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Slanting, driving, Summer rain
How you wash my heart of pain!
How you make me think of trees,
Ships and gulls and flashing seas!
In your furious, tearing wind,
Swells a chant that heals my mind;
And your passion high and proud,
Makes me shout and laugh aloud!

Autumn rains that start at dawn,
“Dropping veils of thinnest lawn,”
Soaking sod between dank grasses,
Sweeping golden leaves in masses,—
Blotting, blurring out the Past,
In a dream you hold me fast;
Calling, coaxing to forget
Things that are, for things not yet.

Winter tempest, winter rain,
Hurtling down with might and main,
You but make me hug my hearth,
Laughing, sheltered from your wrath.
Now I woo my dancing fire,
Piling, piling drift-wood higher.
Books and friends and pictures old,
Hearten while you pound and scold!

Pattering, wistful showers of Spring
Set me to remembering
Far-off times and lovers too,
Gentle joys and heart-break rue,—
Memories I’d as lief forget,
Were not oblivion sadder yet.
Ah! you twist my mind with pain,
Wistful, whispering April rain!

Summer, Autumn, Winter rain,
How you ease my heart of pain!
Whispering, wistful showers of Spring,
How I love the hurt you bring!

This poem from Jessie Redmon Fauset is in the public domain.

Jessie Redmon Fauset (1882 – 1961) was a poet, essayist, novelist, educator and editor from the Harlem Renaissance. Her literary work helped sculpt African-American literature in the 1920s as she focused on portraying a true image of African-American life and history. She wrote several novels, including There Is Confusion (1924) and Plum Bun (1928). Fauset also served as the editor of The Crisis from 1919–26.... Wikipedia

I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.

Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains,—but the best is lost.

The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,—
They are gone. They are gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

Public domain

Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892 – 1950) was an American lyrical poet and playwright. Millay was a renowned social figure and noted feminist in New York City during the Roaring Twenties and beyond. She wrote much of her prose and hackwork verse under the pseudonym Nancy Boyd. Millay won the 1923 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for her poem "Ballad of the Harp-Weaver"; she was the first woman and second person to win the award. In 1943, Millay was awarded the Frost Medal for her lifetime contribution to American poetry.

A Comment by MFish

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MFish • 03/02/2024 at 05:46AM • Like 1 Profile

This moves my Soul. The harsh reality when a loved one passes.

A stranger in a stranger land,
Too calm to weep, too sad to smile,
I take my harp of broken strings,
A weary moment to beguile;
And tho no hope its promise brings,
And present joy is not for me,
Still o’er that harp I love to bend,
And feel its broken melody

With all my shattered feelings blend.

I love to hear its funeral voice
Proclaim how sad my lot, how lone;
And when, my spirit wilder grows,
To list its deeper, darker tone.
And when my soul more madly glows
Above the wrecks that round it lie,
It fills me with a strange delight,
Past mortal bearing, proud and high,
To feel its music swell to might.

When beats my heart in doubt and awe,
And Reason pales upon her throne,
Ah, then, when no kind voice can cheer
    The lot too desolate, too lone,
Its tones come sweet upon my ear,
    As twilight o’er some landscape fair:
As light upon the wings of night
    (The meteor flashes in the air,
The rising stars) its tones are bright.

And now by Sacramento’s stream,
    What mem’ries sweet its music brings—
The vows of love, its smiles and tears,
    Hang o’er this harp of broken strings.
It speaks, and midst her blushing fears
    The beauteous one before me stands!
Pure spirit in her downcast eyes,
    And like twin doves her folded hands!

It breathes again—and at my side
    She kneels, with grace divinely rare—
Then showering kisses on my lips,
    She hides our busses with her hair;
Then trembling with delight, she flings
    Her beauteous self into my arms,
As if o’erpowered, she sought for wings
    To hide her from her conscious charms!

It breathes once more, and bowed in grief,
    The bloom has left her cheek forever,
While, like my broken harp-strings now,
    Behold her form with feeling quiver!
She turns her face o’errun with tears,
    To him that silent bends above her,
And, by the sweets of other years,
    Entreats him still, oh, still to love her!

