Here’s a poet and critic of the twentieth century that walked to a beat of his own drum.
Although controversial, but still standing for what he believed in at a time when you were shunned and out casted for being different or having your own ideas that didn’t coincide with the ideas of the majority.
Of all the major literary figures in the twentieth century, Ezra Pound has been one of the most controversial; he has also been one of modern poetry’s most important contributors. Pound authored more than 70 books and promoted many other now-famous writers, including James Joyce and T.S. Eliot.
Poet Ezra Pound was born on October 30, 1885, in Hailey, Idaho. He studied literature and languages in college and in 1908 left for Europe, where he published several successful books of poetry. Pound advanced a “modern” movement in English and American literature. His pro-Fascist broadcasts in Italy during World War II led to his arrest and confinement until 1958.
EARLY YEARS –
One of the 20th century’s most influential voices in American and English literature, Ezra Pound was born in the small mining town of Hailey, Idaho, on October 30, 1885. The only child of Homer Loomis Pound, a Federal Land Office official, and his wife, Isabel, Ezra spent the bulk of his childhood just outside Philadelphia, where his father had moved the family after accepting a job with the U.S. Mint. His childhood seems to have been a happy one. He eventually attended Cheltenham Military Academy, staying there two years before leaving to finish his high school education at a local public school.
In 1901, Pound enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania, but left after two years and transferred to Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy. By this time, Pound knew full well that he wanted to be a poet. At the age of 15, he had told his parents as much. Though his chosen vocation certainly wasn’t something he had inherited directly from his more conventional mother and father, Homer and Isabel were supportive of their son’s choice.
In 1907, after finishing college, Pound accepted a teaching job at Indiana’s Wabash College. But the fit between the artistic, somewhat bohemian poet and the formal institution was less than perfect, and Pound soon left.
His next move proved to be more daring. In 1908, with just $80 in his pocket, he set sail for Europe, and landed in Venice brimming with confidence that he would soon make a name for himself in the world of poetry. With his own money, Pound paid for the publication of his first book of poems, “A Lume Spento.”
If you would like to read more on the extraordinary man, please visit: https://www.biography.com/writer/ezra-pound
A Girl –
The tree has entered my hands,
The sap has ascended my arms,
The tree has grown in my breast –
The branches grow out of me, like arms.
Tree you are,
Moss you are,
You are violets with wind above them.
A child – so high – you are,
And all this is folly to the world.
A Pact –
I make a pact with you, Walt Whitman –
I have detested you long enough.
I come to you as a grown child
Who has had a pig-headed father;
I am old enough now to make friends.
It was you that broke the new wood,
Now is a time for carving.
We have one sap and one root –
Let there be commerce between us.
An Immorality –
Sing we for love and idleness,
Naught else is worth the having.
Though I have been in many a land,
There is naught else in living.
And I would rather have my sweet,
Though rose-leaves die of grieving,
Than do high deeds in Hungary
To pass all men’s believing.
As an avid reader and writer, I love reading and researching about other writers I know little or nothing at all about. Many of these people have lived incredible lives and others have had nothing but made something great out of the nothing. Well, I know who the great Alice Walker is, but have never just sat down and read up about her. I do know she is the author of the book, “The Color Purple,” which was made into one of my favorite movies. Having been born in Georgia back in the 40s, I am sure she saw a lot and experienced a lot, good and not so good. Ms. Walker put her energy into going to college and making something amazing out of herself. She along with so many of the other writers out there have inspired many, and as I continue reading about these writers, it encourages me to write on!
Alice Walker was born on February 9, 1944, in Eatonton, Georgia, the eighth and last child of Willie Lee and Minnie Lou Grant Walker, who were sharecroppers. When Alice Walker was eight years old, she lost sight of one eye when one of her older brothers shot her with a BB gun by accident. In high school, Alice Walker was valedictorian of her class, and that achievement, coupled with a “rehabilitation scholarship” made it possible for her to go to Spelman, a college for black women in Atlanta, Georgia. After spending two years at Spelman, she transferred to Sarah Lawrence College in New York, and during her junior year traveled to Africa as an exchange student. She received her bachelor of arts degree from Sarah Lawrence College in 1965.
