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April is National Poetry Month

Robert Pinsky, the 9th U.S. Poet Laureate, is seeking to commemorate it with a Favorite Poem   Project. He has asked that people send him a note about their own favorite poem (& the author if it's obscure) & why they like it. You can email your choice to favpoem@bu.edu   (and read others favorite poems at the Favorite Poem Project) by April 30, 1999.


    -Read some of Orrin's Favorite Poems
        -Baseball's Sad Lexicon (Franklin Pierce Adams)
        -Casey at the Bat (Ernest Lawrence Thayer)
        -Gunga Din (Rudyard Kipling)
        -Paul Revere's Ride (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)
        -The Charge of the Light Brigade (Alfred, Lord Tennyson)
        -Jabberwocky (Lewis Carroll)
        -Kubla Kahn (Samuel Taylor Coleridge)
        -The Raven (Edgar Allen Poe)
        -The Second Coming (William Butler Yeats)
        -The Shooting of Dan McGrew (Robeert Service)
        -Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening (Robert Frost)
        -Funeral Blues (W.H. Auden)
        -Innominatus  (Sir Walter Scott 1771-1832)
        -Separation (W.S. Merwin)
 

    -Read David Sandberg's Favorite Poem

    -Read Neil Goldstein's Favorite Poem

    -Read Andrew Geller's Favorite Poems

    -Read Dorothy Judd's Favorite Poem
        -Opportunity  (Edward R. Sill)
        -The King's Picture (Helen L.B. Bostwick)

    -Zachary Barnett submitted a Timely Poem
           -I Started to Tell You This Story...  (Phil Rizzuto)

    -Charlie Herzog's favorite poem:
         -Prayer for the Captain (Phil Rizzuto)

Here are some links that will help you find poems:

POETRY:
    GENERAL:
    -Academy of American Poets
    -AlienFlower Poetry Workshop
    -Alyssa A. Lappen Poetry Page
    -A Poet Born
    -Atlantic Monthly Poetry Pages
    -AUDIO: Poetry Readings (English Language & Literature at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Georgia)
    -The Blue Moon Review
    -Boston Review Poetry
    -The Cortland Review
    -CMU Poetry Index of Canonical Works
    -Electronic Poetry Center
    -EPIC POEM: THE BATTLE OF KOSOVO Serbian Epic Poems Translated from the Serbian by John Matthias and Vladeta Vuckovic  Preface by Charles Simic (BALKANIA.NET)
    -Espers.org
    -Favorite Poem Project (Robert Pinsky Poet Laureate)
    -Fooling with Words (Bill Moyer, PBS)
    -Free Zone Quarterly
    -Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Poetry
    -Hands Across the Net (African American Poets & Poetry)
    -Index of Poets
    -International Library of Poetry
    -Internet Poetry Archive (Pinsky & a few others)
    -Knopf Poetry Center
    -Lumea: Garden of Love and Light (Poems)
    -MP3Lit.com (The Source for Free MP3 Literature)
    -Mudlark: An Electronic Journal of Poetry and Poetics
    -National Poetry Month (Academy of American Poets)
    -Nursery Rhymes
    -Online NewsHour: Poems (PBS)
    -Phat African American Poetry Book
    -Poetry (Mining Co.)
    -Poetry Archives
    -Poetry Cafe
    -Poetry Daily
    -The Poetry Pages
    -Poetry Magazine
    -Poetry Previews
    -Poetry Society of America
    -Poetry Superhighway
    -Poets & Writers, Inc.
    -Song of  Earth
    -Taverner's Koans
    -TOP 100 IRISH POEMS (Irish Times)
    -For Valentine's Day, Americans Cite Their Favorite Poems: excerpts from "Americans' Favorite Poems"
    -The Web Poetry Corner
    -World of Poetry
    -The Writer's Almanac (MN Public Radio)
 

    POETS:

   Angelou, Maya
    -Maya Angelou Webpages

    Auden, W.H. (1907 - 1973)
    -Bio (BBC)
    -Literary Research Guide: W. H. Auden

    Blake, William (1757-1827)
    -Blake Digital Text Project
    -Blake, William Archive
    -William Blake (1757-1827): Poet, Artist & Engraver
    -Literary Research Guide: William Blake

    Brautigan, Richard
    -The Brautigan Pages

    Brodky, Joseph
    -FEATURED AUTHOR : Joseph Brodsky (NY Times Book Review)
 

    Browning, Elizabeth Barrett  (1806-1861)
    -Selected Poetry
    -Literary Research Guide: Elizabeth Barrett Browning

    Browning, Robert (1812 - 1889)
    -Literary Research Guide: Robert Browning

    Bukowski, Charles (1920-1994)
    -Buk's Page
    -Charles Bukowski (1920-1994) (from Bohemian Ink)
    -Hank: Charles Bukowski
    -REVIEW : of  DRINKING WITH BUKOWSKI: RECOLLECTIONS OF THE POET LAUREATE OF SKID ROW. Edited by Daniel Weizmann and   BUKOWSKI IN PICTURES. Edited by Howard Sounes ( Mike Miliard, Boston Phoenix)
    -REVIEW : of  Charles Bukowski, Locked in the Arms of a Crazy Life, By Cathleen Schine (Michael Swindle, Denver Post)

