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Philip Larkin

Truly, though our element is time,We are not suited to the long perspectivesOpen at each instant of our lives.They link us to our losses: worse,They show us what we have as it once was,Blindingly undiminished, just as thoughBy acting differently, we could have kept it so. — Philip Larkin, from “Reference Back,” The Complete Poems… Continue reading Philip Larkin


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T.S. Eliot

Because I know that time is always timeAnd place is always and only placeAnd what is actual is actual only for one timeAnd only for one placeI rejoice that things are as they are andI renounce the blessèd faceAnd renounce the voiceBecause I cannot hope to turn againConsequently I rejoice, having to construct somethingUpon which… Continue reading T.S. Eliot

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Archibald MacLeish

Poets have to eat as wellWhat he wouldn’t give just to walk out todayTo have time to think about time     “And here face downward in the sun    To feel how swift how secretly    The shadow of the night comes on … — Archibald MacLeish, from “You, Andrew Marvell,” Collected Poems 1917-1982 (Houghton Mifflin, 1985)

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Sylvia Plath

I would have killed myself gladly that time any possible way.Now there are these veils, shimmering like curtains, the diaphanous satins of a January windowwhite as babies’ bedding and glittering with dead breath. O ivory! — Sylvia Plath, from “A Birthday Present,” Tne Collected Poems (Turtleback Books, January 1, 1999) Originally published 1981.

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Pablo Neruda

Ode to SadnessSadness, scarabwith seven crippled feet,spiderweb egg,scramble-brained rat,bitch’s skeleton:No entry here.Don’t come in.Go away.Go backsouth with your umbrella,go backnorth with your serpent’s teeth.A poet lives here.No sadness maycross this threshold.Through these windowscomes the breath of the world,fresh red roses,flags embroidered withthe victories of the people.No.No entry.Flapyour bat’s wings,I will trample the feathersthat fall from… Continue reading Pablo Neruda

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Federico García Lorca

The moon comes to the forge,in her creamy-white petticoat.The child stares, stares.The child is staring at her.In the breeze, stirred,the moon stirs her armsshows, pure, voluptuous,her breasts of hard tin.– ‘Away, luna, luna, luna.If the gypsies come here,they’ll take your heart fornecklaces and white rings.’– ‘Child, let me dance now.When the gypsies come here,they’ll find… Continue reading Federico García Lorca

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