poem index

Something More: English 223

Something More: English 223
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Spring is like a perhaps hand
E. E. Cummings, 1894 - 1962
          III

Spring is like a perhaps hand 
(which comes carefully 
out of Nowhere)arranging 
a window,into which people look(while 
people stare
arranging and changing placing 
carefully there a strange 
thing and a known thing here)and

changing everything carefully

spring is like a perhaps 
Hand in a window 
(carefully to 
and fro moving New and 
Old things,while 
people stare carefully 
moving a perhaps 
fraction of flower here placing 
an inch of air there)and

without breaking anything.
Something More: English 223
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Hands
Siv Cedering, 1939 - 2007

I

When I fall asleep 
my hands leave me.

They pick up pens 
and draw creatures 
with five feathers 
on each wing.

The creatures multiply.
They say: "We are large 
like your father's 
hands."

They say: "We have 
your mother's 
knuckles."

I speak to them:
"If you are hands, 
why don't you 
touch?"

And the wings beat 
the air, clapping. 
They fly

high above elbows 
and wrists. 
They open windows 
and leave

rooms.
They perch in treetops 
and hide under bushes 
biting

their nails. "Hands," 
I call them. 
But it is fall

and all creatures 
with wings 
prepare to fly 
South.

 
II

When I sleep 
the shadows of my hands 
come to me.

They are softer than feathers 
and warm as creatures 
who have been close 
to the sun.

They say: "We are the giver," 
and tell of oranges 
growing on trees.

They say: "We are the vessel," 
and tell of journeys 
through water.

They say: "We are the cup."

And I stir in my sleep. 
Hands pull triggers 
and cut 
trees. But

the shadows of my hands 
tuck their heads 
under wings 
waiting
for morning,

when I will wake
braiding

three strands of hair
into one.
Something More: English 223
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That Everything's Inevitable
Katy Lederer
That everything's inevitable. 
That fate is whatever has already happened. 
The brain, which is as elemental, as sane, as the rest of the processing universe is. 
In this world, I am the surest thing.
Scrunched-up arms, folded legs, lovely destitute eyes. 
Please insert your spare coins. 
I am filling them up. 
Please insert your spare vision, your vigor, your vim. 
But yet, I am a vatic one. 
As vatic as the Vatican.
In the temper and the tantrum, in the well-kept arboretum
I am waiting, like an animal, 
For poetry.
Something More: English 223
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Untranslatable Song
Claudia Reder
          "Everyone needs one untranslatable song."
                     —Juarroz

On hearing the striped contralto of guinea fowl,
its mock opera quivers the parsley atop its head— 

The song makes its imprint
in the air, making itself felt, 
a felt world. Here, there, 
the stunned silence 
of knowing I will not remember 
what I heard;

futures
that will never happen, 
a fluidity we cannot achieve 
except as a child 
creating possibility.

This is the untranslatable song
hidden in the earth.
Something More: English 223
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Aphorisms
Antonio Porchia
Whatever I take, I take too much or too little; I do not take 
the exact amount. The exact amount is no use to me.

                      *

When one does not love the impossible, one does not love anything.

                      *

Every time I wake I understand how easy it is to be nothing.

                      *

Now you do not know what to do, not even when you go back to being 
a child. And it is sad to see a child who does not know what to do.

                      *

Only a few arrive at nothing, because the way is long.
Something More: English 223
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Of Many Worlds in This World
Margaret Cavendish
Just like as in a nest of boxes round,
Degrees of sizes in each box are found:
So, in this world, may many others be
Thinner and less, and less still by degree:
Although they are not subject to our sense,
A world may be no bigger than two-pence.
Nature is curious, and such works may shape,
Which our dull senses easily escape:
For creatures, small as atoms, may there be,
If every one a creature’s figure bear.
If atoms four, a world can make, then see
What several worlds might in an ear-ring be:
For, millions of those atoms may be in
The head of one small, little, single pin.
And if thus small, then ladies may well wear
A world of worlds, as pendents in each ear.
Something More: English 223
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Chance
Molly Peacock, 1947
may favor obscure brainy aptitudes in you
and a love of the past so blind you would
venture, always securing permission,
into the back library stacks, without food
or water because you have a mission:
to find yourself, in the regulated light,
holding a volume in your hands as you
yourself might like to be held.  Mostly your life
will be voices and images.  Information.  You
may go a long way alone, and travel much
to open a book to renew your touch.
Something More: English 223
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From the Long Sad Party
Mark Strand, 1934 - 2014
Someone was saying
something about shadows covering the field, about
how things pass, how one sleeps towards morning
and the morning goes.

Someone was saying
how the wind dies down but comes back,
how shells are the coffins of wind
but the weather continues.

It was a long night
and someone said something about the moon shedding its
   white
on the cold field, that there was nothing ahead
but more of the same.

Someone mentioned
a city she had been in before the war, a room with two
   candles
against a wall, someone dancing, someone watching.
We began to believe

the night would not end.
Someone was saying the music was over and no one had
   noticed.
Then someone said something about the planets, about the 
   stars,
how small they were, how far away.