After finishing college, Walker lived for a short time in New York, then from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s, she lived in Tougaloo, Mississippi, during which time she had a daughter, Rebecca, in 1969. Alice Walker was active in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, and in the 1990’s she is still an involved activist. She has spoken for the women’s movement, the anti-apartheid movement, for the anti-nuclear movement, and against female genital mutilation. Alice Walker started her own publishing company, Wild Trees Press, in 1984. She currently resides in Northern California with her dog, Marley.
She received the Pulitzer Prize in 1983 for “The Color Purple.” Among her numerous awards and honors are the Lillian Smith Award from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rosenthal Award from the National Institute of Arts & Letters, a nomination for the National Book Award, a Radcliffe Institute Fellowship, a Merrill Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Front Page Award for Best Magazine Criticism from the Newswoman’s Club of New York. She also has received the Townsend Prize and a Lyndhurst Prize.
Before you knew you owned it –
Expect nothing. Live frugally
become a stranger
To need of pity
Or, if compassion be freely
Take only enough
Stop short of urge to plead
Then purge away the need.
Wish for nothing larger
Than your own small heart
Or greater than a star;
Tame wild disappointment
With caress unmoved and cold
Make of it a parka
For your soul.
Discover the reason why
So tiny human midget
Exists at all
So scared unwise
But expect nothing. Live frugally
Biography and poem credit: http://www.famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/alice_walker/poems
I am always excited to read about poets. It doesn’t matter if they are young or old. Poetry inspires me and I get lost in reading it. It’s a way of being in a peaceful, stress-free place.
May I introduce to you, Dante. He started writing poetry this year in fifth grade and has been very enthusiastic. His teacher says she has never seen a student write so much poetry and has even read some of Dante’s poems to her children. Dante lives in the USA and is 10 years old.
Day and Night –
In the day you’ll wave goodbye run around and fly a kite.
But when the day comes to an end sleep is what you must attend.
Climb in your bed and fluff your pillow take one last look out the window.
Ask yourself one more question…
Why does the sun go up and down shine and darken every town?
Let’s not worry about that right now but I know you’ll find out.
Night to dawn to light to dusk yep that’s right nothing wrong.
Here is another talented child writer. Her name is Michaela George, and she’s 12 years old. Michaela enjoys writing songs, stories, and poems. Isn’t it fascinating to find so many children writing such outstanding poetry at such a young age? I find it just incredible and love seeing children diving into good books, putting on their creative thinking cap and creating poetry for all to enjoy.
Please sit back and enjoy this beautiful poem written by Michaela George!
Winter is cold, with gusts of tumbling snow,
When rain falls down and nothing ever grows.
For children, it’s the snow that they desire
And cups of cocoa in front of the fire.
When winter’s gone, the grass grows green again. Roses and tulips sprout with bright green stems.
The bees are buzzing, the birds are singing.
Sheep are grazing and cow bells are ringing.
And then the sun starts to shine too brightly.
It’s so hot that fans are put on nightly,
And so then it’s off to the beach or pools
Where people swim about just to keep cool.
All the leaves on the trees turn golden-brown,
And when on the ground make a crackly sound.
In autumn a lot of money you make
From clearing backyards of leaves with a rake.
Each season has its own goods and its bads,
But since they are all different I am glad!
It’s always wonderful to see children take interest in reading & writing.
This extraordinary little fella has some of the most amazing poems. His name is Vivian and he has been writing since he was 5 years old. He loves poems with emotion. Vivian lives in India. I hope you all enjoy
each poem as I did. I sure hope this little boy keeps writing and giving
Once I had a chicken
Whose name was Licken
But it named itself Richen
I thought he was small,
But he pulled my shawl
And had a real bad fall
. One day I saw a cock
It snatched away my clock.
I got angry and threw a rock.
Then it scratched its head
And went limping to bed
With a leg that was red.
I felt quite sad
My dad said it was bad
This made me feel mad.
Then I took my chicken
Which was named Licken
And decided to call it Ricken
I took the cock
And gave it my only clock.
This is a lady I’ve heard of before, but never read any of her writings and poetry. I am very impressed and will definitely spend time reading about her. She was truly a unique woman who was blessed to have people around her who cared enough to teach her to read and write and also enhance her talents and love of poetry. Please read through her biography and take a look at the beautiful monument in her honor that stands at the Boston’s Women’s Memorial. She was truly inspiring!
