Selected Favorite Poetry 
                      from
      Within Time and Space  

​     (The Bard was a poet himself, 
    and can't help appreciating the 
    wonderful work of others of all 
    the ages.)

      If you have a favorite of your
    own, submit it on an email - we
    just might be able to use it.  Be 
    sure to give us the author's               name, especially if it's yours.






          Six Blind Men and the Elephant
                              A Hindu Parable

             From John Godfrey Saxe  (1816 - 1887)


     It was six men of Indostan
           To learning much inclined,
           Who went to see the elephant
           (Though all of them were blind),
           That each by observation
           Might satisfy his mind.

           The First approached the elephant, 
           And happening to fall
           Against his broad and sturdy side,
           At once began to bawl:
          "God bless me! but the elephant
           Is very like a wall!"

           The Second, feeling of the tusk,
           Cried, "Ho, what have we here
           So very round and smooth and sharp?
           To me, tis mighty clear
           This wonder of an elephant
           Is very like a spear!"

          The Third approached the animal, 
          And happening to take
          The squirming trunk within his hands,
          Thus boldly up he spake:
           "I see", quoth he, "the elephant
           Is very like a snake!"

          The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
          And felt about the knee.
         "What most this wondrous beast is like
          Is mighty plain", quoth he;
         "Tis clear enough the elephant
          Is very like a tree!"

         The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
         Said: "E'en the blindest man
         Can tell what this resembles most;
         Deny the fact who can,
         This marvel of an elephant
          Is very like a fan!"

         The Sixth no sooner had begun
         About the beast to grope,
         Than, seizing on the swinging tail
         That fell within his scope.
         "I see", quoth he, "the elephant 
         Is very like a rope!"

         And so these men of Indostan
         Disputed loud and long, 
         Each in his own opinion
         Exceeding stiff and strong,
         Though each was partly in the right,
         All were in the wrong!

         Moral:

         So oft in theologic wars, 
         The disputants, I ween,
         Rail on in utter ignorance
         Of what each other mean,
         And prate about an elephant
         Not one of them has seen.







                                 HIgh Flight
​                       by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.


​      Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
       And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
       Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
       Of sun-split clouds ... and done a hundred things
       You have not dreamed of ... wheeled and soared                         and swung
       High in the sunlit silence.  Hov'ring there,

       I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
       My eager craft through footless halls of air.
       Up, up, the long, delirious burning blue
       I've topped the windswept hights with easy grace
       Where never lark, nor even eagle flew.
       And while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
       The high untrespassed sanctity of space ...
           ... put out my hand, and touched the face of God.






                                     Winged
                   by Jane Roberts

            With winged brains
            We swoop and swirl
            Inside the blue bell
            Of the outer  world.

            Birds of curved dimensions
            Have their neighborhood
            Limited by ceiling's
            Weight of bone and blood.

            But time and space are one to us.                   The infinite skull
            Opens skies all curled within,
            Miniature world on world.


​     ..."Poetry is the art of uniting pleasure with truth by calling
   imagination to the help of reason ... The essence of poetry              is invention, such invention as, by producing something                    unexpected, surprises and delights."                                                                                                            ... Samuel Johnson





                                  from "Song of Myself"
                                  by Walt Whitman  (1819-1892)

                     I think I could turn and live with animals,
                     they are so placid and self-contain'd, 
                     I stand and look long and long.

         They do not sweat and whine about their condition,
         They do not lie awake in the dark and weep about their sins,
         They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God.

         Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania
         of owning things. 
         Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived 
         thousands of years ago.
         Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.



                                     MAN
                                 by Merlyn

          The forest looks inviting
          I must walk in it.
          What sense does it make
         To know that the forest is there,
         And not be a part of it?
         If I never even venture in,
         How will I know
         What I have missed?

         It looks so green.
         No, it is countless greens,
         From the faintest, whitest green
         To black.
         How deep is it?
         How far does it go?
         If I walk in it, 
         Will I get lost?

         Look, Father, there are 
        Other colors there, too.
        I see red, gold,
        The palest violet,
        The brightest blue, and lavender,
        Pure white,  and even silver.
        Every color must be there.
        Oh, I will see them all.

        The trees are like a 
        protective roof over me, 
        Yet they are ever opening
        And closing to let me see
        Beyond them to you.
        How far can I see?
        Why, forever, Father.
        What an odd question to think.

        How could there be an end
        To what I can see?
        The trees will not stop me.
        They are yours.
         Look, something is moving in the trees.
        It is just the leaves.
        The wind is playing 
        With the leaves.

