Subscribe: by Email | in Reader

The Leaden-Eyed -- Vachel Lindsay

This week's theme: Poems with a Purpose.
(Poem #1069) The Leaden-Eyed
 Let not young souls be smothered out before
 They do quaint deeds and fully flaunt their pride.
 It is the world's one crime its babes grow dull,
 Its poor are ox-like, limp and leaden-eyed.

 Not that they starve, but starve so dreamlessly;
 Not that they sow, but that they seldom reap;
 Not that they serve, but have no gods to serve;
 Not that they die, but that they die like sheep.
-- Vachel Lindsay
Art for Art's sake? Not quite. Love poems and nature poems, odes to
melancholy and cats, Life sliced and filleted, funnies and furies -- these
are all very well, but there's a special place in the poetic pantheon for
pieces propounding purely political principles: Poems with a Purpose.

Unfortunately, there are two dangers which such poems often run into, both
easily foreseen, but quite a bit harder to prevent. Firstly, there's the
possibility that the poet allows the moral, social or political aspects of
his poem to overwhelm the purely poetic ones; he is so caught up in _what_
he is saying that he loses sight of _how_ he's saying it. The result, more
often than not, is a stilted, overly didactic piece, the kind which
Coleridge, the later Wordsworth and Shelley wrote far too many of. It was
this danger that the Imagists were warning against with their tenet "Show,
don't tell"; it was this possibility that Archibald MacLeish was reacting to
when he wrote "A poem should not mean / but be" [1].

The second danger is, ironically, the exact obverse of the first: namely,
the possibility that the poem's readers respond, not to the purely poetic
merits of the verse, but to the political ones; they allow their agreement
(or lack thereof) with the poet's philosophy to cloud their judgement when
it comes to evaluating the poem per se [2]. There are two ways to avoid this
danger; the easy one is to retreat into platitudes that offend nobody (but
equally, please nobody). That way lies mediocrity.

The other, more difficult way is to do what Vachel Lindsay does in today's
poem: find something you feel strongly about, which nonetheless has not been
bromided to death by a thousand previous moralisers, express it in words
fresh enough to be powerful, and leave it at that. The reader will do the


[1] Poem #188, "Ars Poetica" -- Archibald MacLeish

[2] It might be argued that this is not a flaw: a poem that arouses strong
passions (favourable or otherwise) in its readers is a poem that's doing
_something_ right.


Here's a nice resource on Lindsay's life and works:

Here are some Imagist poets on the Minstrels:
Poet #Kreymborg -- Alfred Kreymborg
Poet #Sandburg -- Carl Sandburg
Poet #Pound -- Ezra Pound
Poet #D. -- H. D.
Poet #Williams -- William Carlos Williams

Here are some previous poems, each with their own respective Purposes:
Poem #26, Jerusalem  -- William Blake
Poem #592, Sonnet: England in 1819 -- Percy Bysshe Shelley
Poem #132, Dulce Et Decorum Est  -- Wilfred Owen
Poem #28, To Whom It May Concern  -- Adrian Mitchell

Lovers and a Reflection -- Charles S Calverley

(Poem #1068) Lovers and a Reflection
 In moss-prankt dells which the sunbeams flatter
   (And heaven it knoweth what that may mean;
 Meaning, however, is no great matter)
   Where woods are a-tremble with words a-tween.

 Thro' God's own heather we wonned together,
   I and my Willie (O love my love):
 I need hardly remark it was glorious weather,
   And flitter-bats wavered alow, above;

 Boats were curtseying, rising, bowing,
   (Boats in that climate are so polite,)
 And sands were a ribbon of green endowing,
   And O the sun-dazzle on bark and bight!

 Thro' the rare red heather we danced together
   (O love my Willie,) and smelt for flowers:
 I must mention again it was glorious weather,
   Rhymes are so scarce in this world of ours:

 By rises that flushed with their purple favors,
   Thro' becks that brattled o'er grasses sheen,
 We walked or waded, we two young shavers,
   Thanking our stars we were both so green.

