Some have won a wild delight, By daring wilder sorrow; Could I gain thy love to-night, I'd hazard death to-morrow. (Passion by Charlotte Bronte â€“ Lines 1-4)
Poems selected for UNAB Poetry course by professors Erika de la Barra and Jorge Comte. Santiago, Chile, 2011. All poems and images are used for educational purposes only and no profit has been or will ever be made from this booklet and its content.
Table of Contents Chapter 1: The Nature of Love
Chapter 5: Love’s Tyranny
(Pages 4-6) The Most Generous Passion – John Wilmont, Earl of Rochester Love – Emily Dickinson Love‟s Trinity – Alfred Austin Of Love. A Sonnet – Robert Herrick The Fume of Sighs – William Shakespeare The Word – Alden Nowlan Love is Not All – Edna St. Vincent Millay
(Pages 16-18) Give All To Love – Ralph Waldo Emerson Love in Fantastick Triumph Sat – Aphra Behn Freedom – Jan Struther Love, That Doth Reign and Live Within My Thought – Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey To the Ladies – Lady Mary Chudleigh
Chapter 6: The Pain of Love (Pages 19-22) Woman‟s Faith – Sir Walter Scott She Weeps over Rahoon – James Joyce My Pretty Rose Tree – William Blake “Proud of My Broken Heart. . .” – Emily Dickinson “Heart, We Will Forget Him!” – Emily Dickinson Personal Column – Basil Bunting Annabel Lee – Edgar Allan Poe from To Woman – George Gordon, Lord Byron The Old Stoic – Emily Brontë Thou Didst Say Me – Miriam Waddington The Sorrow of Love – William Butler Yeats Light of Love – Dorothy Parker
Chapter 2: In Praise of the Beloved (Pages 7-9) A Red, Red Rose – Robert Burns Shall I Compare Thee? – William Shakespeare She Walks In Beauty – George Gordon, Lord Byron No Loathsomeness in Love – Robert Herrick Sonnet 130 – William Shakespeare
Chapter 3: Unrequited Love (Pages 10-12) Love‟s Philosophy – Percy Bysshe Shelley No One So Much As You – Edward Thomas Mediocrity In Love Rejected – Thomas Carew IS / NOT – Margaret Atwood Love That Never Told Can Be – William Blake Sometimes With One I Love – Walt Whitman
Chapter 7: Ever-Lasting Love (Pages 23-25) To My Dear and Loving Husband – Anne Bradstreet Sonnet LXXV – Edmund Spenser Sonnet 116 – William Shakespeare Wife to Husband – Fleur Adcock A Valediction Forbidding Mourning – John Donne Passionate Sheepheard to His Love – Christopher Marlowe
Chapter 4: Persuasion and Dishonour (Pages 13-15) To His Coy Mistress – Andrew Marvell The Flea – John Donne A Coy Heart – Aphra Behn To the Virgins to Make Much of Time – Robert Herrick To A Lady Making Love – Lady Mary Wortley Montagu A Maid‟s Lament – Aphra Behn
Chapter 8: Self-Esteem and Love (Pages 26-29) Hanging Fire – Audre Lorde Face Lift – Sylvia Plath Wanda Why Aren‟t You Dead – Wanda Coleman Barbie Doll – Marge Piercy The Rights of Woman – Anna Laetitia Barbauld
The Most Generous Passion
by John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester
by Emily Dickinson
Love, the most generous passion of the mind, The softest refuge innocence can find; The safe director of misguided youth, Fraught with kind wishes, and secur‟d by truth; The cordial drop heaven in our cup has thrown; To make the nauseous draught of life go down; On which one only blessing God might raise, In lands of atheists, subsidies of praise; For none did e‟er so dull and stupid prove, But felt a god, and bless‟d his power in love.
Love is anterior to life, Posterior to death, Initial of creation, and The exponent of breath.
Love’s Trinity by Alfred Austin
Soul, heart, and body, we thus singly name, Are not in love divisible and distinct, But each with each inseparably link‟d. One is not honour, and the other shame, But burn as closely fused as fuel, heat, and flame. They do not love who give the body and keep The heart ungiven; nor they who yield the soul, And guard the body. Love doth give the whole; Its range being high as heaven, as ocean deep, Wide as the realms of air or planet‟s curving sweep.
