Poem of the Day

Recommended Posts

The Return of Odysseus by George Bilgere


When Odysseus finally does get home

he is understandably upset about the suitors,

who have been mooching off his wife for twenty years,

drinking his wine, eating his mutton, etc.


In a similar situation today he would seek legal counsel.

But those were different times. With the help

of his son Telemachus he slaughters roughly

one hundred and ten suitors

and quite a number of young ladies,

although in view of their behavior

I use the term loosely. Rivers of blood

course across the palace floor.


I too have come home in a bad mood.

Yesterday, for instance, after the department meeting,

when I ended up losing my choice parking spot

behind the library to the new provost.


I slammed the door. I threw down my book bag

in this particular way I have perfected over the years

that lets my wife understand

the contempt I have for my enemies,

which is prodigious. And then with great skill

she built a gin and tonic

that would have pleased the very gods,

and with epic patience she listened

as I told her of my wrath, and of what I intended to do

to so-and-so, and also to what's-his-name.


And then there was another gin and tonic

and presently my wrath abated and was forgotten,

and peace came to reign once more

in the great halls and courtyards of my house.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Dreariest Journey by Percy Bysshe Shelley


I never was attached to that great sect,

Whose doctrine is, that each one should select

Out of the crowd a mistress or a friend,

And all the rest, though fair and wise, commend

To cold oblivion, though it is the code

Of modern morals, and the beaten road

Which those poor slaves with weary footsteps tread,

By the broad highway of the world, and so

With one chained friend, perhaps a jealous foe,

The dreariest and the longest journey go.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Perfect Woman by William Wordsworth


She was a phantom of delight

When first she gleam'd upon my sight;

A lovely apparition, sent

To be a moment's ornament;

Her eyes as star of twilight fair;

Like twilight's, too, her dusky hair;

But all things else about her drawn

From May-time and the cheerful dawn;

A dancing shape, an image gay,

To haunt, to startle, and waylay.


I saw her upon nearer view,

A Spirit, yet a Woman too!

Her household motions light and free,

And steps of virgin liberty;

A countenance in which did meet

Sweet records, promises as sweet;

A creature not too bright or good

For human nature's daily food;

For transient sorrows, simple wiles,

Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles.


And now I see with eye serene

The very pulse of the machine;

A being breathing thoughtful breath,

A traveller between life and death;

The reason firm, the temperate will,

Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill;

A perfect Woman, nobly plann'd

To warm, to comfort, and command;

And yet a Spirit still, and bright

With something of angelic light.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Half-Rack at the Rendezvouz by William Notter


She had a truck, red hair,

and freckled knees and took me all the way

to Memphis after work for barbecue.

We moaned and grunted over plates of ribs

and sweet iced tea, even in a room of strangers,

gnawing the hickory char, the slow

smoked meat peeling off the bones,

and finally the bones. We slurped

grease and dry-rub spice from our fingers,

then finished with blackberry cobbler

that stained her lips and tongue.


All the trees were throwing fireworks

of blossom, the air was thick

with pollen and the brand-new smell of leaves.

We drove back roads in the watermelon dusk,

then tangled around each other, delirious

as honeybees working wisteria.

I could blame it all on cinnamon hair,

or the sap rising, the overflow of spring,

but it was those ribs that started everything.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

For You by Kim Addonizio


For you I undress down to the sheaths of my nerves.

I remove my jewelry and set it on the nightstand,

I unhook my ribs, spread my lungs flat on a chair.

I dissolve like a remedy in water, in wine.

I spill without staining, and leave without stirring the air.

I do it for love. For love, I disappear.






Forms of Love by Kim Addonizio


I love you but I'm married.

I love you but I wish you had more hair.

I love you more.

I love you more like a friend.

I love your friends more than you.

I love how when we go into a mall and classical muzak is playing,

you can always name the composer.

I love you, but one or both of us is/are fictional.

I love you but "I" am an unstable signifier.

I love you saying, "I understand the semiotics of that" when I said, "I

had a little personal business to take care of."

I love you as long as you love me back.

I love you in spite of the restraining order.

I love you from the coma you put me in.

I love you more than I've ever loved anyone, except for this one


I love you when you're not getting drunk and ******.

I love how you get me.

I love your pain, it's so competitive.

I love how emotionally unavailable you are.

I love you like I'm a strange backyard and you're running from the

cops, looking for a place to stash your gun.

