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When a man starts out with nothing,
When a man starts out with his hands
Empty, but clean,
When a man starts to build a world,
Ode To Walt Whitman
By the East River and the Bronx
boys were singing, exposing their waists
with the wheel, with oil, leather, and the hammer.
Ninety thousand miners taking silver from the rocks
Federico Garcàa Lorca
Song At Sunset
Splendor of ended day, floating and filling me!
Hour prophetic-hour resuming the past!
Inflating my throat-you, divine average!
You, Earth and Life, till the last ray gleams, I sing.
The Waste Land
‘Nam Sibyllam quidem Cumis ego ipse oculis meis
vidi in ampulla pendere, et cum illi pueri dicerent:
Sibylla ti theleis; respondebat illa: apothanein thelo.'
T. S. Eliot
They are the last romantics, these candles:
Upside-down hearts of light tipping wax fingers,
And the fingers, taken in by their own haloes,
Grown milky, almost clear, like the bodies of saints.
I, too, sing America.
I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
I Hear America Singing
I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear;
Those of mechanics-each one singing his, as it should be, blithe and strong;
The carpenter singing his, as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his, as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work;
When Ruth was left half desolate,
Her Father took another Mate;
And Ruth, not seven years old,
A slighted child, at her own will
With All Thy Gifts, America
With all thy gifts, America,
(Standing secure, rapidly tending, overlooking the world,)
Power, wealth, extent, vouchsafed to thee, With these, and like of these, vouchsafed to thee,
What if one gift thou lackest? (the ultimate human problem never solving;)
Salut Au Monde
O TAKE my hand, Walt Whitman!
Such gliding wonders! such sights and sounds!
Such join'd unended links, each hook'd to the next!
Each answering all--each sharing the earth with all.
I'm in a plane that will not be flown into a building.
It's a SAAB 340, seats 40, has two engines with propellers
is why I think of beanies, those hats that would spin
a young head into the clouds. The plane is red and loud
Once upon a time there was an Italian,
And some people thought he was a rapscallion,
But he wasn't offended,
Because other people thought he was splendid,
Ode On Venice
Oh Venice! Venice! when thy marble walls
Are level with the waters, there shall be
A cry of nations o'er thy sunken halls,
George Gordon Byron
Once in English they said America. Was it English to them.
Once they said Belgian.
We like a fog.
Do you for weather.
A Sad State Of Freedom
You waste the attention of your eyes,
the glittering labour of your hands,
and knead the dough enough for dozens of loaves
of which you'll taste not a morsel;
Song Of The Coffle Gang
This song is said to be sung by Slaves, as they are chained in gangs,
when parting from friends for the far off South-children taken from
parents, husbands from wives, and brothers from sisters.
SAID one who led the spears of swarthy Gad,
To Jesseâ??s mighty son: â??My Lord, O King,
I, halting hard by Gibeonâ??s bleak-blown hill
Three nightfalls past, saw dark-eyed Rizpah, clad
At last you're tired of this elderly world
Shepherdess O Eiffel Tower this morning the bridges are bleating
I am a poet of the Hudson River and the heights above it,
the lights, the stars, and the bridges
I am also by self-appointment the laureate of the Atlantic
-of the peoples' hearts, crossing it
Kissass is the Part of Peace
America will have to Kissass Mother Earth
Whites have to Kissass blacks, for Peace & Pleasure,
Only Pathway to Peace, Kissass.
To A Kindly Critic
If it's wrong to believe in the land that we love
And to pray for Our Flag to the good God above;
If it's wrong to believe that Our Country is best;
That honor's her standard, and truth is her crest;
Edgar Albert Guest
TO conclude--I announce what comes after me;
I announce mightier offspring, orators, days, and then, for the
Where the wings of a sunny Dome expand
I saw a Banner in gladsome air-
Starry, like Berenice's Hair-
Glorious daughter of time! Thou of the mild blue eye --
Thou of the virginal forehead --pallid, unfurrowed of tears--
Thou of the strong white hands with fingers dipped in the dye
Of the blood that quickened the fathers of thee, in the ancient years,
Edgar Lee Masters
How would you have us, as we are?
Or sinking 'neath the load we bear?
Our eyes fixed forward on a star?
Or gazing empty at despair?
James Weldon Johnson
(The war is completed--the price is paid--the title is settled beyond
Let every one answer! let those who sleep be waked! let none evade!
He Did Love
He did love three things in this world:
Choir chants at vespers, albino peacocks,
And worn, weathered maps of America.
And he did not love children crying,
Death & Fame
When I die
I don't care what happens to my body
throw ashes in the air, scatter 'em in East River
bury an urn in Elizabeth New Jersey, B'nai Israel Cemetery
I can promise you this: food in the White House
will change! No more granola, only fried eggs
flipped the way we like them. And ham ham ham!
Americans need ham! Nothing airy like debate for me!
I drank musty ale at the Illinois Athletic Club with
the millionaire manufacturer of Green River butter
And his face had the shining light of an old-time Quaker,