    Carver, Raymond (1938 - 1988)
    -Carver: The Raymond Carver Website
    -Literary Research Guide: Raymond Carver
    -Carver Web: The definitive web source for information on the great American writer, Raymond Carver.
    -ESSAY: Untold stories: For 12 years after the death of writer Raymond Carver, three of his short stories lay untouched in a drawer. His widow, Tess Gallagher, who had done so much to bring him back from the abyss of alcoholism and debt, could not bear to read them. But this week these and other unseen stories of his are published for the first time. (Mick Brown, Daily Telegraph)
    -INTERVIEW: Echoes of Our Own Lives  Interview with Raymond Carver (David Koehne)
    -ESSAY : Too close for comfort : Why is Raymond Carver's masterpiece, "Cathedral," so much like a little-known D.H. Lawrence story? (Samantha Gillison, Salon)
    -REVIEW : of Call If You Need Me: The Uncollected Fiction and Prose by Raymond Carver (Frank Kermode, London Review of Books)
    -REVIEW : of Call if You Need Me by Raymond Carver In Carver's taut stories, a roar becomes a shudder (Gail Caldwell, Globe Staff)

    Chaucer, Geoffrey (1340 - 1400)
    -Literary Research Guide: Geoffrey Chaucer

    Coleridge, Samuel Taylor
    -S.T. Coleridge

    Dickinson, Emily (1830-1886)
    -Emily Dickinson
    -Emily Dickinson Page
    -Literary Research Guide: Emily Dickinson
    -Poems read aloud (Atlantic Unbound)
    -The Belle's Letters: Newly published correspondence reveals the beloved friend who nourished Emily Dickinson's art (Graham Christian, Boston Phoenix)

    Dunbar, Paul Laurence (1872 - 1906)
    -Paul Laurence Dunbar
    -Literary Research Guide: Paul Laurence Dunbar

    FitzGerald, Edward
    -Selected Poetry

    Frost, Robert (1874-1963)
    -Selected Poetry of Robert Frost
    -Literary Research Guide: Robert Frost (1874 - 1963)
    -ESSAY : A New American Poet (Edward Garnett, Atlantic Monthly, August, 1915)

    Heaney, Seamus
    -Seamus Haney

    Hill, Geoffrey
    -read Orrin's review of Canaan (1996) (Geoffrey Hill Ý1932-)
 

    Hopkins, Gerard Manley (1844-88)
    -Concordance

    Housman, A.E. (1859-1936)
    -A.E. (Alfred Edward) Housman
    -Housman

    Hughes, Langston (1902-1967)
    -Encyclopaedia Britannica: Your search: "langston hughes"
    -Academy of American Poets-Poetry Exhibits-Langston Hughes
    -Audio Files of Langston poems
    -A DISCOVERY THEATER TEACHING GUIDE
    -Sweet and Sour Animal Book: A Discovery Theater Original production, based on an alphabet book by Langston Hughes (K-12 grades)
    -The Harlem Renaissance (From Encyclopedia Britannica)
    -PAL: Perspectives in American Literature: A Research and Reference Guide "Chapter 9: Harlem Renaissance - Langston Hughes (1902-1967)"

    Jarrell, Randall :
        -ESSAY : The Voice of the Poet-Critic :  In the latest installment of the "Voice of the Poet" series-with recordings of Gertrude Stein, John Ashbery, and others-the unexpected star is Randall Jarrell, a poet who was known to write some criticism (Sven Birkerts, April 2001, Atlantic Monthly)

    Johnson, Samuel (1709-1784)
    -Samuel Johnson (bio, quotes, etc.)

    Kipling, Rudyard (1865-1936)
    -The Kipling Society

    Lear, Edward
    -Edward Lear Homepage

    Merrill, James
    -ESSAY : Heavenly Host : Robyn Creswell on James Merrill's partly true confessions (FEED)
 

    Milton, John (1608--1674)
    -John Milton (1608-1674)
    -John Milton
    -Milton-L Home Page
    -REVIEW : of How Milton Works by Stanley Fish (John Carey, Sunday Times of London)
    -REVIEW : of How Milton Works by Stanley Fish (Adam Kirsch, National Post)
    -REVIEW : of The Life of Milton by Barbara K Lewalski (Boyd Tonkin, Independent uk)
 

    Moore, Marianne  (1887-1972)
    -Marianne Moore
    -The Marianne Moore Society
    -Voices and Visions Splotlight: Marianne Moore
    -Marianne Moore: 1915 to 1929 (Jessica Nassau)
    -Academy of American Poets: Marianne Moore
    -Baseball and Writing (Suggested by post-game broadcasts)
    -ESSAY: Feminism and Objectivism in Marianne Moore's "Sojourn in the Whale" and "Marriage" (Amanda Bechtel)
    -ESSAY: Taoist concepts and Chinese imagery in the poetry of Marianne Moore (Lina Unali,  Università di Roma)
    -ESSAY: "The Plucked String": Emily Dickinson, Marianne Moore and the Poetics of Select Defects (Cynthia Hogue)
    -ESSAY: Marianne Moore and The Dial: Occupying a liminal position (Sophie Leake)
    -REVIEW: The Selected Letters of Marianne Moore (Kay Ryan, Boston Review)
    -REVIEW: THE POST MODERNIST: MARIANNE MOORE'S LETTERS ADD TO OUR APPRECIATION OF A GREAT POET'S OVERFLOWING LIFE (Donald Hall, Boston Globe)

    Poe, Edgar Allan (1809-1849)
    -The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe
    -Edgar Allan Poe
    -House of Usher
    -A Poe Webliography

    Pound, Ezra (1885-1972)
    -Literary Research Guide: Ezra Pound (1885 - 1972)