Phillis Wheatley, also spelled Phyllis and Wheatly (c. 1753 – December 5, 1784) was the first African-American woman to publish a book of poetry. Born in West Africa, she was sold into slavery at the age of seven or eight and transported to North America. She was purchased by the Wheatley family of Boston, who taught her to read and write and encouraged her poetry when they saw her talent.
The publication of her Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral on September 1, 1773, brought her fame both in England and the American colonies. Figures such as George Washington praised her work. During Wheatley’s visit to England with her master’s son, African-American poet Jupiter Hammon praised her work in his own poem. Wheatley was emancipated (set free) shortly after the publication of her book. She married in about 1778. Two of her children died as infants. After her husband was imprisoned for debt in 1784, Wheatley fell into poverty and died of illness, quickly followed by the death of her surviving infant son.
Phillis Wheatley’s church, Old South Meeting House
Although the date and place of her birth are not documented, scholars believe that Phillis Wheatley was born in 1753 in West Africa, most likely in present-day Gambia or Senegal. Wheatley was sold by a local chief to a visiting trader, who took her to Boston in the British colony of Massachusetts, on July 11, 1761, on a ship called The Phillis. It was owned by Timothy Fitch and captained by Peter Gwinn.
On arrival she was re-sold to the wealthy Boston merchant and tailor John Wheatley, who bought the young girl as a servant for his wife Susanna. John and Susanna Wheatley named the young girl Phillis, after the ship that had brought her to America. She was given their last name of Wheatley, as was a common custom if any surname was used for slaves.
Wheatleys’ 18-year-old daughter, Mary, first tutored Phillis in reading and writing. Their son Nathaniel also helped her. John Wheatley was known as a progressive throughout New England; his family gave Phillis an unprecedented education for an enslaved person, and for a female of any race. By the age of 12, she was reading Greek and Latin classics and difficult passages from the Bible. At the age of 14, she wrote her first poem, “To the University of Cambridge, in New England.” Recognizing her literary ability, the Wheatley family supported Phillis’s education and left the household labor to their other domestic slaves. The Wheatleys often showed off her abilities to friends and family. Strongly influenced by her studies of the works of Alexander Pope, John Milton, Homer, Horace and Virgil, Phillis began to write poetry.
Biography Credit Wikipedia :https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phillis_Wheatley
To A Lady on The Death of Her Husband –
GRIM monarch! see, depriv’d of vital breath,
A young physician in the dust of death:
Dost thou go on incessant to destroy,
Our griefs to double, and lay waste our joy?
Enough thou never yet wast known to say,
Though millions die, the vassals of thy sway:
Nor youth, nor science, not the ties of love,
Nor ought on earth thy flinty heart can move.
The friend, the spouse from his dire dart to save,
In vain we ask the sovereign of the grave.
Fair mourner, there see thy lov’d Leonard laid,
And o’er him spread the deep impervious shade.
Clos’d are his eyes, and heavy fetters keep
His senses bound in never-waking sleep,
Till time shall cease, till many a starry world
Shall fall from heav’n, in dire confusion hurl’d
Till nature in her final wreck shall lie,
And her last groan shall rend the azure sky:
Not, not till then his active soul shall claim
His body, a divine immortal frame.
But see the softly-stealing tears apace
Pursue each other down the mourner’s face;
But cease thy tears, bid ev’ry sigh depart,
And cast the load of anguish from thine heart:
From the cold shell of his great soul arise,
And look beyond, thou native of the skies;
There fix thy view, where fleeter than the wind
Thy Leonard mounts, and leaves the earth behind.
Thyself prepare to pass the vale of night
To join forever on the hills of light:
To thine embrace this joyful spirit moves
To thee, the partner of his earthly loves;
He welcomes thee to pleasures more refin’d,
And better suited to th’ immortal mind.
On Imagination –
THY various works, imperial queen, we see,
How bright their forms! how deck’d with pomp
Thy wond’rous acts in beauteous order stand,
And all attest how potent is thine hand.
From Helicon’s refulgent heights attend,
Ye sacred choir, and my attempts befriend:
To tell her glories with a faithful tongue,
Ye blooming graces, triumph in my song.
Now here, now there, the roving Fancy flies,
Till some lov’d object strikes her wand’ring eyes,
Whose silken fetters all the senses bind,
And soft captivity involves the mind.
Imagination! who can sing thy force?
