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Poetry Sight of

Edmund Charles Baranowski

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Hafiz (1320-1389) Shiraz, Persia
(translation: Daniel Ladinsky in The Gift 1999)

1112 With That Moon Language

Admit something:

Everyone you see, you say to them,
"Love me."

Of course you do not do this out loud;
Someone would call the cops.

Still though, think about this,
This great pull in us
To connect.

Why not become the one
Who lives with a full moon in each eye
That is always saying,

With that sweet moon

What every other eye in this world
Is dying to

The Happy Virus

I caught the happy virus last night
When I was out singing beneath the stars.
It is remarkably contagious -

So kiss me.

If You Don't Stop That

I used to live in
A cramped house with confusion
And pain.

But then I met the Friend
And started getting drunk
And singing all night.

Confusion and Pain
Started acting nasty,
Making threats,
With talk like this,

"If you don't stop 'that' -
All that fun -
We're leaving."

Alexander Pope (1688–1744) Twickenham, United Kingdom
Poems: 1718–27
On a Certain Lady at Court   
I KNOW the thing that ’s most uncommon;
(Envy, be silent, and attend!)
I know a reasonable Woman,
Handsome and witty, yet a friend:
Not warp’d by Passion, awed by Rumour,   
Not grave thro’ Pride, nor gay thro’ Folly,
An equal mixture of Good-humour,
And sensible soft Melancholy.
‘Has she no faults then (Envy says), sir?’
Yes, she has one, I must aver:       
When all the world conspires to praise her,
The woman’s deaf and does not hear.

John Keats (1795-1821) London, England

O Solitude!

O Solitude! if I must with thee dwell,
Let it not be among the jumbled heap
Of murky buildings;                                

                       Climb with me the steep,—

Nature’s observatory—whence the dell,
Its flowery slopes, its river’s crystal swell,

May seem a span; let me thy vigils keep
’Mongst boughs pavillion’d, where the deer’s swift leap
Startles the wild bee from the fox-glove bell.

But though I’ll gladly trace these scenes with thee,
Yet the sweet converse of an innocent mind,
Whose words are images of thoughts refin’d,
Is my soul’s pleasure; and it sure must be
Almost the highest bliss of human-kind,
When to thy haunts two kindred spirits flee.
Robert Frost (1874 - 1963) New Hampshire, USA

0113 The Vantage Point

If tired of trees I seek again mankind,

Well I know where to hie me—in the dawn,

To a slope where the cattle keep the lawn,

There amid lolling juniper reclined,

Myself unseen, I see in white defined

Far off the homes of men, and farther still,

The graves of men on an opposing hill,

Living or dead, whichever are to mind.


And if by noon I have too much of these,

I have but to turn on my arm, and lo,

The sunburned hillside sets my face aglow,

My breathing shakes the bluet like a breeze,

I smell the earth, I smell the bruisèd plant,

I look into the crater of the ant.

1012 The Tuft of Flowers

I went to turn the grass after once
who mowed it in the dew before the sun.

The dew was gone that made his blade so keen
before I came to view the leveled scene.

I looked for him behind an isle of trees.
I listened for his whetstone on the breeze.

But he had gone his way, the grass all mown,
and I must be, as he had been, alone,

"As all must be," I said within my heart,
"whether they work together or apart."

But as I said it, swift, there passed me by,
on noiseless wing, a bewildered butterfly,

Seeking with memories grown dim overnight,
some resting flower of yesterday's delight.

And once I marked his flight go round and round,
as where some flower lay withering on the ground.

And then he flew as far as eye could see,
and then, on tremulous wing, came back to me.

I thought of questions that have no reply,
and would have turned to toss the grass to dry,

But he turned first, and led my eye to look
at a tall tuft of flowers beside a brook;

A leaping toungue of bloom the sythe had spared,
beside a reedy brook the sythe had bared.

The mower in the dew had loved them thus,
by leaving them to flourish, not for us,

Nor, yet, to draw one thought of ours to him,
but from sheer morning gladness at the brim.

The butterfly and I had lit upon,
nonetheless, a message from the dawn,

That made me hear the wakening birds around,
and hear his long sythe whispering to the ground,

And feel a spirit kindred to my own,
so that, henceforth, I worked no more alone,

But glad with him, I worked as with his aid,
and weary, sought at noon with him the shade,

And dreaming, as it were, held brotherly speech,
with the thought of one I had not hoped to reach.

"Men work together," I told him from the heart,
"whether they work together or apart."

A Considerable Speck

A speck that would have been beneath my sight
On any but a paper sheet so white
Set off across what I had written there.

And I had idly poised my pen in air
To stop it with a period of ink
When something strange about it made me think,

This was no dust speck by my breathing blown,
But unmistakably a living mite
With inclinations it could call its own.

It paused as with suspicion of my pen,
And then came racing wildly on again
To where my manuscript was not yet dry;

Then paused again and either drank or smelt--
With loathing, for again it turned to fly.
Plainly with an intelligence I dealt.

 It seemed too tiny to have room for feet,

Yet must have had a set of them complete
To express how much it didn't want to die.

 It ran with terror and with cunning crept.

It faltered: I could see it hesitate;

 Then in the middle of the open sheet

Cower down in desperation to accept
Whatever I accorded it of fate.

 I have none of the tenderer-than-thou

Collectivistic regimenting love
With which the modern world is being swept.

 But this poor microscopic item now!

Since it was nothing I knew evil of
I let it lie there till I hope it slept.

I have a mind myself and recognize
Mind when I meet with it in any guise
No one can know how glad I am to find
On any sheet the least display of mind. 

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