        Oh, what a beautiful garden
        You have made here. 
        Why have you not 
        Shown it to me before?

                                           ***

        Something else is moving 
        In the trees,
        I see it better now.
        That is not a leaf,
        It is a bird, 
        Moving from tree to tree,
        As though he needed
        To see every one of them.

        I will, too.
        I will see every one.
        I will know every tree,
        And I will name them all.
        I will watch them through the seasons
        While they live and die,
        And live again.
        All new leaves - what a marvelous idea.

        Then I will follow the bird, 
        And I will know his name.
        If there are others,
        I will know them, too.  
        I will find all of them,
        And watch, and know
        So many birds - animals, too.
        I cannot count them all.

        I have found a river in the forest,
        A mighty river, 
        More wonderful 
        Than any bird,
        More magnificent 
        Than any animal.
        I have followed the river
        Beyond the forest.

        I followed it down a mountainside,
        And across a great plain
        Into a sea - an endless sea.
        Father, I have found a sea.
        I looked across the sea.
        I could not tell where the sea stopped,
           And the sky began.
        Father, are you still watching?

        Watch me do this, Father.
        I will cross the sea.
        I will take a tree
        And make a boat,
        And sail across the top of the water.
        I can imagine what is across the sea -
        More forests, more mountains,
        More birds, more rivers.

        But I have not seen them,
        And I have not sailed.
       The birds can fly,      
       And I have not flown.
       I will do it.
       I will sail, and I will fly.
       I will know all the mountains, 
       And call them by name.

      What sense does it make
      To know it is all there, 
      And not be a part of it?
      Father?  Where are you, Father?

                                                ***







 

                                           MERLIN

​                 O Merlin in your crystal cave.
             Deep in the diamond of the day,
             Will there ever be a singer
             Whose music will smooth away
             The furrow drawn by Adam's finger
             Across a meadow and the wave?

             Or a runner who'll outrun
             Man's long shadow driving on,
             Burst through the gates of history, 
             And hang the apple on the tree?

             Will your sorcery ever show
             The sleeping bride shut in her bower,
             The day wreathed in its mound of snow,
             And time locked in his tower?

                                               ... Edwin Muir

​  


                                     LAST LINES

                       by Emily Bronte

   No coward soul is mine,
   No trembler in the world's storm-troubled sphere:
   I see Heaven's glories shine,
   And faith shines equal, arming me from fear.

   O God within my breast,
   Almighty, ever-present Deity!
   Life - that in me hath rest,
   As I, undying Life, have power in thee.

   Vain are the thousand creeds
   That move men's hearts, unalterably vain;
   Worthless as withered weeds,
   Or idlest froth amid the boundless main.

   To waken doubt in one
   Holding so fast to thine infinity;
   So surely anchored on
   The steadfast rock of immortality.

   With wide-embracing love
   Thy spirit animates eternal years,
   Pervades and broods above,
   Changes, sustains, dissolves, creates, and rears.

   Though earth and moon were gone,
   And suns and universes ceased to be,
   And thou wert left alone,
   Every existence would exist in Thee.

   There is not room for Death,
   Nor atom that his might could render void;
   Thou - Thou art Being and Breath,
   And what Thou art may never be destroyed.




  A word of explanation is in order for this next selection.  Ogden Nash is not'
   your typical poet.  He has been called our greatest combiner of common sense
   and uncommon nonsense.  His collection of clever non-metric verse and made-
   up words to create almost rhymes has never quite been duplicated.  As you 
   will see by this creation, his wit was aimed in some surprising directions.  This 
   poem is a complaint about the over-use of metaphors and similes in poetry.
   We hope it makes you s(i)mile.
                                                                                                         ... Merlyn


                                            VERY LIKE A WHALE
                                   by Ogden Nash
                                      (1902-1971)

      One thing that literature would be greatly the better for
       Would be a more restricted employment by authors of simile
            and metaphor.
       Authors of all races, be they Greeks, Romans, Teutons, or Celts,
       Can't seem just to say that anything is the thing it is but have to
           go out of their way to say that it is something else.
       What does it mean when we are told
       That the Assyrian came down like a wolf on the fold?
       In the first place, George Gordon Byron had had enough experience
       To know that it probably wasn't just one Assyrian, it was a lot of
           Assyrians.
       However, as too many arguments are apt to induce apoplexy and 
           thus hinder longevity,
       We'll let it pass as one Assyrian for the sake of brevity.