I love your hair.

I love you but I'm just not that into you.

I love you secretly.

I love how you make me feel like I'm a monastery in the desert.

I love how you defined grace as the little turn the blood in the

syringe takes when you're shooting heroin, after you pull back

the plunger slightly to make sure you hit the vein.

I love your mother, she's the opposite of mine.

I love you and feel a powerful spiritual connection to you, even

though we've never met.

I love your tacos! I love your stick deodorant!

I love it when you tie me up with ropes using the knots you

learned in Boy Scouts, and when you do the stoned Dennis

Hopper rap from Apocalypse Now!

I love your extravagant double takes!

I love your mother, even though I'm nearly her age!

I love everything about you except your hair.

If it weren't for that I know I could really, really love you.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

the finger by Charles Bukowski


the drivers of automobiles

have very little recourse or


when upset with



they often give him the



I have seen two adult


florid of face

driving along

giving each other the



well, we all know what

this means, it's no



still, this gesture is

so overused it has

lost most of its



some of the men who give

the FINGER are captains of

industry, city councilmen,

insurance adjusters,

accountants and/or the just plain


no matter.

it is their favorite



people will never admit

that they drive



the FINGER is their



I see grown men

FINGERING each other

throughout the day.


it gives me pause.

when I consider

the state of our cities,

the state of our states,

the state of our country,

I begin to



the FINGER is a mind-


we are the FINGERERS.

we give it

to each other.

we give it coming and


we don't know how

else to respond.


what a hell of a way

to not


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Evening is Tranquil, and Dawn is a Thousand Miles Away by Charles Wright


The mares go down for their evening feed

into the meadow grass.

Two pine trees sway the invisible wind—

some sway, some don't sway.

The heart of the world lies open, leached and ticking with sunlight

For just a minute or so.

The mares have their heads on the ground,

the trees have their heads on the blue sky.

Two ravens circle and twist.

On the borders of heaven, the river flows clear a bit longer.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Return by Thomas R. Smith


Unto Him all things return. –The Koran


Walking on the park road

early morning, summer solstice,

we came to a place in the still-

shaded cool where, looking

up a grassy hillside,

we could see, through a gap

in the trees, the rising sun.


Burning clear with all

heat and strength befitting

the day of its longest dominion,

the sun, boiling from that

high nest of foliage,

lit a silver swath

of sparkling, dew-bent


grasses all the way down

the drenched slope.

So brilliant was that carpet

of light the sun unrolled

down the hill to our feet,

we stopped where we were

and sat awhile in pure wonder.


And I remembered an old

secret promise, deemed

unwise to speak, though

who could deny it,

seeing these folk, humble

yet adorned, nodding together

on their way back to the sun?


And soon enough we got up

again and wandered on

into whatever we had to do

on that day, though not unchanged,

having accompanied a little distance

on the morning road of their return

those illuminated pilgrims.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Compulsively Allergic to the Truth by Jeffrey McDaniel


I'm sorry I was late.

I was pulled over by a cop

for driving blindfolded

with a raspberry-scented candle

flickering in my mouth.

I'm sorry I was late.

I was on my way

when I felt a plot

thickening in my arm.

I have a fear of heights.

Luckily the Earth

is on the second floor

of the universe.

I am not the egg man.

I am the owl

who just witnessed

another tree fall over

in the forest of your life.

I am your father

shaking his head

at the thought of you.

I am his words dissolving

in your mind like footprints

in a rainstorm.

I am a long-legged martini.

I am feeding olives

to the bull inside you.

I am decorating

your labyrinth,

tacking up snapshots

of all the people

who've gotten lost

in your corridors.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lost Childhood by David Ignatow


How was it possible, I a father

yet a child of my father? I

grew panicky and thought

of running away but knew

I would be scorned for it

by my father. I stood

and listened to myself

being called Dad.


How ridiculous it sounded,

but in front of me, asking

for attention—how could I,

a child, ignore this child's plea?

I lifted him into my arms

and hugged him as I would have

wanted my father to hug me,

and it was as though satisfying

my own lost childhood.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

"Ulysses" by Alfred Lord Tennyson


It little profits that an idle king,

By this still hearth, among these barren crags,

Match’d with an aged wife, I mete and dole

Unequal laws unto a savage race,

That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.