Or who describe the swiftness of thy course?
Soaring through air to find the bright abode,
Th’ empyreal palace of the thund’ring God,
We on thy pinions can surpass the wind,
And leave the rolling universe behind:
From star to star the mental optics rove,
Measure the skies, and range the realms above.
There in one view we grasp the mighty whole,
Or with new worlds amaze th’ unbounded soul.
Though Winter frowns to Fancy’s raptur’d eyes
The fields may flourish, and gay scenes arise;
The frozen deeps may break their iron bands,
And bid their waters murmur o’er the sands.
Fair Flora may resume her fragrant reign,
And with her flow’ry riches deck the plain;
Sylvanus may diffuse his honours round,
And all the forest may with leaves be crown’d:
Show’rs may descend, and dews their gems disclose,
And nectar sparkle on the blooming rose.
Such is thy pow’r, nor are thine orders vain,
O thou the leader of the mental train:
In full perfection all thy works are wrought,
And thine the sceptre o’er the realms of thought.
Before thy throne the subject-passions bow,
Of subject-passions sov’reign ruler thou;
At thy command joy rushes on the heart,
And through the glowing veins the spirits dart.
Fancy might now her silken pinions try
To rise from earth, and sweep th’ expanse on high:
From Tithon’s bed now might Aurora rise,
Her cheeks all glowing with celestial dies,
While a pure stream of light o’erflows the skies.
The monarch of the day I might behold,
And all the mountains tipt with radiant gold,
But I reluctant leave the pleasing views,
Which Fancy dresses to delight the Muse;
Winter austere forbids me to aspire,
And northern tempests damp the rising fire;
They chill the tides of Fancy’s flowing sea,
Cease then, my song, cease the unequal lay.
Thoughts On The Works Of Providence –
A R I S E, my soul, on wings enraptur’d, rise To praise the monarch of the earth and skies, Whose goodness and benificence appear As round its centre moves the rolling year, Or when the morning glows with rosy charms, Or the sun slumbers in the ocean’s arms:
Of light divine be a rich portion lent
To guide my soul, and favour my intend.
Celestial muse, my arduous flight sustain
And raise my mind to a seraphic strain!
Ador’d for ever be the God unseen,
Which round the sun revolves this vast machine,
Though to his eye its mass a point appears:
Ador’d the God that whirls surrounding spheres,
Which first ordain’d that mighty Sol should reign
The peerless monarch of th’ ethereal train:
Of miles twice forty millions is his height,
And yet his radiance dazzles mortal sight
So far beneath–from him th’ extended earth
Vigour derives, and ev’ry flow’ry birth:
Vast through her orb she moves with easy grace
Around her Phoebus in unbounded space;
True to her course th’ impetuous storm derides,
Triumphant o’er the winds, and surging tides.
Almighty, in these wond’rous works of thine,
What Pow’r, what Wisdom, and what Goodness shine!
And are thy wonders, Lord, by men explor’d,
And yet creating glory unador’d!
Creation smiles in various beauty gay,
While day to night, and night succeeds to day:
That Wisdom, which attends Jehovah’s ways,
Shines most conspicuous in the solar rays:
Without them, destitute of heat and light,
This world would be the reign of endless night:
In their excess how would our race complain,
Abhorring life! how hate its length’ned chain!
From air adust what num’rous ills would rise?
What dire contagion taint the burning skies?
What pestilential vapours, fraught with death,
Would rise, and overspread the lands beneath?
Hail, smiling morn, that from the orient main
Ascending dost adorn the heav’nly plain!
So rich, so various are thy beauteous dies,
That spread through all the circuit of the skies,
That, full of thee, my soul in rapture soars,
And thy great God, the cause of all adores.
O’er beings infinite his love extends,
His Wisdom rules them, and his Pow’r defends.
When tasks diurnal tire the human frame,
The spirits faint, and dim the vital flame,
Then too that ever active bounty shines,
Which not infinity of space confines.
The sable veil, that Night in silence draws,
Conceals effects, but shows th’ Almighty Cause,
Night seals in sleep the wide creation fair,
And all is peaceful but the brow of care.
Again, gay Phoebus, as the day before,
Wakes ev’ry eye, but what shall wake no more;
Again the face of nature is renew’d,
Which still appears harmonious, fair, and good.