       Now then, this particular Assyrian, the one whose cohorts were
           gleaming in purple and gold,
       Just what does the poet mean when he says he came down like a
            wolf on the fold?
       In heaven and earth more than is dreamed of in our philosophy
           there are a great many things,
       But I don't imagine that among them there is a wolf with purple
           and gold cohorts or purple and gold anythings.
       No, no, Lord Byron, before I'll believe that this Assyrian was actu-
           ally like a wolf I must have some kind of proof;
       Did he run on all fours and did he have a hairy tail and a big red 
           mouth and big white teeth and did he say Woof, woof, woof?

       Frankly I think it very unlikely, and all you were entitled to say, at
           the very most, 
       Was that the Assyrian cohorts came down like a lot of Assyrian
           cohorts about to destroy the Hebrew host.
       But that wasn't fancy enought for Lord Byron, oh dear me, no, he
        had to invent a lot of figures of speech and then interpolate  them,
       With the result that whenever you mention Old Testament soldiers
          to people they say Oh yes, they're the ones that a lot of wolves
          dressed up in purple and gold ate them. 
       That's the kind of thing that's being done all the time by poets,
           from Homer to Tennyson;
       They're always comparing ladies to lilies and veal to venison,
       And they always say thing like that the snow is a white blanket
           after a winter storm.
       Oh, it is, is it, all right then, you sleep under a six-inch blanket of
           snow and I'll sleep under a half-inch blanket of unpoetical
           blanket material and we'll see which one keeps warm.
       And after that maybe you'll begin to comprehend dimly
       What I mean by too much metaphor and simile. 



                                                  MORE THAN MEN

                                                    by Jane Roberts


​              More than men

           Have walked these shores in twilight.

           More Gods than ours have risen altars fair.

           The earth is filled

           With songs not of our singing.

           There are worlds about us in which we have no share.



            Between each ticking of the clock

            Long centuries pass.

            In universes hidden from our own.

            And our time's eons are far less than breath,

            Or the flight of a leaf by the wind blown.


                                   A CAROL FOR CHILDREN
                                      by Ogden Nash

        God rest you, merry Innocents,
        Let nothing you dismay.
        Let nothing wound an eager heart 
        Upon this Christmas day.

        Yours be the gentle holly wreaths,
        The stockings and the tree;
        An aged world to you bequeaths its own forgotten glee.

        Soon, soon enough come crueler gifts,
        The anger and the tears;
        Between you now there sparsely drifts
        A handful yet of years.

        Oh, dimly, dimly glows the star
        Through the electric throng;
        The bidding in temple and bazaar  
        The ancient altars smoke afresh,

        The ancient idols stir;
        Faint in the reek of burning flesh
        Sink frankincense and myrhh.

        Gaspar, Balthazar, Melchior!
        Where are your offerings now?
        What greetings to the Prince of War,
        His darkly banded brow?

        Two ultimate laws alone we know, 
        The ledger and the sword - 
        So far away, so long ago, 
        We lost the infant Lord.

        Only the children clasp His hand;
        His voice speaks low to them,
        And still for them the shining band
        Wings over Bethlehem.

        God rest you, merry Innocents, 
        While innocense endures.
        A sweeter Christmas than we to ours
        May you bequeath to yours.




                                       THE MAN IN THE GLASS

        When you get what you want in your struggle for self.
        And the world makes you king for a day.
        Just go to the mirror and look at yourself,
        And see what the man has to say.
        For it isn't your parents, your children or wife
        Who judgement upon you must pass.
        The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
        Is the one staring back from the glass.

        Some people may think you're a straight-shooting chum,
        And call you a wonderful guy,
        But the man in the glass says you're only a bum
        If you can't look him straight in the eye.
        He's the fellow to please, never mind all the rest,
        For he's with you clear up to the end,
        And you've passed your most dangerous, difficult test
        If the man in the glass is your friend.

        You may fool the whole world down the pathway of life,
        And get pats on the back as you pass,
        But your final reward will be heartaches and tears, 
        If you've cheated the man in the glass.

                                                                              ...  Anonymous







                                                          IMAGINE
                                                    by John Lennon

        Imagine there's no heaven, it's easy if you try,
        No hell below us, above us only sky.
        Imagine all the people living for today.

        Imagine there's no countries, it isn't hard to do,
        Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion, too.
        Imagine all the people living life in peace.

                      You may say I'm a dreamer,
                        But I'm not the only one.
                   I hope some day you'll join us, 
                       And the world will be one.

        Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can,
        No need for greed or hunger, a brotherhood of man.
        Imagine all the people sharing all the world.

        You may say I'm a dreamer,
        But I'm not the only one.
        I hope some day you'll join us,
        And the world will live as one.




