What I was walling in or walling out, And to whom I was like to give offense. Something there is that doesn't love a wall, That wants it down.'''
''Somewhere must be the grave of the young boy Who married her for playmate more than helpmate, And sometimes laughed at what it was between them.''
''Here are your waters and your watering place. Drink and be whole again beyond confusion.''
''We make ourselves a place apart Behind light words that tease and flout, But oh, the agitated heart Till someone really find us out.''
''We're either nothing or a God's regret.''
''"... There's more in it than you're inclined to say. Did he look like ?" "He looked like anyone. I'll never rest tonight unless I know. Give me the lantern."''
''And then I know of no better way To close a road, abandon a farm, Reduce the births of the human race, And bring back nature in people's place.''
''Anything we saw And thus fastened on With an epithet, We would see to yet We would want to touch, Not to mention clutch.''
''"... Ain't it a caution to us not to fix No limits to what rose in rubbing sticks On fire to scare away the pterodix When man first lived in caves along the creeks?" "Marvelous world in nineteen-twenty-six."''
''Religious faith is a most filling vapor. It swirls occluded in us under tight Compression to uplift us out of weight....''
''Before now poetry has taken notice Of wars, and what are wars but politics Transformed from chronic to acute and bloody?''
''The waste of moments sleeping, The waste of pleasure weeping, By denying and ignoring The waste of nations warring.''
''Birch boughs enough piled everywhere! All fresh and sound from the recent ax. Time someone came with cart and pair And got them off the wild flowers' backs.''
''Was there ever a cause too lost, Ever a cause that was lost too long....''
''I make myself this time Of wood or granite or lime A wall too hard for crime Either to breach or climb....''
''The same Grim giving to do over for them both. She dared no more than ask him with her eyes How was it with him for a second trial. And with his eyes he asked her not to ask. They had given him back to her, but not to keep.''
''Meditate nothing. Learn to contemplate. Contemplate glory. There will be a light. Contemplate Truth until it burns your eyes out.''
''I always have felt strange when we came home To the dark house after so long an absence, And the key rattled loudly into place Seemed to warn someone to be getting out At one door as we entered at another.''
''Some things are never clear. But the weather is clear tonight....''
''Bless you, of course you're keeping me from work, But the thing of it is, I need to be kept. There's work enough to do there's always that; But behind's behind. The worst that you can do Is set me back a little more behind. I shan't catch up in this world, anyway. I'd rather you'd not go unless you must.''
''The cloister and the observatory saint Take comfort in about the same complaint. So science and religion really meet.''
''Were he not gone, The woodchuck could say whether it's like his Long sleep, as I describe its coming on, Or just some human sleep.''
''Her teacher's certainty it must be Mabel Made Maple first take notice of her name. She asked her father and he told her, "Maple Maple is right."''
''His work's a man's, of course, from sun to sun, But he works when he works as hard as I do Though there's small profit in comparisons. (Women and men will make them all the same.)''
''I go to school to youth to learn the future.''
''He saw her from the bottom of the stairs Before she saw him. She was starting down, Looking back over her shoulder at some fear.''
''The headless aftermath ...''
''"Weren't you relieved to find he wasn't dead?" "No! and yet I don't know it's hard to say. I went about to kill him fair enough." "You took an awkward way. Did he discharge you?" "Discharge me? No! He knew I did just right."''
''If the day comes when they know who They are, they may know better where they are. But who they are is too much to believe— Either for them or the onlooking world. They are too sudden to be credible.''
''But the conquered grew meek and still. They slowly and silently aged. They kept their secrets and died....''
''Nature's first green is gold,''
''No speed of wind or water rushing by But you have speed far greater.''
''... picking the faded blue Of the last remaining aster flower To carry again to you.''
''"The city's grotesque iron skeletons Would knock their drunken penthouse heads together And cake their concrete dirt off in the streets."''