May grateful strains salute the smiling morn,
Before its beams the eastern hills adorn!
Shall day to day, and night to night conspire
To show the goodness of the Almighty Sire?
This mental voice shall man regardless hear,
And never, never raise the filial pray’r?
To-day, O hearken, nor your folly mourn
For time mispent, that never will return.
But see the sons of vegetation rise,
And spread their leafy banners to the skies.
All-wise Almighty Providence we trace
In trees, and plants, and all the flow’ry race;
As clear as in the nobler frame of man,
All lovely copies of the Maker’s plan.
The pow’r the same that forms a ray of light,
That call d creation from eternal night.
“Let there be light,” he said: from his profound
Old Chaos heard, and trembled at the sound:
Swift as the word, inspir’d by pow’r divine,
Behold the light around its Maker shine,
The first fair product of th’ omnific God,
And now through all his works diffus’d abroad.
As reason’s pow’rs by day our God disclose,
So we may trace him in the night’s repose:
Say what is sleep? and dreams how passing strange!
When action ceases, and ideas range
Licentious and unbounded o’er the plains,
Where Fancy’s queen in giddy triumph reigns.
Hear in soft strains the dreaming lover sigh
To a kind fair, or rave in jealousy;
On pleasure now, and now on vengeance bent,
The lab’ring passions struggle for a vent.
What pow’r, O man! thy reason then restores,
So long suspended in nocturnal hours?
What secret hand returns the mental train,
And gives improv’d thine active pow’rs again?
From thee, O man, what gratitude should rise!
And, when from balmy sleep thou op’st thine eyes,
Let thy first thoughts be praises to the skies.
How merciful our God who thus imparts
O’erflowing tides of joy to human hearts,
When wants and woes might be our righteous lot,
Our God forgetting, by our God forgot!
Among the mental pow’rs a question rose,
“What most the image of th’ Eternal shows?”
When thus to Reason (so let Fancy rove)
Her great companion spoke immortal Love.
“Say, mighty pow’r, how long shall strife prevail,
“And with its murmurs load the whisp’ring gale?
“Refer the cause to Recollection’s shrine,
“Who loud proclaims my origin divine,
“The cause whence heav’n and earth began to be,
“And is not man immortaliz’d by me?
“Reason let this most causeless strife subside.”
Thus Love pronounc’d, and Reason thus reply’d.
“Thy birth, coelestial queen! ’tis mine to own,
“In thee resplendent is the Godhead shown;
“Thy words persuade, my soul enraptur’d feels
“Resistless beauty which thy smile reveals.”
Ardent she spoke, and, kindling at her charms,
She clasp’d the blooming goddess in her arms.
Infinite Love where’er we turn our eyes
Appears: this ev’ry creature’s wants supplies;
This most is heard in Nature’s constant voice,
This makes the morn, and this the eve rejoice;
This bids the fost’ring rains and dews descend
To nourish all, to serve one gen’ral end,
The good of man: yet man ungrateful pays
But little homage, and but little praise.
To him, whose works arry’d with mercy shine,
What songs should rise, how constant, how divine!
Monument Tribute to Phillis Wheatley –
The Phillis Wheatley monument is a part of the Boston’s Women’s Memorial. This memorial was established to honor important contributors to Boston’s rich and vibrant history. The sculpture is located between Fairfield Street and Gloucester Street on Commonwealth Avenue. Phillis Wheatley was chosen to be in this memorial because of her progressive ideas, commitment to social change and the impact of her legacy and writings. Her statue represents youth and imagination and is a fitting tribute to the first person of African descent to be publish a book of poetry in America and the third woman to do so in the American colonies. The book was entitled, “Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral”.
The statue is made out of bronze and granite and measures 59″ x 50″ x 32″. It was designed by sculptor Meredith Bergmann and installed and dedicated on October 25, 2003. Phillis Wheatley’s look was created from the only surviving image of the deceased poet. Meredith Bergmann used a new vision when it came to designing the Boston Women’s Memorial. Phillis Wheatley and the other subjects were not made in a “larger than life” manner. They are actually small enough for the public to intimately interact with them and instead of standing on a pedestal these sculptures are shown using them and displayed in poses that reflect the use and importance of language in their life.
