Saturday, July 21, 2007

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Seamus Heaney
from the first of the "Glanmore Sonnets"

Old ploughsocks gorge the subsoil of each sense
And I am quickened with a redolence
Of farmland as a dark unblown rose.
Wait then ... Breasting the mist, in sowers’ aprons,
My ghosts come striding into their spring stations.
The dream grain whirls like freakish Easter snows.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


when the proficient poison of sure sleep
bereaves us of our slow tranquillities

and He without Whose favour nothing is
(being of men called Love)upward doth leap
from the mute hugeness of depriving deep

with thunder of those hungering wings of His,

into the lucent and large signories
—i shall not smile,beloved;i shall not weep:

when from the less-than-whiteness of thy face
(whose eyes inherit vacancy)will time
extract his inconsiderable doom,
when these thy lips beautifully embrace
              and when thy bashful hands assume

silence beyond the mystery of rhyme
Back to poetry!

Meredith of For Keats' Sake! searches for the perfect line.

A few of my candidates:

She moved in circles, and those circles moved (Roethke)

She sang beyond the genius of the sea (Stevens)

A fasted will marauding through the body (Heaney)

The sundering ultimate kingdom of genesis' thunder (Dylan Thomas, see below)

e quindi uscimmo a riveder le stelle (Dante)

benignamente d'umiltà vestuta (Dante)

Le vierge, le vivace, et le bel aujourd'hui (Mallarmé)

How wrong they are in always being right (Auden)

one's not half two. It's two are halves of one (Cummings)

And night is all a settlement of snow (Wilbur)

(I don't know if I should include such masterful single lines as "upon" by William Carlos Williams, or "satis-" by Robert Creeley ... )