 We journeyed in parallels, I and Willie,
   In fortunate parallels! Butterflies,
 Hid in weltering shadows of daffodilly
   Or marjoram, kept making peacock eyes:

 Song-birds darted about, some inky
   As coal, some snowy (I ween) as curds;
 Or rosy as pinks, or as roses pinky--
   They reck of no eerie To-come, those birds!

 But they skim over bents which the mill-stream washes,
   Or hang in the lift 'neath a white cloud's hem;
 They need no parasols, no goloshes;
   And good Mrs. Trimmer she feedeth them.

 Then we thrid God's cowslips (as erst His heather),
   That endowed the wan grass with their golden blooms;
 And snapt--(it was perfectly charming weather)--
   Our fingers at Fate and her goddess-glooms:

 And Willie 'gan sing--(Oh, his notes were fluty;
   Wafts fluttered them out to the white-winged sea)--
 Something made up of rhymes that have done much duty,
   Rhymes (better to put it) of "ancientry":

 Bowers of flowers encountered showers
   In William's carol--(O love my Willie!)
 Then he bade sorrow borrow from blithe tomorrow
   I quite forget what--say a daffodilly.

 A nest in a hollow, "with buds to follow,"
   I think occurred next in his nimble strain;
 And clay that was "kneaden" of course in "Eden"--
   A rhyme most novel I do maintain:

 Mists, bones, the singer himself, love-stories,
   And all least furlable things got "furled";
 Not with any design to conceal their glories,
   But simply and solely to rhyme with "world."

 O if "billows" and "pillows" and "hours" and "flowers,"
   And all the brave rhymes of an elder day,
 Could be furled together, this genial weather,
   And carted or carried on wafts away,
 Nor ever again trotted out--ah me!
 How much fewer volumes of verse there'd be.
-- Charles S Calverley
The late P. G. Wodehouse once remarked upon the lamentable lack of rhymes
for 'love' in English, forcing generations of poets to make trite references
to doves and stars above[1]. Calverley has much the same idea here, though he
takes it a step further, pointing out, in his usual aside-laden style, the
sheer abundance of traditionally 'poetic' words whose sole raison d'etre is
to provide a time-honoured rhyme.

Alongside his spot-on commentary on the "brave rhymes of an elder day",
Calverley sets his sights on a number of other poetic cliches - the
deliberately archaic language, exaggeratedly florid imagery, stirring
sentiment (sentiment should be stirred frequently, lest it overflow) and
other devices that collectively bespeak Poetry.

The flip side of the coin is that it is hard to write good 'bad' poetry, and
what "Lovers and a Reflection" gains in reflexivity, it loses in quality.
This is an amusing enough poem, but it is nowhere as memorable as works by,
say, Lewis Carroll or Wendy Cope.

[1] one can only imagine the poet Wordsworth's delight at first encountering
that princess of rivers, the fair Dove



 "How much fewer volumes of verse there'd be" - see also Poem #190
 "Rhyme most novel": Poem #343
 All things furl'd and furlable:
   Poem #89
   Poem #148
   Poem #787
   and (don't miss the rhyme!)

PS: Many thanks to Thomas for covering while I had email problems

On A Wedding Anniversary -- Dylan Thomas

Guest poem submitted by Aseem Kaul:
(Poem #1067) On A Wedding Anniversary
 The sky is torn across
 This ragged anniversary of two
 Who moved for three years in tune
 Down the long walks of their vows.

 Now their love lies a loss
 And Love and his patients roar on a chain;
 From every tune or crater
 Carrying cloud, Death strikes their house.

 Too late in the wrong rain
 They come together whom their love parted:
 The windows pour into their heart
 And the doors burn in their brain.
-- Dylan Thomas
Easily one of my favourite Dylan poems. I love the way the sense of distance
and separation in the first stanza dissolves into aching passion; how a
quiet walk on a cloudy day becomes an experience of love that is
simulataneously revelation and loss. And I love the way that Thomas, as
always, finds the exact phrases for that experience - of all the places in
poetry that relationships have floundered, there are few more simple and
more moving than "too late in the wrong rain" - and finds also the exact
balance between those phrases, so that a poem filled with raging lines
("Love and his patients roar on a chain", "Doors burn in their brain") still
manages to convey an overall impression of quiet tragedy.


