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Buoy the population of the soul
Toward their destination before they drown
~ Robert Pinsky
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Human Voice - Vladimir Holan



Stone and star do not force their music on us,
flowers are silent, things hold something back,
because of us, animals deny
their own harmony of innocence and stealth,
the wind has always its chastity of simple gesture
and what song is only the mute birds know,
to whom you tossed an unthreshed sheaf on Christmas Eve.

To be is enough for them and that is beyond words. But we,
we are afraid not only in the dark,
even in the abundant light
we do not see our neighbor
and desperate for exorcism
cry out in terror: 'Are you there? Speak!'

Translation from the Czech by Ian Milner




Big Book Of Poetry

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From "The Man With the Blue Guitar" - Wallace Stevens



II

I cannot bring a world quite round,
Although I patch it as I can.

I sing a hero's head, large eye
And bearded bronze, but not a man,

Although I patch him as I can
And reach through him almost to man.

If to serenade almost to man
Is to miss, by that, things as they are,

Say that it is the serenade
Of a man that plays a blue guitar.




Big Book Of Poetry

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Breakfast Song - Elizabeth Bishop



My love, my saving grace,
your eyes are awfully blue.
I kiss your funny face,
your coffee-flavored mouth.
Last night I slept with you.
Today I love you so
how can I bear to go
(as soon I must, I know)
to bed with ugly death
in that cold, filthy place,
to sleep there without you,
without the easy breath
and nightlong, limblong warmth
I've grown accustomed to?
—Nobody wants to die;
tell me it is a lie!
But no, I know it's true.
It's just the common case;
there's nothing one can do.
My love, my saving grace,
your eyes are awfully blue
early and instant blue.




Big Book Of Poetry

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