''"... Friends make pretense of following to the grave, But before one is in it, their minds are turned And making the best of their way back to life And living people, and things they understand. But the world's evil. I won't have grief so If I can change it. Oh I won't, I won't!"''
''Haven't you heard, though, About the ships where war has found them out At sea, about the towns where war has come Through opening clouds at night with droning speed Further o'erhead than all but stars and angels And children in the ships and in the towns?''
''“To be a poet is a condition, not a profession.” ''
''Bounds should be set To ingenuity for being so cruel In bringing change unheralded on the unready.''
''Once we began to see our images Reflected in the mud and even dust, 'Twas disillusion upon disillusion. We were lost piecemeal to the animals, Like people thrown out to delay the wolves. Nothing but fallibility was left us....''
''“Education doesnt change life much. It just lifts trouble to a higher plane of regard.” ''
''This biplane is the shape of human flight. Its name might better be First Motor Kite.''
''Blueberries as big as the end of your thumb, Real sky-blue, and heavy, and ready to drum In the cavernous pail of the first one to come!''
''Give us a good cheap twenty-four-hour day, No part of which we'd have to waste, I say, And who knows where we can't get! Wasting time In sleep or slowness is the deadly crime.''
''As far as I can see, this autumn haze That spreading in the evening air both ways Makes the new moon look anything but new And pours the elm-tree meadow full of blue, Is all the smoke from one poor house alone....''
''"... Someone said—'Come'MI heard it as I bowed." "I may have thought as much, but not aloud." "Well, so I came."''
''“Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.” ''
''And anyone is free to condemn me to death If he leaves it to nature to carry out the sentence. I shall will to the common stock of air my breath And pay a death tax of fairly polite repentance.''
''Lovers, forget your love, And list to the love of these, She a window flower, And he a winter breeze.''
''Four-room shack aspiring high With an arm of scrawny mast For the visions in the sky That go blindly pouring past.''
''It comes down to a doubt about the wisdom Of having children after having had them, So there is nothing we can do about it But warn the children they perhaps should have none.''
''Freedom is slavery some poets tell us. Enslave yourself to the right leader's truth, Christ's or Karl Marx', and it will set you free.''
''"Skepticism" is that anything more than we used to mean when we said, "Well, what have we here?"''
''What is this talked-of mystery of birth But being mounted bareback on the earth?''
''You take the lake. I look and look at it. I see it's a fair, pretty sheet of water. I stand and make myself repeat out loud The advantages it has....''
''Nations like the Cuban and the Swiss Can never hope to wage a Global Mission. No Holy Wars for them. The most the small Can ever give us is a nuisance brawl.''
''Its bed is left a faded paper sheet Of dead leaves stuck together by the heat A brook to none but who remember long.''
''And set off briskly for so slow a thing, Still going every which way in the joints, though, So that it looked like lightning or a scribble.''
''The witch that came (the withered hag) To wash the steps with pail and rag, Was once the beauty Abishag,''
''Surely you wouldn't grudge the poor old man Some humble way to save his self-respect. He added, if you really care to know, He meant to clear the upper pasture, too.''
''Come with rain, O loud Southwester! Bring the singer, bring the nester; Give the buried flower a dream; Make the settled snowbank steam....''
''This was the sin that Ahaz was forbid (The meaning of the passage had been hid): To look upon the tree when it was green And worship apples.''
''Only where love and need are one, And the work is play for mortal stakes, Is the deed every really done For Heaven and the future's sakes.''
''There was an old, old house renewed with paint, And in it a piano loudly playing.''
''“In three words I can sum up everything Ive learned about life: it goes on.” ''
''And how much longer a story has science Before she must put out the light on the children And tell them the rest of the story is dreaming?''
''I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.''
''A brook that was the water of the house, Cold as a spring as yet so near its source, Too lofty and original to rage.''
''Seeing myself well lost once more, I sighed, "Where, where in Heaven am I? But don't tell me! O opening clouds, by opening on me wide. Let's let my heavenly lostness overwhelm me."''
