love is a place
& through this place of
(with brightness of peace)
yes is a world
& in this world of
This level reach of blue is not my sea;
Here are sweet waters, pretty in the sun,
Whose quiet ripples meet obediently
A marked and measured line, one after one.
This is no sea of mine. that humbly laves
Untroubled sands, spread glittering and warm.
I have a need of wilder, crueler waves;
They sicken of the calm, who knew the storm.
So let a love beat over me again,
Loosing its million desperate breakers wide;
Sudden and terrible to rise and wane;
Roaring the heavens apart; a reckless tide
That casts upon the heart, as it recedes,
Splinters and spars and dripping, salty weeds.
It will not be simple, it will not take long
It will take little time, it will take all your thought
It will take all your heart, it will take all your breath
It will be short, it will not be simple
It will touch through your ribs, it will take all your heart
It will not take long, it will occupy all your thought
As a city is occupied, as a bed is occupied
It will take your flesh, it will not be simple
You are coming into us who cannot withstand you
You are coming into us who never wanted to withstand you
You are taking parts of us into places never planned
You are going far away with pieces of our lives
It will be short, it will take all your breath
It will not be simple, it will become your will
You are not beautiful, exactly.
You are beautiful, inexactly.
You let a weed grow by the mulberry
And a mulberry grow by the house.
So close, in the personal quiet
Of a windy night, it brushes the wall
And sweeps away the day till we sleep.
A child said it, and it seemed true:
“Things that are lost are all equal.”
But it isn’t true. If I lost you,
The air wouldn’t move, nor the tree grow.
Someone would pull the weed, my flower.
The quiet wouldn’t be yours. If I lost you,
I’d have to ask the grass to let me sleep.
"The Lover in Winter Plaineth for the Spring" by Anonymous. 16th Cent. (?)
via Theresa who adds “I mean, that one kind of says it all, I think.”
"This is a poem I wrote about what to do if you find yourself inside a fairy tale." — Neil Gaiman
Touch the wooden gate in the wall you never saw before.
Say “please” before you open the latch, go through,
walk down the path.
A red metal imp hangs from the green-painted front door, as a knocker,
do not touch it; it will bite your fingers.
Walk through the house. Take nothing. Eat nothing.
However, if any creature tells you that it hungers, feed it.
If it tells you that it is dirty, clean it.
If it cries to you that it hurts,
if you can, ease its pain.
From the back garden you will be able to see the wild wood.
The deep well you walk past leads down to Winter’s realm;
there is another land at the bottom of it.
If you turn around here,
you can walk back, safely;
you will lose no face. I will think no less of you.
Once through the garden you will be in the wood.
The trees are old. Eyes peer from the under-growth.
Beneath a twisted oak sits an old woman. She
may ask for something; give it to her.
She will point the way to the castle.
Inside it are three princesses.
Do not trust the youngest. Walk on.
In the clearing beyond the castle the twelve
months sit about a fire, warming their feet, exchanging tales.
They may do favors for you, if you are polite.
You may pick strawberries in December’s frost.
Trust the wolves, but do not tell them where you are going.
The river can be crossed by the ferry. The ferry-man will take you.
(And the answer to his question is this:
If he hands the oar to his passenger, he will be free to leave the boat.
Only tell him this from a safe distance.)
If an eagle gives you a feather, keep it safe.
Remember: that giants sleep too soundly; that
witches are often betrayed by their appetites;
dragons have one soft spot, somewhere, always;
hearts can be well-hidden,
and you betray them with your tongue.
Do not be jealous of your sister.
Know that diamonds and roses
are as uncomfortable when they tumble from
one’s lips as toads and frogs;
colder, too, and sharper, and they cut.
Remember your name.
Do not lose hope — what you seek will be found.
Trust ghosts. Trust those that you have helped to help you in their turn.
Trust your heart, and trust your story.
When you come back, return the way you came.
Favors will be returned, debts be repaid.
Do not forget your manners.
Do not look back.
Ride the wise eagle (you shall not fall).
Ride the silver fish (you will not drown).
Ride the grey wolf (hold tightly to his fur).
There is a worm at the heart of the tower; that is
why it will not stand.
When you reach the little house, the place your journey started,
you will recognize it, although it will seem
much smaller than you remember.
Walk up the path, and through the garden gate
you never saw before but once.
And then go home. Or make a home.
When I was in high school, our baseball team had a pitcher whose name was “Armstrong.”
Great name for a pitcher, right?
I love it when names and skills fit together naturally, so I’ve always taken some sort of pleasure in the idea of a man named “Wordsworth” becoming a poet. It just fits nicely.
I assume it pleased him also.
But surely as a wordsmith it must have bothered him that he was a from a place called “Cockermouth” in “Cumbria.”
Anyway, I don’t remember what led me to look up this poem of his, but that’s when I learned about his hometown:
~ Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood, 175-186 ~
What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be;
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering;
In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.