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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Apologies to all the loyal readers of this blog, but unfortunately the blog won't be updated for an undetermined length of time.  Please check back periodically, as we hope to be up and running again soon.
-The George Hail Library


Thomas D said...

Am hoping that Maria's all right. I've missed the daily poem!

The old gentleman... said...

This blog is superb---and the daily updates are sorely missed. Maria, you and yours are in our prayers. And keep in mind, in a few days, we will say "Resurrexit, sicut dixit."

Anonymous said...

oh yes I will pray that everything is ok and all is good with you, this blog is the highlight of my day, so totally inspiring! Noelle

Ruth said...

I hope everything is OK, Maria. I was just thinking about you and wondering why I hadn't seen a post from you lately.

Sheila said...

I am also hoping you are well, that things are okay, and if not, praying that you and they will be soon. This blog is wonderful and makes me wish I knew the person behind it!

April Halprin Wayland said...

Sending you healing vibes and warm wishes, Maria, for whatever is weaving through your life.

Thomas D said...

for Maria, and all other visitors, a poem by Adam Zagajewski:


(in the train to Warsaw)

It can happen anywhere, sometimes in a train,
when I'm nowhere: suddenly the door
opens and forgotten figures enter,
my little nephew, who no longer is,
but approaches cheerful, laughing,
and a certain Chinese poet who loved
the leaves of autumn trees and music,
theology students from Córdoba, still beardless,
emerge from nothingness and leap into view,
resuming their debate on God's attributes,
and splendid life surges like a waterfall in spring,
until at last a ringtone sounds, importunate,
then another, and a third, and all this great, strange world
contracts and vanishes, exactly like a field mouse
who, sensing danger, draws adroitly into
its secret apartments.

Thomas D said...

by Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury (b. 1950)

Climbs the child, confident,
up over breast, arm, shoulder;
while she, alarmed by his bold thrust
into her face, and the encircling hand,
looks out imploring fearfully
and, O, she cries, from her immeasurable eyes,
O how he clings, see how
he smothers every pore, like the soft
shining mistletoe to my black bark,
she says, I cannot breathe, my eyes
are aching so.

The child has overlaid us in our beds,
we cannot close our eyes,
his weight sits firmly,
fits over heart and lungs,
and choked we turn away
into the window of immeasurable dark
to shake off the insistent pushing warmth;
O how he cleaves, no peace
tonight my lady in your bower,
you, like us, restless with bruised eyes
and waking to

a shining cry on the black bark of sleep.

Thomas D said...

by Seamus Heaney (b. 1939)

Late summer, and at midnight
I smelt the heat of the day:
At my window over the hotel car park
I breathed the muddied night airs off the lake
And watched a young crowd leave the discotheque.

Their voices rose up thick and comforting
As oily bubbles the feeding tench sent up
That evening at dusk – the slimy tench
Once called the ‘doctor fish’ because his slime
Was said to heal the wounds of fish that touched it.

A girl in a white dress
Was being courted out among the cars:
As her voice swarmed and puddled into laughs
I felt like some old pike all badged with sores
Wanting to swim in touch with soft-mouthed life.

Thomas D said...

out of the lie of no
rises a truth of yes
(only herself and who
illimitably is)

making fools understand
(like wintry me)that not
all matterings of mind
equal one violet

~ Edward Estlin Cummings (1894-1962)

Thomas D said...

by George Herbert (1593-1633)

How fresh, O Lord, how sweet and clean
Are thy returns! ev’n as the flowers in spring;
To which, besides their own demean,
The late-past frosts tributes of pleasure bring.
Grief melts away
Like snow in May,
As if there were no such cold thing.

Who would have thought my shrivel’d heart
Could have recover’d greennesse? It was gone
Quite under ground; as flowers depart
To see their mother-root, when they have blown;
Where they together
All the hard weather,
Dead to the world, keep house unknown.

These are thy wonders, Lord of power,
Killing and quickning, bringing down to hell
And up to heaven in an houre;
Making a chiming of a passing-bell,
We say amisse,
This or that is:
Thy word is all, if we could spell.

O that I once past changing were;
Fast in thy Paradise, where no flower can wither!
Many a spring I shoot up fair,
Offring at heav’n, growing and groning thither:
Nor doth my flower
Want a spring-showre,
My sinnes and I joining together;

But while I grow to a straight line;
Still upwards bent, as if heav’n were mine own,
Thy anger comes, and I decline:
What frost to that? what pole is not the zone,
Where all things burn,
When thou dost turn,
And the least frown of thine is shown?

And now in age I bud again,
After so many deaths I live and write;
I once more smell the dew and rain,
And relish versing: O my onely light,
It cannot be
That I am he
On whom thy tempests fell all night.

These are thy wonders, Lord of love,
To make us see we are but flowers that glide:
Which when we once can finde and prove,
Thou hast a garden for us, where to bide.
Who would be more,
Swelling through store,
Forfeit their Paradise by their pride.

The old gentleman... said...

Thanks, Dylan, for the poems---especially the last one. An enduring classic...

Does anyone know when this wonderful blog will return? It mustn't become an abandoned garden!

Anonymous said...

This blog is such an inspiration- I've missed the daily poem so much.... do hope and pray it will return soon.

