“Cynical” — Gilbert Sorrentino


“A Walk in March” — Grace Paley

This hill
crossed with broken pines and maples
lumpy with the burial mounds of
uprooted hemlocks (hurricane
of ’38) out of their
rotting hearts generations rise
trying once more to become
the forest
just beyond them
tall enough to be called trees
in their youth like aspen a bouquet
of young beech is gathered
they still wear last summer’s leaves
the lightest brown almost translucent
how their stubbornness has decorated
the winter woods
on this narrow path ice tries
to keep the black undecaying oak leaves
in its crackling grip    it’s become
too hard to walk    at last a
sunny patch    oh!    i’m in water
to my ankles   APRIL

“The Harlem Dancer” — Claude McKay


“Tired” — Fenton Johnson


“The Debt” — Paul Laurence Dunbar


“Daphne” — Edna St. Vincent Millay


“Hinges” — Shel Silverstein


Conversation (Tom Clark fragment)

Tom Clark

(From “Bugs Ate This Lake Clean,” collected in Light & Shade).

“Wake” — Langston Hughes


“For the portrait of an African boy after the manner of Gauguin” — Langston Hughes


“Welt” — Georgia Douglas Johnson


“In the New Garden, In All the Parts” — Walt Whitman


“Civilization” — Tom Clark


“The Snow Man” — Wallace Stevens

“The Snow Man” by Wallace Stevens


One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;


And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter


Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,


Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place


For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

“When I Have Fears That I May Cease to Be” — John Keats


“Dreams” — Robert Herrick


Exercises on the Moods

(From An English Grammar, Baskervill & Sewell, 1895):

Exercises on the Moods.

(a) Tell the mood of each verb in these sentences, and what special use it is of that mood:—

1. Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart and her prayers be.

2. Mark thou this difference, child of earth! / While each performs his part, / Not all the lip can speak is worth / The silence of the heart.

3. Oh, that I might be admitted to thy presence! that mine were the supreme delight of knowing thy will!

4. ‘Twere worth ten years of peaceful life,One glance at their array!

5. Whatever inconvenience ensue, nothing is to be preferred before justice.

6.The vigorous sun would catch it up at eve / And use it for an anvil till he had filled / The shelves of heaven with burning thunderbolts.

7.Meet is it changes should control / Our being, lest we rust in ease.

8.Quoth she, / “The Devil take the goose, / And God forget the stranger!”

9. Think not that I speak for your sakes.

10. “Now tread we a measure!” said young Lochinvar.

11. Were that a just return? Were that Roman magnanimity?

12. Well; how he may do his work, whether he do it right or wrong, or do it at all, is a point which no man in the world has taken the pains to think of.

13. He is, let him live where else he like, in what pomps and prosperities he like, no literary man.

14. Could we one day complete the immense figure which these flagrant points compose! Read More

When you are dead you will lie forever unremembered and no one will miss you (Sappho)


“Christmas 1950″ — William Carlos Williams