Of Love. A Sonnet by Robert Herrick
The Fume of Sighs
How love came in, I do not know, Whether by th‟eye, or ear, or no: Or whether with the soul it came (At first) infused with the same: Whether in part ‟tis here or there, Or, like the soul, whole everywhere: This troubles me: but I as well As any other, this can tell; That when from hence she does depart, The out-let then is from the heart.
from Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs, Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers‟ eyes, Being vexed, a sea nourished with lovers‟ tears. What is it else? a madness, most discreet, a choking gall, and a preserving sweet.
The Word by Alden Nowlan
Though I have the gift of tongues and can move mountains, my words are nothing compared with yours, though you only look up from my arms and whisper my name. This is not pride because I know it is not my name that you whisper but a sign between us, like the word that was spoken at the beginning of the world and will be spoken again only when the world ends. This is not that word but the other that must be spoken over and over while the world lasts. Tears, laughter, a lifetime! All in one word! The word you whisper when you look up from my arms and seem to say my name.
Love is Not All by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain; Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink And rise and sink and rise and sink again; Love can not fill the thickened lung with breath, Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone; Yet many a man is making friends with death Even as I speak, for lack of love alone. It well may be that in a difficult hour, Pinned down by pain and moaning for release, Or nagged by want past resolutionâ€&#x;s power, I might be driven to sell your love for peace, Or trade the memory of this night of food. It well may be. I do not think I would.
A Red, Red, Rose by Robert Burns
O my Luve‟s like a red, red rose, That‟s newly sprung in June; O my luve‟s like the melodie That‟s sweetly played in tune.-
Shall I Compare Thee? by William Shakespeare
Shall I compare thee to a summer‟s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate: Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer‟s lease hath all too short a date: Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimmed; And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance, or nature‟s changing course untrimmed; But by eternal summer shall not fade, Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest, Nor shall death brag thou wanderest in his shade, When in eternal lines to time thou growest; So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
As fair art thou, my bonnie lass, So deep in luve am I; And I will love thee still, my dear, Till a‟ the seas gang dry.Till a‟ the seas gang dry, my dear, And the rocks melt wi‟ the sun: O I will love thee still, my dear, While the sands o‟ life shall run.And fare thee weel, my only Luve, And fare the weel awhile! And I will come again, my Luve, Though it were ten thousand mile!
She Walks In Beauty by George Gordon, Lord Byron
She walks in beauty, like the night Of cloudless climes and starry skies; And all that‟s best of dark and bright Meet in her aspect and her eyes: Thus mellowed to that tender light Which heaven to gaudy day denies. One shade the more, one ray the less, Had half impaired the nameless grace Which waves in every raven tress, Or softly lightens o‟er her face; Where thoughts serenely sweet express How pure, how dear their dwelling-place And on that cheek, and o‟er that brow, So soft, so calm, yet eloquent, The smiles that win, the tints that glow, But tell of days in goodness spent, A mind at peace with all below, A heart whose love is innocent! 8
No Loathsomeness in Love by Robert Herrick
What I fancy, I approve, No dislike there is in love: Be my mistress short or tall, And distorted therewithal: Be she likewise one of those, That an acre hath of nose: Be her forehead, and her eyes Full of incongruities: Be her cheeks so shallow too, As to shew her tongue wag through: Be her lips ill hung, or set, And her grinders black as jet; Has she thin hair, hath she none, Sheâ€&#x;s to me a paragon.
Sonnet 130 by William Shakespeare
My Mistres eyes are nothing like the sunne. Curral is farre more red, then her lips red, If snow be white, why then her brests are dun: If haires be wiers, black wiers grow on her head: I have seen Roses damaskt, red and white, But no such Roses see I in her cheekes, And in some perfumes is there more delight, Then in the breath that from my Mistres reekes. I love to heare her speak, yet well I know, That musicke hath a farre more pleasing sound: I graunt I never saw a goddesse goe, My Mistres when shee walkes treads on the ground. And yet by heaven I think my love as rare, As any she beliâ€&#x;d with false compare.
No One So Much As You by Edward Thomas
No one so much as you Loves this my clay, Or would lament as you Its dying day.
Love’s Philosophy by Percy Bysshe Shelley
The fountains mingle with the river And the rivers with the ocean, The winds of heaven mix for ever With a sweet emotion; Nothing in the world is single; All things by a law divine In one spirit meet and mingle. Why not I with thine? – See the mountains kiss high heaven And the waves clasp one another; No sister-flower would be forgiven If it disdained its brother; And the sunlight clasps the earth And the moonbeams kiss the sea: What is all this sweet work worth If thou kiss not me?
