PRISON POEMS

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The Wood-cutter

The sky is like an envelope,
One of those blue official things;
And, sealing it, to mock our hope,
The moon, a silver wafer, clings.
.....

Robert William Service
The House Of Fame

BOOK I Incipit liber primus.

God turne us every dreem to gode!
For hit is wonder, be the rode,
.....
Geoffrey Chaucer

Geoffrey Chaucer
The Barefoot Boy

Blessings on thee, little man,
Barefoot boy, with cheek of tan!
With thy turned-up pantaloons,
And thy merry whistled tunes;
.....
John Greenleaf Whittier

John Greenleaf Whittier
Hope 93'

How old I was ?
Only my mum has an answer
Hope 93
Farewell to poverty
.....
Ola Olawale

Ola Olawale
Farewell

Farewell to the bushy clump close to the river
And the flags where the butter-bump hides in forever;
Farewell to the weedy nook, hemmed in by waters;
Farewell to the miller's brook and his three bonny daughters;
.....
John Clare

John Clare
On Living

I

Living is no laughing matter:
you must live with great seriousness
.....

Nazim Hikmet
Adventure

Out of the wood my White Knight came:
His eyes were bright with a bitter flame,
As I clung to his stirrup leather;
For I was only a dreaming lad,
.....
Robert Service

Robert Service
Epilogue

With quiet heart, I climbed the hill,
from which one can see, the city, complete,
hospitals, brothels, purgatory, hell,
prison, where every sin flowers, at our feet.
.....
Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire
Satire I

Away thou fondling motley humorist,
Leave mee, and in this standing woodden chest,
Consorted with these few bookes, let me lye
In prison, and here be coffin'd, when I dye;
.....
John Donne

John Donne
Poems For Piraye (9 To 10 O-clock Poems)

Remembering you is good
in prison
amid the news
of victory and death
.....

Nazim Hikmet
Assumpta Maria

Mortals, that behold a Woman,
Rising 'twixt the Moon and Sun;
Who am I the heavens assume? an
All am I, and I am one.
.....
Francis Thompson

Francis Thompson
The Sonnets Cxxxiii - Beshrew That Heart That Makes My Heart To Groan

Beshrew that heart that makes my heart to groan
For that deep wound it gives my friend and me!
Is't not enough to torture me alone,
But slave to slavery my sweet'st friend must be?
.....
William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare
In Memory Of W.b. Yeats

I

He disappeared in the dead of winter:
The brooks were frozen, the airports almost deserted,
.....
W. H. Auden

W. H. Auden
The Two Ages

On a great cathedral window I have seen
A Summer sunset swoon and sink away,
Lost in the splendours of immortal art.
Angels and saints and all the heavenly hosts,
.....
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Ella Wheeler Wilcox
The End

By doing good, son will find good,
If you bow down,
So many will kill,
And if the girl also spoke yes,
.....
Murari Lal

Murari Lal
Satire Iv

Well; I may now receive, and die. My sin
Indeed is great, but yet I have been in
A purgatory, such as fear'd hell is
A recreation and scant map of this.
.....
John Donne

John Donne
Angina Pectoris

If half my heart is here, doctor,
the other half is in China
with the army flowing
toward the Yellow River.
.....

Nazim Hikmet
The Last Walk In Autumn

I.
O'er the bare woods, whose outstretched hands
Plead with the leaden heavens in vain,
I see, beyond the valley lands,
.....
John Greenleaf Whittier

John Greenleaf Whittier
Letter To My Wife

11-11-1933
Bursa Prison
My one and only!
Your last letter says:
.....

Nazim Hikmet
Astræa At The Capitol

WHEN first I saw our banner wave
Above the nation's council-hall,
I heard beneath its marble wall
The clanking fetters of the slave!
.....
John Greenleaf Whittier

John Greenleaf Whittier
Point Shirley

From Water-Tower Hill to the brick prison
The shingle booms, bickering under
The sea's collapse.
Snowcakes break and welter. This year
.....

Sylvia Plath
Canto 13

Kung walked
by the dynastic temple
and into the cedar grove,
and then out by the lower river,
.....
Ezra Pound

Ezra Pound
Book Lover

I keep collecting books I know
I'll never, never read;
My wife and daughter tell me so,
And yet I never head.
.....
Robert Service

Robert Service
To T.l.h.

A CHILD


Model of thy parent dear,
.....
Charles Lamb

Charles Lamb
Four Songs Of Four Seasons

I. WINTER IN NORTHUMBERLAND
OUTSIDE the garden
The wet skies harden;
The gates are barred on
.....
Algernon Charles Swinburne

Algernon Charles Swinburne
Endymion: Book Iii

There are who lord it o'er their fellow-men
With most prevailing tinsel: who unpen
Their baaing vanities, to browse away
The comfortable green and juicy hay
.....
John Keats

John Keats
Ruth

When Ruth was left half desolate,
Her Father took another Mate;
And Ruth, not seven years old,
A slighted child, at her own will
.....
William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth
Hymn Of The Dunkers

KLOSTER KEDAR, EPHRATA, PENNSYLVANIA (1738)

SISTER MARIA CHRISTINA sings

.....
John Greenleaf Whittier

John Greenleaf Whittier
Translation Of Petrarch's Rima, Sonnet 134

I FIND no peace, and all my war is done;
I fear and hope; I burn and freeze like ice;
I fly above the wind, yet can I not arise;
And nought I have, and all the world I seize on;
.....

