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.
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.
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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.
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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.
But all is turned thorough my gentleness Into a strange fashion of forsaking; And I have leave to go of her goodness, And she also, to use newfangleness. But since that I so kindly am served I would fain know what she hath deserved. All the more astonishing then to have him remembering one woman above all the others who throws off her clothes and takes sweet control of a sexual encounter. Dear son, I was mezzo del cammin and the true path was as lost to me as ever when you cut in front and lit it as you ran.
See how the true gift never leaves the giver: returned and redelivered, it rolled on until the smile poured through us like a river. How fine, I thought, this waking amongst men! I kissed your mouth and pledged myself forever. Christopher Reid So many love poems are concerned with the exciting preliminaries: first glimpse, coup de foudre, wooing, and winning or losing; too few celebrate what follows. Part of Plenty by Bernard Spencer is a great, uxorious exception.
Love poems: ‘For one night only naked in your arms’ - 14 poets pick their favourites
He proceeds like a painter, coaxing coherence from disparate elements. The final stanza, in a risky gesture typical of Spencer, confounds both syntax and grammar to suggest an uncontrolled blurting out of joy, a matrimonial ecstasy that obeys only its own laws. I find this ingenious, profound and moving. When she puts a sheaf of tulips in a jug And pours in water and presses to one side The upright stems and leaves that you hear creak, Or loosens them, or holds them up to show me, So that I see the tangle of their necks and cups With the curls of her hair, and the body they are held Against, and the stalk of the small waist rising And flowering in the shape of breasts;.
Whether in the bringing of the flowers or of the food She offers plenty, and is part of plenty, And whether I see her stooping, or leaning with the flowers, What she does is ages old, and she is not simply, No, but lovely in that way. Peter Robinson, Bloodaxe, More recently, the love poem seems to have emerged from the shadows again. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
The crowd at the ball game. William Carlos Williams. Stuart Dybek. Gail Mazur. Appeared in Poetry Magazine Moths. Jennifer O'Grady. Stephen Kuusisto. Tony Hoagland. The Mower to the Glow-Worms. Andrew Marvell. First Blues. Saundra Rose Maley. The World in the Evening. Rachel Sherwood. Appeared in Poetry Magazine Fever. Hailey Leithauser. Appeared in Poetry Magazine Northampton Style. Marie Ponsot.
Nostalgia The Lake at Night. Lloyd Schwartz. In Defense of Our Overgrown Garden. Matthea Harvey. The Fact of the Garden. Minnie Bruce Pratt.
Appeared in Poetry Magazine Paths. John Montague. The Definition of Gardening. James Tate. Vespers [In your extended absence, you permit me]. Appeared in Poetry Magazine Early Cascade. Lucia Perillo. Appeared in Poetry Magazine Planting the Meadow. Mary Makofske. Robert Wrigley. In These Soft Trinities. Patricia Goedicke. Hannah F. The Children. Mark Jarman. Summer of the Ladybirds.
Vivian Smith. Frank Ormsby. Jane Kenyon. Seamus Heaney. Last August Hours Before the Year Naomi Shihab Nye. Bright Leaf. Ellen Bryant Voigt. A Dirge. Christina Rossetti. Deborah Landau. Summer's Almost Gone. William Trowbridge.
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Late Summer. Jennifer Grotz.