''Courage is of the heart by derivation, And great it is. But fear is of the soul.''
''"Why wouldn't it scare me to have a fire Begin in smudge with ropy smoke, and know That still, if I repent, I may recall it, But in a moment not: a little spurt Of burning fatness, and then nothing but The fire itself can put it out, and that By burning out...."''
''So near to paradise all pairing ends: Here loveless birds now flock as winter friends, Content with bud-inspecting. They presume To say which buds are leaf and which are bloom.''
''Leaves got up in a coil and hissed, Blindly struck at my knee and missed.''
''“Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.” ''
''Plant, breed, produce, But what you raise or grow, why, feed it out, Eat it or plow it under where it stands, To build the soil.''
''For hard it is to keep from being King When it's in you and in the situation.''
''The earth had a single light afar, A flickering, human pathetic light, That was maintained against the night, It seemed to me, by the people there, With a Godforsaken brute despair.''
''The birds that came to it through the air At broken windows flew out and in, Their murmur more like the sigh we sigh From too much dwelling on what has been.''
''The first night after guests have gone, the house Seems haunted or exposed.''
''A speck that would have been beneath my sight On any but a paper sheet so white Set off across what I had written there.''
''The heart can think of no devotion Greater than being shore to the ocean....''
''Where have those flowers and butterflies all gone That science may have staked the future on? He seems to say the reason why so much Should come to nothing must be fairly faced.....''
''Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.''
''And though in tinsel chain and popcorn rope My tree, a captive in your window bay, Has lost its footing on my mountain slope And lost the stars of heaven, may, oh, may The symbol star it lifts against your ceiling Help me accept its fate with Christmas feeling.''
''“We dance round in a ring and suppose, But the Secret sits in the middle and knows.”''
''They tapped at my eyelids and touched my lips with an invitation to grief. But it was no reason I had to go because they had to go. Now up, my knee, to keep on top of another year of snow.''
''Having a wheel and four legs of its own Has never availed the cumbersome grindstone To get it anywhere that I can see.''
''One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.''
''Your top has sunk too low, Your base has spread too wide, For you to roll one stone Down if you tried.''
''Who said it mattered What monkeys did or didn't understand? They might not understand a burning-glass. They might not understand the sun itself. It's knowing what to do with things that counts.''
''The mountain stood there to be pointed at. Pasture ran up the side a little way, And then there was a wall of trees with trunks; After that only tops of trees, and cliffs Imperfectly concealed among the leaves.''
''When after talk with other men A man comes back to a woman again He tells her as much of blood and dirt As he thinks will do her not too much hurt.''
''You can be a little ungrammatical if you come from the right part of the country.''
''"... Anne has a way with flowers to take the place Of what she's lost: she goes down on one knee And lifts their faces by the chin to hers And says their names, and leaves them where they are."''
''The milkweed brings up to my very door The theme of wanton waste in peace and war....''
''And I looked to be happy, and I was, As I said, for a while but I don't know! Somehow the change wore out like a prescription.''
''It was far in the sameness of the wood; I was running with joy on the Demon's trail, Though I knew what I hunted was no true god.''
''To think to know the country and not know The hillside on the day the sun lets go Ten million silver lizards out of snow!''
''I sang of death but had I known The many deaths one must have died Before he came to meet his own!''
''They learned to rattle the lock and key To give whatever might chance to be, Warning and time to be off in flight:''
''... everyone developing A language of his own to write his book in, And one to cap the climax by combining All language in a one-man tongue-confusion.''
''So by craft or art We can give the part Wholeness in a sense.''
''A brush had left a crooked stroke Of what was either cloud or smoke From north to south across the blue; A piercing little star was through.''
''She would refuse love safe with wealth and honor! The lovely shall be choosers, shall they? Then let them choose!'''