    Rimbaud, Arthur
   -Life and Poetry of Arthur Rimbaud

    Service, Robert (1874-1958)
    -Original Home Page of Robert Service
    -Poems of Robert Service
        -ESSAY : Reagan, McCain, and Sam McGee : The unlikely revival of Robert Service, presidential poet. (Andrew Ferguson, Weekly Standard, December 20 ,1999)

    Sexton, Anne
    -Anne Sexton

    Shakespeare, William
    -Complete Works of William Shakespeare
    -The Academy of American Poets - Poetry Exhibits - William Shakespeare
 

    Spenser, Edmund
    -Edmund Spenser Home Page

    Stevens, Wallace
    -Wallace Stevens
    -REVIEW: Wallace Stevens: Collected Poetry and Prose edited by Frank Kermode and Joan Richardson (Algis Valiunas, Commentary)

    Thomas, Dylan (1914-53)
    -"craft or sullen art"
    -Literary Research Guide: Dylan Thomas (1914 - 1953)

    Whitman, Walt (1819-1892)
    -The Poetry of Walt Whitman

    Wordsworth, William (1770-1850)
    -Complete Poetical Works of William Wordsworth

    Yeats, W. B. (1865-1939)
    -Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats
    -Literary Research Guide: William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939)
    -REVIEW: All Ireland's Bard  W. B. Yeats, by R. F. Foster (Seamus Heaney, The Atlantic)
    -REVIEW: W.B. Yeats: A Life by R.F. Foster (Algis Valiunas, Commentary)
 

Here are Orrin's Poetry reviews:
    The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar (Paul Laurence Dunbar 1872-1906)
    (Grade: B+)
  The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (1915)(T. S. [Thomas Stearns] Eliot  1888-1965) (Grade: A-)
  The Hollow Men  (1927)(T.S. [Thomas Stearns] Eliot 1888-1965)
    The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (1859)(Edward FitzGerald 1809-1883) (Grade: C)
   Epitaphs to Remember : Remarkable Inscriptions from New England Gravestones (1962)
    (Janet Greene, Thomas C. Mann )(Grade: B+)
    A Shropshire Lad (A. E. Housman 1859-1936)    (Grade: B)
    The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes (Langston Hughes 1902-1967)  (Grade: B+)
    The Complete Perfectionist: A Poetics of Work (1997) (Juan Ramon Jimenez  1881-1958) (Grade: C+)
    Stories and Poems of Rudyard Kipling  (Rudyard Kipling 1865-1936) (Grade: A+)
    O Holy Cow! : The Selected Verse of Phil Rizzuto (1993) (Phil Rizzuto  1917-) (edited by Tom Peyer and Hart Seely(Grade: A)
    Poetry Under Oath: From The Testimony Of William Jefferson Clinton And Monica S. Lewinsky (1998) (Editor: Tom Simon(Grade: A)
    Reading The Water (1997)(Charles Harper Webb(Grade: A)
 
 

"Baseball's Sad Lexicon" (Tinker to Evers to Chance)(1910)
 
 

(Franklin Pierce Adams)

These are the saddest of possible words:

"Tinker to Evers to Chance."

Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,

Tinker and Evers and Chance.

Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,*

Making a Giant hit into a double--

Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:

"Tinker to Evers to Chance."
 
 
 


Casey at the Bat

(First appearing in the San Francisco Examiner, June 3, 1888)

(Ernest Lawrence Thayer 1863-1940)


The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville nine that day;

The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play,

And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,

A pall-like silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest

Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;

They thought, "If only Casey could but get a whack at that --

We'd put up even money now, with Casey at the bat."

But Flynn preceded Casey, as did also Jimmy Blake,

And the former was a hoodoo, while the latter was a cake;

So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat;

For there seemed but little chance of Casey getting to the bat.

But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,

And Blake, the much despised, tore the cover off the ball;

And when the dust had lifted, and men saw what had occurred,

There was Jimmy safe at second and Flynn a-hugging third.

Then from five thousand throats and more there rose a lusty yell;

It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;

It pounded through on the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,

For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.

There was ease in Casey's manner as he stepped into his place;

There was pride in Casey's bearing and a smile lit Casey's face.

And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,

No stranger in the crowd could doubt 'twas Casey at the bat.

Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt.

Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.

Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,

Defiance flashed in Casey's eye, a sneer curled Casey's lip.

And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,

And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.

Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped --

"That ain't my style," said Casey. "Strike one!" the umpire said.

From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,

Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore;

"Kill him! Kill the umpire!" shouted some one on the stand;

And it's likely they'd have killed him had not Casey raised his hand.

With a smile of Christian charity great Casey's visage shone;

He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;

He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the dun sphere flew;

But Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said "Strike two!"

"Fraud!" cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered "Fraud!"

But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.

They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,

And they knew that Casey wouldn't let that ball go by again.

The sneer has fled from Casey's lip, the teeth are clenched in hate;

He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.

And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,

And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey's blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright,

The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,

And somewhere men are laughing, and little children shout;

But there is no joy in Mudville -- mighty Casey has struck out.
 


Gunga Din
 
 

(Rudyard Kipling)

You may talk o' gin and beer

When you're quartered safe out here,

And you're sent to penny-fights and Aldershot it,

But when it comes to slaughter,

You will do your work on water,

And you'll lick the bloomin' boots o' them that's got it.

Now in Injia's sunny clime,

Where I used to spend my time,

A-servin' of 'Er Majesty the Queen,

Of all them blackfaced crew,

The finest man I knew

Was our regimental bhisti, Gunga Din.

It was "Din! Din! Din!

You limpin' lump of brick-dust, Gunga Din!