You know me through and through Though I have not told, And though with what you know You are not bold. None ever was so fair As I thought you: Not a word can I bear Spoken against you. All that I ever did For you seemed coarse Compared with what I hid Nor put in force. My eyes scarce dare meet you Lest they should prove I but respond to you And do not love. We look and understand, We cannot speak Except in trifles and Words the most weak.
Mediocrity In Love Rejected by Thomas Carew
Give me more love, or more disdain; The torrid, or the frozen zone Bring equal ease unto my pain; The temperate affords me none: Either extreme, of love, or hate, Is sweeter than a calm estate. Give me a storm; if it be love, Like Danaë in that golden shower I swim in pleasure; if it prove Disdain, that torrent will devour My vulture-hopes; and he‟s possessed Of heaven, That‟s but from hell released: Then crown my joys, or cure my pain; Give me more love, or more disdain.
For I at most accepts Your love, regretting That is all: I have kept Only a fretting. That I could not return All that you gave And could not ever burn With the love you have, Till sometimes it did seem Better it were Never to see you more Than linger here. With only gratitude Instead of love – A pine in solitude Cradling a dove.
IS / NOT
Love That Never Told Can Be
by Margaret Atwood
by William Blake
Love is not a profession genteel or otherwise
Never seek to tell thy love, Love that never told can be; For the gentle wind doth move Silently, invisibly.
sex is not dentistry the slick filling of aches and cavities you are not my doctor you are not my cure,
I told my love, I told my love, I told her all my heart; Trembling, cold, in ghastly fears. Ah! She did depart!
nobody has that power, you are merely a fellow/traveller.
Soon after she was gone from me, A traveller came by, Silently, invisibly: He took her with a sigh.
Give up this medical concern, buttoned, attentive, permit yourself anger and permit me mine which needs neither your approval nor your surprise
Sometimes With One I Love by Walt Whitman
which does not need to be made legal which is not against a disease but against you, which does not need to be understood or washed or cauterized, which need instead
Sometimes with one I love I fill myself with rage for fear I effuse unreturn‟d love, But now I think there is no unreturn‟d love, the pay is certain one way or another, (I loved a certain person ardently and my love was not return‟d, Yet out of that I have written these songs.)
to be said and said. Permit me the present tense. I am not a saint or a cripple, I am not a wound; now I will see whether I am a coward. I dispose of my good manners, you don‟t have to kiss my wrists. This is a journey, not a war, There is no outcome, I renounce predictions and aspirins, I resign the future as I would resign an expired passport: picture and signature are gone along with holidays and safe returns.
We‟re stuck here on this side of the border in this country of thumbed streets and stale buildings where there is nothing spectacular to see and the weather is ordinary where love occurs in its pure form only on the cheaper of the souvenirs where we must walk slowly, where we may not get anywhere or anything, where we keep going, fighting our ways, our way not out but through.
To His Coy Mistress
by Andrew Marvell
by John Donne
Had we but World enough, and Time, This coyness Lady were no crime. We would sit down, and think which way To walk, and pass our long Loves Day. Thou by the Indian Ganges side Should‟st Rubies find: I by the Tide Of Humber would complain. I would Love you ten years before the Flood: And you should, if you please, refuse Till the Conversion of the Jews. My vegetable Love should grow Vaster than Empires, and more slow. An hundred years should go to praise Thine Eyes, and on thy Forehead Gaze. Two hundred to adore each Breast: But thirty thousand to the rest. An Age at last to every part, And the last Age should show your Heart. For Lady you deserve this State; Nor would I love at lower rate. But at my back I alwaies hear, Times winged Charriot hurrying near: And yonder all before us lye Deserts of vast Eternity. Thy Beauty shall no more be found; Nor, in thy marble Vault, shall sound My ecchoing Song: then Worms shall try That long preserv‟d Virginity: And your quaint Honour turn to dust; And into ashes all my Lust. The Grave‟s a fine and private place, But none I think do there embrace Now therefore, while the youthful hew Sits on thy skin like morning glew, and while thy willing Soul transpires At every pore with instant Fires, Now let us sport us while we may; And now, like am‟rous birds of prey, Rather at once our Time devour, Than languish in his slow-chapt pow‟r. Let us roll all our Strength, and all Our sweetness, up into one Ball: And tear our Pleasures with rough strife, Thorough the Iron gates of Life. Thus, tough we cannot make our Sun Stand still, yet we will make him run.
Marke but this flea, and marke in this, How little that which thou deny‟st me is; It suck‟d me first, and now sucks thee, And in this flea, our two bloods mingled bee; Thou know‟st that this cannot be said A sinne, nor shame, nor losse of maidenhead, Yet this enjoyes before it wooe, And pamper‟d swells with one blood made of two And this, alas, is more than wee would doe. Oh stay, three lives in one flea spare, Where wee almost, yea more than maryed are. This flea is you and I, and this Our mariage bed, and mariage temple is; Though parents grudge, and you, w‟are met, And cloysterd in these living walls of Jet. Though use make you apt to kill mee, Let not to that, selfe murder added bee, And sacrilege, three sinnes in killing three. Cruell and sodaine, hast thou since Purpled thy naile, in blood of innocence? Wherein could this flea guilty bee, Except in that drop which it suckt from thee? Yet thou triumph‟st, and saist that thou Find‟st not ty selfe, nor mee the weaker now; ‟Tis true, then learne how false, feares bee; Just so much honor, when thou yeeld‟st to mee, Will wast, as this flea‟s death tooke life from thee.
A Coy Heart
To the Virgins to Make Much of Time
by Aphra Behn
by Robert Herrick
O what pleasure ‟tis to find A coy heart melt by slow degrees! When to yielding ‟tis inclined, Yet her fear a ruin sees; When her tears do kindly flow And her sighs do come and go.
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, Old Time is still a-flying; And this same flower that smiles today Tomorrow will be dying. The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun, The higher he's a-getting, The sooner will his race be run, And nearer he's to setting.
O how charming ‟tis to meet Soft resistance from the fair, When her pride and wishes meet And by turns increase her care; O how charming ‟tis to know She would yield but can‟t tell how!
That age is best which is the first, When youth and blood are warmer; But being spent, the worse, and worst Times still succeed the former.
O how pretty is her scorn When, confused ‟twixt love and shame, Still refusing, tho‟ she burn, The soft pressures of my flame! Her pride in her denial lies And mine is in my victories.
Then be not coy, but use your time, And while ye may, go marry; For having lost but once your prime, You may forever tarry.
To A Lady Making Love
A Maid’s Lament
by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
by Aphra Behn
Good madam, when ladies are willing, A man must needs look like a fool; For me I would not give a shilling For one who would love out of rule.
Ah, false Amyntas, can that hour So soon forgotten be When first I yielded up my power To be betrayed by thee? God knows with how much innocence I did my heart resign, Unto thy faithless eloquence, And gave thee what was mine.
You should leave us to guess by your blushing, And not speak the matter so plain; ‟Tis ours to write and be pushing, ‟Tis yours to affect disdain.
I had not reserve in store, But at thy feet I laid Those arms which conquered heretofore, Tho‟ now thy trophies made, Thy eyes in silence told their tale, Of love in such a way, That ‟twas as easy to prevail, As after to betray.
That you‟re in a terrible taking, By all these sweet oglings I see, But the fruit that can fall without shaking, Indeed is too mellow for me.
Give All to Love
Love in fantastick Triumph Sat
by Ralph Waldo Emerson
by Aphra Behn
Give all to love; Obey thy heart; Friends, kindred, days, Estate, good fame, Plans, credit, and the Muse – Nothing refuse.
Love in fantastick Triumph sat, Whilst bleeding Hearts around him flow‟d, For whom fresh Pains he did create, And strange Tyrannick Pow‟r he shew‟d; From thy bright Eyes he took his Fires, Which round about in sport he hurl‟d; But ‟twas from mine he took Desires, Enough t‟undo the amorous World.
‟Tis a brave master; Let it have scope: Follow it utterly, Hope beyond hope: High and more high It dives into noon, With wing unspent, Untold intent; But it is a god, Knows its own path, And the outlets of the sky. It was never for the mean; It requireth courage stout, Souls above doubt, Valour unbending: Such ‟twill reward; – They shall return More than they were, And ever ascending. Leave all for love; Yet, hear me, yet, One word more thy heart beloved, One pulse more of firm endeavour – Keep thee to-day, To-morrow, for ever, Free as an Arab Of thy beloved. Cling with life to the maid; But when the surprise, First vague shadow of surmise, Flits across her bosom young, Of a joy apart from thee, Free be she, fancy-free; Nor thou detain her vesture‟s hem, Nor the palest rose she flung From her summer diadem.