[Minstrels Links]

Dylan Thomas:
Poem #14, Prologue
Poem #38, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
Poem #58, The Force that Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower
Poem #138, Fern Hill
Poem #225, Poem In October
Poem #270, Under Milk Wood
Poem #335, After the Funeral (In memory of Ann Jones)
Poem #405, Altarwise by Owl-Light (Stanzas I - IV)
Poem #476, In my craft or sullen art
Poem #568, Especially when the October Wind
Poem #1035, The Hand that Signed the Paper
Poem #1067, On A Wedding Anniversary

Let Evening Come -- Jane Kenyon

Guest poem submitted by Kathy:
(Poem #1066) Let Evening Come
 Let the light of late afternoon
 shine through chinks in the barn, moving
 up the bales as the sun moves down.

 Let the cricket take up chafing
 as a woman takes up her needles
 and her yarn. Let evening come.

 Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned
 in long grass. Let the stars appear
 and the moon disclose her silver horn.

 Let the fox go back to its sandy den.
 Let the wind die down. Let the shed
 go black inside. Let evening come.

 To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop
 in the oats, to air in the lung
 let evening come.

 Let it come, as it will, and don't
 be afraid. God does not leave us
 comfortless, so let evening come.
-- Jane Kenyon
Those of us who had the good fortune of spending at least some of our
childhood in a rural setting must understand this poem in a different way
than those without that experience. Still, any child who has taken the time
to listen to a cricket chirping on a hot summer night knows something about
this poem.

By showing us the dew gathering, the stars and moon appearing, and a bottle
lying in a ditch, Jane Kenyon reveals the enduring peace of the natural
world. Her ability to perceive this peace seems especially remarkable in
light of her long struggle with bipolar disease. She knew well that the
evening and darkness will come, but she also knew that there was comfort in
the middle of the darkness.

I can't read this poem without thinking of Dylan Thomas' Fern Hill. The
sense of the sacramental nature of the physical world pervades them both and
I suppose for that reason they are two of my favorite poems.


[Minstrels Links]

Jane Kenyon:
Poem #474, Otherwise
Poem #1004, Finding a Long Gray Hair
Poem #1066, Let Evening Come

Dylan Thomas:
Poem #14, Prologue
Poem #38, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
Poem #58, The Force that Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower
Poem #138, Fern Hill
Poem #225, Poem In October
Poem #270, Under Milk Wood
Poem #335, After the Funeral (In memory of Ann Jones)
Poem #405, Altarwise by Owl-Light (Stanzas I - IV)
Poem #476, In my craft or sullen art
Poem #568, Especially when the October Wind
Poem #1035, The Hand that Signed the Paper

The Cable Ship -- Harry Edmund Martinson

(Poem #1065) The Cable Ship
 We fished up the Atlantic Cable one day between the Barbadoes and the
 held up our lanterns
 and put some rubber over the wound in its back,
 latitude 15 degrees north, longitude 61 degrees west.
 When we laid our ear down to the gnawed place
 we could hear something humming inside the cable.

 "It's some millionaires in Montreal and St John
 talking over the price of Cuban sugar, and ways to
 reduce our wages", one of us said.

 For a long time we stood there thinking, in a circle of lanterns,
 we're all patient cable fishermen,
 then we let the coated cable fall back
 to its place in the sea.
-- Harry Edmund Martinson
Translated from the Swedish by Robert Bly.

I just finished reading a wonderful book - "The Last Grain Race", by Eric
Newby. It's about the author's experiences as an apprentice seaman on board
the 'Moshulu', a four-masted barque that sailed the trade route between
Europe and Australia by way of the Atlantic, the Cape of Good Hope, and the
Indian Ocean (outwards), and the Southern Ocean, Cape Horn and the Atlantic
again (back). The crew of the Moshulu were mainly Scandinavian, descendants
of a long line of seafarers and wanderers, and it's precisely that group of
hardy folk that Martinson describes in (several, but by no means all of) his

Martinson was awarded the Nobel Prize 'for writings that catch the dewdrop
and reflect the cosmos'; reading today's poem, you can see why.