''I met a Californian who would Talk California—a state so blessed He said, in climate, none had ever died there A natural death, and Vigilance Committees Had had to organize to stock the graveyards And vindicate the state's humanity.''
''I hadn't an illusion in my handbag About the people being better there Than those I left behind. I thought they weren't. I thought they couldn't be. And yet they were.''
''“There is one thing more exasperating than a wife who can cook and wont, and thats a wife who cant cook and will.” ''
''I have been one no dwelling could contain When there was rain....''
''Good blocks of oak it was I split, As large around as the chopping block; And every piece I squarely hit Fell splinterless as a cloven rock.''
''The brook was thrown Deep in a sewer dungeon under stone In fetid darkness still to live and run....''
''Lancaster bore him such a little town, Such a great man. It doesn't see him often Of late years, though he keeps the old homestead And sends the children down there with their mother To run wild in the summer a little wild.''
''I said I had the tree. It wasn't true. The opposite was true. The tree had me. The minute it was left with me alone, It caught me up as if I were the fish And it the fishpole.''
''Stays more popular Than populous.''
''"... Not but I've every reason not to care What happens to him if it only takes Some of the sanctimonious conceit Out of one of those pious scalawags."''
''Even the bravest that are slain Shall not dissemble their surprise On waking to find valor reign, Even as on earth, in paradise....''
''And yet with neither love nor hate, Those stars like some snow-white Minerva's snow-white marble eyes Without the gift of sight.''
''He lingered for some word she wouldn't say, Said it at last himself, "Good-night," and then, Getting no answer, closed the telephone.''
''You live by writing Your poems on a farm and call that farming.''
''I never dared to be radical when young For fear it would make me conservative when old.''
''What an exciting age it is we live in With all this talk about the hope of youth And nothing made of youth.''
''First under up and then again down under ...''
''I would build my house of crystal, With a solitary friend, Where the cold cracks like a pistol And the needle stands on end.''
''The well was dry beside the door, And so we went with pail and can Across the fields behind the house To seek the brook if still it ran....''
''“Nothing gold can stay.” ''
''Let those possess the land, and only those, Who love it with a love so strong and stupid That they may be abused and taken advantage of And made fun of by business, law, and art....''
''For slowly even her sense of him And love itself were growing dim. He no more drew the smile he sought. The story is she died of thought.''
''They were pipes of pagan mirth, And the world had found new terms of worth. He laid him down on the sunburned earth And raveled a flower and looked away. Play? Play? What should he play?''
''I had a vision of them put together Not like a man, but like a chandelier.''
''The city seems in-toppling from a height, But she can trust it not to fall tonight. (It will be taken down before it falls.)''
''She is as in a field a silken tent At midday when a sunny summer breeze Has dried the dew and all its ropes relent,''
''Mary sat musing on the lamp-flame at the table Waiting for Warren.''
''With him the love of country means Blowing it all to smithereens And having it all made over new.''
''Boys and bad hunters had known what to do With stone and lead to unprotected glass: Shatter it inward on the unswept floors.''
''I'm a poor underdog, But tonight I will bark With the great Overdog That romps through the dark.''
''Bringing him on The shadowy hare For him to rend And deal a death That he nor it (Nor I) have wit To comprehend.''
''And were an epitaph to be my story I'd have a short one ready for my own. I would have written of me on my stone: I had a lover's quarrel with the world.''
''God turned to speak to me (Don't anybody laugh); God found I wasn't there At least not over half.''
''Most of the change we think we see in life Is due to truths being in and out of favor.''
''"But it's nonsense to think he'd care enough." "You mean you couldn't understand his caring. Oh, but you see he hadn't had enough...."''
''An irresponsible divinity Presuming on her femininity ...''
''"Nothing can go up But it must come down." Earth is still our fate.''
''Each swung in danger on its slender twig, A bubble on a pipestem, growing big.''
