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Love is monomaniacal, love is appalling, love is secret, love is childish, love rips you from the bosom of your family, love is woozy, love is ravishing, love is scrumdiddlyumptious. I should probably feel embarrassed at telling Ireland that this is my favourite love poem, but am unabashed. My father died, my brother too, They passed like fleeting dreams, I stood where Popocatapetl In the sunlight gleams.

I walked in a great golden dream To and fro from school — Shining Popocatapetl The dusty streets did rule. I gazed entranced upon his face Fairer than any flower— O shining Popocatapetl It was thy magic hour:. The houses, people, traffic seemed Thin fading dreams by day; Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, They had stolen my soul away! She tells her love while half asleep by Robert Graves She tells her love while half asleep, In the dark hours, With half-words whispered low: As Earth turns in her winter sleep And puts out grass and flowers Despite the snow, Despite the falling snow. Both poems share a deceptive simplicity of diction and seductive cadence, the evocation of the natural world as the proper theatre of love, and an air of the mysterious — but the Graves lyric, I think, reaches even farther and deeper into the psychic hinterland of besotted love than does the earlier poem.

A perfect poem. Being myself a protective grandmother now, I mind learning this chant as a child of eight and being seduced by the patterns and interweaving tunes of the sounds,the work concealing the lovemaking, the rhymes and inversions twisting the Irish out of the English. Enda Wyley Some of the finest, most moving love poems in the world have grown out of desolation and isolation. And yet, the right love poem is strangely reassuring. Someone else has felt like us and has actually survived to write about it.

Suddenly we know we are not alone. Suddenly we can make the love poem our own. Here is a favourite, a simple four line love lyric which I have always admired. It aches with loneliness and longing and is short but unforgettable. That the poet is anonymous, adds further to the mystery of the piece written about Western wind, when will thou blow, The small rain down can rain? If my love were in my arms, And I in my bed again! Peter Sirr When it comes to love poems I like to go back to the source of it all: the troubadours of southern France who kicked off the entire tradition of the lyric love poem as we know it, poets like Bernart de Ventadorn or Arnaut Daniel who inspired Dante so much he considered writing in Occitan.

Some of the best of the poetry was written by women. My tender beautiful cavalier when will I have you for myself? For one night only naked in your arms. It was written to his on-off lover Lily Brik. In it was revealed Lily was NKVD agent and had been informing the authorities about his disillusionment with the regime of that nice Mr Stalin.

The poem was left as a note when Mayakovsky shot himself in It appeals because, big eejit that I used to be, I once had a tendency to fall for the likes of Lily. You must have gone to bed. The Milky Way streams silver through the night. And, as they say, the incident is closed. Now you and I are quits. Why bother then To balance mutual sorrows, pains, and hurts.

Behold what quiet settles on the world. Night wraps the sky in tribute from the stars. In hours like these, one rises to address The ages, history, and all creation. Paddy said his mother loved the poem and his father hated it. Better again. My mother smiled. My father raged. He liked his women young, he said And not half-dead.

Summer When summer came My father left the house He tied a ribbon in his hair And wore a Kaftan dress. He toured the world And met a guru in Tibet. Autumn Through autumn days My father felt the leaves Burning in the corners of his mind. My mother, who was younger by a year, Looked young and fair, The sailors from the port of Martinique Had kissed her cheek.

He searched the house And hidden in a trunk beneath the bed My father found his second-hand guitar. He found her see-through skirt With matching vest.

Hera Lindsay Bird: I prefer poetry that allows room for ugliness and error

He made the bed, He wore his Kaftan dress A ribbon in his hair. Winter At sixty-four My mother died At sixty-five My father. Thomas McCarthy Love possesses poets like no other feeling. That X could be an Ex. The skill with which Groarke layers those feelings is astonishing. Anyone who has lost in love will get this poem instantly.

Ghost Poem by Vona Groarke Crowded at my window tonight, your ghosts will have nothing to speak of but love though the long grass leading to my door is parted neither by you leaving. The same ghosts keep in with my blood, the way a small name says itself, over and over, so one minute is cavernous.

You are a sky over narrow water. I want to tell you all their bone-white, straight-line prophecies. Vona Groarke, X Gallery Press. Tom Paulin To Lizbie Browne may seem an odd choice of a love poem. It haunted me and later I came to see it as primal, obsessive, even fetishistic. It succeeds in being both tender and self-mocking. In sun, in rain,? Where went you then, O Lizbie Browne? I have seen them gentle, tame, and meek, That now are wild and do not remember That sometime they put themself in danger To take bread at my hand; and now they range, Busily seeking with a continual change.