He loves her still—but darkness falls
    Upon his ruined fortunes now,
And ’t is his exile doom to flee.
    The dews, like death, are on his brow,
And cold the pang about his heart
    Oh, cease—to die is agony:
’T is more than death when loved ones part!

Well may this harp of broken strings
    Seem sweet to me by this lonely shore.
When like a spirit it breaks forth,
    And speaks of beauty evermore!
When like a spirit it evokes
    The buried joys of early youth,
And clothes the shrines of early love,
    With all the radiant light of truth!

This poem is in the public domain

John Rollin Ridge (Cherokee name: Cheesquatalawny, or Yellow Bird,(1827 – 1867), a member of the Cherokee Nation, is considered the first Native American novelist. His father John Ridge had been assassinated in1839 in Indian Territory at the hands of supporters of Cherokee leader John Ross who condemned his having signed a treaty to cede communal land to the United States. Ridge. He later attended school in Massachusetts. After returning to Arkansas, he read the law, set up a practice and married. He went West in the California Gold Rush, where his wife and daughter later joined him. There he started writing – both poetry and essays.  After the American Civil War, he was among the Cherokee delegation that negotiated a new treaty for peace with the United States. More

No one told me it would be like this—
how growing older is another passage of discovery
and that aging is one grand transformation,
and if some things become torn apart
or even lost along the way,
many other means show up
to bring me closer
to the center of my heart.

No one ever told me
if whatever wonder waits ahead
is in another realm and outside of time.
But the amazement, I found,
is that the disconcerting things
within the here and now
that I stumble and trip my way through,
also lead me gracefully home.

And no one told me that I would ever see
an earth so strong and fragile,
or a world so sad and beautiful.
And I surely didn't know
I'd have all this life yet in me
or such fire inside my bones.

From Susan Frybort, (author of Open Passages) poetry collection "Look to the Clearing" 

O memory, hope, love of finished years,
Come to me in the silence of the night;
Come in the speaking silence of a dream,
Come with soft rounded cheeks and eyes as bright
As sunlight on a stream;
Come back to me in dreams, that I may give
Pulse for pulse, breath for breath,
Speak low, lean low,
As long ago, my love, how long ago!
O dream how sweet, too sweet, too bitter sweet

Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830 –1894), was an English writer born in London. She authored many romantic, devotional and children's poems, including "Goblin Market" and "Remember". She also wrote the words of two Christmas carols well known in Britain: "In the Bleak Midwinter" and "Love Came Down at Christmas",  She was a sister of the artist and poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Remember me when I am gone away,
 Gone far away into the silent land;
 When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
     You tell me of our future that you plann'd:
         Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
         And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
         For if the darkness and corruption leave
         A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
         Than that you should remember and be sad.

Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830 –1894), was an English writer born in London. She authored many romantic, devotional and children's poems, including "Goblin Market" and "Remember". She also wrote the words of two Christmas carols well known in Britain: "In the Bleak Midwinter" and "Love Came Down at Christmas",  She was a sister of the artist and poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti II and features in several of his paintings.

Rosetti wrote "Remember" when she was 19 in 1849. It was first published in 1862 in her collection Goblin Market and Other Poems. This poem is in the public domain.

Always at dusk, the same tearless experience,
The same dragging of feet up the same well-worn path
To the same well-worn rock;
The same crimson or gold dropping away of the sun
The same tints—rose, saffron, violet, lavender, grey
Meeting, mingling, mixing mistily;
Before me the same blue black cedar rising jaggedly to a point;
Over it, the same slow unlidding of twin stars,
Two eyes, unfathomable, soul-searing,
Watching, watching—watching me;
The same two eyes that draw me forth, against my will dusk after dusk;
The same two eyes that keep me sitting late into the night, chin on knees
Keep me there lonely, rigid, tearless, numbly miserable,
       The eyes of my Regret.

This poem was published in 1927, is in the public domain.

Angelina Weld Grimké (1880 – 1958) was an American journalist, teacher, playwright, and poet. "Race" was a major issue in her life; she was the daughter of a white mother and a half-white father. She attended the best preparatory schools in Massachusetts. She was one of the first American women of color to have a play publicly performed.

What can be said in New Year rhymes,
That's not been said a thousand times?

The new years come, the old years go,
We know we dream, we dream we know.