''"Really, friend, I can't let you. You may need them." "Not till I shrink, when they'll be out of style." "But really I——I have so many collars." "I don't know who I rather would have have them. They're only turning yellow where they are. But you're the doctor, as the saying is. I'll put the light out. Don't you wait for me...."''
''A poem ... begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness.... It finds the thought and the thought finds the words.''
''The tree the tempest with a crash of wood Throws down in front of us is not to bar Our passage to our journey's end for good, But just to ask us who we think we are....''
''And I may return If dissatisfied With what I learn From having died.''
''Part of a moon was falling down the west, Dragging the whole sky with it to the hills. Its light poured softly in her lap. She saw And spread her apron to it.''
''The wild touch of thy dye-dusty wing! I found that wing broken today!''
''But he had gone his way, the grass all mown, And I must be, as he had been,—alone, 'As all must be,' I said within my heart, 'Whether they work together or apart.'''
''“A good book has no ending” ''
''Yet some say Love by being thrall And simply staying possesses all In several beauty that Thought fares far To find fused in another star.''
''If I have in me any I at all, 'Tis the iota subscript of the Greek.''
''You never saw this room before a show, Full of lank, shivery, half-drowned birds In separate coops, having their plumage done. The smell of the wet feathers in the heat!''
''Here far from the city we make our roadside stand And ask for some city money to feel in hand To try if it will not make our being expand, And give us the life of the moving-pictures' promise That the party in power is said to be keeping from us.''
''I am assured at any rate Man's practically inexterminate. Someday I must go into that. There's always been an Ararat Where someone someone else begat To start the world all over at.''
''He would declare and could himself believe That the birds there in all the garden round From having heard the daylong voice of Eve Had added to their own an oversound, Her tone of meaning but without the words.''
''“Poetry is what gets lost in translation.” ''
''"... I'll talk to you, old woman, afterward. I've got some news that maybe isn't news. What are they trying to do to me, these two?"''
''He bundles every forkful in its place, And tags and numbers it for future reference, So he can find and easily dislodge it In the unloading. Silas does that well. He takes it out in bunches like birds' nests.''
''And weren't there special cemetery flowers, That, once grief sets to growing, grief may rest: The flowers will go on with grief awhile, And no one seem neglecting or neglected? A prudent grief will not despise such aids.''
''the Omnibus Had no real purpose till it got to us. Never believe it.''
''Say something! And it says, "I burn."''
''The trial by market everything must come to.''
''I let my neighbor know beyond the hill; And on a day we meet to walk the line And set the wall between us once again. We keep the wall between us as we go.''
''If, as they say, some dust thrown in my eyes Will keep my talk from getting overwise, I'm not the one for putting off the proof.''
''He looks on the bright side of everything, Including me. He thinks I'll be all right With doctoring. But it's not medicine Lowe is the only doctor's dared to say so It's rest I want there, I have said it out....''
''“Youve got to love whats lovable, and hate whats hateable. It takes brains to see the difference.” ''
''Men of the woods and lumberjacks, They judged me by their appropriate tool. Except as a fellow handled an ax, They had no way of knowing a fool.''
''The footpath down to the well is healed.''
''Just specimens is all New Hampshire has, One each of everything as in a show-case Which naturally she doesn't care to sell.''
''Nature's never quite Sure she hasn't erred In her vague design....''
''The only person really soiled with trade I ever stumbled on in old New Hampshire Was someone who had just come back ashamed From selling things in California.''
''It never had been inside the room, And only one of the two Was afraid in an oft-repeated dream Of what the tree might do.''
''When a friend calls to me from the road And slows his horse to a meaning walk, I don't stand still and look around On all the hills I haven't hoed....''
''Now close the windows and hush all the fields: If the trees must, let them silently toss....''
''Do you know, Considering the market, there are more Poems produced than any other thing? No wonder''
''“A poet never takes notes..you never take notes in a Love Affair.” ''
''"... It's a day's work To empty one house of all household goods And fill another with 'em fifteen miles away, Although you do no more than dump them down."''