I cannot rest from travel: I will drink

Life to the lees: All times I have enjoy’d

Greatly, have suffer’d greatly, both with those

That loved me, and alone, on shore, and when

Thro’ scudding drifts the rainy Hyades

Vext the dim sea: I am become a name;

For always roaming with a hungry heart

Much have I seen and known; cities of men

And manners, climates, councils, governments,

Myself not least, but honour’d of them all;

And drunk delight of battle with my peers,

Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.

I am a part of all that I have met;

Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’

Gleams that untravell’d world whose margin fades

For ever and forever when I move.

How dull it is to pause, to make an end,

To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use!

As tho’ to breathe were life! Life piled on life

Were all too little, and of one to me

Little remains: but every hour is saved

From that eternal silence, something more,

A bringer of new things; and vile it were

For some three suns to store and hoard myself,

And this gray spirit yearning in desire

To follow knowledge like a sinking star,

Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.


This is my son, mine own Telemachus,

To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle,—

Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil

This labour, by slow prudence to make mild

A rugged people, and thro’ soft degrees

Subdue them to the useful and the good.

Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere

Of common duties, decent not to fail

In offices of tenderness, and pay

Meet adoration to my household gods,

When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.


There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail:

There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners,

Souls that have toil’d, and wrought, and thought with me—

That ever with a frolic welcome took

The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed

Free hearts, free foreheads—you and I are old;

Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;

Death closes all: but something ere the end,

Some work of noble note, may yet be done,

Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.

The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:

The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep

Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,

’Tis not too late to seek a newer world.

Push off, and sitting well in order smite

The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds

To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths

Of all the western stars, until I die.

It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:

It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,

And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.

Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’

We are not now that strength which in old days

Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;

One equal temper of heroic hearts,

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

"The meaningful exchange" by Marge Piercy


The man talks

the woman listens


The man is a teapot

with a dark green brew

of troubles.


He pours into the woman.

She carries his sorrows away

sloshing in her belly.


The man swings off lighter.

Sympathy quickens him.

He watches woman pass.

He whistles.


The woman lumbers away.

Inside, his troubles are

snaking up through her throat.

Her body curls delicately

about them, worrying, nudging

them into some new meaningful shape

squatting now at the center of her life.


How much lighter I feel,

the man says, ready

for business.


How heavy I feel, the woman

Says; this must be love.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

WOW ! So many strong poems that I have never read before !


Is there a site where you found all of this? I use this website but I couldn't many of these on it. Pliz let me know ;)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Heautontimoroumenos by Charles Baudelaire

(translated by William Aggeler)


I shall strike you without anger

And without hate, like a butcher,

As Moses struck the rock!

And from your eyelids I shall make


The waters of suffering gush forth

To inundate my Sahara.

My desire swollen with hope

Will float upon your salty tears


Like a vessel which puts to sea,

And in my heart that they'll make drunk

Your beloved sobs will resound

Like a drum beating the charge!


Am I not a discord

In the heavenly symphony,

Thanks to voracious Irony

Who shakes me and who bites me?


She's in my voice, the termagant!

All my blood is her black poison!

I am the sinister mirror

In which the vixen looks.


I am the wound and the dagger!

I am the blow and the cheek!

I am the members and the wheel,

Victim and executioner!


I'm the vampire of my own heart

— One of those utter derelicts

Condemned to eternal laughter,

But who can no longer smile!





Here is the original poem in its native tongue...




Je te frapperai sans colère

Et sans haine, comme un boucher,

Comme Moïse le rocher

Et je ferai de ta paupière,


Pour abreuver mon Saharah

Jaillir les eaux de la souffrance.

Mon désir gonflé d'espérance

Sur tes pleurs salés nagera


Comme un vaisseau qui prend le large,

Et dans mon coeur qu'ils soûleront

Tes chers sanglots retentiront

Comme un tambour qui bat la charge!


Ne suis-je pas un faux accord

Dans la divine symphonie,

Grâce à la vorace Ironie

Qui me secoue et qui me mord


Elle est dans ma voix, la criarde!

C'est tout mon sang ce poison noir!

Je suis le sinistre miroir

Où la mégère se regarde.


Je suis la plaie et le couteau!

Je suis le soufflet et la joue!

Je suis les membres et la roue,

Et la victime et le bourreau!


Je suis de mon coeur le vampire,

— Un de ces grands abandonnés

Au rire éternel condamnés

Et qui ne peuvent plus sourire!


— Charles Baudelaire

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.