On the monument you will find several inscriptions including a brief biography and her poem Imagination which reads as follows:
Imagination! who can sing thy force? Or who describe the swiftness of thy course? Soaring through air to find the bright abode, Th’ empyreal palace of the thund’ring God, We on thy pinions can surpass the wind, And leave the rolling universe behind: From star to star the mental optics rove, Measure the skies, and range the realms above. There in one view we grasp the mighty whole, Or with new worlds amaze th’ unbounded soul.
Monument Info and photo credit: https://www.blackartdepot.com/
Although Oscar Wilde’s life was riddled with controversy, he was still a great poet. His quotes are still being used to this day. I never knew anything about him growing up, or at least I don’t remember. My love for Ireland and Phil Lynott led me to read about this poet. There is a pretty cool statue of him located in Merrion Square in Dublin, Ireland. Please enjoy the poetry and also famous quote of the late Oscar Wilde. I have read the things he was accused of and the relationship he had with his lover, Lord Alfred Douglas. but I am only focusing on his poetry and one of his many quotes. Wilde left us to cherish many poems as well as great quotes.
“The one duty we owe to history is to rewrite it.” Oscar Wilde
Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) was an Irish poet and playwright. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London’s most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. He is best remembered for his epigrams and plays, his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, and the circumstances of his criminal conviction for “gross indecency”, imprisonment, and early death at age 46. Wilde is buried in Pere Lachaise Cemetery.
Wilde’s parents were successful Anglo-Irish intellectuals in Dublin. Their son became fluent in French and German early in life. At university, Wilde read Greats; he proved himself to be an outstanding classicist, first at Trinity College Dublin, then at Oxford. He became known for his involvement in the rising philosophy of aestheticism, led by two of his tutors, Walter Pater and John Ruskin. After university, Wilde moved to London into fashionable cultural and social circles. Wilde married Constance Lloyd in 1884-1898, they had two sons, Vyvyan Holland and Cyril Holland.
As a spokesman for aestheticism, he tried his hand at various literary activities: he published a book of poems, lectured in the United States and Canada on the new “English Renaissance in Art” and interior decoration, and then returned to London where he worked prolifically as a journalist. Known for his biting wit, flamboyant dress and glittering conversational skill, Wilde became one of the best-known personalities of his day. At the turn of the 1890s, he refined his ideas about the supremacy of art in a series of dialogues and essays, and incorporated themes of decadence, duplicity, and beauty into what would be his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890). The opportunity to construct aesthetic details precisely, and combine them with larger social themes, drew Wilde to write drama. He wrote Salome (1891) in French while in Paris but it was refused a license for England due to an absolute prohibition on the portrayal of Biblical subjects on the English stage. Unperturbed, Wilde produced four society comedies in the early 1890s, which made him one of the most successful playwrights of late-Victorian London.
At the height of his fame and success, while The Importance of Being Earnest (1895) was still being performed in London, Wilde had the Marquess of Queensberry prosecuted for criminal libel. The Marquess was the father of Wilde’s lover, Lord Alfred Douglas. The libel trial unearthed evidence that caused Wilde to drop his charges and led to his own arrest and trial for gross indecency with men. After two more trials he was convicted and sentenced to two years’ hard labor, the maximum penalty, and was jailed from 1895 to 1897. During his last year in prison, he wrote De Profundis (published posthumously in 1905), a long letter which discusses his spiritual journey through his trials, forming a dark counterpoint to his earlier philosophy of pleasure. On his release, he left immediately for France, never to return to Ireland or Britain. There he wrote his last work, The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898), a long poem commemorating the harsh rhythms of prison life. He died destitute in Paris at the age of 46.
De Profundis (letter)
De Profundis (Latin: “from the depths”) is a letter written by Oscar Wilde during his imprisonment in Reading Gaol, to “Bosie” (Lord Alfred Douglas).
In its first half Wilde recounts their previous relationship and extravagant lifestyle which eventually led to Wilde’s conviction and imprisonment for gross indecency. He indicts both Lord Alfred’s vanity and his own weakness in acceding to those wishes. In the second half, Wilde charts his spiritual development in prison and identification with Jesus Christ, whom he characterizes as a romantic, individualist artist. The letter began “Dear Bosie” and ended “Your Affectionate Friend”.
