Haiku - 17 syllables, 17th of every month

Haiku is a poetic form that when written in English it is usually composed of 17 syllables in 3 lines of 5-7-5 syllables respectively. Check out the Wiki post on Haiku. 

For 2014 I plan to select a haiku and post it on the 17th day of every month. 17 syllyables = the 17th day of the month. Corny I know, but this is my blog after all! I also happened to get a Christmas present about Haiku poetry from my sister in law. It's called "Haiku, Japanese Art and Poetry" by Judith Patt, Michiko Wartentyne, and Barry Till. ISBN # 978-0-7649-5610-2. It's a beautiful book.


Friday Poetry: Poetry by Marianne Moore

I, too dislike it: There are things that are important beyond all this fiddle.

Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one discovers in

it after all, a place for the genuine.

Hands that can grasp, eyes

that can dilate, hair that can rise

if it must, these things are important not because a


high-sounding interpretation can be put upon them but because they are

useful. When they become so derivative as to become unintelligible,

the same thing may be said for all of us, that we

do not admire what

we cannot understand: the bat

holding on upside down or in quest for something to


eat, elephants pushing, a wild horse taking a roll, a tireless

wolf under a tree, the immovable critic twitching

his skin like a horse that feels a flea, the base-

ball fan, the statistician-

nor is it valid

to discriminate against "business documents and


school-books"; all these phenomena are important. One

must make a distinction

however: when dragged into prominence by half poets,

the result in not poetry,

nor till the poets among us can be

"literalists of

the imagination" - above

insolence and triviality and can present


for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them,

shall we have

it. In the meantime, if you demand on the one hand,

the raw material of poetry in

all its rawness and

that which is on the other hand

genuine, then you are interested in poetry.

Christmas Poetry: The Journey of the Magi, by T.S. Eliot

"A cold coming we had of it,

Just the worst time of year

For a journey, and such a long journey:

The ways deep and the weather sharp,

The very dead of winter."

And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,

Lying down in the melting snow.

There were times we regretted

The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,

And the silken girls bringing sherbet.

Then the camel men cursing and grumbling

And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,

And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,

And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly

And the villages dirty and charging high prices:

A hard time we had of it.

At the end we preferred to travel all night,

Sleeping in snatches,

With voices singing in our ears, saying

That this was folly.


Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,

Wet, below the snow-line, smelling of vegetation,

With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,

And three trees on the low sky.

And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.

Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,

Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,

And feet kicking the empty wine-skins.

But there was no information, and so we continuted

And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon

Find the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.


All this was a long time ago, I remember,

And I would do it again, but set down

This set down

This: were we led that way for

Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,

We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,

But had thought they were different; this Birth was

Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.

We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,

But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,

With alien people clutching their gods.

I should be glad of another death.

Friday Poetry: The Buzzard, by David Hodges

Awkward, hunched, high up

among bare branches,

sharp-taloned hunter,

reliving the day's

missed chances,

staring downwind

through the icy landscape,

sifting images of prey:

nothing misses

his sharp eye.


Bright sunlight catches

something moving

out of cover,

and in an instant

he's a blur of feathers,

pure killing machine

transformed again

in his awesome

hunting flight.

Friday Poetry: The Zebras, by Roy Campbell

From the dark woods that breathe of fallen showers,

harnessed with level rays in golden reins,

The zebras draw the dawn across the plains

Wading knee-deep among the scarlet flowers.

The sunlight, zithering their flanks with fire,

Flashes between the shadows as they pass

Barred with electric tremors through the grass

Like wind along the gold strings of a lyre.

Into the flushed air snorting rosy plumes

That smoulder round their feet in drifting fumes,

With dove-like voices call the distant fillies,

While round the herds the stallion wheels his flight,

Engine of beauty volted with delight,

To roll his mare among the trampled lilies.


Friday Poetry: The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveller, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;


Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,


And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.


I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads  diverged in a wood, and I-

I took the one less travelled by,

And that has made all the difference.

Friday Poetry: The Shell, by James Stephens


And then I pressed the shell

Close to my ear

And listened well.

And straightaway, like a bell,

Came low and clear

The slow, sad murmur of far distant seas,

Whipped by an icy breeze

Upon a shore

Wind-swept and desolate.

It was a sunless strand that never bore

The footprint of a man,

Nor felt the weight

Since time began

of any human quality or stir

Save what the dreary winds and waves incur.

And in the hush of waters was the sound

Of pebbles rolling round;

For ever rolling with a hollow sound:

And bubbling sew-weeds, as the waters go,

Swish to and fro

Their long, cold tentacles of slimy grey:

There was no day;

Nor ever came a night

Setting the stars alight

To wonder at the moon:

Was twilight only and the frightened croon,

Smitten to whimpers, of the dreary wind

And waves that journeyed blind...

And then loosed my ear - Oh, it was sweet

To hear a cart go jolting down the street.

Friday Poetry: The Swans, by Clifford Dyment

Midstream they met. Challenger and Champion,

They fought a war for honour

Fierce, sharp, but with no honour:

Each had a simple aim and sought it quickly.

The combat over, the victor sailed away,

Broken, but placid as is the gift of swans,

Leaving his rival to his shame alone.


I listened for a song, according to story,

But this swan's death was out of character-

No giving up the grace of life

In a sad lingering music,

I saw the beaten swan rise on the water

As though to outreach pain, its webbed feet

Banging the river helplessly, its wings

Loose in a last hysteria. Then the neck

Was floating like a rope and the swan was dead.

It drifted away and all around it swan's down

Bobbed on the river like children's boats.