Hi! Slippery hitherao,

Water, get it! Panee lao,

You squidgy-nosed old idol, Gunga Din!"

The uniform 'e wore

Was nothin' much before,

And rather less than 'arf o' that be'ind,

For a piece o' twisty rag

And a goatskin water-bag

Was all the field-equipment 'e could find.

When the sweatin' troop-train lay

In a sidin' through the day,

When the 'eat would make your bloomin' eyebrows crawl,

We shouted "Harry By!"

Till our throats were bricky-dry,

Then we wopped him 'cause 'e couldn't serve us all.

It was "Din! Din! Din!

You 'eathen, where the mischief 'ave you been?

You put some juldee in it

Or I'll marrow you this minute

If you don't fill up my helmet, Gunga Din!"

'E would dot and carry one

Till the longest day was done,

And 'e didn't seem to know the use of fear;

If we charged or broke or cut,

You could bet your bloomin' nut

'E'd be waitin' fifty paces right flank rear.

'E would skip to our attack,

With 'is mussick on 'is back,

And watch us till the bugles made "Retire",

And for all 'is dirty hide,

'E was white, clear white, inside

When 'e went to tend the wounded under fire!

It was "Din! Din! Din!"

With the bullet kickin' dust spots on the green;

When the cartridges ran out,

You could hear the front lines shout,

"Hi! Ammunition-mules an' Gunga Din!"

I shan't forget the night

When I dropped be'ind the fight

With a bullet where my belt-plate should have been.

I was chokin' mad with thirst,

And the man that spied me first

Was our good ol' grinnin', gruntin' Gunga Din.

'E lifted up my head,

And 'e plugged me where I bled,

And 'e gave me 'arf a pint o' water green;

It was crawlin' and it stunk,

But of all the drinks I've drunk,

I'm gratefullest to one from Gunga Din.

It was "Din! Din! Din!

'Ere's a beggar with a bullet through his spleen--

'E's chawin up the ground,

And 'e's kickin' all around,

For Gawd's sake get the water, Gunga Din!"

'E carried me away

To where a dooli lay,

And a bullet came and drilled the beggar clean.

'E put me safe inside,

And just before 'e died,

"I 'ope you liked your drink," sez Gunga Din.

So I'll see 'im later on,

In the place where 'e is gone,

Where it's always double drill and no canteen;

'E'll be squattin' on the coals,

Givin' drink to poor damned souls,

And I'll get a swig in hell from Gunga Din!

And it's "Din! Din! Din!"

You Lazarushian-leather Gunga Din!

Though I've belted you and flayed you,

By the livin' God that made you,

You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!




 
 

Paul Revere's Ride

(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)


Listen my children and you shall hear

Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,

On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;

Hardly a man is now alive

Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, "If the British march

By land or sea from the town to-night,

Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch

Of the North Church tower as a signal light,--

One if by land, and two if by sea;

And I on the opposite shore will be,

Ready to ride and spread the alarm

Through every Middlesex village and farm,

For the country folk to be up and to arm."

Then he said "Good-night!" and with muffled oar

Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,

Just as the moon rose over the bay,

Where swinging wide at her moorings lay

The Somerset, British man-of-war;

A phantom ship, with each mast and spar

Across the moon like a prison bar,

And a huge black hulk, that was magnified

By its own reflection in the tide.

Meanwhile, his friend through alley and street

Wanders and watches, with eager ears,

Till in the silence around him he hears

The muster of men at the barrack door,

The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,

And the measured tread of the grenadiers,

Marching down to their boats on the shore.

Then he climbed the tower of the Old North Church,

By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,

To the belfry chamber overhead,

And startled the pigeons from their perch

On the sombre rafters, that round him made

Masses and moving shapes of shade,--

By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,

To the highest window in the wall,

Where he paused to listen and look down

A moment on the roofs of the town

And the moonlight flowing over all.

Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,

In their night encampment on the hill,

Wrapped in silence so deep and still

That he could hear, like a sentinel's tread,

The watchful night-wind, as it went

Creeping along from tent to tent,

And seeming to whisper, "All is well!"

A moment only he feels the spell

Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread

Of the lonely belfry and the dead;

For suddenly all his thoughts are bent

On a shadowy something far away,

Where the river widens to meet the bay,--

A line of black that bends and floats

On the rising tide like a bridge of boats.

Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,

Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride

On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.

Now he patted his horse's side,

Now he gazed at the landscape far and near,

Then, impetuous, stamped the earth,

And turned and tightened his saddle girth;

But mostly he watched with eager search

The belfry tower of the Old North Church,

As it rose above the graves on the hill,

Lonely and spectral and sombre and still.

And lo! as he looks, on the belfry's height

A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!

He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,

But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight

A second lamp in the belfry burns.

A hurry of hoofs in a village street,

A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,

And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark

Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet;

That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,

The fate of a nation was riding that night;

And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,

Kindled the land into flame with its heat.

He has left the village and mounted the steep,

And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,

Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;

And under the alders that skirt its edge,

Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,

Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.

It was twelve by the village clock

When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.

He heard the crowing of the cock,

And the barking of the farmer's dog,

And felt the damp of the river fog,

That rises after the sun goes down.

It was one by the village clock,

When he galloped into Lexington.

He saw the gilded weathercock

Swim in the moonlight as he passed,

And the meeting-house windows, black and bare,

Gaze at him with a spectral glare,

As if they already stood aghast

At the bloody work they would look upon.

It was two by the village clock,

When he came to the bridge in Concord town.

He heard the bleating of the flock,

And the twitter of birds among the trees,

And felt the breath of the morning breeze

Blowing over the meadow brown.

