Poem of the week…. Cargoes

Week Five

Invictus

WE Henley 1849 – 1903

Out of the night that covers me,   

  Black as the Pit from pole to pole,   

I thank whatever gods may be   

  For my unconquerable soul.   

   

In the fell clutch of circumstance

  I have not winced nor cried aloud.   

Under the bludgeonings of chance   

  My head is bloody, but unbowed.   

   

Beyond this place of wrath and tears   

  Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years   

  Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.   

   

It matters not how strait the gate,   

  How charged with punishments the scroll,   

I am the master of my fate:

  I am the captain of my soul.

 

 

 

Week Four

 Cargoes

By John Maesfield

Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir,
Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,
With a cargo of ivory,
And apes and peacocks,
Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine.

 

Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus,
Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores,
With a cargo of diamonds,
Emeralds, amythysts,
Topazes, and cinnamon, and gold moidores.

 

Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack,
Butting through the Channel in the mad March days,
With a cargo of Tyne coal,
Road-rails, pig-lead,
Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.

Week Three

Today 

By Billy Collins 

If ever there were a spring day so perfect,

so uplifted by a warm intermittent breeze

that it made you want to throw

open all the windows in the house

and unlatch the door to the canary’s cage,

indeed, rip the little door from its jamb,

a day when the cool brick paths

and the garden bursting with peonies

seemed so etched in sunlight

that you felt like taking

a hammer to the glass paperweight

on the living room end table,

releasing the inhabitants

from their snow-covered cottage

so they could walk out,

holding hands and squinting

into this larger dome of blue and white,

well, today is just that kind of day.

Week Two

The Lake Isle of Inisfree

WB Yeats
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,

And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;

Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,

And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,

 

Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;

There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,

And evening full of the linnet’s wings.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day

I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;

While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,

I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

Week One

Hope Is The Thing With Feathers

by Emily Dickinson

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –

That perches in the soul –

And sings the tune without the words –

And never stops – at all –

 

And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –

And sore must be the storm –

That could abash the little Bird

That kept so many warm –

 

I’ve heard it in the chillest land –

And on the strangest Sea –

Yet – never – in Extremity,

It asked a crumb – of me.

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