hello, nice to meet you

I came across this poem in my first year English class at Brock and have never forgotten it, nor will I ever. I love it because it’s so different from Shakespeare‘s other poems and shows how he actually could, from time to time, be down to earth! There’s a realness about this poem and, as I learned and thoroughly enjoyed, this poem is also a commentary on poetry itself. Enjoy!

Sonnet 130
William Shakespeare

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask’d, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.

I just recently came upon this brilliant poem while doing some research for my blog on Billy Collins.It’s one of those short poems that takes you 45 seconds to read and about 45 years to get over. It made me smile and think; it’s one of those poems that can just take you to a hundred different places. To travel by poetry …

I Go Back to the House for a Book
Billy Collins

I turn around on the gravel and go back to the house for a book, something to read at the doctor’s office, and while I am inside, running the finger of inquisition along a shelf, another me that did not bother to go back to the house for a book heads out on his own, rolls down the driveway, and swings left toward town, a ghost in his ghost car, another knot in the string of time, a good three minutes ahead of me — a spacing that will now continue for the rest of my life.

Thank you, Alison, for this jewel!
XVII (I do not love you…)
Pablo Neruda
I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrows of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because there is no other way
than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
These are poems I read in my poetry seminar in third year at Brock. They are from the book In Fine Form: The Canadian Book of Form Poetry, edited by Kate Braid and Sandy Shreve.
Of Night
Molly Peacock
A city mouse darts from the paws of night.
A body drops from the jaws of night.
A woman denies the law of night,
Awkae and trapped in the was of night.
A young man turns in the gauze of night,
Unravelling the cause of night:
That days extend their claws at night
To re-enact old wars at night,
Though dreams can heal old sores at night
And Spring begins its thaw at night.
While worry bones are gnawed at night.
He sps her through a straw at night.
Verbs whisper in the cluase of night.
A finger to her lips,
the pause of night.
His Flute, My Ears*
Gregory Scofield (one of Canada’s leading Aboriginal writers)
piyis ekwas e-tipiskak ekwa
oh, ekwa ka-kimiwahk,
eart smells, love medicine
seeping into my bones
and I knew
his wind voice
the sleeping leaves
oh, ekwa ka-kimiwahk,
I dreamed
him weaving spider threads
into my hair,
fingers of firefly
buzzing ears, the song
his flute
stealing clouds from my eyes
I woke
numb in my bones.
piyis ekwa e-tipiskak ekwa
oh, ekwa ka-kimiwahk,
At last it was night
oh, and it rained,
it rained
*I don’t know how to get accents and symbols for the letters for the Cree writing, so the effect of this poem is a little lost. But I hope you enjoyed it nonetheless.

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