And one was safe and asleep in his bed

Who at the bridge would be first to fall,

Who that day would be lying dead,

Pierced by a British musket ball.

You know the rest. In the books you have read

How the British Regulars fired and fled,---

How the farmers gave them ball for ball,

>From behind each fence and farmyard wall,

Chasing the redcoats down the lane,

Then crossing the fields to emerge again

Under the trees at the turn of the road,

And only pausing to fire and load.

So through the night rode Paul Revere;

And so through the night went his cry of alarm

To every Middlesex village and farm,---

A cry of defiance, and not of fear,

A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,

And a word that shall echo for evermore!

For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,

Through all our history, to the last,

In the hour of darkness and peril and need,

The people will waken and listen to hear

The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,

And the midnight message of Paul Revere.
 


The Charge of the Light Brigade
 
 

(Alfred, Lord Tennyson)


1 Half a league, half a league,

Half a league onward,

All inthe valley of Death

Rode the six hundred.

"Forward, the Light Brigade!

"Charge for the guns!" he said:

Intothe valley of Death

Rode the six hundred.
 
 

2. "Forward, the Light Brigade!"

Was there a man dismay'd?

Not tho' the soldier knew

So meone had blunder'd:

Their's not to make reply,

Their's not to reason why,

Their's but to do and die:

Into the valley of Death

Rode the six hundred.
 
 

3. Cannon to right of them,

Cannon to left of them,

Cannon in front of them

Volley'd and thunder'd;

Storm'd at with shot and shell,

Boldly they rode and well,

Into the jaws of Death,

Into the mouth of Hell

Rode the six hundred.
 
 

4. Flash'd all their sabres bare,

Flash'd as they turn'd in air,

Sabring the gunners there,

Charging an army, while

All the world wonder'd:

Plunged in the battery-smoke

Right thro' the line they broke;

Cossack and Russian

Reel'd from the sabre stroke

Shatter'd and sunder'd.

Then they rode back, but not

Not the six hundred.
 
 

5. Cannon to right of them,

Cannon to left of them,

Cannon behind them

Volley'd and thunder'd;

Storm'd at with shot and shell,

While horse and hero fell,

They that had fought so well

Came thro' the jaws of Death

Back from the mouth of Hell,

All that was left of them,

Left of six hundred.
 
 

6. When can their glory fade?

O the wild charge they made!

All the world wondered.

Honor the charge they made,

Honor the Light Brigade,

Noble six hundred.




 
 

Jabberwocky
 
 

(Lewis Carroll)[Rev. Charles Dodgson]


'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe.

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun

the frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:

Long time the maxome foe he sought-

So rested he by the Tumtum tree,

And stood a while in thought.

As in uffish thought he stood,

The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,

Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,

And burbled as it came.

One, two! One, two! And through and through

The vorpal blade went snicker-snack.

He left it dead, and with its head

He went galumphing back.

"Has thou slain the Jabberwock?

Come to my arms, my beamish boy!

O frabjous day! Calloh! Callay!

He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.



Kubla Khan (1789)
 
 

(Samuel Taylor Coleridge)


In Xanadu did Kubla Khan

A stately pleasure-dome decree:

Where Alph, the sacred river, ran

Through caverns measureless to man

Down to a sunless sea.

So twice five miles of fertile ground

With walls and towers were girdled round:

And here were gardens bright with sinuous rills

Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;

And here were forests ancient as the hills,

Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

But oh! That deep romantic chasm which slanted

Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!

A savage place! as holy and enchanted

As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted

By woman wailing for her demon-lover!

And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,

As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,

A mighty fountain momently was forced;

Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst

Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,

Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail:

And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever

It flung up momently the sacred river.

Five miles meandering with a mazy motion

Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,

Then reached the caverns measureless to man,

And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean:

And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far

Ancestral voices prophesying war!

The shadow of the dome of pleasure

Floated midway on the waves:

Where was heard the mingled measure

From the fountain and the caves.

It was a miracle of rare device,

A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!

A damsel with a dulcimer

In a vision once I saw:

It was an Abyssinian maid,

And on her dulcimer she played,

Singing of Mount Abora.

Could I revive within me

Her symphony and song,

To such a deep delight 't would win me

That with music loud and long,

I would build that dome in air,

That sunny dome! those caves of ice!

And all who heard should see them there,

And all should cry, Beware! Beware!

His flashing eyes, his floating hair!

Weave a circle round him thrice,

And close your eyes with holy dread,

For he on honey-dew hath fed,

And drunk the milk of Paradise.




 
 

The Raven

(Edgar Allen Poe)


Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,

Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,

While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door;

Only this, and nothing more."
 
 

Ah, distinctly I remember, it was in the bleak December,

And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.

Eagerly I wished the morrow; vainly I had sought to borrow

From my books surcease of surrow, sorrow for the lost Lenore,.

For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore,

Nameless here forevermore.
 
 

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain

Thrilled me---filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;

So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,

"'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door,

Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door.

This is it, and nothing more."
 
 

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,

"Sir," said I, "or madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;

But the fact is, I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,

And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,

That I scarce was sure I heard you." Here I opened wide the door;---

Darkness there, and nothing more.
 
 

Deep into the darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing

Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;

But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,

And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore?",

This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!"

Merely this, and nothing more.
 
 

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,

Soon again I heard a tapping, something louder than before,

"Surely," said I, "surely, that is something at my window lattice.

Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore.

Let my heart be still a moment, and this mystery explore.

'Tis the wind, and nothing more."
 