   POETRY CORNER





                                        MERLIN'S SONG
                               by Ralph Waldo Emerson

                            Of Merlin wise I learned a song,
                                Sing it low or sing it loud,
                            It is mightier than the strong, 
                                And punished the proud.

                            I sing it to the surging crowd -
                                Good men will calm and cheer.
                            Bad men will chain and cage -
                                In the heart of the music
                            Peals a strain,
                                Which only angels hear.

                            Whether it waken or joy or rage,
                                Hushed myriads hark in vain.
                            Yet they who hear it shed their age,
                                And take their youth again.

                            Hear what British Merlin sung,
                                Of keenest eye and truest tongue.
                            Say not the chiefs who first arrive,
                                Usurp the seats for which all strive. 

                            The forefathers, this land who found
                                Failed to plant the vantage ground;
                            Ever from one who comes tomorrow,
                                Men wait their good and truth to borrow. 

                            But wilt though measure all thy road,
                                See thou lift the lightest load.
                            Who has little, to him who has less 
                                can spare,
                            And thou, Cyndyllan's son beware
                                Ponderous gold and stuffs to bear.

                            To falter ere thy task fulfil, -
                                Only the light-armed climb the hill.
                            The richest of all lords is Use, 
                                And ruddy health the loftiest Muse.

                            Live in the sunshine, swim the sea,
                                Drink the wild air's salubrity;
                            When the star Canope shines in May,
                                Shepherds are thankful, and nations gay.

                            The music that can deepest reach,
                                And cure all ill, is cordial speech:
                            Mask thy wisdom with delight,
                                Toy with the bow, yet hit the white.

                            Of all wit's, the main one
                                Is to live well with who has none.     

         MERLYN'S WORLD
                        Imagine with us 


                                              MINIVER CHEEVY


                    Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn,
                    Grew lean while he assailed the seasons;
                He wept that he was ever born,
                    And he had reasons.

                Miniver loved the days of old
                    When swords were bright and steeds were prancing;
                The vision of a warrior bold 
                    Would set him dancing.

                Miniver sighed for what was not, 
                    And dreamed, and rested from his labors;
                He dreamed of Thebes and Camelot,
                    And Priam's neighbors.

                Miniver mourned the ripe renown
                    That made so many a name so fragrant;
                He mourned Romance, now on the town,
                    And Art, a vagrant.

                Miniver loved the Medici,
                    Albeit he had never seen one;
                He would have sinned incessantly
                    Could he have been one.

                Miniver cursed the commonplace
                    And eyed a khaki suit with loathing;
                He missed the medieval grace
                    Of iron clothing.

                Miniver scorned the gold he sought, 
                    But sore annoyed was he without it;
                Miniver thought, and thought, and thought,
                    And thought about it.

                Miniver Cheevy, born too late,
                    Scratched his head and kept on thinking;
                Miniver coughed, and called it fate,
                    And kept on drinking.

                                                 ... Edward Arlington Robinson




    STOPPING BY WOODS ON A SNOWY EVENING
                                                                 by Robert Frost

            Whose woods these are I think I know,
                His house is in the village though;
            He will not see me stopping here
                To watch his woods fill up with snow.

            My little horse must think it queer
                To stop without a farmhouse near,
            Between the woods and frozen lake
                The darkest evening of the year.

            He gives his harness bells a shake
                To ask if there is some mistake.
            The only other sound's the sweep
                Of easy wind and downy flake.

            The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
                But I have promises to keep,
            And miles to go before I sleep,
                And miles to go before I sleep.




                                            
          W.  O.  W.                               

                  It's hard
                   to be a Bard!
       WILY OLD WIZARD


                        THE EXAMPLE

      Here's an example from                                          A Butterfly;
      That on a rough, hard rock,                                    Happy can lie;
      Friendless, and all alone
      On this unsweetened stone.

      Now let my bed be hard,
           No care take I;
      I'll make my joy like this
           Small Butterfly,
      Whose happy heart has power
      To make a stone a flower.




                                    SUDDEN LIGHT

            I have been here before, 
                But when or how I cannot tell:
          I know the grass beyond the door,
                The sweet keen smell,
          The sighing sound, the lights around the shore.


          You have been mine before, --
                How long ago I may not know:
          But just when at that swallow's soar
                Your neck turned so,
          Some veil did fall, -- I knew it all of yore.


          Has this been thus before?
                And shall not thus time's eddying flight
          Still with our lives our loves restore
                In death's despite,
          And day and night yield one delight once more?

                                    ...  Dante Gabriel Rossetti
 W.O.W.