From me he took his Sighs and Tears, From thee his Pride and Cruelty; From me his Languishments and Fears, And ev‟ry killing Dart from thee: Thus thou, and I, the God have arm‟d, And set him up a Diety; But my poor Heart alone is harm‟d, Whilst thine the Victor is, and free.
Freedom by Jan Struther
Now heaven be thanked. I am out of love again! I have been long a slave, and now am free: I have been tortured, and am eased of pain: I have been blind, and now my eyes can see: I have been lost, and now my way lies plain: I have been caged, and now I hold the key: I have been mad, and now at last am sane: I am wholly I that was but half of me. So a free man, my dull proud path I plod, Who tortured, blind, mad, caged, was once a God.
Though thou loved her as thyself, As a self of purer clay; Though her parting dims the day, Stealing grace from all alive; Heartily know, When half-gods go The gods arrive.
Love, That Doth Reign and Live Within My Thought by Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey
Love, that doth reign and live within my thought, And built his seat within my captive breast, Clad in the arms wherein with me he fought, Oft in my face he doth his banner rest. But she that taught me love and suffer pain, My doubtful hope and eke my hot desire With shamefast look to shadow and refrain, Her smiling grace converteth straight to ire. And coward Love, then, to the heart apace Taketh his flight, where he doth lurk and plain, His purpose lost, and dare not show his face. For my lord‟s guilt thus faultless bide I pain, Yet from my lord shall not my foot remove: Sweet is the death that taketh end by love.
To the Ladies by Lady Mary Chudleigh
Wife and servant are the same, But only differ in the name: For when that fatal knot is tied, Which nothing, nothing can divide, When she the word Obey has said, And man by law supreme has made, Then all that‟s kind is laid aside, And nothing left but state and pride. Fierce as an eastern prince he grows, And all his innate rigour shows: Then but to look, to laugh, or speak, Will the nuptial contract break. Like mutes, she signs alone must make, And never any freedom take, But still governed by a nod, And fear her husband as her god: Him still must serve, him still obey, And nothing act, and nothing say, But what her haughty lord thinks fit, Who, with the power, has all the wit. Then shun, oh! shun that wretched state, And all the fawning faltterers hate. Value yourselves, and men despise: You must be proud, if you‟ll be wise.
She Weeps over Rahoon
by Sir Walter Scott
by James Joyce
Woman‟s faith, and woman‟s trust – Write the characters in dust; Stamp them on the running stream, Print them on the moon‟s pale beam, And each evanescent letter Shall be clearer, firmer, better, And more permanent, I ween, Than the thing those letters mean.
Rain on Rahoon falls softly, softly falling, Where my dark lover lies. Sad is his voice that calls me, sadly calling, At grey moonrise. Love, hear thou How soft, how sad his voice is ever calling. Ever unanswered and the dark rain falling, Then as now.
I have strained the spider‟s thread ‟Gainst the promise of a maid; I have weighed a grain of sand ‟Gainst her plight of heart and hand; I told my true love of the token, How her faith proved light, and her word was broken: Again her word and truth she plight, And I believed them again ere night.
Dark too out hearts, O love, shall lie and cold As his sad heart has lain Under the moongrey nettles, the black mould And muttering rain.
“Proud of My Broken Heart. . .” My Pretty Rose Tree by William Blake
A flower was offered to me, Such a flower as May never bore; But I said „I‟ve a pretty rose-tree,‟ And I passed the sweet flower o‟er.
by Emily Dickinson
Proud of my broken heart since thou didst break it, Proud of the pain I did not feel till thee. Proud of my night since thou with moons dost slake it, Not to partake thy passion, my humility.
Then I went to my pretty rose-tree, To tend her by day and by night; But my rose turned away with jealousy, And her thorns were my only delight.
“Heart,We Will Forget Him!” by Emily Dickinson
Heart, we will forget him! You and I, to-night! You may forget the warmth he gave, I will forget the light.