HARRY EDMUND MARTINSON (b. May 6, 1904, Jämshög, Swed.--d. Feb. 11, 1978,
Stockholm), Swedish novelist and poet who was the first self-taught,
working-class writer to be elected to the Swedish Academy (1949). With
Eyvind Johnson he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1974.

Martinson spent his childhood in a series of foster homes and his youth and
early adulthood as a merchant seaman, labourer, and vagrant. His first book
of poetry, Spökskepp ("Ghost Ship"), much influenced by Rudyard Kipling's
Seven Seas, appeared in 1929. His early experiences are described in two
autobiographical novels, Nässlorna blomma (1935; Flowering Nettle) and Vägen
ut (1936; "The Way Out"), and in original and sensitive travel sketches,
Resor utan mål (1932; "Aimless Journeys") and Kap Farväl (1933; Cape
Farewell). Among his best-known works are Passad (1945; "Trade Wind"), a
collection of poetry; Vägen till Klockrike (1948; The Road), a novel that
sympathetically examines the lives of tramps and other social outcasts; and
Aniara (1956; Aniara, A Review of Man in Time and Space), an epic poem about
space travel that was turned into a successful opera in 1959 by Karl Birger
Blomdahl. Martinson's language is lyrical, unconstrained, innovative, and
sometimes obscure; his imagery, sensuous; his style, often starkly realistic
or expressionistic; and his philosophy, primitivistic. He was married to
another noted Swedish writer, Moa Martinson, from 1929 to 1940.


[Minstrels Links]

There's no shortage of sea poems on the Minstrels; two which I'm
particularly reminded of are:
Poem #147, The Unspoken -- Edwin Morgan
Poem #758, Sea-Change -- John Masefield

Incidentally, the Minstrels website has several new features; visit and see if you can spot them!
Thanks as ever to Sitaram for his programming wizardry.

[this poem is archived, accessible and waiting for your comments at]

Travel -- Edna St Vincent Millay

From Martin, whose email is still giving him problems:
(Poem #1064) Travel
 The railroad track is miles away,
     And the day is loud with voices speaking,
 Yet there isn't a train goes by all day
     But I hear its whistle shrieking.

 All night there isn't a train goes by,
     Though the night is still for sleep and dreaming,
 But I see its cinders red on the sky,
     And hear its engine steaming.

 My heart is warm with friends I make,
     And better friends I'll not be knowing;
 Yet there isn't a train I'd rather take,
     No matter where it's going.
-- Edna St Vincent Millay
Another poem that really speaks to me (indeed, I believe that it is this
quality of speaking to, and often for, me that Millay possesses in greater
measure than any other poet with whom I am familiar). I am faintly reminded
of the old saying "It is better to travel hopefully than to arrive", but
even that misses the point - the word 'hopefully' implies that travelling is
a means towards an end. Millay celebrates, instead, the pure act of travel,
and the powerful attraction it can possess.

Of course, there is also a strong escapist subtext running through the poem,
the implication that, while the narrator might not care where she is
travelling *to*, she is certainly travelling *from* 'here'. However, I
believe, or perhaps prefer to believe, that that is not the poem's main
thrust - that, instead, the lure of the train is purely positive, a desire
to travel rather than to escape.

I've run a number of Millay's poems in the past, and attempted to analyse
their appeal; this one I'm running for the sheer visceral reaction it
provoked, and for the way it resonated with my own feelings on the matter.
Any further analysis would be superfluous.


