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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
I, too, sing America.
I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
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 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
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
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.
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,
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
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
Once in English they said America. Was it English to them.
Once they said Belgian.
We like a fog.
Do you for weather.
Were you looking to be held together by the lawyers?
By an agreement on a paper? Or by arms?
BEHAVIOR--fresh, native, copious, each one for himself or herself,
Nature and the Soul expressed--America and freedom expressed--In it
the finest art,
In it pride, cleanliness, sympathy, to have their chance,
The New Year
Come you with dangers to fright us? or hazards
to try out our souls?
Then may you find us undaunted; determined to
get to our goals.
Edgar Albert Guest
A Woman Waits For Me
A woman waits for me, she contains all, nothing is lacking,
Yet all were lacking if sex were lacking, or if the moisture of the
right man were lacking.
Although she feeds me bread of bitterness,
And sinks into my throat her tiger's tooth,
Stealing my breath of life, I will confess
I love this cultured hell that tests my youth!
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.
The Columbiad: Book I
Natives of America appear in vision. Their manners and characters. Columbus demands the cause of the dissimilarity of men in different countries, Hesper replies, That the human body is composed of a due proportion of the elements suited to the place of its first formation; that these elements, differently proportioned, produce all the changes of health, sickness, growth and decay; and may likewise produce any other changes which occasion the diversity of men; that these elemental proportions are varied, not more by climate than temperature and other local circumstances; that the mind is likewise in a state of change, and will take its physical character from the body and from external objects: examples. Inquiry concerning the first peopling of America. View of Mexico. Its destruction by Cortez. View of Cusco and Quito, cities of Peru. Tradition of Capac and Oella, founders of the Peruvian empire. Columbus inquires into their real history. Hesper gives an account of their origin, and relates the stratagems they used in establishing that empire.
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
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;
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-
At the Poem Society a black-haired man stands up to say
-You make me sick with all your talk about restraint and mature talent!
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
I MET a Seer,
Passing the hues and objects of the world,
The fields of art and learning, pleasure, sense,
To glean EidÃ³lons.
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