Personal Column by Basil Bunting
. . . As to my heart, that may as well be forgotten or labelled: Owner will dispose of same to a good home, refs. exchgd., h.&c., previous experience desired but not essential or let on a short lease to suit convenience. 20
Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe
It was many and many a year ago, In a kingdom by the sea, That a maiden there lived whom you may know By the name of Annabel Lee;
from To Woman by George Gordon, Lord Byron
Woman! experience might have told me, That all must love thee who behold thee: Surely experience might have taught Thy finest promises are nought: But, placed in all thy charms before me, All I forget but to adore thee. Oh memory! thou choicest blessing When joined with hope, when still possessing; But how much cursed by every lover When hope is fled and passion‟s over. And every gentle air that dallied.
I was a child and she was a child, In this kingdom by the sea; But we loved with a love which was more than loveI and my Annabel Lee; With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven Coveted her and me. And this was the reason that, long ago, In this kingdom by the sea, A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling My beautiful Annabel Lee; So that her highborn kinsmen came And bore her away from me, To shut her up in a sepulchre In this kingdom by the sea.
The Old Stoic
The angels, not half so happy in heaven, Went envying her and meYes!-that was the reason (as ll men know, In this kingdom by the sea) That the wind came out of a cloud by night, Chilling and Killing my Annabel Lee.
by Emily Brontë
Riches I hold in light esteem; And Love I laugh to scorn; And lust of fame was but a dream That vanished with the morn:
But our love it was stronger by far than the love of those who were older that weOf many far wiser than weAnd neither the angels of heaven above, Nor the demons down under the sea, Can ever dissever my soul from the soul Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.
And if I pray, the only prayer That moves my lips from me Is, „Leave the heart that now I bear, And give me liberty!‟
For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side Of my darling-my darling-my life and my bride, In the sepulchre there by the sea, In her tomb by the sounding sea.
Yes, as my swift days near their goal, ‟Tis all that I implore; In life and death, a chainless soul, With courage to endure.
The Sorrow of Love by William Butler Yeats
Thou Didst Say Me
The brawling of a sparrow in the caves, The brilliant moon and all the milky sky, And all that famous harmony of leaves, Had blotted out manâ€&#x;s image and his cry.
by Miriam Waddington
Late as last summer Thou didst say me, love I choose you, you, only you. oh the delicate delicate serpent of your lips the golden lie bedazzled me with wish and flash of joy and I was fool.
A girl arose that had red mournful lips And seemed the greatness of the world in tears, Doomed like Odysseus and the labouring ships And proud as Priam murdered with his peers; Arose, and on the instant clamorous eaves, A climbing moon upon an empty sky, And all that lamentation of the leaves, Could but compose manâ€&#x;s image and his cry.
I was fool, bemused bedazed by summer, still bewitched and wandering in murmur hush in greenly sketched-in fields I was, I was, so sweet I was, so honied with your gold of love and love and still again more love.
Light of Love by Dorothy Parker
Joy stayed with me a night -Young and free and fair -And in the morning light He left me there.
late as last autumn thou didst say me, dear my doxy, I choose you and always you, thou didst pledge me love and through the redplumed weeks and soberly I danced upon your words and garlanded these tender dangers.
Then Sorrow came to stay, And lay upon my breast He walked with me in the day. And knew me best. I'll never be a bride, Nor yet celibate, So I'm living now with Pride -A cold bedmate.
year curves to ending now and thou dost say me, wife I choose another love, and oh the delicate delicate serpent of your mouth stings deep, and bitter iron cuts and shapes my death, I was so fool.
He must not hear nor see, Nor could he forgive That Sorrow still visits me Each day I live.
To My Dear and Loving Husband Sonnet LXXV
by Anne Bradstreet
by Edmund Spenser
If ever two were one, then surely we. If ever man were loved by wife, then thee; If ever wife was happy in a man, Compare with me, ye woman, if you can. I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold Or all the riches that East doest hold. My love is such that rivers cannot quench, Nor ought but love from thee, give recompense. Thy love is such I can no way repay, The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray. Then while we live, in love let‟s so persevere That when we live no more, we may live ever.
One day I wrote her name upon the strand, but came the waves and washed it away: agayne I wrote it with a second hand, but came the tyde, and made my paynes his pray. “Vayne man,” sayd she, “that dost in vaine assay, a mortall thing so to immortalize, for I my selue shall lyke to this decay, and eek my name bee wyped out lykwize.” “Not so,” (quod I) “let baser things devize to dy in dust, but you shall live by fame: my verse your vertues rare shall eternize, and in the hevens wryte your glorious name. Where whenas death shall all the world subdew, our loue shall live, and later life renew.”