[Minstrels Links]

Edna St. Vincent Millay:

Poem #34, First Fig
Poem #49, The Unexplorer
Poem #108, The Penitent
Poem #317, Inland
Poem #590, Sonnet XLIII
Poem #604, Euclid Alone Has Looked On Beauty Bare
Poem #817, Grown-up
Poem #860, Sonnet: Love Is Not All
Poem #905, I will put Chaos into fourteen lines
Poem #926, Dirge Without Music
Poem #956, Ashes of Life

all of which can be found at
[broken link]

Named -- Stephen Dunn

Guest poem submitted by Sameer Siruguri:
(Poem #1063) Named
 He'd spent his life trying to control the names
             people gave him;
 oh the unfair and the accurate equally hurt.

 Just recently he'd been a son-of-a-bitch
            and sweetheart in the same day,
 and once again knew what antonyms

 love and control are, and how comforting
             it must be to have a business card -
 Manager, Specialist - and believe what it says.

 Who, in fact, didn't want his most useful name
            to enter with him,
 when he entered a room, who didn't want to be

 that kind of lie? A man who was a sweetheart
             and a son-of-a-bitch
 was also more or less every name

 he'd ever been called, and when you die, he thought,
             that's when it happens,
 you're collected forever into a few small words.

 But never to have been outrageous or exquisite,
             no grand mistake
 so utterly yours it causes whispers

 in the peripheries of your presence - that was
                    his fear.
 "Reckless"; he wouldn't object to such a name

 if it came from the right voice with the right
             amount of reverence.
 Someone nearby, of course, certain to add "fool."
-- Stephen Dunn
I heard about Dunn through a friend and searched the Internet for some
represenative poetry. I found two pieces, this and and though the
latter is definitely the better poem, this had some neat phrases ("whispers
in the peripheries of your presence") that I liked more. I analysed this
poem by removing the spacing and making a paragraph out of it. The abrupt
breaks that verse-form allows ("oh the unfair and the accurate...") get laid
out in starker relief that way and you wonder what value came out of calling
this poetry, except the license to insert those choppy sentences. Or was the
power of the important lines ("you've collected forever into a few small
words") only apparent because I had seen it the proper format first?

Still, Dunn's never been submitted to Minstrels and the writing is good
enough that this merits as an unfair omission. The poem's quiet anguish for
a sense of proper identity is a very fashionable question, especially in
America, which is Dunn's provenance. I itch to dismiss this sentiment as
trite but Dunn's artful arrangement of words stays my tongue.


House on a Cliff -- Louis MacNeice

(Poem #1062) House on a Cliff
 Indoors the tang of a tiny oil lamp. Outdoors
 The winking signal on the waste of sea.
 Indoors the sound of the wind. Outdoors the wind.
 Indoors the locked heart and the lost key.

 Outdoors the chill, the void, the siren. Indoors
 The strong man pained to find his red blood cools,
 While the blind clock grows louder, faster. Outdoors
 The silent moon, the garrulous tides she rules.

 Indoors ancestral curse-cum-blessing. Outdoors
 The empty bowl of heaven, the empty deep.
 Indoors a purposeful man who talks at cross
 Purposes, to himself, in a broken sleep.
-- Louis MacNeice
In previous Minstrels commentaries Martin and I have talked about the
ominous brilliance that runs through MacNeice's output from the 1930s: poems
such as "The Sunlight on the Garden" and "Snow" seem to capture perfectly
the menace of that 'low dishonest decade'. Sadly, the potential of those
early poems was never fulfilled; indeed, his post-war work suffers from a
seeming lack of conviction that was only beginning to be reversed when he
died in 1963 ("of pneumonia, which he contracted recording a radio programme
in a damp cave" -- so Michael Schmidt informs us, in his magisterial "The
Lives of the Poets").

MacNeice was not unaware of this regression, and "House on a Cliff" can be
read as an expression of his frustration. Outdoors is the world that the
poet wishes he could describe -- "the chill, the void, the siren" -- but
something is lost, "the locked heart and the lost key" make "his red blood
cool", until all he can do is "talk at cross / Purposes, to himself, in a
broken sleep".


