Friday, July 31, 2009

Sutphen and Morley

People liked the Christopher Morley, so I'm going to give you some more. But first, here's a little taste of Soundings by Joyce Sutphen, who really knows how to translate sounds into words:

Somewhere, between the breeze
and the faraway sound of a train,
comes a line of birdsong, lightly
threading the heavy cloth of dream.

You can read the rest of Soundings here.


by Christopher Morley

In your Great City
I see, in jewellers' windows,
Clocks that tell the guaranteed Correct Time;
And in front of those clocks people always halted
Adjusting their watches.
But suppose there were displayed, beside the street,
Some great poem,
Telling perfect Truth or Beauty,
How many passengers
Would pause to adjust their minds?


An Enigma in the Woodpile
by Christopher Morley

An American friend of mine,
A man in a newspaper office,
Is very wealthy.
He tells me he has an income
Of 10,000 interruptions a year.


An American Mystic
by Christopher Morley

But you do not understand the subway,
Said an American mystic
Sitting next to me at the Rotary Club.
It is a travelling hermitage,
A flying monastery,
A nunnery that moves at fifty miles an hour.
Into its roaring wagons
Thoughtful men and women descend with joy:
They know that there,
The only place in the whole city,
They can meditate undisturbed.


excerpt from The Man With The Rake
by Christopher Morley

...And at such times
I plant the seeds of poems.
It takes poems a long while to grow --
They lie germinating in the dark of the mind;
But next spring, very likely,
There may emerge the green and tender shoots
Of two or three bright stanzas.


excerpt from The Painter
by Christopher Morley

...True! I said --
Beauty is like the Medusa:
Look her in the face, and you run mad;
But like Perseus,
Study her reflection in the polished shield.
Look upon life in the mirror of some art
And, perhaps, you will stay sane.

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