poetry

Never give all the heart-W.B. Yeats

This poem by W.B. Yeats is so beautifully complex in its ability to evoke images. I think that it’s easy to extol the difficulties of love and how easy it is to lose your heart. Yeats makes conveying those feelings in poetic form seem so powerful.

Enjoy!

artistic blossom bright clouds
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Never give all the heart, for love
Will hardly seem worth thinking of
To passionate women if it seem
Certain, and they never dream
That it fades out from kiss to kiss;
For everything that’s lovely is
But a brief, dreamy, kind delight.
O never give the heart outright,
For they, for all smooth lips can say,
Have given their hearts up to the play.
And who could play it well enough
If deaf and dumb and blind with love?
He that made this knows all the cost,
For he gave all his heart and lost.

poetry

It is a Beauteous Evening- William Wordsworth

It wouldn’t be a month celebrating poetry without one from William Wordsworth. I took an entire course in graduate school because it would cover him. I once made a collage of his poems because I was lucky enough to stumble across a beautifully bound copy of his works. He has been one of my favorites since my senior year of high school and this poem is a testament to what made Wordsworth such a popular poet.

As always, enjoy!

silhouette photography of trees and birds
Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

 

It is a beauteous evening, calm and free,
The holy time is quiet as a Nun
Breathless with adoration; the broad sun
Is sinking down in its tranquility;
The gentleness of heaven broods o’er the Sea;
Listen! the mighty Being is awake,
And doth with his eternal motion make
A sound like thunder—everlastingly.
Dear child! dear Girl! that walkest with me here,
If thou appear untouched by solemn thought,
Thy nature is not therefore less divine:
Thou liest in Abraham’s bosom all the year;
And worshipp’st at the Temple’s inner shrine,
God being with thee when we know it not.
poetry

Listen-Lucille Clifton

I’m not sure if this is the title of the poem but I saw it on a social media post and immediately had to share it here. It’s no secret that Lucille Clifton is one of my favorite poets and it seems that each poem I read makes me love her more.

Enjoy!

atlas close up dark dirty
Photo by Aaditya Arora on Pexels.com

“listen,
you a wonder.
you a city of a woman.
you got a geography
of your own.

listen,
somebody need a map
to understand you.
somebody need directions
to move around you.

listen,
woman,
you not a noplace
anonymous
girl;
mister with his hands on you

he got his hands on
some
damn
body!”

poetry

The Road-Helene Johnson

Today’s post is by another Harlem Renaissance era poet. Helene Johnson was the cousin of Harlem Renaissance novelist Dorothy West and a prolific poet during the time. Her work was featured in the first(and only) issue of Fire! which featured the works of so many other artists of the time.

Please enjoy, The Road by Helene Johnson.

helene johnson

Ah, little road all whirry in the breeze,
A leaping clay hill lost among the trees,
The bleeding note of rapture streaming thrush
Caught in a drowsy hush
And stretched out in a single singing line of dusky song.
Ah little road, brown as my race is brown,
Your trodden beauty like our trodden pride,
Dust of the dust, they must not bruise you down.
Rise to one brimming golden, spilling cry!
Read more at https://www.literaryladiesguide.com/classic-women-authors-poetry/11-poems-by-helene-johnson/#uLmoqP2bhmg7XugV.99

poetry

Song-Gwendolyn Bennett

I’ve added Heroine of the Harlem Renaissance and Beyond to my ever-expanding TBR so I thought that it was only appropriate to post a poem by the woman whose work fills the book. The multi-hyphenate(poet, sculptor, fiction writer, and columnist) was a vital member of one of the most important literary and cultural movements in American history.

Join me in celebrating her work this month.

gwendolyn bennett

I am weaving a song of waters,
Shaken from firm, brown limbs,
Or heads thrown back in irreverent mirth.
My song has the ush sweetness
Of moist, dark lips
Where hymns keep company
With old forgotten banjo songs.
Abandon tells you
That I sing the heart of race
While sadness whispers
That I am the cry of a soul. . . .

A-shoutin’ in de ole camp-meeting-place,
A-strummin’ o’ de ole banjo.
Singin’ in de moonlight,
Sobbin’ in de dark.
Singin’, sobbin’, strummin’ slow . . .
Singin’ slow, sobbin’ low.
Strummin’, strummin’, strummin’ slow . . .
Words are bright bugles
That make the shining for my song,
And mothers hold down babies
To dark, warm breasts
To make my singing sad.

A dancing girl with swaying hips
Sets mad the queen in the harlot’s eye.
Praying slave
Jazz-band after
Breaking heart
To the time of laughter . . .
Clinking chains and minstrelsy
Are wedged fast with melody.
A praying slave
With a jazz-band after . . .
Singin’ slow, sobbin’ low.
Sun-baked lips will kiss the earth.
Throats of bronze will burst with mirth.
Sing a little faster,
Sing a little faster,
Sing!

poetry

The Dream Keeper- Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes’ poetry of dreams is always evocative and for me, it serves as a reminder to remain consistent in pursuing my goals. I think this is the perfect poem for April as well since that is the time of renewal.

As always, enjoy!

poetry-ink-blot

 

Bring me all of your dreams,
You dreamer,
Bring me all your
Heart melodies
That I may wrap them
In a blue cloud-cloth
Away from the too-rough fingers
Of the world.

poetry

Enigma- Jessie Redmon Fauset

Poet, essayist,  and novelist Jessie Redmon Fauset was also the literary editor of the NAACP magazine The Crisis. She also published the works of other prominent artists during the time allowing her to give them a voice during the The Harlem Renaissance.

After she stopped publishing, she worked as a teacher until her death but her works are ones that should not be forgotten.

jessie redmon fauset

There is no peace with you,
Nor any rest!
Your presence is a torture to the brain.
Your words are barbed arrows to the breast,
And one but greets
To wish you sped again.
Frustrate you make desire
And action vain.
There is no peace with you.
No peace . . .
Nor any rest.
Yet in your absence
Longing springs anew,
And hopefulness besets the baffled brain.
“If only you were you and yet not you!”
If you such joy could give as you give pain!
Then what an unguent for the burning breast!
And for the harassed heart
What rapture true!
“If only you were you and yet not you!”
There is no peace with you
Nor ever any rest!
Read more at https://www.literaryladiesguide.com/classic-women-authors-poetry/6-jessie-redmon-fauset-poems/#GqPtsr3tR3cBzRYh.99

poetry

Wonder- Maya Angelou

I can’t believe it but here we are, ten days into National Poetry Month and this is my first post. I feel awful about that. Just awful! I have not been doing anything poetic this month except posting on Instagram. If you follow me there (@b_complex), then you’ve seen that I’ve posted something by famous poets every day so far.

Please enjoy this piece by the amazing Maya Angelou and share what you’ve been doing to celebrate National Poetry Month. I hope to be back this weekend with another post.

maya angelou

 

A day
drunk with the nectar of
slowness
weaves its way between
the years
to find itself at the flophouse
of night
to sleep and be seen
no more.

Will I be less
dead because I wrote this
poem or you more because
you read it
long years hence.