[Minstrels Links]

Poems by Louis MacNeice:
Poem #18, Bagpipe Music
Poem #521, The Suicide
Poem #757, The Sunlight on the Garden
Poem #864, Snow
Poem #1039, Prayer Before Birth
Poem #1062, House on a Cliff

Today's poem is very reminiscent of William Empson's equally powerful
apologia for not writing more poetry:
Poem #233, Let It Go -- William Empson

And it also reminds me of this one, by Ted Hughes:
Poem #882, Wind -- Ted Hughes

Thomas Hood -- Edwin Arlington Robinson

Sending this on Martin's behalf:
(Poem #1061) Thomas Hood
 The man who cloaked his bitterness within
 This winding-sheet of puns and pleasantries,
 God never gave to look with common eyes
 Upon a world of anguish and of sin:
 His brother was the branded man of Lynn;
 And there are woven with his jollities
 The nameless and eternal tragedies
 That render hope and hopelessness akin.

 We laugh, and crown him; but anon we feel
 A still chord sorrow-swept, -- a weird unrest;
 And thin dim shadows home to midnight steal,
 As if the very ghost of mirth were dead --
 As if the joys of time to dreams had fled,
 Or sailed away with Ines to the West.
-- Edwin Arlington Robinson
  winding sheet: a shroud

Today's sonnet showcases a lot of the things I enjoy about Robinson's work.
It displays, as usual, his uncanny ability to capture a person's essence in
a few short lines, and the way he can evoke sympathy without being overly
sentimental. But it also captures, at a slightly higher level, something of
the feel of Hood's own verse, especially in the sestet - compare, for
instance, the following bit from Hood's "Silence":

   No voice is hush'd--no life treads silently,
   But clouds and cloudy shadows wander free,
   That never spoke, over the idle ground

Of course, this is not a mere pastiche of Hood, but there are several
deliberate echoes of his style blended into the poem.

As for the poem's content itself, it is a fairly straightforward assessment
of Hood's poetic output:

   It would be easy to dismiss Hood as a lesser poet of the Romantic Era and
   early Victorian age, but his contribution was far greater than most
   realise. Mostly known during his lifetime for his comic writings, many
   self-published, it is his more serious writings that are best known
      -- [broken link]

Robinson's poem does indeed address both aspects, but, more than that, it
highlights the predominance of Hood's serious work, and the fact that it
wound through, and ultimately came to overshadow his "puns and
pleasantries". This is, in the end, as much an epitaph of Hood as it is an



  References to Hood's poems:
    'branded man of Lynn': "Eugene Aram", Poem #720
    'sailed away with Ines': "Fair Ines",

  Other poems on poets:
    Poem #12, John Keats, "On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer"
    Poem #50, W. H. Auden, "In Memory of W. B. Yeats"
    Poem #127, John Milton, "On Shakespear "
    Poem #128, William Wordsworth, "London, 1802"
    Poem #130, Robert Browning, "The Lost Leader"
    Poem #148, Ambrose Bierce, "With a Book"
    Poem #250, Edwin Arlington Robinson, "Walt Whitman"
    Poem #530, J. K. Stephen, "A Sonnet"
    Poem #630, T. S. Eliot, "To Walter de la Mare"

The World and I -- Laura Riding

Guest poem submitted by Vivek Narayanan:
(Poem #1060) The World and I
 This is not exactly what I mean
 Any more than the sun is the sun.
 But how to mean more closely
 If the sun shines but approximately?
 What a world of awkwardness!
 What hostile implements of sense!
 Perhaps this is as close a meaning
 As perhaps becomes such knowing.
 Else I think the world and I
 Must live together as strangers and die -
 A sour love, each doubtful whether
 Was ever a thing to love the other.
 No, better for both to be nearly sure
 Each of each - exactly where
 Exactly I and exactly the world
 Fail to meet by a moment, and a word.
-- Laura Riding
This may not even be one of the best Laura Riding poems that I've read, and
it's probably also one of her least "difficult".  All the same, I still
think it's a really neat little machine, which brings in some of the best
things about her shorter poems: teasing paradoxes and minimalist recursive
rhythms, the irrefutable resonance and "truth" of the lines, the force, the
fierceness, the way the poem seems to enclose all that there is, the sense
of absolute timelessness in her tone and language (as if it could have been
written in the 19th century, the 21st, or on both sides beyond),  the ease
with which the complex philosophy flows (those elusive third and fourth
lines), and the music, the music, so completely present without being
intrusive.  This poem is partly about the question of precision, which
Riding had thought more about than probably any other poet-type of her time
-- Robert Nye, champion, lifelong devotee and editor of one selection of her
poems, tells a lovely anecdote about her in her later years, when she once
described the chocolate sundae she was eating as "pebbly".