Wilde wrote the letter between January and March 1897, close to the end of his imprisonment. Contact had lapsed between Douglas and Wilde and the latter had suffered from his close supervision, physical labor, and emotional isolation. Nelson, the new prison governor, thought that writing might be more cathartic than prison labor. He was not allowed to send the long letter which he was allowed to write “for medicinal purposes”; each page was taken away when completed, and only at the end could he read it over and make revisions. Nelson gave the long letter to him on his release on 18 May 1897.
Wilde entrusted the manuscript to the journalist Robert Ross (another former lover, loyal friend, and rival to “Bosie”). Ross published the letter in 1905, five years after Wilde’s death, giving it the title “De Profundis” from Psalm 130. It was an incomplete version, excised of its autobiographical elements and references to the Queensberry family; various editions gave more text until in 1962 the complete and correct version appeared in a volume of Wilde’s letters.
A VISION – Two crowned Kings, and One that stood alone With no green weight of laurels round his head, But with sad eyes as one uncomforted, And wearied with man’s never-ceasing moan For sins no bleating victim can atone, And sweet long lips with tears and kisses fed. Girt was he in a garment black and red, And at his feet I marked a broken stone Which sent up lilies, dove-like, to his knees. Now at their sight, my heart being lit with flame, I cried to Beatrice, ‘Who are these? ‘ And she made answer, knowing well each name, ‘AEschylos first, the second Sophokles, And last (wide stream of tears!) Euripides.’
Apologia – IS it thy will that I should wax and wane, Barter my cloth of gold for hodden grey, And at thy pleasure weave that web of pain Whose brightest threads are each a wasted day? Is it thy will–Love that I love so well– That my Soul’s House should be a tortured spot Wherein, like evil paramours, must dwell The quenchless flame, the worm that dieth not? Nay, if it be thy will I shall endure, And sell ambition at the common mart, And let dull failure be my vestiture, And sorrow dig its grave within my heart. Perchance it may be better so–at least I have not made my heart a heart of stone, Nor starved my boyhood of its goodly feast, Nor walked where Beauty is a thing unknown. Many man hath done so; sought to fence
In straitened bonds the soul that should be free,
Trodden the dusty road of common sense,
While all the forest sang of liberty,
Not marking how the spotted hawk in flight
Passed on wide pinion through the lofty air,
To where the steep untrodden mountain height
Caught the last tresses of the Sun God’s hair.
Or how the little flower he trod upon,
The daisy, that white-feathered shield of gold,
Followed with wistful eyes the wandering sun
Content if once its leaves were aureoled.
But surely it is something to have been
The best belovèd for a little while,
To have walked hand in hand with Love, and seen
His purple wings flit once across thy smile.
Ay! though the gorgèd asp of passion feed
On my boy’s heart, yet have I burst the bars,
Stood face to face with Beauty, known indeed
The Love which moves the Sun and all the stars!
Her Voice – THE wild bee reels from bough to bough With his furry coat and his gauzy wing. Now in a lily-cup, and now Setting a jacinth bell a-swing, In his wandering; Sit closer love: it was here I trow I made that vow, Swore that two lives should be like one As long as the sea-gull loved the sea, As long as the sunflower sought the sun,– It shall be, I said, for eternity ‘Twixt you and me! Dear friend, those times are over and done, Love’s web is spun. Look upward where the poplar trees Sway and sway in the summer air, Here in the valley never a breeze Scatters the thistledown, but there Great winds blow fair From the mighty murmuring mystical seas, And the wave-lashed leas. Look upward where the white gull screams, What does it see that we do not see? Is that a star? or the lamp that gleams On some outward voyaging argosy,– Ah! can it be We have lived our lives in a land of dreams! How sad it seems. Sweet, there is nothing left to say But this, that love is never lost, Keen winter stabs the breasts of May Whose crimson roses burst his frost, Ships tempest-tossed Will find a harbor in some bay, And so we may. And there is nothing left to do But to kiss once again, and part, Nay, there is nothing we should rue, I have my beauty,–you your Art, Nay, do not start, One world was not enough for two Like me and you.
Ladies and Gentlemen, here is another amazing poet that I have never heard of, but who is doing some incredible things with her life, while touching and inspiring the lives of many others! I am truly happy to have run across this author, poet and teacher!
Erika L. Sánchez (born c. 1984) is a poet and writer. She is the author of poetry collection Lessons on Expulsion and a young adult novel I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, a 2017 finalist for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.
