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If You Forget Me by Pablo Neruda


I want you to know

one thing.


You know how this is:

if I look

at the crystal moon, at the red branch

of the slow autumn at my window,

if I touch

near the fire

the impalpable ash

or the wrinkled body of the log,

everything carries me to you,

as if everything that exists,

aromas, light, metals,

were little boats

that sail

toward those isles of yours that wait for me.


Well, now,

if little by little you stop loving me

I shall stop loving you little by little.


If suddenly

you forget me

do not look for me,

for I shall already have forgotten you.


If you think it long and mad,

the wind of banners

that passes through my life,

and you decide

to leave me at the shore

of the heart where I have roots,


that on that day,

at that hour,

I shall lift my arms

and my roots will set off

to seek another land.



if each day,

each hour,

you feel that you are destined for me

with implacable sweetness,

if each day a flower

climbs up to your lips to seek me,

ah my love, ah my own,

in me all that fire is repeated,

in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,

my love feeds on your love, beloved,

and as long as you live it will be in your arms

without leaving mine.

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Sonnet 91 by William Shakespeare


Some glory in their birth, some in their skill,

Some in their wealth, some in their body's force;

Some in their garments, though new-fangled ill;

Some in their hawks and hounds, some in their horse;

And every humour hath his adjunct pleasure,

Wherein it finds a joy above the rest:

But these particulars are not my measure;

All these I better in one general best.

Thy love is better than high birth to me,

Richer than wealth, prouder than garments' cost,

Of more delight than hawks or horses be;

And having thee, of all men's pride I boast:

Wretched in this alone, that thou mayst take

All this away, and me most wretched make.

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Lines by Martha Collins


Draw a line. Write a line. There.

Stay in line, hold the line, a glance

between the lines is fine but don't

turn corners, cross, cut in, go over

or out, between two points of no

return's a line of flight, between

two points of view's a line of vision.

But a line of thought is rarely

straight, an open line's no party

line, however fine your point.

A line of fire communicates, but drop

your weapons and drop your line,

consider the shortest distance from x

to y, let x be me, let y be you.

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The Student Theme by Ronald Wallace


The adjectives all ganged up on the nouns,

insistent, loud, demanding, inexact,

their Latinate constructions flashing. The pronouns

lost their referents: They were dangling, lacked

the stamina to follow the prepositions' lead

in, on, into, to, toward, for, or from.

They were beset by passive voices and dead

metaphors, conjunctions shouting But! or And!


The active verbs were all routinely modified

by adverbs, that endlessly and colorlessly ran

into trouble with the participles sitting

on the margins knitting their brows like gerunds

(dangling was their problem, too). The author

was nowhere to be seen; was off somewhere.

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Patriotism by Ellie Schoenfeld


My country is this dirt

that gathers under my fingernails

when I am in the garden.

The quiet bacteria and fungi,

all the little insects and bugs

are my compatriots. They are

idealistic, always working together

for the common good.

I kneel on the earth

and pledge my allegiance

to all the dirt of the world,

to all of that soil which grows

flowers and food

for the just and unjust alike.

The soil does not care

what we think about or who we love.

It knows our true substance,

of what we are really made.

I stand my ground on this ground,

this ground which will


recruit us all

to its side.

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Cherishing What Isn't by Jack Gilbert


Ah, you three women whom I have loved in this

long life, along with the few others.

And the four I may have loved, or stopped short

of loving. I wander through these woods

making songs of you. Some of regret, some

of longing, and a terrible one of death.

I carry the privacy of your bodies

and hearts in me. The shameful ardor

and the shameless intimacy, the secret kinds

of happiness and the walled-up childhoods.

I carol loudly of you among trees emptied

of winter and rejoice quietly in summer.

A score of women if you count love both large

and small, real ones that were brief

and those that lasted. Gentle love and some

almost like an animal with its prey.

What is left is what's alive in me. The failing

of your beauty and its remaining.

You are like countries in which my love

took place. Like a bell in the trees

that makes your music in each wind that moves.

A music composed of what you have forgotten.

That will end with my ending.