''A note as from a single place, A slender tinkling fall that made Now drops that floated on the pool Like pearls, and now a silver blade.''
''Any gain Was made by getting science on the brain; There was so much more every day to learn....''
''But no, I was out for stars: I would not come in. I meant not even if asked, And I hadn't been.''
''If I must choose which I would elevate The people or the already lofty mountains, I'd elevate the already lofty mountains. The only fault I find with old New Hampshire Is that her mountains aren't quite high enough.''
''Such as we were we gave ourselves outright (The deed of gift was many deeds of war) To the land vaguely realizing westward, But still unstoried, artless, unenhanced, Such as she was, such as she would become.''
''Only you women have to put these airs on To impress men. You've got us so ashamed Of being men we can't look at a good fight Between two boys and not feel bound to stop it.''
''I've spoiled Jemima in more ways than one. She's got so she turns in at every house As if she had some sort of curvature, No matter if I have no errand there. She thinks I'm sociable. I maybe am.''
''Light was a paste of pigment in our eyes.''
''... in this air of withering sweetness ...''
''Such was life in the Golden Gate: Gold dusted all we drank and ate, And I was one of the children told, "We all must eat our peck of gold."''
''God once spoke to people by name. The sun once imparted its flame. One impulse persists as our breath; The other persists as our faith.''
''One luminary clock against the sky Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right. I have been one acquainted with the night.''
''And so with homesickness in many ways We sought however crudely to defeat Our chance of being people newly born.''
''The test is always how we treat the poor.''
''We disparage reason. But all the time it's what we're most concerned with. There's will as motor and there's will as brakes. Reason is, I suppose, the steering gear.''
''The trees that have it in their pent-up buds To darken nature and be summer woods—''
''"... But let's forgive him. We've had a share in one night of his life. What'll you bet he ever calls again?"''
''An earthly dog of the carriage breed; Who, having failed of the modern speed, Now asked asylum and I was stirred To be the one so dog-preferred.''
''There is the fear that we shan't prove worthy in the eyes of someone who knows us at least as well as we know ourselves. That is the fear of God. And there is the fear of Man—fear that men won't understand us and we shall be cut of from them.''
''Then cut down the trees when lumber grown, And there's your pristine earth all freed From lovely blooming but wasteful weed And ready again for the grass to own.''
''I do not see why I should e'er turn back, Or those should not set forth upon my track To overtake me, who should miss me here And long to know if still I held them dear.''
''“A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer.” ''
''And he said, "That ought to make you An ideal one-girl farm, And give you a chance to put some strength On your slim-jim arm."''
''Love has earth to which she clings....''
''O hushed October morning mild, Begin the hours of this day slow. Make the day seem to us less brief.''
''He asked if I would sell my Christmas trees; My woods the young fir balsams like a place Where houses all are churches and have spires. I hadn't thought of them as Christmas trees.''
''For you, O tumultuous flowers, To go to waste and go wild in....''
''"... She thinks if it was bad to live with him, It must be right to leave him." "Which is wrong!" "Yes, but he should have married her." "I know."''
''I came as census-taker to the waste To count the people in it and found none, None in the hundred miles, none in the house....''
''When we locked up the house at night, We always locked the flowers outside And cut them off from window light.''
''Till having failed at hugger-mugger farming He burned his house down for the fire insurance And spent the proceeds on a telescope To satisfy a lifelong curiosity About our place among the infinities.''
''I call her old. She has one family Whose claim is good to being settled here Before the era of colonization, And before that of exploration even. John Smith remarked them as he coasted by....''
''No, in country money, the country scale of gain, The requisite lift of spirit has never been found....''
''On a certain slab Of (we'll say) basalt In or near Moab ...''
''The factory was very fine; He wished it all the modern speed. Yet, after all, 'twas not divine, That is to say, 'twas not a church.''
