The Sea of Glass

A Poem by Ezra Pound

I looked and saw a sea
                               roofed over with rainbows,
In the midst of each
                               two lovers met and departed;
Then the sky was full of faces
                               with gold glories behind them.

Words for Departure

A Poem by Louise Bogan

Nothing was remembered, nothing forgotten. 
When we awoke, wagons were passing on the warm summer pavements, 
The window-sills were wet from rain in the night, 
Birds scattered and settled over chimneypots
As among grotesque trees. 

Nothing was accepted, nothing looked beyond. 
Slight-voiced bells separated hour from hour, 
The afternoon sifted coolness
And people drew together in streets becoming deserted. 
There was a moon, and light in a shop-front, 
And dusk falling like precipitous water. 

Hand clasped hand, 
Forehead still bowed to forehead—
Nothing was lost, nothing possessed, 
There was no gift nor denial. 

2.
I have remembered you. 
You were not the town visited once, 
Nor the road falling behind running feet. 

You were as awkward as flesh
And lighter than frost or ashes. 

You were the rind, 
And the white-juiced apple, 
The song, and the words waiting for music.

3.
You have learned the beginning; 
Go from mine to the other. 

Be together; eat, dance, despair, 
Sleep, be threatened, endure. 
You will know the way of that. But at the end, be insolent; 
Be absurd—strike the thing short off;
Be mad—only do not let talk 
Wear the bloom from silence. 

And go away without fire or lantern. 
Let there be some uncertainty about your departure.

Everyone Sang

A Poem by Siegfried Sassoon

Everyone suddenly burst out singing;
And I was filled with such delight
As prisoned birds must find in freedom,
Winging wildly across the white
Orchards and dark green fields; on; on; and out of sight.

Everyone’s voice was suddenly lifted;
And beauty came like the setting sun:
My heart was shaken with tears; and horror
Drifted away … O, but Everyone
Was a bird; and the song was wordless; the singing will never be done.

The Bronze Legacy

A Poem by Effie Lee Newsome

(To a Brown Boy)

’Tis a noble gift to be brown, all brown,
     Like the strongest things that make up this earth,
Like the mountains grave and grand,
     Even like the very land,
     Even like the trunks of trees—
     Even oaks, to be like these!
God builds His strength in bronze.

To be brown like thrush and lark!
     Like the subtle wren so dark!
Nay, the king of beasts wears brown;
     Eagles are of this same hue.
I thank God, then, I am brown.
     Brown has mighty things to do.

Invictus

A Poem by William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance,
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.