                                                  A MONGREL HALF-BREED RACE
                                                              by Daniel Defoe


                         Thus from a mixture of all things began, 
                        The he'trogeneous thing, an Englishman;
                    In eager rapes, and furious lust begot,
                        Between a painted Briton and a Scot; 
                    Whose gend'ring offspring quickly learn'd to bow,
                        And yoke their heifers to the Roman plough;
                    From whence a mongrel half-bred race there came,
                        With neither name nor nation, speech nor fame.

                    In whose hot veins new mixtures quickly ran, 
                        Infused betwixt a Saxon and a Dane.
                    While their rank daughters, to their parents just,
                        Received all nations with promiscuous lust.
                    This nauseous brood directly did contain
                        The well extracted blood of Englishmen.

                    Which medley cantoned in a heptarchy,
                        A rhapsody of nations to supply,
                    Among themselves maintained eternal wars,
                        And still the ladies loved the conquerors.

                    The western Angles all the rest subdued; 
                        A bloody nation, barbarous and rude;
                    Who by the tenure of the sword possessed
                        One part of Britain, and subdued the rest.
                    And as great things dominate the small,
                        The conqu'ring part gave title to the whole.

                    The Scot, Pict, Briton, Roman, Dane submit,
                        And with the English-Saxon all unite;
                    And these the mixture have so close pursued,
                        The very name and memory's subdued;
                    No Roman now, no Briton does remain;
                        Wales strove to separate, but strove in vain;
                    The silent nations undistinguished fall,
                        And Englishman's the common name for all.
                    Fate jumbled them together, God knows how;
                        Whatever they were, they're true-born English now.

                    The wonder which remains is at our pride,
                        To value that which all wise men deride.
                    For Englishmen to boast of generation, 
                        Cancels their knowledge, and lampoons the nation.
                    A true-born Englishman's a contradiction, 
                        In speech an irony, in fact a fiction.
                    A banter made to be a test of fools, 
                        Which those that use it justly ridicules.
                    A metaphor invented to express 
                        A man akin to all the universe.



                                             ...  from,  "The True-born Englishman"                   












                                                         TO THE SOUL
                                                            by  John Collop


                        Dull soul aspire:
                             Thou art not earth.  Mount higher!
                             Heaven gave the spark; to it return the fire.   

                            Let sin ne'er quench
                            Thy high-flamed spirit hence:
                            To earth the heat, to heaven the flame dispense!

                            Rejoice! Rejoice!
                            Turn, turn each part a voice;
                            While to the heart-strings' tune ye all rejoice.

                            The house is swept
                            Which sin no longer foul kept:
                            The penny's found for which the loser wept.

                             And, purged with tears,
                            God's image reappears.  
                            The penny truly shows whose stamp it bears.

                            The sheep long lost, 
                             Sin's wilderness oft crossed,
                             Is found, regained, returned.   Spare, spare no cost.

                            'Tis heaven's own suit;
                            Hark how it woos you to't.
                            When angels need must speak, shall man be mute?

                          
                                                          


                                                    *******************************************  

                      What follows is a somewhat famous "Prose Poem" written circa 1927 by                              a writer/poet named Max Ehrmann, who lived from 1872 to 1945, and among                          other things, also wrote, published, and taught a book entitled "The Worth of                          a Girl".  The title of this poem, "Desiderata", is a Latin word that basically means:                    "Things to be Desired".  They certainly are.  In his diary, the poet had written:

            "I should like, if I could, to leave a humble gift - a bit of chaste prose that 
        had caught up some noble moods."  
                                                                         I think you may agree that he has.  

                                           **************************        


                                                      DESIDERATA      

              Go placidly among the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
                      As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
                        Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others,
                                      Even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.     

                        Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
                                     If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
                        For always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
                                     Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

                        Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
                                     It is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
                        Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
                                    But let this not blind you to what virtue there is.
                        Many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

                        Be yourself.  Especially do not feign affection.                                                                                                                                                                        Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
                        It is perennial as the grass.

                        Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
                                     Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
                        But do not stress yourself with imaginings.  Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
                                     Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

                        You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
                                     You have a right to be here.
                        And whether or not it as clear to you,
                                     No doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

                        Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,
                                     And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, 
                        Keep peace with your soul.        
                                    With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
                        Be cheerful.  Strive to be happy.

                                                                           *********************************




                                                   


        WE WOULD REALLY LIKE            TO HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS        ON SOME OF THE ISSUES            WE DISCUSS.  HERE IS OUR        EMAIL ADDRESS:

    imagine@merlynsworld.com


       A Haiku from  ...     IAN FLEMING

    You only live twice:
    Once when you are born,
    And once when you are about to die. 
            _____________________________