Category Archives: Poetry

Ich Am From Irelande

This is one of those early poems that’s particularly dear to my heart; there»s an almost infectious joy in the invitation to “Come and dance.” This Middle English lyric is by one of my very favorite poets, Anonymous. She’s quite prolific, and exceedingly long-lived.1)In all seriousness, I have no real…

How to Talk About Poetry

Let’s be honest. Reading poetry, in the greater scheme of things, is just this side of engaging in an obscenity. Poetry is meant to be spoken or sung or chanted; it’s meant to be heard and shared, it’s not meant to be a sullen and solitary vice. Poems live when…

Western Wind

Western wind, when will thou blow? The small rain down can rain. Christ, if my love were in my arms, And I in my bed again! Anonymous; British Library Royal Appendix 58 c. Early Sixteenth Century “Western Wind” (or “Westron Wyde” as the ms. has it) is an anonymous lyric…

Donne’s A Nocturnal upon St. Lucy’s Day

Saint Lucy’s day is December 13. This was, in the Julian calendar, the Winter solstice and consequently the shortest day of the year (and thus the darkest). It is also the point at which, astrologically speaking, the Sun entered the sign of the Goat (in the modern calendar, Capricorn operates between…

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