Welcome to Poetry Friday! Please leave a link in the comments, and as the day progresses (the dropping off of children at school--hooray! the removal of 200 moldy boxes of artifacts from their condemned home in an old house at Rhode Island College into Department of Transportation dump trucks -sigh, a bit of peaceful time at work, back to get boys, and home again, or possibly to the library if the computer has decided to hate blogger again) I shall add the links.
Here's the poem I've chosen-- The Highwayman, by Alfred Noyes (1880-1958). It's an old chestnut that I remember my mother reading to me when I was little, and which I read recently to my boys who listened wide-eyed. I think would make a truly splendid picture book...UPDATE! One of today's contributors, Slyvia from Poetry for Children, has just let me know that it "HAS been issued in picture book form by Oxford U, illustrated by Charles Keeping, and in the VISIONS IN POETRY series in a film noir-ish interpretation of a biker in NYC." Somehow I find the former more appealling.
THE wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees,
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding—
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.
He'd a French cocked-hat on his forehead, a bunch of lace at his chin,
A coat of the claret velvet, and breeches of brown doe-skin;
They fitted with never a wrinkle: his boots were up to the thigh!
And he rode with a jewelled twinkle,
His pistol butts a-twinkle,
His rapier hilt a-twinkle, under the jewelled sky.
Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard,
And he tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred;
He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord's black-eyed daughter,
Bess, the landlord's daughter,
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.
And dark in the dark old inn-yard a stable-wicket creaked
Where Tim the ostler listened; his face was white and peaked;
His eyes were hollows of madness, his hair like mouldy hay,
But he loved the landlord's daughter,
The landlord's red-lipped daughter,
Dumb as a dog he listened, and he heard the robber say—
"One kiss, my bonny sweetheart, I'm after a prize to-night,
But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light;
Yet, if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,
Then look for me by moonlight,
Watch for me by moonlight,
I'll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way."
He rose upright in the stirrups; he scarce could reach her hand,
But she loosened her hair i' the casement! His face burnt like a brand
As the black cascade of perfume came tumbling over his breast;
And he kissed its waves in the moonlight,
(Oh, sweet, black waves in the moonlight!)
Then he tugged at his rein in the moonlight, and galloped away to the West.
The thrilling conclusion (and it is thrilling) can be found here.
So again, welcome, and I look forward to reading your poems!
John Mutford, over at The Book Mine Set, is in with a look at Jailbreaks, an anthology of Canadian sonnets edited by Zachariah Wells.
Julie Larios at The Drift Record is in with two poems by Richard Wilbur, one for grown ups and one from his book Opposites and More Opposites, and then crowns her post with an original poem of her own.
Little Willow is in with Hamlet's letter to Ophelia --Never Doubt I Love. She should not go to the Scholar's Blog, where more Hamlet is featured, unless she wants to experience the joy of getting to see David Tennant vicariously.
Sarah at In Need of Chocolate is in with a lovely butterfly poem.
At Just One More Book, Andrea looks at Ocean Wide, Ocean Deep, by Susan Lendroth.
In honor of Labor Day, Mary Lee at A Year of Reading offers It Couldn't Be Done, by Edgar Guest, and Stacey at Two Writing Teachers offers an acrostic by Nicholas Gordon. I am also putting the two poems of Louisa May Alcott, posted at the Write Sisters, here...the first one is especially relevant (and made me grit my teeth a tad).
Cloudscome, at A Wrung Sponge, has a doozy of a poem about starting school, Lisa at A Little of This a Little of That shares the poem that will be on her students' desks on Tuesday, and Elaine at Wild Rose Reader has a back to school poetry book that looks like a great one to check out this time of year.
I for one am very glad school has started because my boys were getting very tired of each other's exclusive company toward the end there... and I was getting tired of the predictable results. Somehow my gentle dove like murmurings about violence not being the answer had no effect. But anyway, Yat-Yee Chong shares a poem on siblings by Naomi Shihab Nye that I look forward to reading.
