Featured Poem, Poetry

Featured Poem: Lear

Lear by William Carlos Williams

When the world takes over for us

and the storm in the trees

replaces our brittle consciences

(like ships, female to all seas)

when the few last yellow leaves

stand out like flags on tossed ships

at anchor—our minds are rested

Yesterday we sweated and dreamed

or sweated in our dreams walking

at a loss through the bulk of figures

that appeared solid, men or women,

but as we approached down the paved

corridor melted—Was it I?—like

smoke from bonfires blowing away

Today the storm, inescapable, has

taken the scene and we return

our hearts to it, however made, made

wives by it and though we secure

ourselves for a dry skin from the drench

of its passionate approaches we

yield and are made quiet by its fury

Pitiful lear, not even you could

out-shout the storm—to make a fool

cry! Wife to its power might you not

better have yielded it earlier? as on ships

facing the seas were carried once

the figures of women at repose to

signify the strength of the waves’ lash.

Featured Poem, Poetry

Featured Poem: The Rewaking

The Rewaking by William Carlos Williams

Sooner of later

we must come to the end

of striving

to re-establish

the image the image of

the rose

but not yet

you say extending the

time indefinitely

by

your love until a whole

spring

rekindle

the violet to the very

lady’s-slipper

and so by

your love the very sun

itself is revived

Featured Poem, Poetry

Featured Poem: The Dance

The Dance by William Carlos Williams

When the snow falls the flakes

spin upon the long axis

that concerns them most intimately

two and two to make a dance

the mind dances with itself,

taking you by the hand,

your lover follows

there are always two,

yourself and the other,

the point of your shoe setting the pace,

if you break away and run

the dance is over

Breathlessly you will take

another partner

better or worse who will keep

at your side, at your stops

whirls and glides until he too

leaves off

on his way down as if

there were another direction

gayer, more carefree

spinning face to face but always down

with each other secure

only in each other’s arms

But only the dance is sure!

make it your own.

Who can tell

what is to come of it?

in the woods of your

own nature whatever

twig interposes, and bare twigs

have an actuality of their own

this flurry of the storm

that holds us,

plays with us and discards us

dancing, dancing as may be credible.

Featured Poem, Poetry

Featured Poem: The Descent of Winter

The Descent of Winter by William Carlos Williams

9/30

There are no perfect waves—

Your writings are a sea

full of misspellings and

faulty sentences. Level. Troubled

A center distant from the land

touched by the wings

of nearly silent birds

that never seen to rest—

This is the sadness of the sea—

waves like words, all broken—

a sameness of lifting and falling mood.

I lean watching the detail

of brittle crest, the delicate

imperfect foam, yellow weed

one piece like another—

There is no hope— if not a coral

island slowly forming

to wait for birds to drop

the seeds will make it habitable

10/22

the brilliant field

of rainwet orange

blanketed

by the red grass

and oilgreen bayberry

the last yarrow

on the gutter

white by the sandy

rainwater

and a white birch

with yellow leaves

and few

and loosely hung

and a young dog

jumped out

of the old barrel

10/28

in this strong light

the leafless beechtree

shines like a cloud

it seems to glow

of itself

with a soft stript light

of love

over the brittle

grass

But there are

on second look

a few yellow leaves

still shaking

far apart

just one here one there

trembling vividly

Featured Poem, Poetry

Featured Poem: Shadows

Shadows by William Carlos Williams

I

Shadows cast by the street light

under the stars,

the head is tilted back,

the long shadows of the legs

presumes a world

taken for granted

on which the cricket trills.

The hollows of the eyes

are unpeopled.

Right and left

climb the ladders of night

as dawn races

to put out the stars.

That

is the poetic figure

but we know

better: what is not now

will never

be. Sleep secure,

the little dog in the snapshot

keeps his shrewd eyes

pared. Memory

is liver than sight.

A man

looking out,

seeing the shadows-

it is himself

that can be painlessly amputated

by a mere shifting

of the stars.

A comfort so easily not to be

and to be at once one

with every man.

The night blossoms

with a thousand shadows

so long

as there are stars,

street lights

or a moon and

who shall say

by their shadows

which is different

from the other

fat or lean.

II.

Ripped from the concept of our lives

and from all concept

somehow, and plainly,

the sun will come up

each morning

and sink again.

So that we experience

violently

every day

two worlds

one of which we share with the

rose in bloom

and one,

by far the greater,

with the past,

the world of memory,

the silly world of history,

the world

of the imagination.

Which leaves only the beasts and trees,

crystals

with their refractice

surfaces

and rotting things

to stir our wonder.

Save for the little

central hole

of the eye itself

into which

we dare not stare too hard

or we are lost.

The instant

trivial as it is

is all we have

unless—unless

things the imagination feeds upon,

the scent of the rose, startle us anew.

Featured Poem, Poetry

Featured Poem: The Botticellian Trees

The Botticellian Trees by William Carlos Williams

The alphabet of

the trees

is fading in the

song of the leaves

the crossing

bars of thin

letters that spelled

winter

and the cold

have been illuminated

with

pointed green—

by the rain and sun—

The strict simple

principles of

straight branches

are being modified

by pinched-out

ifs of color, devout

conditions

the smiles of love—

……

unit the stript

sentences

move as a woman’s

limbs under a cloth

and praise from secrecy

quick with desire

love’s ascendancy

in summer—

In summer the song

sings itself

above the muffles words—

Featured Poem, Poetry

Featured Poem: The Descent

The Descent by William Carlos Williams

The descent beckons
              as the ascent beckoned.
                               Memory is a kind
of accomplishment,
              a sort of renewal
                               even
an initiation, since the spaces it opens are new places
              inhabited by hordes
                               heretofore unrealized,
of new kinds—
              since their movements
                               are toward new objectives
(even though formerly they were abandoned).

No defeat is made up entirely of defeat—since
the world it opens is always a place
              formerly
                               unsuspected. A
world lost,
              a world unsuspected,
                               beckons to new places
and no whiteness (lost) is so white as the memory
of whiteness     .

With evening, love wakens
              though its shadows
                               which are alive by reason
of the sun shining—
              grow sleepy now and drop away
                               from desire     .

Love without shadows stirs now
              beginning to awaken
                               as night
advances.

The descent
              made up of despairs
                               and without accomplishment
realizes a new awakening:
                               which is a reversal
of despair.
              For what we cannot accomplish, what
is denied to love,
              what we have lost in the anticipation—
                               a descent follows,
endless and indestructible