If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.
The Sunrise—Sire—compelleth Me—
Because He’s Sunrise—and I see—
I love Thee—
from “Why do I love” You Sir?
“Why do I love” You, Sir?
The Wind does not require the Grass
To answer—Wherefore when He pass
She cannot keep Her place.
Because He knows—and
Do not You—
And We know not—
Enough for Us
The Wisdom it be so—
The Lightning—never asked an Eye
Wherefore it shut—when He was by—
Because He knows it cannot speak—
And reasons not contained—
There be—preferred by Daintier Folk—
The Sunrise—Sire—compelleth Me—
Because He’s Sunrise—and I see—
I love Thee—
The Brain is wider than the Sky.
There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry —
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll —
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears the Human soul.
In this, as All, prevail-
Assent-and you are sane-
Demur-you’re straightway dangerous-
And handled with a Chain-
PERRY ‘VISION’ DIVIRGILIO reads a brand-new poem he wrote titled “Homophobics Anonymous,” and talks about what it means to him. Vision (Twitter: @VisionPoet) is a poet and poet coach for Philly Youth Poetry Movement and a member of Spoken Soul 215. To hear the whole show, which included a musician and a pair of theater innovators here in Philadelphia, see: http://ph.ly/JfYLL This was the start of Pt. 3 of Radio Times’ 5-part series on Philadelphia Innovators; to learn more about the series, see: http://ph.ly/__-EV
There will be a time
My future son looks back on the decisions daddy made to judge what type of man i was.
My unborn daughter will appraise my actions against the gallimaufry of lessons i’ve imparted upon her.
They will look back at my past with rose colored scopes.
And believe their daddy was a moral man.
My children will read articles about poems l’ve penned
They’ll see clips from a CNN documentary
And beam with pride.
They won’t see the stories forced into a wiredrawn margin by revisions of an umbrageous past.
This is an attempt to show my future children their human father wasn’t always on the right side of history.
My name is Perry “Vision” Di Virgilio
And l’m homophobic
l never gave thought to why the way others love has any affect on me
But for years i wore homophobia like a unsheathed broadsword on my back
The people me and my friends preyed on are un-named
And have unmarked memorials on their tombstone scars
They won’t remember our faces,
Only the way we made them feel.
For me it’s been mostly through inaction
But sometimes through emblazoned words spoken with a pitchforked tongue
l’ve syphoned the humanity out others with each utterance of the word faggot
Fag sprung off my tongue like ineffable artillery from a trebuchet
l have stoned my brothers who love brothers.
So my brothers who love sisters know l’m one of them.
Flagitiously feasted on the insecurities of males we deemed too garish to be men.
Like we are men,
and you are not like us, so you are not a man.
l’ve sat cactus next to men whose wrist weren’t quite as limp as my excuses to prejudge their feminine traits.
Sat mime as a friend threw a bottle at a man we deemed too flamboyant to exist
We laughed like enjoying his pain was a prerequisite for masculinity
Like we knew what masculinity really was.
Like l thought all gay men were ostentatious
Until l unknowingly went into a gay friendly bar
And saw men who looked, dressed and talked like me
dancing with men who looked, dressed and talked like me.
l left because “l don’t do that gay shit!’
i was afraid being there was a reflection on me.
There was a time l was proud to be that guy l now despise.
There are times, l am still that guy l now despise
Times l still sit mute amongst men who make jokes about men who love other men
Times l still sit mum amongst women who beg down low men to come out of the closet so they can browbeat them back in.
l’m a silent co-conspirator too afraid they’ll question my sexuality because l’ve defended another’s.
i’ve been that guy who’s been part time prejudice around straight peers
Then find solace in the basement of my morals saying, “l’m not a bigot. l have gay friends.”
l have gay friends who l can’t look in the eye sometimes knowing there was a time l judged the way they’ve made their lover’s smile
What type of ally am l
When l was almost too coward to attend a friend’s poetry feature at a gay arts festival.
When l was afraid to share a hotel room with a gay friend while on tour.
When l didn’t defend a transexual woman on the bus when she was called “lt”
l am still the homophobic boy who sometimes participates in oppression through inaction.
By not saying the things l see wrong.
By not defending someone’s right to be themselves.
Oh the audacity of wanting to be yourself.
l pray my friends don’t cast the same judgments upon me that i’ve casted on others
l am a recovering homophobe.
Fighting unfounded fear one day at a time.
There will be a time,
My kids will question why all heterosexual people didn’t stand up for gay people.
They will ask if their father was a homophobe
l will tell them there was a time daddy judged before he loved.
l will beg them not to repeat the sins of their father.
Source: SoundCloud / Radio Times
There’s a certain slant of light
There’s a certain slant of light,
On winter afternoons,
That oppresses, like the weight
Of cathedral tunes.
Heavenly hurt it gives us;
We can find no scar,
But internal difference
Where the meanings are.
None may teach it anything,
‘Tis the seal, despair,-
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the air.
When it comes, the landscape listens,
Shadows hold their breath;
When it goes, ‘t is like the distance
On the look of death
At first I do not know
A fly has crept
Into my ear to rest
I suppose it has awakened
Confused, and is trying to escape
Lost deep within my ear canal
It buzzes with mounting intensity
Its buzz is as loud and wide
As the universe I am contemplating
Finally, I know it is not God
But only a fly
Or is it God disguised as a fly?
Is it the buzz of God?
reblogging myself because you guys need to read this poem
I should not dare to leave my friend,
Because - because if he should die
While I was gone - and I - too late -
Should reach the Heart that wanted me -
If I should disappoint the eyes
That hunted - hunted so - to see -
And could not bear to shut until
They “noticed” me - they noticed me -
If I should stab the patient faith
So sure I’d come - so sure I’d come -
It listening - listening - went to sleep -
Telling my tardy name -
My Heart would wish it broke before -
Since breaking then - since breaking then -
Were useless as next morning’s sun -
Where midnight frosts - had lain!
Spencer Finch - 366, Emily Dickinson’s Miraculous Year (2009)
This work is based on Emily Dickinson in 1862, when she wrote 366 poems in 365 days. It is a real-time memorial to that year, which burns for exactly one year. The sculpture is comprised of 366 individual candles arranged in a linear sequence, each of which burns for 24 hours. The colour of each candle matches a colour mentioned in the corresponding poem. For the poems in which no colour is mentioned, the candles are made out of natural paraffin.
i am incredibly moved by this. it’s so beautiful. is it still going? i wish i could see it in person. Emily Dickinson is a hero of mine. visiting her home (which is now a museum in Amherst MA) was one of the most surreal and magical experiences of my life.
WILD nights! Wild nights!
Were I with thee,
Wild nights should be
Futile the winds
To a heart in port,—
Done with the compass,
Done with the chart.
Rowing in Eden!
Ah! the sea!
Might I but moor
To-night in thee!