 

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,

In there stepped a stately raven, of the saintly days of yore.

Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;

But with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door.

Perched upon a bust of Pallas, just above my chamber door,

Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
 
 

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,

By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,

"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven thou," I said, "art sure no craven,

Ghastly, grim, and ancient raven, wandering from the nightly shore.

Tell me what the lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore."

Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."
 
 

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,

Though its answer little meaning, little relevancy bore;

For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being

Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door,

Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,

With such name as "Nevermore."
 
 

But the raven, sitting lonely on that placid bust, spoke only

That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.

Nothing further then he uttered; not a feather then he fluttered;

Till I scarcely more than muttered,"Other friends have flown before;

On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before."

Then the bird said,"Nevermore."
 
 

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,

"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store,

Caught from some unhappy master, whom unmerciful disaster

Followed fast and followed faster, till his songs one burden bore,---

Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore

Of "Never---nevermore."
 
 

But the raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,

Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door;,

Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking

Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore,

What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore

Meant in croaking, "Nevermore."
 
 

Thus I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing

To the fowl, whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;

This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining

On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o'er,

But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o'er

She shall press, ah, nevermore!
 
 

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer

Swung by seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor.

"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee -- by these angels he hath sent thee

Respite---respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!

Quaff, O quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!"

Quoth the raven, "Nevermore!"
 
 

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil!--prophet still, if bird or devil!

Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,

Desolate, yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted--

On this home by horror haunted--tell me truly, I implore:

Is there--is there balm in Gilead?--tell me--tell me I implore!"

Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."
 
 

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil--prophet still, if bird or devil!

By that heaven that bends above us--by that God we both adore--

Tell this soul with sorrow laden, if, within the distant Aidenn,

It shall clasp a sainted maiden, whom the angels name Lenore---

Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels name Lenore?

Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."
 
 

"Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!' I shrieked, upstarting--

"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!

Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!

Leave my loneliness unbroken! -- quit the bust above my door!

Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"

Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."
 
 

And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting

On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;

And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming.

And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws the shadow on the floor;

And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor

Shall be lifted---nevermore!




 
 

The Second Coming
 
 

(William Butler Yeats)

Turning and turning in the widening gyre

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;

Surely the Second Coming is at hand.

The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out

When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi

Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert

A shape with lion body and the head of a man,

A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,

Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it

Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again; but now I know

That twenty centuries of stony sleep

Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,

Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?


David Sandberg's Favorite Poem

Robert Browning

My Last Duchess
 

That's my last Duchess painted on the wall,
Looking as if she were alive. I call
That piece a wonder, now: Fr Pandolf's hands
Worked busily a day, and there she stands.
Will't please you sit and look at her? I said
``Fr Pandolf'' by design, for never read
Strangers like you that pictured countenance,
The depth and passion of its earnest glance,
But to myself they turned (since none puts by
The curtain I have drawn for you, but I)
And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst,
How such a glance came there; so, not the first
Are you to turn and ask thus. Sir, 'twas not
Her husband's presence only, called that spot
Of joy into the Duchess' cheek: perhaps
Fr Pandolf chanced to say ``Her mantle laps
``Over my lady's wrist too much,'' or ``Paint
``Must never hope to reproduce the faint
``Half-flush that dies along her throat:'' such stuff
Was courtesy, she thought, and cause enough
For calling up that spot of joy. She had
A heart---how shall I say?---too soon made glad,
Too easily impressed; she liked whate'er
She looked on, and her looks went everywhere.
Sir, 'twas all one! My favour at her breast,
The dropping of the daylight in the West,
The bough of cherries some officious fool
Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule
She rode with round the terrace---all and each
Would draw from her alike the approving speech,
Or blush, at least. She thanked men,---good! but thanked
Somehow---I know not how---as if she ranked
My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name
With anybody's gift. Who'd stoop to blame
This sort of trifling? Even had you skill
In speech---(which I have not)---to make your will
Quite clear to such an one, and say, ``Just this
``Or that in you disgusts me; here you miss,
``Or there exceed the mark''---and if she let
Herself be lessoned so, nor plainly set
Her wits to yours, forsooth, and made excuse,
---E'en then would be some stooping; and I choose
Never to stoop. Oh sir, she smiled, no doubt,
Whene'er I passed her; but who passed without
Much the same smile? This grew; I gave commands;
Then all smiles stopped together. There she stands
As if alive. Will't please you rise? We'll meet
The company below, then. I repeat,
The Count your master's known munificence
Is ample warrant that no just pretence
Of mine for dowry will be disallowed;
Though his fair daughter's self, as I avowed
At starting, is my object. Nay, we'll go
Together down, sir. Notice Neptune, though,
Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity,
Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me!


Neil Goldstein's Favorite Poem:

The Road Not Taken
(Robert Frost 1874-1963)

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
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

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.



Andrew Geller's Favorite Poems:

Ozymandias, Percy Bysshe Shelley

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
 
 
 

Spring and Fall: To a Young Child

by Gerard Manley Hopkins
 

Margaret are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! As the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow's springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you morn for.
 
 





The Shooting of Dan McGrew

  Robert W. Service

  A bunch of the boys were whooping it up in the Malamute saloon;
  The kid that handles the music-box was hitting a jag-time tune;
  Back of the bar, in a solo game, sat Dangerous Dan McGrew,
  And watching his luck was his light-o'-love, the lady that's known as Lou.

