Happy National Poetry Month

The New York Review of Books is celebrating National Poetry Month by posting a poem everyday.  Happy National Poetry Month everyone!

ODE TO THE DIENCEPHALON by W.H. Auden– NOVEMBER 30, 1972

(after A. T. W. Simeons)

How can you be quite so uncouth? After sharing
the same skull for all these millennia, surely
you should have discovered the cortical I is
a compulsive liar.

 

He has never learned you, it seems, about fig-leaves
or fire or ploughshares or vines or policemen,
that bolting or cringing can seldom earth a
citizen’s problems.

 

We are dared every day by guilty phobias,
nightmares of missing the bus or being laughed at,
but goose-flesh, the palpitations, the squitters
won’t flabbergast them.

 

When you could really help us, you don’t. If only,
whenever the trumpet cries men to battle,
you would flash to their muscles the urgent order
ACUTE LUMBAGO!

 

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2 thoughts on “Happy National Poetry Month

  1. One of my favs by William Wordsworth (had to memorize it for Dr. Clyde Kilby in my Wheaton College Romantic Lit class circa 1970).

    “I WANDERED LONELY AS A CLOUD”

    I WANDERED lonely as a cloud
    That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
    When all at once I saw a crowd,
    A host, of golden daffodils;
    Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
    Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

    Continuous as the stars that shine
    And twinkle on the milky way,
    They stretched in never-ending line
    Along the margin of a bay: 10
    Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
    Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

    The waves beside them danced; but they
    Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
    A poet could not but be gay,
    In such a jocund company:
    I gazed–and gazed–but little thought
    What wealth the show to me had brought:

    For oft, when on my couch I lie
    In vacant or in pensive mood, 20
    They flash upon that inward eye
    Which is the bliss of solitude;
    And then my heart with pleasure fills,
    And dances with the daffodils.

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