Sir Thomas Wyatt
The Pied Piper Of Hamelin

A Child's Story

Hamelin Town's in Brunswick,
By famous Hanover city;
.....
Robert Browning

Robert Browning
Erin

â??Come, sing a new song to her here while we listen!'
They cry to her sons who sing;
And one sings: ' Mavourneen, it makes the eyes glisten
To think how the sorrows cling,
.....

John Boyle O'reilly
The Old Australian Ways

The London lights are far abeam
Behind a bank of cloud,
Along the shore the gaslights gleam,
The gale is piping loud;
.....

Banjo Paterson
Endymion: Book Iv

Muse of my native land! loftiest Muse!
O first-born on the mountains! by the hues
Of heaven on the spiritual air begot:
Long didst thou sit alone in northern grot,
.....
John Keats

John Keats
Corsica

In Bordighera's groves of palm
I linger at the close of day,
And watch, beyond the ocean's calm,
A range of mountains far away.
.....
John L. Stoddard

John L. Stoddard
Inverawe.

Does death cleanse the stains of the spirit
When sundered at last from the clay,
Or keep we thereafter till judgment,
Desires that on earth had their way?
.....

John Campbell
Battle Hymn Of The Women

They are waking, they are waking,
In the east, and in the west;
They are throwing wide their windows to the sun;
And they see the dawn is breaking,
.....
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Things I Didn't Know I Loved

it's 1962 March 28th
I'm sitting by the window on the Prague-Berlin train
night is falling
I never knew I liked
.....

Nazim Hikmet
Ode: Intimations Of Immortality From Recollections Of Early Childhood

The child is father of the man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.
(Wordsworth, “My Heart Leaps Up”)
.....
William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth
Renewal Of Strength

The prison-house in which I live
Is falling to decay,
But God renews my spirit's strength,
Within these walls of clay.
.....

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
Marriage

Should I get married? Should I be Good?
Astound the girl next door with my velvet suit and faustaus hood?
Don't take her to movies but to cemeteries
tell all about werewolf bathtubs and forked clarinets
.....

Gregory Corso
The Magic Net

Do I see a contest yonder?
See I miracles or pastimes?
Beauteous urchins, five in number,
'Gainst five sisters fair contending,--
.....

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
Multiplication

(For S. M. E.)


I take my leave, with sorrow, of Him I love so well;
.....
Joyce Kilmer

Joyce Kilmer
Bel M'es Can Eu Vei La Brolha

Bel m'es can eu vei la bròlha
reverdir per mei lo brolh
e.lh ram son cubert de folha
e.l rossinhols sotz de folh
.....

Bernard De Ventadorn
Cassandra Southwick

To the God of all sure mercies let my blessing rise today,
From the scoffer and the cruel He hath plucked the spoil away;
Yes, he who cooled the furnace around the faithful three,
And tamed the Chaldean lions, hath set His handmaid free!
.....
John Greenleaf Whittier

John Greenleaf Whittier
The Green Knight's Farewell To Fancy

n my hat full harebrainedly, thy flowers did I wear:
Too late I find (at last), thy fruits are nothing worth,
Thy blossoms fall and fade full fast, though bravery bring them forth.
By thee I hoped always, in deep delights to dwell,
.....
George Gascoigne

George Gascoigne
Easter Week

(In memory of Joseph Mary Plunkett)

“Romantic Ireland's dead and gone,
It's with O'Leary in the grave.”
.....
Joyce Kilmer

Joyce Kilmer
Merlin V

The sun went down, and the dark after it
Starred Merlin's new abode with many a sconced
And many a moving candle, in whose light
The prisoned wizard, mirrored in amazement,
.....
Edwin Arlington Robinson

Edwin Arlington Robinson
The Cremona Violin: Part 01

Frau Concert-Meister Altgelt shut the door.
A storm was rising, heavy gusts of wind
Swirled through the trees, and scattered leaves before
Her on the clean, flagged path. The sky behind
.....
Amy Lowell

Amy Lowell
Indicted

Dear Bruner, once we had a little talk
(That is to say, 'twas I did all the talking)
About the manner of your moral walk:
How devious the trail you made in stalking,
.....

Ambrose Bierce
Mu'tamid's Lament In Prison

In my breast,
A wail of grief,
Without any spark or flash,
Alone survives,
.....

Allama Muhammad Iqbal