Evening Poetry, October 10

Dawn

by Emily Dickinson

When night is almost done,

And sunrise grows so near

That we can touch the spaces,

It’s time to smooth the hair

And get the dimples ready,

And wonder we could care

For that old faded midnight

That frightened but an hour.

You can find this in Hope is the Thing With Feathers.

Evening Poetry, October 9

The Old Poets of China

by Mary Oliver

Wherever I am, the world comes after me.

It offers me its busyness. It does not believe

that I do not want it. Now I understand

why the old poets of China went so far and high

into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist.

You can find this poem in Why I Wake Early.

Evening Poetry, October 8

From The Book of a Monastic Life

I, II

by Rainer Maria Rilke

You darkness, of whom I am born–

I love you more than the flame

that limits the world

to the circle it illumines

and excludes all the rest.

But the dark embraces everything:

shapes and shadows, creatures and me.

people, nations–just as they are.

It lets me imagine

a great presence stirring beside me.

I believe in the night.

You can find this poem in Rilke’s Book of Hours.

Evening Poetry, October 7

Sunrise

by Mary Oliver

You can
die for it–
an idea,
or the world. People

have done so,
brilliantly,
letting
their small bodies be bound

to the stake,
creating
an unforgettable
fury of light. But

this morning,
climbing the familiar hills
in the familiar
fabric of dawn, I thought

of China,

and India
and Europe, and I thought
how the sun

blazes
for everyone just
so joyfully
as it rises

under the lashes
of my own eyes, and I thought
I am so many!
What is my name?

What is the name
of the deep breath I would take
over and over
for all of us? Call it

whatever you want, it is
happiness, it is another one
of the ways to enter
fire.

You can find this poem in Dream Work.

Evening Poetry, October 6

Autumn

by Emily Dickinson

The morns are meeker than they were,

The nuts are getting brown;

The berry’s cheek is plumper,

The rose is out of town.

The maple wears a gayer scarf,

The field a scarlet gown.

Lest I should be old-fashioned,

I’ll put a trinket on.

You can find this poem in Favorite Poems Old and New.

Evening Poetry, October 5

Autumn River Song

on the Broad Reach

By Li T’ai-po

In the clear green water–the shimmering moon.

In the moonlight–white herons flying.

A young man hears a girl plucking water-chestnuts;

They paddle home together through the night, singing.

You can find this poem in Amy Lowell: Selected Poems.

Evening Poetry, October 4

Love after Love

by Derek Walcott

The time will come 
when, with elation 
you will greet yourself arriving 
at your own door, in your own mirror 
and each will smile at the other’s welcome, 

and say, sit here. Eat. 
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart 
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you 

all your life, whom you ignored 
for another, who knows you by heart. 
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf, 

the photographs, the desperate notes, 
peel your own image from the mirror. 
Sit. Feast on your life.

You can find this poem in The Poetry of Derek Walcott 1948-2013.