  When out of the night, which was fifty below, and into the din and glare,
  There stumbled a miner fresh from the creeks, dog-dirty, and loaded for bear.
  He looked like a man with a foot in the grave and scarcely the strength of a
  louse,
  Yet he tilted a poke of dust on the bar, and he called for drinks for the house.
  There was none could place the stranger's face, though we searched ourselves for
  a clue;
  But we drank his health, and the last to drink was Dangerous Dan McGrew.

  There's men that somehow just grip your eyes, and hold them hard like a spell;
  And such was he, and he looked to me like a man who had lived in hell;
  With a face most hair, and the dreary stare of a dog whose day is done,
  As he watered the green stuff in his glass, and the drops fell one by one.
  Then I got to figgering who he was, and wondering what he'd do,
  And I turned my head--and there watching him was the lady that's known as Lou.

  His eyes went rubbering round the room, and he seemed in a kind of daze,
  Till at last that old piano fell in the way of his wandering gaze.
  The rag-time kid was having a drink; there was no one else on the stool,
  So the stranger stumbles across the room, and flops down there like a fool.
  In a buckskin shirt that was dazed with dirt he sat, and I saw him sway,
  Then he clutched the keys with his talon hands--my God! but that man could play.

  Were you ever out in the Great Alone, when the moon was awful clear,
  And the icy mountains hemmed you in with a silence you most could hear;
  With only the howl of a timber wolf, and you camped there in the cold,
  A helf-dead thing in a stark, dead world, clean mad for the muck called gold;
  While high overhead, green, yellow, and red, the North Lights swept in bars?--
  Then you've a hunch what the music meant . . . hunger and night and the stars.

  And hunger not of the belly kind, that's banished with bacon and beans,
  But the gnawing hunger of lonely men for a home and all that it means;
  For a fireside far from the cares that are, four walls and a roof above;
  But oh! so cramful of cosy joy, and crowded with a woman's love--
  A woman dearer than all the world, and true as Heaven is true--
  (God! how ghastly she looks through her rouge,--the lady that's known as Lou.)

  Then on a sudden the music changed, so soft that you scarce could hear;
  But you felt that your life had been looted clean of all that it once held dear;
  That someone had stolen the woman you loved; that her love was a devil's lie;
  That your guts were gone, and the best for you was to crawl away and die.
  'Twas the crowning cry of a heart's despair, and it thrilled you through and
  through-
  "I guess I'll make it a spread misere," said Dangerous Dan McGrew.

  The music almost dies away . . . then it burst like a pent-up flood;
  And it seemed to say, "Repay, repay," and my eyes were blind with blood.
  The thought came back of an ancient wrong, and it stung like a frozen lash,
  And the lust awoke to kill, to kill . . . then the music stopped with a crash,
  And the stranger turned, and his eyes they burned in a most peculiar way;
  In a buckskin shirt that was glazed with dirt he sat, and I saw him sway;
  Then his lips went in in a kind of grin, and he spoke, and his voice was calm,
  And "Boys," says he, "you don't know me, and none of you care a damn;
  But I want to state, and my words are straight, and I'll bet my poke they're
  true,
  That one of you is a hound of hell . . . and that one is Dan McGrew."

  Then I ducked my head and the lights went out, and two guns blazed in the dark;
  And a woman screamed, and the lights went up, and two men lay stiff and stark.
  Pitched on his head, and pumped full of lead, was Dangerous Dan McGrew,
  While the man from the creeks lay clutched to the breast of the lady that's
  known as Lou.

  These are the simple facts of the case, and I guess I ought to know.
  They say that the stranger was crazed with "hooch," and I'm not denying it's so.
  I'm not so wise as the lawyer guys, but strictly between us two--
  The woman that kissed him and--pinched his poke--was the lady known as Lou.
 
 

Opportunity
  (Edward R. Sill 1841-1887)

  This I beheld, or dreamed it in a dream:-
  There spread a cloud of dust along a plain;
  and underneath the cloud, or in it, raged
  A furious battle, and men yelled, and swords
  Shocked upon swords and shields.  a prince's banner
  Wavered, then staggered backward, hemmed by foes.
  A craven hung along the battle's edge,
  And thought, "Had I a sword of keener steel-
  That blue blade that the king's son bears- but this
  Blunt thing!" - he snapped and flung it from his hand.
  And lowering crept away and left the field.
  Then came the king's son, wounded, sore bestead,
  And weaponless, and saw the broken sword,
  Hilt-buried in the dry and trodden sand,
  And ran and snatched it, and with battle-shout
  Lifted afresh he hewed his enemy down,
  And saved a great cause that heroic day.
 
 

The King's Picture
  (Helen L.B. Bostwick)

  The king from the council chamber came weary and sore of heart;
  He called to Cliff, the painter, and spoke to him thus apart:
  "I'm sickened of faces ignoble, hypocrites, cowards, and knaves;
  I shall shrink to their shrunken measure, chief slave in a realm of slaves.
  Paint me a true man's picture, gracious and wise and good,
  Dowered with the strength of heroes and the beauty of womanhood.
  It shall hang in my inmost chamber, that, thither when I retire,
  It may fill my soul with its grandeur, and warm it with sacred fires."
  So the artist painted the picture, and it hung in the palace hall;
  Never a thing so lovely had garnished the stately wall.
  The King, with head uncovered, gazed on it with rapt delight,
  Till it suddenly wore strange meaning - baffled his questioning sight.
  For the form was the supplest courtier's, perfect in every limb;
  But the bearing was that of the henchman who filled the flagons for him;
  The brow was a priest's who pondered his parchment early and late;
  The eye was the wandering minstrel's who sang at the palace gate.
  The lips, half sad and half mirthful, with a fitful trembling grace,
  Were the very lips of a woman he had kissed in the market place;
  But the smiles which curves transfigured, as a rose with its shimmer of dew,
  Was the smile of the wife who loved him, Queen Ethelyn, good and true.
  "Then learn, O King," said the artist, "this truth that the picture tells-
  That in every form of the human some hint of the highest dwells;
  That scanning each living temple for the place that the veil is thin,
  We may gather by beautiful glimpses the form of the God within."
 
