delete the adjectives: Cyclops
You, going along the path,
mosquito-doped, with no moon, the flashlight
a single orange eye
unable to see what is beyond
the capsule of your dim
sight, what shape
contracts to a heart
with terror, bumps
among the leaves, what makes
a bristling noise like a fur throat
Is it true you…
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
❝ ON the Coast of Coromandel,
Where the early pumpkins grow,
In the middle of the woods
Lived the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò.
Two old chairs, and half a candle,—
One old jug without a handle,—
These were all his worldly goods:
In the middle of the woods,
These were all the worldly goods
Of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò,
Of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò. ❞
The opening stanza of “The Courtship of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo” by Edward Lear. The poem in its entirety and the entire rest of Lear’s book, The Jumblies and Other Nonsense Verses (which includes “The Owl and the Pussycat”) is available for free with illustrations on Project Gutenberg.
reference for writers: "The Average Fourth Grader Is A Better Poet Than You, (And Me Too)," Hannah Gamble
While in graduate school at the University of Houston, I supplemented my income by working as a writer in residence for Writers in the Schools (WITS). I was with WITS for three years, during which I visited third, fourth, and fifth grade classrooms, and worked with groups of…
Shivered Seas, or, The Maiden Still Waiting
If brine on tongue and wave and breeze betray,
If barnacles and skulls crack on the keel,
If doldrums snare the sails into delay,
Then turgid vessels, in so cresting, kneel.
If men mistake for mermaids the shy seal
Whose dapple skin from foam alone has shorn,
If blooded sun from sickle night does peel
Then men cry out for port while minds are torn.
So pitching masts, like needles, sew the morn,
And, slavering, the tide to shoreline knits,
As crew and ship are born on waves forlorn
But to die on reefs where hull and soul splits.
If then all of these fates should come to pass
Then shivered seas shall as a whole amass.
So Here Then is the Last Ride
Robert Browning. The Roycrofters, NY, 1900.
One of 25 copies on vellum, finely bound. Hand-colored pictorial borders illumined by Harriet Robarge. Finely bound in full plum levant morocco, spine lettered in gilt, raised bands, wrap-around strapping designs in blind on covers and spine, gilt-rolled double rule on board edges, full morocco front doublure in cream, blue, turquoise, plum, and green leathers in an elaborate in-laid design with decorative gilt stamping, title in gilt at center, rear full morocco doublure in a less elaborate design, silk endleaves, top edge gilt.
What does it all mean, poet? Well,
Your brains beat into rhythm, you tell
What we felt only; you expressed
You hold things beautiful the best,
And pace them in rhyme so, side by side.
‘Tis something, nay ‘tis much: but then,
Have you yourself what’s best for men?
Are you—-poor, sick, old ere your time—-
Nearer one whit your own sublime
Than we who never have turned a rhyme?
Sing, riding’s a joy! For me, I ride.
~Stanze VII, The Last Ride Together