Appropriate for the school starting season (I just spent an hour at the school playground, meeting new parents) is Msmac's original poem inspired by the prompt-- "I come from..." And there is also an original back to school poem from Gregory K. at GottaBook.
Elaine also has three lovely poems for the end of summer at Blue Rose Girls (at least, I assume they are lovely because Elaine likes them but goodness knows I have not yet had a chance to read anything I'm linking too...that is a pleasure all the sweeter for being deferred, or maybe not). On the same theme, Tricia of The Miss Rumphius Effect shares Farewell To Summer, by George Arnold, and Rebecca at A Gypsy Caravan shares another by Rowena Bennett. At the Three Legged Dragon, Tabitha visits some Scottish poetry, and I'm putting the poem she shares (Fern by Liz Nevin) in this category too, because I think it is metaphorically applicable.
On the other hand, Becky at Farm School is clinging to summer, with Wild Bees, by John Clare (never heard of him--there are a lot of new ones for me today).
Laura Salas is keeping me company on the other side of the law with a poem about pirates, "Cat-o'-Nine-Tails," and some15 Words or Less poems.
Sara at Read Write Believe posts about finding lost poems, which has just become easier, and shares a link to the apropos poem, One Art, by Elizabeth Bishop.
Susan over at Chicken Spaghetti has a link to very interesting looking article that's up at the Poetry Foundation, and Karen Edmisten also links to it, and not to take away from their blog stats but here is the direct link because it does look, as I said, very interesting.
And here's one that I did take the time to read, and am glad I did--Wild Geese, by Mary Oliver, over at On the Learn.
Two participants today reference Obama-- Janet at Writer2be is in with some Langston Hughes, and Sylvia at Poetry for Children has an excerpt from I am the Bridge, by Carole Boston Weatherford. In a patriotic mood, Kelly Fineman has some of Walt Whitman's America (I love it). And I guess this goes in this section--a rat's version of America the Beautiful, from Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat, brought to us by Becky's Book Reviews.
At Semicolon, Sherry is in with an English translation of a stirring 4th-century hymn. Barbara at Stray Thoughts shares a poem by John Donne.
Eisha at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast has a bit of Sappho (I knew there were issues with the survival of her poems, but didn't know we had only one complete example).
Anastasia at Picture Book of the Day is in with a look at Sputter Sputter Sput, by Babs Bell (looks like fun). Also reviewing a book is Kelly at Big A little A--Our California, which looks lovely (although the title, to an East Coaster like me who has never been to CA, makes me suspicious--is the "our" including or excluding me?).
At Finding Wonderland, you can enjoy The Microbe, by Hilaire Belloc (which I had never read--I love those last two lines!), or you can appreciate (though not enjoy) a poem from China posted at Biblio File.
Pause, during which, among other things, we troop down to the end of the street, along with all our neighbors, to watch one of the mill buildings at the end of the street burn. Much smoke, no fire. I hope no firefighters get hurt.
Ruth at There is no such thing as a Godforsaken Town, has an Emily Dickinson poem that's new to her (and to me)--Surgeons must be very careful.
Liz in Ink shares Robert Louis Stevenson's poem, Now When the Number of My Years, and Em at Em's Bookshelf also is in with RLS- The Land of Story-books. It's Em's first P.F. post--welcome!
Suzanne, at Adventures in Daily Living, is in with the lyrics to I Saw My Youth Today, by Richard Shindell.
At Paper Tigers, there's a link to a lovely essay Aline wrote--Waking up on the Right Side of the Poetry Bed.
And finally, with The Answer to the Puzzle, is Miss Erin!
Thank you all for coming to Poetry Friday! I am looking forward to going back and reading in depth what I just skimmed. If I messed up your link, misspelled your name, or grossly mis-categorized your offering, please let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you notice any egregious typos, errors of grammar or style, or simply disagree with my choice of words, you can let me know that too.