Early Life and Education –
Sánchez, the daughter of Mexican immigrants, is from Cicero, Illinois. She has two brothers. She attended Morton East High School, then the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she was Phi Beta Kappa and graduated magna cum laude. After college she traveled to Madrid, Spain to teach English with the Fulbright program and pursued poetry.She then earned an MFA in poetry from the University of New Mexico.
Sánchez won a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship in 2015.
Her first poetry collection, Lessons on Expulsion, was published by Graywolf in July 2017. The Washington Post named it to a list of best poetry of July 2017, calling it a “fierce, assertive debut”. In The New York Times, Kathleen Rooney praised Sánchez’s “wrenching explorations of guilt and shame, grief and misogyny…Her depictions of misery hurt and haunt,” particularly through her use of the second person “to draw readers close to difficult subjects.” In 2017, United States poet laureate Tracy K. Smith recommended Sánchez as among the best new voices in poetry.
Sánchez’s young adult novel I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter is forthcoming on October 17, 2017. Bustle named it to a list of the best 15 young adult books appearing in October 2017 and it is a finalist for the National Book Award for young people’s literature.
From 2017 to 2019, Sánchez is an arts fellow at Princeton University, teaching poetry and fiction writing.
To read more of the biography of Erika L. Sánchez, please visit:
Please sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful poetry of Erika L. Sanchez!
All of Us –
Every day I am born like this-
No chingues. Nothing happens
for the first time. Not the neon
sign that says vacant, not the men
nor the jackals who resemble them.
I take my bones inscribed by those
who came before, and learn
to court myself under a violence
of stars. I prefer to become demon,
what their eyes cannot. Half of me
is beautiful, half of me is a promise
filled with the quietest places.
Every day I pray like a dog
in the mirror and relish the crux
of my hurt. We know Lilith ate
the bones of her enemies. We know
a bitch learns to love her own ghost.
Six Months After Contemplating Suicide –
you wanted the end
with a serpentine
greed. How to negotiate
mist, the fibrous
To cease to exist
and to die
are two different things entirely.
But you knew this,
Some days you knelt on coins
in those yellow hours.
You lit a flame
to your shadow
scorpions with your naked fingers.
So touched by the sadness of hair
in a dirty sink.
The malevolent smell
When instead of swallowing a fistful
of white pills,
you decided to shower,
the palm trees
nodded in agreement,
of crickets singing
behind your swollen eyes.
The masked bird
turned to you
with a shred of paper hanging
from its beak.
hair wet and fragrant,
you cupped a goat’s face
his trembling horns.
It fell prostrate,
passed through you
like a swift
and generous storm.
In the republic of flowers I studied
the secrets of hanging clothes I didn’t
know if it was raining or someone
was frying eggs I held the skulls
of words that mean nothing you left
between the hour of the ox and the hour
of the rat I heard the sound of two
braids I watched it rain through
a mirror am I asking to be spared
or am I asking to be spread your body
smelled like cathedrals and I kept
your photo in a bottle of mezcal
semen-salt wolf’s teeth you should have
touched my eyes until they blistered
kissed the skin of my instep for thousands
of years sealed honey never spoils
won’t crystallize I saw myself snapping
a swan’s neck I needed to air out
my eyes the droplets on a spiderweb
and the grace they held who gave me
permission to be this person to drag
my misfortune on this leash made of gold
Robert Lee Frost (March26, 1874 – January29, 1963) was an American poet. His work was initially published in England before it was published in America. Known for his realistic depictions of rural life and his command of American colloquial speech, Frost frequently wrote about settings from rural life in New England in the early twentieth century, using them to examine complex social and philosophical themes.
Frost was honored frequently during his lifetime and is the only poet to receive four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry. He became one of America’s rare “public literary figures, almost an artistic institution.” He was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 1960 for his poetic works. On July 22, 1961, Frost was named poet laureate of Vermont.
This is a short biography on this amazing poet. For more information and to read his full biography, please visit the link below.
Storm Fear –
Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village, though; He will not see me stopping here To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer To stop without a farmhouse near Between the woods and frozen lake The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake To ask if there is some mistake. The only other sound’s the sweep Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.
The Road Not Taken –
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, 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 traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Nothing Gold Can Stay –
Nature’s first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leaf’s a flower; But only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf, So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day Nothing gold can stay.