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Not To Trouble You by Leonard Nathan


Not to trouble you with love, I mean

those adolescent dreams of great, of greater,

or of greatest loving, let alone

the crumbly personal kind—compared with, say,

the public good or harder thoughts of death

obliterating thoughts of love, or after-

thoughts of love outgrown or love undone;

and not to be ironic either, not

to forget we come into the world alone

and leave it so; and not to be claiming more

than you can give, uncertain as I am

what I require: something like love, I guess,

whatever it is we've done without so long,

so faithfully and with such tenderness.

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Occupation by Eliza Griswold


The prostitutes in Kabul tap their feet

beneath their faded burqas in the heat.


For bread or fifteen cents, they'll take a man to bed—

their husbands dead, their seven kids unfed—


and thanks to occupation, rents have risen twentyfold,

their chickens, pots and carpets have been sold.


Two years ago, the Talibs favored boys and left the girls alone.

A woman then was worth her weight in stone.

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And the Cantilevered Inference Shall Hold the Day by Michael Blumenthal


Things are not as they seem: the innuendo of everything makes

itself felt and trembles towards meanings we never intuited

or dreamed. Take, for example, how the warbler, perched on a


mere branch, can kidnap the day from its tediums and send us

heavenwards, or how, held up by nothing we really see, our

spirits soar and then, in a mysterious series of twists and turns,


come to a safe landing in a field, encircled by greenery. Nothing

I can say to you here can possibly convince you that a man

as unreliable as I have been can smuggle in truths between tercets


and quatrains on scraps of paper, but the world as we know

is full of surprises, and the likelihood that here, in the shape

of this very bird, redemption awaits us should not be dismissed


so easily. Each year, days swivel and diminish along their inscrutable

axes, then lengthen again until we are bathed in light we were not

prepared for. Last night, lying in bed with nothing to hold onto


but myself, I gazed at the emptiness beside me and saw there, in the

shape of absence, something so sweet and deliberate I called it darling.

No one who encrusticates (I made that up!) his silliness in a bowl,


waiting for sanctity, can ever know how lovely playfulness can be,

and, that said, let me wish you a Merry One (or Chanukah if you

prefer), and may whatever holds you up stay forever beneath you,


and may the robin find many a worm, and our cruelties abate,

and may you be well and happy and full of mischief as I am,

and may all your nothings, too, hold something up and sing.

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The Good-Morrow by John Donne


I wonder by my troth, what thou, and I

Did, till we lov'd? Were we not wean'd till then? But suck'd on countrey pleasures, childishly?

Or snorted we in the seaven sleepers den?

T'was so; But this, all pleasures fancies bee.

If ever any beauty I did see,

Which I desir'd, and got, 'twas but a dreame of thee. :cool:


And now good morrow to our waking soules,

Which watch not one another out of feare;

For love, all love of other sights controules,

And makes one little roome, an every where.

Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone,

Let Maps to other, worlds on worlds have showne,

Let us possesse one world; each hath one, and is one.


My face in thine eye, thine in mine appeares,

And true plaine hearts doe in the faces rest,

Where can we finde two better hemispheares

Without sharpe North, without declining West?

What ever dyes, was not mixed equally;

If our two loves be one, or, thou and I

Love so alike, that none doe slacken, none can die.

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A Wonderful Motivational Poem by Brian Tracy


"You cannot change the world,

But you can present the world with one improved person - Yourself.


You can go to work on yourself to make yourself

Into the kind of person you admire and respect.

You can become a role model and set a standard for others.

You can control and discipline yourself to resist acting

Or speaking in a negative way

Toward anyone for any reason.

You can insist upon always doing things the loving way,

Rather than the hurtful way.

By doing these things each day,

You can continue on your journey

Toward becoming an exceptional human being.