The old gentleman... said...

Attention: George Hail Library

Could you do us the courtesy of giving us an update on this marvelous blog?

The old gentleman... said...

Still waiting!

Thomas D said...

I echo the gentleman's eagerness to know more about the likelihood that this blog will become active again! We miss Maria!

Thomas D said...

I wish that there would be an update explaining the suspension of this blog (I can't suppress the most dire conjecture), or offering some clue as to whether it will return.

BrightSoul said...

I miss you, Maria..may God be with you and yours. Please update us a little...

Thomas D said...

by Thomas Campion (1567-1620)

Rose-cheek'd Laura, come,
Sing thou smoothly with thy beauty's
Silent music, either other
Sweetly gracing.

Lovely forms do flow
From concent divinely framèd;
Heav'n is music, and thy beauty's
Birth is heavenly.

These dull notes we sing
Discords need for helps to grace them;
Only beauty purely loving
Knows no discord,

But still moves delight,
Like clear springs renew'd by flowing,
Ever perfect, ever in them-
Selves eternal.

Thomas D said...

The House of Life
Sonnet 19, Silent Noon
by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-82)

Your hands lie open in the long fresh grass,—
The finger-points look through like rosy blooms:
Your eyes smile peace. The pasture gleams and glooms
'Neath billowing skies that scatter and amass.
All round our nest, far as the eye can pass,
Are golden kingcup fields with silver edge
Where the cow-parsley skirts the hawthorn-hedge.
'Tis visible silence, still as the hour-glass.

Deep in the sun-searched growths the dragon-fiy
Hangs like a blue thread loosened from the sky:—
So this wing'd hour is dropt to us from above.
Oh! clasp we to our hearts, for deathless dower,
This close-companioned inarticulate hour
When twofold silence was the song of love.

Thomas D said...


[poem 48]

O your sweetest eyes, my young one,
If I were allowed to kiss them
Up to sixty thousand kisses,
It would still not seem sufficient
Even if our osculations
Grew like golden grain abundant
To be gathered into bundles
Far more numerous than my clumsy
Reckonings can calculate!


[poem 85]

I hate; I love. Perhaps you ask me why.
I cannot tell. These feelings crucify.

Thomas D said...

The Dream
by Theodore Roethke (1908-63)


I met her as a blossom on a stem
Before she ever breathed, and in that dream
The mind remembers from a deeper sleep:
Eye learned from eye, cold lip from sensual lip.
My dream divided on a point of fire;
Light hardened on the water where we were;
A bird sang low; the moonlight sifted in;
The water rippled, and she rippled on.


She came toward me in the flowing air,
A shape of change, encircled by its fire.
I watched her there, between me and the moon;
The bushes and the stones danced on and on;
I touched her shadow when the light delayed;
I turned my face away, and yet she stayed.
A bird sang from the center of a tree;
She loved the wind because the wind loved me.


Love is not love until love's vulnerable.
She slowed to sigh, in that long interval.
A small bird flew in circles where we stood;
The deer came down, out of the dappled wood.
All who remember, doubt. Who calls that strange?
I tossed a stone, and listened to its plunge.
She knew the grammar of least motion, she
Lent me one virtue, and I live thereby.


She held her body steady in the wind;
Our shadows met, and slowly swung around;
She turned the field into a glittering sea;
I played in flame and water like a boy
And I swayed out beyond the white seafoam;
Like a wet log, I sang within a flame.
In that last while, eternity's confine,
I came to love, I came within my own.

George Hail Library said...

A Billet Doux
by George Moses Horton

DEAR MISS: Notwithstanding the cloud of doubts which overshadows the mind of adoring fancy, when I trace that vermillion cheek, that sapphire eye of expressive softness, and that symmetrical form of grace, I am constrained to sink into a flood of admiration beneath those heavenly charms. Though, dear Miss, it may be useless to introduce a multiplicity of blandishments, which might either lead you into a field of confusion, or absorb the truth of affection in the gloom of doubts; but the bell of adulation may be told from the distance of its echo, and cannot be heard farther than seen. Dear Miss, whatever may be the final result of my adventurous progress, I now feel a propensity to embark on the ocean of chance, and expand the sail of resolution in quest of the distant shore of connubial happiness with one so truly lovely. Though, my dearest, the thunders of parental aversion may inflect the guardian index of affection from its favorite star, the deviated needle recovers its course, and still points onwards to its native poll. Though the waves of calumny may reverberate the persevering mind of the sailing lover, the morning star of hope directs him through the gloom of trial to the object of his choice.

My brightest hopes are mix'd with tears,
Like hues of light and gloom;
As when mid sun-shine rain appears,
Love rises with a thousand fears,

To pine and still to bloom.
When I have told my last fond tale
In lines of song to thee,
And for departure spread my sail,
Say, lovely princess, wilt thou fail
To drop a tear for me?

O, princess, should my votive strain
Salute thy ear no more,
Like one deserted on the main,
I still shall gaze, alas! but vain,
On wedlock's flow'ry shore.

Today's poem is in the public domain.
About this poem:
George Moses Horton holds the distinction of being the first African American to publish a book, and the only to publish while living in slavery.