A happy lip — breaks sudden. A House upon the Height. A Lady red — amid the Hill. A lane of Yellow led the eye. A Letter is a joy of Earth. A Light exists in Spring. A little bread — a crust — a crumb. A little Dog that wags his tail. A little East of Jordan. A little Madness in the Spring. A little overflowing word. A little Road — not made of Man. A little Snow was here and there. A long — long Sleep — A famous — Sleep. A loss of something ever felt I.

A Man may make a Remark. A Mien to move a Queen. A Mine there is no Man would own. A Moth the hue of this. A Murmur in the Trees — to note. A narrow Fellow in the Grass. A nearness to Tremendousness. A Night — there lay the Days between. A not admitting of the wound. A Pang is more conspicuous in Spring. A Pit — but Heaven over it. A Planted Life — diversified. A poor — torn heart — a tattered heart. A precious — mouldering pleasure — 'tis. A Prison gets to be a friend. A prompt — executive Bird is the Jay. A Rat surrendered here. A Route of Evanescence. A Saucer holds a Cup. A science — so the Savants say.

A Secret told. A sepal, petal, and a thorn. A Shade upon the mind there passes. A shady friend — for Torrid days. A Sickness of this World it most occasions. A single Clover Plank. A single Screw of Flesh. A slash of Blue. A Sloop of Amber slips away. A soft Sea washed around the House.

A solemn thing — it was — I said. A Solemn thing within the Soul. A something in a summer's Day. A South Wind — has a pathos. A Sparrow took a Slice of Twig. A Spider sewed at Night. A stagnant pleasure like a Pool. A still — Volcano — Life. A Thought went up my mind today. A throe upon the features. A Toad, can die of Light. A Tongue — to tell Him I am true! A Tooth upon Our Peace. A train went through a burial gate. A transport one cannot contain. A Visitor in Marl. A Weight with Needles on the pounds. A Wife — at daybreak I shall be. A wild Blue sky abreast of Winds. A Wind that rose.

A winged spark doth soar about. A Word dropped careless on a Page. A word is dead. A Word made Flesh is seldom. A World made penniless by that departure. A wounded Deer — leaps highest. Above Oblivion's Tide there is a Pier. Abraham to kill him. Absence disembodies — so does Death.

Absent Place — an April Day. A little boat adrift! Advance is Life's condition. Of whom am I afraid? After a hundred years. After all Birds have been investigated and laid aside. After great pain, a formal feeling comes. After the Sun comes out. Again — his voice is at the door.

Ah Teneriffe! Ah, Moon — and Star! Ah, Necromancy Sweet! Air has no Residence, no Neighbor. All but Death, can be Adjusted. All Circumstances are the Frame. All forgot for recollecting. All I may, if small. All men for Honor hardest work. All overgrown by cunning moss. All that I do. All the letters I can write.

All these my banners be. All things swept sole away. Alone and in a Circumstance. Alone, I cannot be. When the Hills do. Although I put away his life. Always Mine! Ambition cannot find him. Ample make this Bed. An altered look about the hills. An antiquated Grace. An Antiquated Tree. An awful Tempest mashed the air —. An Everywhere of Silver. An honest Tear. An Hour is a Sea. An ignorance a Sunset. And this of all my Hopes. And with what body do they come? Angels, in the early morning.


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Answer July. Apology for Her. Apparently with no surprise. Arcturus is his other name. Are Friends Delight or Pain? Arrows enamored of his Heart. Art thou the thing I wanted? Artists wrestled here! As by the dead we love to sit. As Children bid the Guest Good Night. As far from pity, as complaint. As from the earth the light Balloon. As Frost is best conceived. As if I asked a common Alms. As if some little Arctic flower. As if the Sea should part.

As imperceptibly as Grief. As old as Woe. As One does Sickness over. As plan for Noon and plan for Night. As Sleigh Bells seem in summer. As subtle as tomorrow. As Summer into Autumn slips. As the Starved Maelstrom laps the Navies. As Watchers hang upon the East. As we pass Houses musing slow. As willing lid o'er weary eye. Ashes denote that Fire was. At Half past Three, a single Bird. At last, to be identified! At least — to pray — is left — is left. At leisure is the Soul. Aurora is the effort. Autumn — overlooked my Knitting. Awake ye muses nine, sing me a strain divine. Away from Home are some and I.

Back from the cordial Grave I drag thee. Baffled for just a day or two. Banish Air from Air. Be Mine the Doom. Beauty — be not caused — It Is. Beauty crowds me till I die. Because 'twas Riches I could own. Because He loves Her. Because I could not stop for Death. Because my Brook is fluent. Because that you are going. Because the Bee may blameless hum. I'm expecting you! Bees are Black, with Gilt Surcingles. Before He comes we weigh the Time! Before I got my eye put out.

Before the ice is in the pools. Before you thought of Spring. Behind Me — dips Eternity. Behold this little Bane. Belshazzar had a Letter. Bereaved of all, I went abroad. Bereavement in their death to feel. Besides the Autumn poets sing. Besides this May.

