“The Song of the Demented Priest” — John Berryman

“The Song of the Demented Priest”

by

John Berryman


I put those things there.—See them burn.
The emerald the azure and the gold
Hiss and crack, the blues & greens of the world
As if I were tired. Someone interferes
Everywhere with me. The clouds, the clouds are torn
In ways I do not understand or love.

Licking my long lips, I looked upon God
And he flamed and he was friendlier
Than you were, and he was small. Showing me
Serpents and thin flowers; these were cold.
Dominion waved & glittered like the flare
From ice under a small sun. I wonder.

Afterward the violent and formal dancers
Came out, shaking their pithless heads.
I would instruct them but I cannot now,—
Because of the elements. They rise and move,
I nod a dance and they dance in the rain
In my red coat. I am the king of the dead.

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“Haymaking” — William Carlos Williams

“Haymaking”

by

William Carlos Williams


The living quality of
the man’s mind
stands out

and its covert assertions
for art, art, art!
painting

that the Renaissance
tried to absorb
but

it remained a wheat field
over which the
wind played

men with scythes tumbling
the wheat in
rows

the gleaners already busy
it was his own—
magpies

the patient horses no one
could take that
from him

 

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Haymaking (July), 
1565 by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c. 1525-1569)

 

“Of Mere Being” — Wallace Stevens

The Achievements of Capitalism (Donald Barthelme)

The Achievements of Capitalism:

  1. The curtain wall
  2. Artificial rain
  3. Rockefeller Center
  4. Canals
  5. Mystification

From “The Rise of Capitalism” by Donald Barthelme, which you can read in full here. (Or in Sixty Stories, a perfect book).

“Bluebeard” — Edna St. Vincent Millay

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Alla Tha’s All Right, but – June Jordan

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“Election Day” — William Carlos Williams”

“Election Day,” William Carlos Williams:

Warm sun, quiet air
an old man sits

in the doorway of
a broken house—

boards for windows
plaster falling

from between the stones
and strokes the head

of a spotted dog

Isabella and the Pot of Basil — William Holman Hunt

isabella-and-the-pot-of-basil-1867

 

And she forgot the stars, the moon, and sun,
And she forgot the blue above the trees,
And she forgot the dells where waters run,
And she forgot the chilly autumn breeze;
She had no knowledge when the day was done,
And the new morn she saw not: but in peace
Hung over her sweet Basil evermore,
And moisten’d it with tears unto the core.

–John Keats, Isabella, or The Pot of Basil

Cave Bird – Leonard Baskin

Cave Bird

From Cave Birds: An Alchemical Cave Drama. Poems by Ted Hughes, illustrations by Leonard Baskin.

“The Spirit Ink” – Frank O’Hara

Frank O'Hara - The Spirit Ink

“Jesus Awake” — Anne Sexton

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“Turkeys” — John Clare

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“A long, long sleep, a famous sleep” — Emily Dickinson

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“After Publication of Under the Volcano” — Malcolm Lowry

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“The Mockingbird” — Charles Bukowski

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“A Reader” — Jorge Luis Borges

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“Surprised by Joy” — William Wordsworth

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