 

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
  Robert Frost (1874-1963)

  1     Whose woods these are I think I know.
  2     His house is in the village though;
  3     He will not see me stopping here
  4     To watch his woods fill up with snow.

  5     My little horse must think it queer
  6     To stop without a farmhouse near
  7     Between the woods and frozen lake
  8     The darkest evening of the year.

  9     He gives his harness bells a shake
  10     To ask if there is some mistake.
  11     The only other sound's the sweep
  12     Of easy wind and downy flake.

  13   The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
  14   But I have promises to keep,
  15   And miles to go before I sleep,
  16   And miles to go before I sleep.
 
 

I Started to Tell You This Story...
(The following is Phil Rizzuto game commentary which was turned into verse by
  Tom Peyer & Hart Seely)

  I started to tell you this story
  And I was rudely interrupted by somebody,
  Not Seaver though.
  I want to make that clear...
  Today,
  when I went to get the newspaper
  This gentleman,
  His name is Phil,
  Same as mine,
  Brought in a bat.
  I thought he was going to give it to me.
  Joe DiMaggio's bat.
  And it had "US Army" on it.
  DiMag was in the Army.
  He got it in Hawaii.
  His brother,
  This Phil's brother,
  Was stationed with DiMaggio.
  And DiMaggio gave him a bat.
  And you should see that thing.
  And he wanted to know if it was worth money.
  I said, "It's worth a lot of money.
  And if we can get DiMaggio's name on it,
  It'll be worth ten times more."
  The wood...
  I mean,
  You couldn't chip that bat.
  That's the way DiMaggio's wood was on the bats.
  He would ask for that type of wood.
  Being an old fisherman
  He knew about the trees.

  June 5, 1992
  Detroit at New York
  Scott Sanderson pitching to Lou Whitaker
  Fourth Inning, two outs, two base runners
  Tigers lead 4-1
 
 
 

PRAYER FOR THE CAPTAIN
In the words of Phil Rizzuto; August 3, 1979; Baltimore at New York, pregame show:

Thereís a little prayer I always say
Whenever I think of my family or when Iím flying,
When Iím afraid, and I am afraid of flying.
Itís just a little one.  You can say it no matter what,
Whether youíre Catholic or Jewish or Protestant or
Whatever.
And Iíve probably said it a thousand times
Since I heard the news on Thurman Munson.

Itís not trying to be maudlin or anything.
His Eminence, Cardinal Cooke, is going to come out
And say a little prayer for Thurman Munson.
But this is just a little one I say time and time again,
Itís just: Angel of God, Thurmanís guardian dear,
To whom his love commits him here there or everywhere,
Ever this night and day be at his side,
To light and guard, to rule and guide.

For some reason it makes me feel like Iím talking to
Thurman,
Or whoeverís name you put in there,
Whether it be my wife or any of my children, my parents
Or anything.
Itís just something to keep you really from going bananas.
Because if you let this,
If you keep thinking about what happened, and you canít
Understand it,
Thatís what really drives you to despair.

Faith.  You gotta have faith.
You know, they say time heals all wounds,
And I donít quite agree with that a hundred percent.
It gets you to cope with wounds.
You carry them the rest of your life.

(from O Holy Cow!  The selected verse of Phil Rizzuto)
 
 

Funeral Blues
(W.H. AUDEN)

                         Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
                         Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
                         Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
                         Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

                         Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
                         Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead.
                         Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
                         Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

                         He was my North, my South, my East and West,
                         My working week and my Sunday rest,
                         My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
                         I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

                         The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
                         Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
                         Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods;
                         For nothing now can ever come to any good.
 
 

Innominatus
(Sir Walter Scott 1771?1832)

Breathes there the man with soul so dead,

Who never to himself hath said,

'This is my own, my native land!'

Whose heart hath ne'er within him burn'd

As home his footsteps he hath turn'd

From wandering on a foreign strand?

If such there breathe, go, mark him well;

For him no Minstrel raptures swell;

High though his titles, proud his name,

Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;

Despite those titles, power, and pelf,

The wretch, concentred all in self,

Living, shall forfeit fair renown,

And, doubly dying, shall go down

To the vile dust from whence he sprung,

Unwept, unhonour'd, and unsung.
























Separation (W.S. Merwin)

Your absence has gone through me
Like thread through a needle.
Everything I do is stitched with its color.
 

Fred Chappell baseball poems

Junk Ball

By the time it gets to the plate
the ump has grown a beard.

Like trying to hit Wednesday with a bb gun.
On Sunday.

Or it swerves like a Chippendale leg
or flutters like a film unsprocketed
or plunges like the starlet's neckline
or comes in slower than a poker-debt payoff.

Not even Mussolini
Could make the sonofabitch arrive on time.

Spitballer

A poet because his hand
goes first to his heart and then to his head

The catcher receives the pitch
the way a blotter takes up an ink spill.

The hitter makes much show
of wringing out his bat.

0n the mound he grins
with all his teeth at once
when the umpire inspects the ball
Suddenly as dry as alum.

He draws a juicy salary bonus
because when he pitches he waters the lawn.