Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls

The tide rises, the tide falls,
The twilight darkens, the curlew calls;
Along the sea-sands damp and brown
The traveller hastens toward the town,
And the tide rises, the tide falls.

Darkness settles on roofs and walls,
But the sea, the sea in the darkness calls;
The little waves, with their soft, white hands,
Efface the footprints in the sands,
And the tide rises, the tide falls.

The morning breaks; the steeds in their stalls
Stamp and neigh, as the hostler calls;
The day returns, but nevermore
Returns the traveller to the shore,
And the tide rises, the tide falls.

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1807 - 1882

I have been doing a lot of clearing out recently, anticipating that sometime (supposedly quite soon, though one never knows with EQC) we will have to pack up everything and move ourselves and our belongings out of our house for two months or more while our earthquake repairs are done.

Going through old exercise books, I discovered one in which I had written poems to read to the children (long since grown up). Among them was this one.

Henry Longfellow is now regarded as a minor poet, but was enormously popular and successful in the nineteenth century. He is perhaps best known now for his Song of Hiawatha, which, along with other long narrative poems, played a major part in his success in his lifetime. This small gem above is less narrative and more lyrical. The repetition of sounds in it appeals to me - the rhymes for "falls", alliteration such as the "steeds in their stalls" which "stamp" and so on.

Tuesday Poem has been celebrating its third birthday over the past few weeks, and many of the Tuesday Poets have contributed a stanza to the birthday poem which can be found on the main hub site. Check it out, and check the side bar for more Tuesday poets' blogs.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tuesday Poem: Invention of Everything Else, by Susan Rich

Invention of Everything Else

Once a man offered me his heart like a glass of water
how to accept or decline?

Sometimes all I speak is doubt

delineated by the double lines 
of railway tracks; sometimes

I’m an incomplete bridge, crayon red Xs extending

across a world map.
A man offers me his bed like an emergency

exit, a forklift, a raft.

The easy-to-read instructions
sequestered in the arms of his leather jacket.

Sometimes a woman needs

small habits, homegrown salad, good sex.
Instead, she cultivates cats and a cupcake maker,

attempts enlightenment— prays to leaf skeletons on her deck.

The woman and the man say yes –
say no, say maybe, perhaps.

Neither one knows what they will do
to the other.

Perhaps they’re acorns falling

on the roof, a Sunday paper, this all-embracing
ocean view.

Once a man offered me his fortune
in drumbeats and song

tuned to some interior window; something buried in blue.

-Susan Rich, first published in Cura Journal

Susan Rich blogs at The Alchemist's Kitchen, where she is hosting the Big Poetry Giveaway this year - one of many projects which celebrate National Poetry Month in the USA. Over fifty bloggers are participating in the giveaway. Leaving a comment on any of their giveaway posts will put you in the draw to win a poetry book, mailed free to anywhere in the world.

Susan is offering a copy each of two of her books, The Alchemist's Kitchen and Cures Include Travel along with one from another poet in her giveaway post here.

Susan Rich is the author of four books of poetry, including Cloud Pharmacy and The Alchemist’s Kitchen, and co-editor of The Strangest of Theatres: Poets Writing Across Borders. A recipient of awards from the Times Literary Supplement and Fulbright Foundation, she teaches at Highline Community College (Seattle). Besides her blog linked above, you can find her web site at

A reminder that I am also participating in the Big Poetry Giveaway - leave a comment on my giveaway post if you want to be in to win a free poetry book from me. Remember your e-mail address or I won't be able to let you know if you have won!

For more Tuesday Poems, visit the main hub site.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Tuesday Poem: Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven, by W B Yeats

Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

- William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

A short poem this week, but one I have loved for a long time.

For more Tuesday Poems, and an ongoing group effort to celebrate our third birthday, visit the main hub site.

And to participate in the Big Poetry Giveaway, scroll down to my previous post.