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Best Gains — must have the Losses' Test. Best Things dwell out of Sight. Best Witchcraft is Geometry. Betrothed to Righteousness might be. Better — than Music! For I — who heard it. Between My Country — and the Others. Between the form of Life and Life. Bind me — I still can sing. Birthday of but a single pang. Blazing in Gold and quenching in Purple.

Bless God, he went as soldiers. Bliss is the plaything of the child. Bloom — is Result — to meet a Flower. Bloom upon the Mountain — stated. Blossoms will run away. Bound — a trouble. Bring me the sunset in a cup. Brother of Ingots — Ah Peru. But little Carmine hath her face. By a departing light. By a flower — By a letter. By Chivalries as tiny. By homely gift and hindered Words. By my Window have I for Scenery.

By such and such an offering. Candor — my tepid friend. Circumference thou Bride of Awe. Civilization — spurns — the Leopard! Climbing to reach the costly Hearts. Cocoon above! Cocoon below! Color — Caste — Denomination. Come show thy Durham Breast. Come slowly — Eden! Conferring with myself. Confirming All who analyze. Conjecturing a Climate. Conscious am I in my Chamber.

Consulting summer's clock. Contained in this short Life. Cosmopolities without a plea. Could — I do more — for Thee. Could Hope inspect her Basis. Could I — then — shut the door. Could I but ride indefinite. Could live — did live. Could mortal lip divine. Could that sweet Darkness where they dwell.

Count not that far that can be had. Crisis is a Hair. Crisis is sweet and yet the Heart. Crumbling is not an instant's Act. Dare you see a Soul at the White Heat? Dear March — Come in. Death is a Dialogue between. Death is like the insect. Death is potential to that Man. Death is the supple Suitor.

Death leaves Us homesick, who behind. Death sets a Thing significant. Death warrants are supposed to be. Death's Waylaying not the sharpest. Declaiming Waters none may dread. Defrauded I a Butterfly. Delayed till she had ceased to know.

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Delight — becomes pictorial. Delight is as the flight. Delight's Despair at setting. Denial — is the only fact. Departed — to the Judgment. Deprived of other Banquet. Despair's advantage is achieved. Dew — is the Freshet in the Grass. Did life's penurious length. Did Our Best Moment last. Did the Harebell loose her girdle. Did We abolish Frost. Did we disobey Him? Did you ever stand in a Cavern's Mouth. Distance — is not the Realm of Fox. Distrustful of the Gentian.

Do People moulder equally. Dominion lasts until obtained. Don't put up my Thread and Needle. Doom is the House without the Door. Doubt Me! My Dim Companion! Down Time's quaint stream. Drab Habitation of Whom? Drama's Vitallest Expression is the Common Day. Dreams — are well — but Waking's better. Dreams are the subtle Dower. Dropped into the Ether Acre.

Drowning is not so pitiful. Dust is the only Secret. Dying at my music! Dying in the night! To be afraid of thee. Each Life Converges to some Centre. Each Scar I'll keep for Him. Each Second is the last. Each that we lose takes part of us;.


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Eden is that old-fashioned House. Elijah's Wagon knew no thill. Elizabeth told Essex. Elysium is as far as to. Embarrassment of one another. Empty my Heart, of Thee. Endanger it, and the Demand. Ended, ere it begun. Endow the Living — with the Tears. Escape is such a thankful Word. Escaping backward to perceive. Essential Oils — are wrung. Estranged from Beauty — none can be. Except the Heaven had come so near. Except the smaller size. Except to Heaven, she is nought. Exhilaration — is within. Exhilaration is the Breeze.

Expanse cannot be lost. Expectation — is Contentment. Experience is the Angled Road. Experiment escorts us last. Experiment to me. Extol thee — could I? Then I will. Exultation is the going. Facts by our side are never sudden. Fairer through Fading — as the Day. Faith — is the Pierless Bridge. Faith is a fine invention. Faithful to the end Amended. Falsehood of Thee could I suppose. Fame is a bee.

Fame is a fickle food. Fame is the one that does not stay. Fame is the tint that Scholars leave. Fame of Myself, to justify. Fame's Boys and Girls, who never die. Far from Love the Heavenly Father. Fate slew Him, but He did not drop. Few, yet enough. Finding is the first Act. Finite — to fail, but infinite to Venture.

Fitter to see Him, I may be. Floss won't save you from an Abyss. Flowers — Well — if anybody. Follow wise Orion. For Death — or rather. For each ecstatic instant. For every Bird a Nest. For largest Woman's Hearth I knew. For this — accepted Breath. Forbidden Fruit a flavor has. Forever — is composed of Nows. Forever at His side to walk. Forever honored by the Tree. The lady with the Amulet. Fortitude incarnate. Four Trees — upon a solitary Acre. Frequently the woods are pink -. Frigid and sweet Her parting Face.

From all the Jails the Boys and Girls. From Blank to Blank. From Cocoon forth a Butterfly. From his slim Palace in the Dust. From Us She wandered now a Year. Funny — to be a Century. Further in Summer than the Birds. Garland for Queens, may be. Gathered into the Earth. Give little Anguish. Given in Marriage unto Thee. Glass was the Street — in tinsel Peril.

Glee — The great storm is over. Glory is that bright tragic thing. Glowing is her Bonnet. Go not too near a House of Rose. Go slow, my soul, to feed thyself. Go tell it — What a Message. Go thy great way! Go travelling with us! God gave a Loaf to every Bird. God is a distant — stately Lover. God is indeed a jealous God. God made a little Gentian. God made no act without a cause. God permits industrious Angels. Going to Heaven! Going to Him! Happy letter! Good Morning — Midnight. Good Night! Which put the Candle out? Good night, because we must.

Good to hide, and hear 'em hunt! Gratitude — is not the mention. Great Caesar! Great Streets of silence led away. Grief is a Mouse. Growth of Man — like Growth of Nature. Guest am I to have. Had I known that the first was the last. Had I not seen the Sun. Had I not This, or This, I said. Had I presumed to hope. Had this one Day not been. Had we known the Ton she bore. Had we our senses. Have any like Myself. Have you got a Brook in your little heart. He ate and drank the precious Words. He forgot — and I — remembered. He fought like those Who've nought to lose.

He found my Being — set it up. He fumbles at your Soul. He gave away his Life. He is alive, this morning. He lived the Life of Ambush. He outstripped Time with but a Bout. He parts Himself — like Leaves. He preached upon Breadth till it argued him narrow. He put the Belt around my life. He scanned it — staggered.

He strained my faith. He told a homely tale. He touched me, so I live to know. He was my host — he was my guest. He was weak, and I was strong — then. He went by sleep that drowsy route. He who in Himself believes. We will forget him! Heart, not so heavy as mine. Heaven — is what I cannot reach! Heaven has different Signs — to me. Heaven is so far of the Mind. Heavenly Father — take to thee. Her — last Poems. Her breast is fit for pearls. Her face was in a bed of hair.

Her final Summer was it. Her Grace is all she has. Her little Parasol to lift. Her Losses make our Gains ashamed. Her smile was shaped like other smiles. Her sovereign People. Her spirit rose to such a height. Her Sweet turn to leave the Homestead. Her sweet Weight on my Heart a Night. Here, where the Daisies fit my Head. Herein a Blossom lies. High from the earth I heard a bird. His Bill an Auger is. His Bill is clasped — his Eye forsook. His Cheek is his Biographer.

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His Feet are shod with Gauze. His Heart was darker than the starless night. His little Hearse like Figure. His Mansion in the Pool. His Mind like Fabrics of the East. His mind of man, a secret makes. His oriental heresies. His voice decrepit was with Joy. Hope is a strange invention. Hope is a subtle Glutton. Hope is the thing with feathers. Houses — so the Wise Men tell me. How brittle are the Piers.

How dare the robins sing. How destitute is he. How far is it to Heaven? How firm Eternity must look. How fits his Umber Coat. How fleet — how indiscreet an one. How fortunate the Grave. How good his Lava Bed. How happy I was if I could forget. How happy is the little Stone. How Human Nature dotes. How know it from a Summer's Day? How lonesome the Wind must feel Nights.

How many Flowers fail in Wood. How many schemes may die. How many times these low feet staggered. How much of Source escapes with thee. How much the present moment means. How News must feel when travelling. How noteless Men, and Pleiads, stand. How ruthless are the gentle.

How sick — to wait — in any place — but thine. How slow the Wind. How soft a Caterpillar steps. How soft this Prison is. How still the Bells in Steeples stand. How the old Mountains drip with Sunset. How the Waters closed above Him. How well I knew Her not. I am afraid to own a Body. I am alive — I guess. I am ashamed — I hide. I asked no other thing. I bet with every Wind that blew. I breathed enough to take the Trick. I bring an unaccustomed wine.

I Came to buy a smile — today. I can wade Grief. I can't tell you — but you feel it. I cannot be ashamed. I cannot buy it — 'tis not sold. I cannot dance upon my Toes. I cannot live with You. I cannot meet the Spring unmoved. I cannot see my soul but know 'tis there.

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I cannot want it more. I cautious, scanned my little life.


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I could bring You Jewels — had I a mind to. I could die — to know. I could not drink it, Sweet. I could not prove the Years had feet. I could suffice for Him, I knew. I cried at Pity — not at Pain. I cross till I am weary.