Perhaps the literary man I most admire among my betters Is Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Who, viewing life as more than letters, Persisted, like a stubborn Gael, In not acknowledging his mail.
They say he hardly ever penned A proper “Yrs. received & noted,” But spent what time he had to spend Shaping the law that England voted, Or calling, on his comic flute, The tune for Captain Absolute.
Though chief of the prodigious wits That Georgian taverns set to bubblin’, He did not answer Please Remits Or scoldings from his aunts in Dublin Or birthday messages or half The notes that begged an autograph.
I hear it sent his household wild— Became a sort of parlor fable— The way that correspondence piled, Mountainous, on his writing table, While he ignored the double ring And wouldn’t answer anything;
Not scrawls from friends or screeds from foes Or scribble from the quibble-lover Or chits beginning “I enclose Manuscript under separate cover,” Or cards from people off on journeys, Or formal statements from attorneys.
The post came in. He let it lie. (All this biographers agree on.) Especially he did not reply To things that had R.S.V.P. on. Sometimes for months he dropped no lines To dear ones, or sent Valentines;
But, polishing a second act Or coaxing kings to license Freedom, Let his epistles wait. In fact, They say he didn’t even read ’em. The which, some mornings, seems to me A glorious blow for Liberty.
Brave Celt! Although one must deplore His manners, and with reason ample, How bright from duty’s other shore, This moment, seems his bold example! And would I owned in equal balance His courage (and, of course, his talents),
Who, using up his mail to start An autumn fire or chink a crevice, Cried, “Letters longer are than art, But vita is extremely brevis!” Then, choosing what was worth the candle, Sat down and wrote The School for Scandal.
I hear the halting footsteps of a lass In Negro Harlem when the night lets fall Its veil. I see the shapes of girls who pass To bend and barter at desire’s call. Ah, little dark girls who in slippered feet Go prowling through the night from street to street!
Through the long night until the silver break Of day the little gray feet know no rest; Through the lone night until the last snow-flake Has dropped from heaven upon the earth’s white breast, The dusky, half-clad girls of tired feet Are trudging, thinly shod, from street to street.
Ah, stern harsh world, that in the wretched way Of poverty, dishonor and disgrace, Has pushed the timid little feet of clay, The sacred brown feet of my fallen race! Ah, heart of me, the weary, weary feet In Harlem wandering from street to street.
My heart leaps up when I behold A rainbow in the sky: So was it when my life began; So is it now I am a man; So be it when I shall grow old, Or let me die! The Child is father of the Man; And I could wish my days to be Bound each to each by natural piety.
Nature’s first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leaf’s a flower; But only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf. So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay.
A poem from one of my most beloved novelists, about the landscape that I also love:
Prairie Spring (Willa Cather 1873-1947)
Evening and the flat land, Rich and sombre and always silent; The miles of fresh-plowed soil, Heavy and black, full of strength and harshness; The growing wheat, the growing weeds, The toiling horses, the tired men; The long empty roads, Sullen fires of sunset, fading, The eternal, unresponsive sky. Against all this, Youth, Flaming like the wild roses, Singing like the larks over the plowed fields, Flashing like a star out of the twilight; Youth with its insupportable sweetness, Its fierce necessity, Its sharp desire, Singing and singing, Out of the lips of silence, Out of the earthy dusk.
Post by nutsberryfarm 🏜 on Feb 14, 2020 3:06:09 GMT
[as freedom is a breakfastfood] BY E. E. CUMMINGS
as freedom is a breakfastfood or truth can live with right and wrong or molehills are from mountains made —long enough and just so long will being pay the rent of seem and genius please the talentgang and water most encourage flame
as hatracks into peachtrees grow or hopes dance best on bald men’s hair and every finger is a toe and any courage is a fear —long enough and just so long will the impure think all things pure and hornets wail by children stung
or as the seeing are the blind and robins never welcome spring nor flatfolk prove their world is round nor dingsters die at break of dong and common’s rare and millstones float —long enough and just so long tomorrow will not be too late
worms are the words but joy’s the voice down shall go which and up come who breasts will be breasts thighs will be thighs deeds cannot dream what dreams can do —time is a tree(this life one leaf) but love is the sky and i am for you just so long and long enough