A YEAR IN POEMS 6/16/2021


“Come hither, Child! And rest:
This is the end of the day,
Behold the weary West!

“Sleep rounds with equal zest
Man’s toil and children’s play:
Come hither, Child! And rest.”

Ernest Dowson, “Villanelle of Sunset” 

My brother’s favorite non-classical poet and by extension mine. No poet ever, in my mind, was as skilled at turning sorrow into sweetness.


A YEAR IN POEMS 6/15/2001


“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore –
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
‘’Tis some visitor,’ I muttered, ‘tapping at my chamber door –
Only this and nothing more.’”

Edgar Allen Poe, “The Raven” 

There was a time when this poem was memorized by every school child in America and was often their introduction to poetry. The insistent rhythm and rhyme scheme, full of strange repetitions and dark corners create a deep and somber mood. I’ve never understood what was so scary about the subject. The image of the raven sitting on the bookshelf was more humorous than terrifying to me.