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THANATOPSIS by William Cullen Bryant


To him who in the love of Nature holds

Communion with her visible forms, she speaks

A various language; for his gayer hours

She has a voice of gladness, and a smile

And eloquence of beauty, and she glides

Into his darker musings, with a mild

And healing sympathy, that steals away

Their sharpness, ere he is aware. When thoughts

Of the last bitter hour come like a blight

Over thy spirit, and sad images

Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall,

And breathless darkness, and the narrow house,

Make thee to shudder and grow sick at heart;--

Go forth, under the open sky, and list

To Nature's teachings, while from all around--

Earth and her waters, and the depths of air--

Comes a still voice--Yet a few days, and thee

The all-beholding sun shall see no more

In all his course; nor yet in the cold ground,

Where thy pale form was laid with many tears,

Nor in the embrace of ocean, shall exist

Thy image. Earth, that nourish'd thee, shall claim

Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again,

And, lost each human trace, surrendering up

Thine individual being, shalt thou go

To mix for ever with the elements,

To be a brother to the insensible rock,

And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain

Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak

Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mould.


Yet not to thine eternal resting-place

Shalt thou retire alone, nor couldst thou wish

Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down

With patriarchs of the infant world--with kings,

The powerful of the earth--the wise, the good,

Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past,

All in one mighty sepulchre. The hills

Rock-ribb'd and ancient as the sun,--the vales

Stretching in pensive quietness between;

The venerable woods; rivers that move

In majesty, and the complaining brooks

That make the meadows green; and, pour'd round all,

Old Ocean's grey and melancholy waste,--

Are but the solemn decorations all

Of the great tomb of man. The golden sun,

The planets, all the infinite host of heaven,

Are shining on the sad abodes of death,

Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread

The globe are but a handful to the tribes

That slumber in its bosom.--Take the wings

Of morning, pierce the Barcan wilderness,

Or lose thyself in the continuous woods

Where rolls the Oregon and hears no sound

Save his own dashings--yet the dead are there:

And millions in those solitudes, since first

The flight of years began, have laid them down

In their last sleep--the dead reign there alone.

So shalt thou rest: and what if thou withdraw

In silence from the living, and no friend

Take note of thy departure? All that breathe

Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh

When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care

Plod on, and each one as before will chase

His favourite phantom; yet all these shall leave

Their mirth and their employments, and shall come

And make their bed with thee. As the long train

Of ages glides away, the sons of men,

The youth in life's green spring, and he who goes

In the full strength of years, matron and maid,

The speechless babe, and the gray-headed man--

Shall one by one be gathered to thy side

By those who in their turn shall follow them.


So live, that when thy summons comes to join

The innumerable caravan which moves

To that mysterious realm where each shall take

His chamber in the silent halls of death,

Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,

Scourged by his dungeon; but, sustain'd and soothed

By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave,

Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch

About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams

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Tomorrow, tomorrow and tomorrow by William Shakespeare



To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,

Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,

To the last syllable of recorded time;

And all our yesterdays have lighted fools

The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,

And then is heard no more. It is a tale

Told by an id!ot, full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing.

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The Brook by Alfred, Lord Tennyson


and hern

I make a sudden sally,

And sparkle out among the fern,

To bicker down a valley.


By thirty hills I hurry down,

Or slip between the ridges,

By twenty thorps, a little town,

And half a hundred bridges.


Till last by Philip’s farm I flow

To join the brimming river,

For men may come and men may go,

But I go on for ever.


I chatter over stony ways,

In little sharps and trebles,

I bubble into eddying bays,

I babble on the pebbles.


With many a curve my banks I fret

By many a field and fallow,

And many a fairy foreland set

With willow-weed and mallow.


I chatter, chatter, as I flow

To join the brimming river,

For men may come and men may go,

But I go on for ever.


I wind about, and in and out,

With here a blossom sailing,

And here and there a lusty trout,

And here and there a grayling,


And here and there a foamy flake

Upon me, as I travel

With many a silvery waterbreak

Above the golden gravel,


And draw them all along, and flow

To join the brimming river,

For men may come and men may go,

But I go on for ever.


I steal by lawns and grassy plots,

I slide by hazel covers ;

I move the sweet forget-me-nots

That grow for happy lovers.


I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance,

Among my skimming swallows ;

I make the netted sunbeam dance

Against my sandy shallows.


I murmur under moon and stars

In brambly wildernesses ;

I linger by my shingly bars ;

I loiter round my cresses ;


And out again I curve and flow

To join the brimming river,

For men may come and men may go,

But I go on for ever.

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