A Letter to a Live Poet
Sir, since the last Elizabethan died,
Or, rather, that more Paradisal muse,
Blind with much light, passed to the light more glorious
Or deeper blindness, no man's hand, as thine,
Has, on the world's most noblest chord of song,
Struck certain magic strains. Ears satiate
With the clamorous, timorous whisperings of to-day,
Thrilled to perceive once more the spacious voice
And serene unterrance of old. We heard
-- With rapturous breath half-held, as a dreamer dreams
Who dares not know it dreaming, lest he wake --
The odorous, amorous style of poetry,
The melancholy knocking of those lines,
The long, low soughing of pentameters,
-- Or the sharp of rhyme as a bird's cry --
And the innumerable truant polysyllables
Multitudinously twittering like a bee.
Fulfilled our hearts were with the music then,
And all the evenings sighed it to the dawn,
And all the lovers heard it from all the trees.
All of the accents upon the all the norms!
-- And ah! the stress of the penultimate!
We never knew blank verse could have such feet.
Where is it now? Oh, more than ever, now
I sometimes think no poetry is read
Save where some sepultured C¾sura bled,
Royally incarnadining all the line.
Is the imperial iamb laid to rest,
And the young trochee, having done enough?
Ah! turn again! Sing so to us, who are sick
Of seeming-simple rhymes, bizarre emotions,
Decked in the simple verses of the day,
Infinite meaning in a little gloom,
Irregular thoughts in stanzas regular,
Modern despair in antique metres, myths
Incomprehensible at evening,
And symbols that mean nothing in the dawn.
The slow lines swell. The new style sighs. The Celt
Moans round with many voices.
God! to see
Gaunt anap¾sts stand up out of the verse,
Combative accents, stress where no stress should be,
Spondee on spondee, iamb on choriamb,
The thrill of all the tribrachs in the world,
And all the vowels rising to the E!
To hear the blessed mutter of those verbs,
Conjunctions passionate toward each other's arms,
And epithets like amaranthine lovers
Stretching luxuriously to the stars,
All prouder pronouns than the dawn, and all
The thunder of the trumpets of the noun!
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Comments about this poem (A Letter to a Live Poet by Rupert Brooke )
Still I Rise
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Edgar Allan Poe
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
A Dream Within A Dream
Edgar Allan Poe
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
(13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990)
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- As I Grew Older, Langston Hughes
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth