Saturday, April 28, 2007

Favorite Very Short Poems

They had to be around sixty words or under.

1. Sappho - Fragment

By the cool water the breeze murmurs, rustling
Through apple branches, while from quivering leaves
Deep slumber streams down.

2. Wang Wei

On branch tips the hibiscus blooms.
The mountains show off red calices.
Nobody. A silent cottage in the valley.
One by one flowers open, then fall.

3. Percy Shelley - To the Moon

Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven and gazing on the earth,
Wandering companionless
Among the stars that have a different birth—
And ever changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?

4. A.E. Housman - Stars, I Have Seen Them Fall

Stars, I have seen them fall,
But when they drop and die
No star is lost at all
From all the star-sown sky.

The toil of all that be
Helps not the primal fault;
It rains into the sea,
And still the sea is salt.

5. W.B Yeats - A Deep Sworn Vow

Others because you did not keep
That deep-sworn vow have been friends of mine;
Yet always when I look death in the face,
When I clamber to the heights of sleep,
Or when I grow excited with wine,
Suddenly I meet your face.

6. Antonio Machado - Summer Night

A beautiful summer night.
the tall houses leave
their balcony shutters open
to the wide plaza of the old village.
In the large deserted square,
stone benches, burning bush and acacias
trace their black shadows
symmetrically on the white sand.
In its zenith, the moon; in the tower,
the clock’s illuminated globe.
I walk through this ancient village,
alone, like a ghost.

7. Adelaide Crapsey - November Night

Listen ...
With faint dry sound
Like steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost-crisped, break from the trees
And fall.


Sam said...

Thanks for this.

Andrew McDiarmid said...

One of my favorites qualifies:

William Carlos Williams - This Is Just to Say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

Speed McQueen said...

Don't forget Alexander Pope's searing epigram inscribed on a dog's collar:

I am His Highness' dog at Kew;
Pray tell me sir, whose dog are you?

Zach said...

waffles dam coolio which translates rufus into poofus than droofus i mean thanks, love the poems