''Sudden and swift and light as that The ties gave, And he learned of finalities Beside the grave.''
''And she never sins by telling the tale To the same person twice.''
''America is hard to see. Less partial witnesses than he In book on book have testified They could not see it from outside....''
''She's a woman: she's not interested In general ideas and principles.''
''The King said to his son: "Enough of this! The Kingdom's yours to finish as you please. I'm getting out tonight. Here, take the crown."''
''I know that winter death has never tried The earth but it has failed:''
''We love the things we love for what they are.''
''With all thy dazzling other ones, In airy dalliance, Precipitate in love....''
''There would be more than ocean-water broken Before God's last Put out the Light was spoken.''
''No one would know except for ancient maps That such a brook ran water. But I wonder If from its being kept forever under, The thoughts may not have risen that so keep This new-built city from both work and sleep.''
''"I wish I knew half what the flock of them know Of where all the berries and other things grow, Cranberries in bogs and raspberries on top Of the boulder-strewn mountain, and when they will crop...."''
''Everything was there, Every single thing Waiting was to bring, Clear from hydrogen All the way to men.''
''This wide flight we wave At the stars or moon Means that we approve Of them on the move.''
''what we miss we go to him and ask for. He promptly gives it back, that is if still Uneaten, unworn out, or undisposed of.''
''Spirit enters flesh And for all it's worth Charges into earth In birth after birth Ever fresh and fresh.''
''She had some art of hearing and yet not Hearing the latter wisdom of the world.''
''All the way home I kept remembering The small book in my pocket. It was there.''
''The first tool I step on Turned into a weapon.''
''In spring more mortal singers than belong To any one place cover us with song. Thrush, bluebird, blackbird, sparrow, and robin throng....''
''“I believe in teaching, but I don’t believe in going to school.” ''
''A parent, his gentler one, Looked forth on her small son....''
''These doorsteps seldom have a visitor. The warping boards pull out their own old nails With none to tread and put them in their place.''
''That would be good both going and coming back. One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.''
''The measure of the little while That I've been long away.''
''Our moat around us is no more a moat, Our continent no more a moated castle.''
''Much as I own I owe The passers of the past Because their to and fro Has cut this road to last, I owe them more today Because they've gone away....''
''It was the words "descended into Hades" That seemed too pagan to our liberal youth. You know they suffered from a general onslaught. And well, if they weren't true why keep right on Saying them like the heathen? We could drop them.''
''He had the oaks for heating and for light. He had a hen, he had a pig in sight. He had a well, he had the rain to catch. He had a ten-by-twenty garden patch. Nor did he lack for common entertainment. That I assume was what our passing train meant.''
''One foot in each great ocean Is a record stride or stretch.''
''It is right in there Betwixt and between The orchard bare And the orchard green....''
''It couldn't be called ungentle. But how thoroughly departmental.''
''The heartless and enormous Outer Black ...''
''She had to lean away. She dared not stir a foot, Lest movement should provoke The demon of pursuit That slumbers in a brute.''
''though small As measured against the All, I have been so instinctively thorough About my crevice and burrow.''
''Burst into my narrow stall; Swing the picture on the wall; Run the rattling pages o'er; Scatter poems on the floor; Turn the poet out of door.''
''Summoning artists to participate In the august occasions of the state Seems something artists ought to celebrate. Today is for my cause a day of days.''
''Out of the mud two strangers came''
''You don't have to deserve your mother's love. You have to deserve your father's. He is more particular.... The father is always a Republican towards his son, and his mother's always a Democrat.''
''If this uncertain age in which we dwell Were really as dark as I hear sages tell, And I convinced that they were really sages, I should not curse myself with it to hell....''
''"For God's sake, aren't you fond of viewing nature? You don't like nature. All you like is books...."''
''They cannot look out far. They cannot look in deep. But when was that ever a To any watch they keep?''
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