We rise up laughing with the light,
We lie down weeping with the night.

We hug the world until it stings,
We curse it then and sigh for wings.

We live, we love, we woo, we wed,
We wreathe our brides, we sheet our dead.

We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,
And that's the burden of the year.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox (November 5, 1850 – October 30, 1919) was an American author and poet. Her works include Poems of Passion and Solitude, which contains the lines "Laugh, and the world laughs with you; weep, and you weep alone." Her autobiography, "The Worlds and I", was published in 1918, a year before her death. Read more

“I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”
...“And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
the Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) American poet and educator . His works include "Paul Revere's Ride", The Song of Hiawatha, and Evangeline. He was was one of the Fireside Poets from New England and the first American to translate Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy. Wikipedia

The wintry west extends his blast,
   And hail and rain does blaw;
Or, the stormy north sends driving forth
   The blinding sleet and snaw:
While, tumbling brown, the burn comes down,
   And roars frae bank to brae;
And bird and beast in covert rest,
   And pass the heartless day.

“The sweeping blast, the sky o’ercast,”
   The joyless winter-day
Let others fear, to me more dear
   Than all the pride of May:
The tempest’s howl, it soothes my soul,
   My griefs it seems to join;
The leafless trees my fancy please,
   Their fate resembles mine!

Thou Power Supreme whose mighty scheme
   These woes of mine fulfil,
Here, firm, I rest; they must be best,
   Because they are Thy will!
Then all I want—O do Thou grant
   This one request of mine.—
Since to enjoy Thou dost deny,
   Assist me to resign.

Robert Burns (1759 – 1796), was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best known of the poets who have written in the Scots language, although he also wrote in English. He is regarded as a pioneer of the Romantic movement, and after his death he became a great source of inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism, and a cultural icon in Scotland. Burns also collected folk songs from across Scotland, often revising or adapting them.

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

Langston Hughes (1902 – 1967) American Poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, columnist. More

A Comment by MFish

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MFish • 12/01/2023 at 11:39AM • Like 1 Profile


Gettin' together to smile an' rejoice,
An' eatin' an' laughin' with folks of your choice;
An' kissin' the girls an' declarin' that they
Are growin' more beautiful day after day;
Chattin' an' braggin' a bit with the men,
Buildin' the old family circle again;
Livin' the wholesome an' old-fashioned cheer,
Just for awhile at the end of the year.

Greetings fly fast as we crowd through the door
And under the old roof we gather once more
Just as we did when the youngsters were small;
Mother's a little bit grayer, that's all.
Father's a little bit older, but still
Ready to romp an' to laugh with a will.
Here we are back at the table again
Tellin' our stories as women an' men.

Bowed are our heads for a moment in prayer;
Oh, but we're grateful an' glad to be there.
Home from the east land an' home from the west,
Home with the folks that are dearest an' best.
Out of the sham of the cities afar
We've come for a time to be just what we are.
Here we can talk of ourselves an' be frank,
Forgettin' position an' station an' rank.

Give me the end of the year an' its fun
When most of the plannin' an' toilin' is done;
Bring all the wanderers home to the nest,
Let me sit down with the ones I love best,
Hear the old voices still ringin' with song,
See the old faces unblemished by wrong,
See the old table with all of its chairs
An' I'll put soul in my Thanksgivin' prayers.

Edgar Albert Guest (1881 – 1959) was a British-born American poet who became known as the People's Poet. His family moved from England to Detroit, Michigan when he was ten years old and he lived there the rest of his life. He worked for the Detroit Free
Press for 64 years. He published more than twenty volumes of poetry and was thought to have written over 12,000 poems. His poems often had an inspirational and optimistic view of everyday life. Of his poems he said, "I take simple everyday things that happen to me and I figure it happens to a lot of other people and I make simple rhymes out of them. "His popularity led NBC to produce a weekly 15-minute radio program, “Guest in Your Home,” which ran from 1931 to 1942. The Joplin Globe editorialized his passing by quoting Philip Coldren, the late editorial page editor who wrote that the key to Guest’s greatness was “that among the thousands of Guest poems, ‘there has not been a single one that has promoted wickedness or meanness or anything else but kindness and gentleness and peace and hope."

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