Tag Archives: audio

From Memory

“The Second Coming,” poem by W. B. Yeats, http://www.poetryfoundation.org. Yeats, like Shelley in “Ozymandias,” associates folly and tyranny and self-aggrandizement with the desert lands. That happens to be where the trio of stern monotheisms were “revealed”: I’m the Only One, … Continue reading

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From Memory

“A Refusal to Mourn the Death by Fire of a Child in London,” poem by Dylan Thomas poetryfoundation.org This poem is an antidote to the “thoughts and prayers” mantra. It reminds me of Millay’s “Dirge Without Music” in that it … Continue reading

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From Memory

“Ozymandias,” poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley, http://www.poetryfoundation.org This sonnet triggers a puff of schadenfreude. It’s fun to imagine that, given time, the desert swallows braggarts. (Copyright 2018 James Mansfield Nichols. All rights reserved.)

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From Memory

“In Memory of W. B. Yeats,” poem by W. H. Auden, poets.org This poem has several “movements,” like a symphony. I marvel at its discursive tone — “You were silly like us” — until the last stanza, where it becomes … Continue reading

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From Memory

“Dover Beach,” poem by Matthew Arnold, https://www.poetryfoundation.org Penned by a Victorian on his honeymoon! This is hardly a celebratory poem, but I get from it what the French call a “morne plaisir,” a gloomy satisfaction. Its somber music moves me, … Continue reading

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From Memory

“Dirge Without Music,” poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay https://www.poetryfoundation.org I’m attracted to the elegiac mode. This poem is formal, but with half-rhyming that doesn’t chime: “crowned” with “resigned,” for example. The speaker quarrels with how we handle death.

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From Memory

“September 1, 1939,” poem by W. H. Auden, https://www.poets.org This is the longest poem I’ve memorized so far. It has nine stanzas, each of which has eleven lines. There’s a regular rhyme scheme. I detect a three-beat cadence. I read … Continue reading

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