Sonnet 116 byWilliam Shakespeare
Wife to Husband
Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments, love is not love Which alters when it alteration findes, Or bends with the remover to remove. O no, it is an ever fixed marke That lookes on tempests and is never shaken; It is the star to every wandering barke, Whose worths unkowne, although his higth be taken. Lov‟s not Times foole, though rosie lips and cheeks Within his bending sickles compasse come, Love alters not with his breefe houres and weekes, But beares it out even to the edge of doome: If this be error and upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
From anger into the pit of sleep You go with a sudden skid. On me Stillness falls gradually, a soft Snowfall, a light to cover to keep Numb for a time the twitching nerves. Your head on the pillow is turned away; My face is hidden. But under snow Shoots uncurl, the green thread curves Instinctively upwards. Do not doubt That sense of purpose in mindless flesh: Between our bodies a warmth grows; Your back touches my breast, our thighs Turn to find their accustomed place. Your mouth is moving over my face: Do we dare, now, to open our eyes?
A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning by John Donne
As virtuous men passe mildly away, And whisper to their soules, to goe, Whilst some of their sad friends doe say, The breath goes now, and some say, no:
The Passionate Sheepheard to His Love
So let us melt, and make no noise, No teare-floods, nor sigh-tempests move, T‟were prophanation of our joyes To tell the layetie our love.
by Christopher Marlowe
Come live with mee, and be my love, And we will all the pleasures prove, That Vallies, groves, hills and fieldes, Woods, or steepie mountaine yeeldes.
Moving of th‟earth brings harmes and feares, Men reckon what it did and meant, But trepidation of the spheares, Though greater farre, is innocent.
And wee will sit upon the Rocks, Seeing the Sheepheards feede theyr flocks, By shallow Rivers, to whose falls, Melodious byrds sing Madrigalls.
Dull sublunary lovers love (Whose soule is sense) cannot admit Absence, because it doth remove Those things which elemented it.
And I will make thee beds of Roses, And a thousand fragrant poesies, A cap of flowers, and a kirtle, Imbroydred all with leaves of Mirtle.
But we by a love; so much refin‟d, That our selves know not what it is, Inter-assured of the mind, Care lesse, eyes, lips, and hands to misse.
A gowne made of the finest wooll, Which from our pretty Lambes we pull, Fayre lined slippers for the cold: With buckles of the purest gold.
Our two soules therefore, which are one, Though I must goe, endure not yet A breach, but an expansion, Like gold to ayery thinnesse beate.
A belt of straw, and Ivie buds, With Corall clasps and Amber studs, And if these pleasures may thee move, Come live with mee, and be my love.
If they be two, they are two so As stiffe twin compasses are two, Thy soule the fixt foot, makes no show To move, but doth, if th‟other doe.
The sheepheards Swaines shall daunce and sing, For thy delight each May-morning. If these delights thy minde may move; Then live with mee, and be my love.
And though it in the center sit, Yet when the other far doth rome, It leanes, and hearkens after it, And grows erect, as that comes home. Such wilt thou to be to mee, who must Like th‟other foot, obliquely runne; Thy firmnes drawes my circle just, And makes me end, where I begunne.
Face Lift Hanging Fire by Audre Lorde
I am fourteen and my skin has betrayed me the boy I cannot live without still sucks his thumb in secret how come my knees are always so ashy what if I die before morning and momma‟s in the bedroom with the door closed. I have to learn how to dance in time for the next party my room is too small for me suppose I die before graduation they will sing sad melodies but finally tell the truth about me There is nothing I want to do and too much that has to be done and momma‟s in the bedroom with the door closed. Nobody even stops to think about my side of it I should have been on Math Team my marks were better than his why do I have to be the one wearing braces I have nothing to wear tomorrow will I live long enough to grow up and momma‟s in the bedroom with the door closed.
by Sylvia Plath
You bring me good news from the clinic, Whipping off your silk scarf, exhibiting the tight white Mummy-cloths, smiling: I‟m all right. When I was nine, a lime-green anaesthetist Fed me a banana gas through a frog-mask. The nauseous vault Boomed with bad dreams and the Jovian voices of surgeons. Then mother swam up, holding a tin basin. O I was sick. They‟ve changed all that. Travelling Nude as Cleopatra in well-boiled hospital shift, Fizzy with sedatives and unusually humorous, I roll to an anteroom where a kind man Fists my fingers for me. He makes me feel something precious Is leaking from the finger-vents. At the count of two Darkness wipes me out like chalk on a blackboard. . . I don‟t know a thing. For five days I lie in secret, Tapped like a cask, the years draining into my pillow. Even my best friend thinks I‟m in the country. Skin doesn‟t have roots, it peels away easy as paper. When I grin, the stitches tauten. I grow backward. I‟m twenty. Broody and in long skirts on my first husband‟s sofa, my fingers Buried in the lambswool of the dead poodle; I hadn‟t a cat yet. Now she‟s done for, the dewlapped lady I watched settle, line by line, in a mirror– Old sock-face, sagged on a darning egg. They‟ve trapped her in some laboratory jar. Let her die there, or wither incessantly for the next fifty years, Nodding and rocking and fingering her thin hair. Mother to myself, I wake swaddled in gauze, Pink and smooth as a baby.
Wanda Why Aren’t You Dead by Wanda Coleman
wanda when are you gonna wear your hair down wanda. that‟s a whore‟s name wanda why ain‟t you rich wanda you know no man in his right mind want a ready-made family why don‟t you lose weight wanda why are you so angry how come your feet are so goddamn big can‟t you afford to move out of this hell hole if I were you were you were you wanda what is it like being black i hear you don‟t like black men tell me you‟re ac/dc. tell me you‟re a nympho. tell me you‟re into chains wanda i don‟t think you really mean that you‟re joking. girl, you crazy wanda what makes you so angry wanda i think you need this wanda you have no humor in you you too serious wanda i didn‟t know i was hurting you that was an accident wanda i know what you‟re thinking wanda i don‟t think they‟ll take that off of you
Barbie Doll by Marge Piercy
This girlchild was born as usual and presented dolls that did pee-pee and miniature GE stoves and irons and wee lipsticks the color of cherry candy. Then in the magic of puberty, a classmate said: You have a great big nose and fat legs. She was healthy, tested intelligent, possessed strong arms and back, abundant sexual drive and manual dexterity. She went to and fro apologizing. Everyone saw a fat nose on thick legs. She was advised to play coy, exhorted to come on hearty, exercise, diet, smile and wheedle. Her good nature wore out like a fan belt. So she cut off her nose and her legs and offered them up. In the casket displayed on satin she lay with the undertaker‟s cosmetics painted on, a turned-up putty nose, dressed in a pink and white nightie. Doesn‟t she look pretty? everyone said. Consummation at last. To every woman a happy ending.
wanda why are you so angry i‟m sorry i didn‟t remember that that that that that that was so important to you wanda you‟re ALWAYS on the attack wanda wanda wanda i wonder why ain‟t you dead
The Rights of Woman by Anna Laetitia Barbauld
Yes, injured Woman! rise, assert thy right! Woman! too long degraded, scorned, opprest; O born to rule in partial Law‟s despite, Resume thy native empire o‟er the breast! Go forth arrayed in panoply divine; That angel pureness which admits no stain; Go, bid proud Man his boasted rule resign, And kiss the golden sceptre of thy reign. Go, gird thyself with grace; collect thy store Of bright artillery glancing from afar; Soft melting tones thy thundering cannon‟s roar, Blushes and fears thy magazine of war. Thy rights are empire: urge no meaner claim,Felt, not defined, and if debated, lost; Like sacred mysteries, which withheld from fame, shunning discussion, are revered the most. Try all that wit and art suggest to bend Of thy imperial foe the stubborn knee; Make treacherous Man thy subject, not thy friend; Thou mayst command, but never canst be free. Awe the licentious, and restrain the rude; Soften the sullen, clear the cloudy brow: Be, more than princes‟ gifts, thy favours sued;She hazards all, who will the least allow. But hope not, courted idol of mankind, On this proud eminence secure to stay; Subdued, thou soon shalt find Thy coldness soften, and thy pride give way. Then, then, abandon, each ambitious thought; Conquest or rule thy heart shall feebly move, In Nature‟s school, by her soft maxims taught, That separate rights are lost in mutual love.