Riding was one of those revolutionary and ground-breaking female modernists
-- Mina Loy, Djuna Barnes, the more famous Gertrude Stein -- that have
somehow still been left in the shadows, as Emily Dickinson was in her time.
She was Robert Graves' lover for a while and, I suspect, a major influence
on his later poetry.  She almost always comes on strong and rarely makes
herself vulnerable or fragile in her work, so in that sense, I suppose, her
genius is the exact opposite of  Elizabeth Bishop's.  "Laura and Francisca"
is a long mind-blowing Riding poem well worth reading, about the idea of
place, about what it means to live in a place as opposed to visiting it,
about tourism, painting and foreign exchange rates as well.  Riding was also
far ahead of her time as a philosopher-- her book, The Word "Woman"
anticipates Third Wave feminism -- though she refused to let her work be
included in anthologies of "women's poetry"-- at a time when the first wave
was still finding its feet.


[Minstrels Links]

Emily Dickinson:
Poem #92, There's a certain Slant of light
Poem #174, A Route of Evanescence
Poem #341, The Grass so little has to do -
Poem #458, The Chariot
Poem #529, If you were coming in the fall
Poem #580, Split the Lark
Poem #687, Success is counted sweetest
Poem #711, I'm Nobody! Who are you?
Poem #829, It dropped so low in my regard
Poem #871, I felt a Funeral, in my Brain
Poem #891, A Doubt If It Be Us
Poem #950, The Cricket Sang

Robert Graves:
Poem #55, Welsh Incident
Poem #298, The Cool Web
Poem #467, Like Snow
Poem #515, The Persian Version
Poem #564, Warning to Children
Poem #663, A Child's Nightmare
Poem #763, Love Without Hope
Poem #840, The Travellers' Curse after Misdirection
Poem #1031, Wild Strawberries

Elizabeth Bishop:
Poem #639, One Art
Poem #734, In the Waiting Room
Poem #999, Casabianca

An Unusual Cat-Poem -- Wendy Cope

(Poem #1059) An Unusual Cat-Poem
 My cat is dead
 But I have decided not to make a big tragedy of it.
-- Wendy Cope


[Minstrels Links]

There's no shortage of usual cat-poems on the Minstrels, no, none at all:
Poem #165, The Owl and the Pussy-Cat  -- Edward Lear
Poem #167, Pangur Ban  -- Anon. (Irish, 8th century)
Poem #258, Macavity: The Mystery Cat -- T. S. Eliot
Poem #273, How a Cat Was Annoyed and a Poet Was Booted  -- Guy Wetmore
Poem #282, Fog  -- Carl Sandburg
Poem #401, To a Cat  -- Jorge Luis Borges
Poem #572, Mort aux Chats -- Peter Porter
Poem #574, Growltiger's Last Stand -- T. S. Eliot
Poem #575, To Mrs Reynolds' Cat -- John Keats
Poem #577, The Cat and the Moon -- William Butler Yeats
Poem #659, Poem -- William Carlos Williams
Poem #660, On a Night of Snow -- Elizabeth Coatsworth
Poem #661, Jubilate Agno -- Christopher Smart
Poem #662, Cat -- Jibanananda Das
Poem #663, A Child's Nightmare -- Robert Graves
Poem #674, Aunt Jennifer's Tigers -- Adrienne Rich
Poem #727, Milk for the Cat -- Harold Monro
Poem #955, Gus: The Theatre Cat -- T. S. Eliot
Poem #1008, Cat -- J. R. R. Tolkien
Poem #1010, Cats -- A. S. J. Tessimond