Saturday, 16 November 2013

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Become Becoming by Li-Young Lee

Wait for evening.
Then you’ll be alone.

Wait for the playground to empty.
Then call out those companions from childhood:

The one who closed his eyes
and pretended to be invisible.
The one to whom you told every secret.
The one who made a world of any hiding place.

And don’t forget the one who listened in silence
while you wondered out lout:

Is the universe an empty mirror? A flowering tree?
Is the universe the sleep of a woman?

Wait for the sky’s last blue
(the color of your homesickness).
Then you’ll know the answer.

Wait for the air’s first gold (that color of Amen).
Then you’ll spy the wind’ barefoot steps.

Then you’ll recall that story beginning
with a child who strays in the woods.

The search for him goes on in the growing
shadow of the clock.

And the face behind the clock’s face
is not his father’s face.

And the hands behind the clock’s hands
are not his mother’s hands.

All of Time began when you first answered
to the names your mother and father gave you.

Soon, those names will travel with the leaves.
Then, you can trade places with the wind.

Then you’ll remember your life
as a book of candles,
each page read by the light of its own burning.

Monday, 4 November 2013

from Oracles for Youth by Caroline Gilman

Let some one hold the book, and ask one of the questions. The answers being all numbered, the girl or boy who is questioned chooses a number, and the person who holds the book reads the answer to which that number belongs, aloud. 
For instance: 
Question. What is your character? 
Answer. I choose No. 3 
Questioner reads aloud: 
No. 3. Gentle tempered, sweet and kind, 
To no angry word inclined. 
What Will Be Your Destiny? 
1. Just as you think you've gained great wealth, 
Something will make you lose your health. 
2. Your hair will be white in a single night, 
From having an unexpected fright. 
3. You will enjoy a sweet old age
So kind and pure, so long and sage. 
4. You will fall down at eighty-four, 
And break a dozen ribs or more. 
5. You will finish your days with God for your friend
Who would not be glad of so blissful an end? 
6. You will be ever absorbed in books
And never give a thought to looks. 
7. In peace and plenty you will lie, 
And in the arms of friendship die. 
8. You will have cause for many tears
To cloud the beauty of your years. 
9. Ah, is it so? when you are old, 
you will be very poor, I'm told. 
10. In the night-time you will weep
And your painful vigils keep. 
11. Nothing dreadful, nothing sad, 
Comes to you; for this I'm glad. 
12. You always will have an excellent table
And full of horses will keep your stable. 
13. The Sibyl says you'll die in Rome
Which for a time will be your home. 
14. Your plenty and peace 
Will never cease. 
15. You will suddenly die in the crowded street, 
If the age of a hundred years you meet. 
16. You will ride in your carriage-and-four, 
And be very kind to the suffering poor. 
17. Never murmur, never care, 
You will be a millionaire. 
18. Sick at heart, and sick at head, 
You will wish that you were dead. 
19. As the might of God you see, 
Religious you will ever be. 
20. To California you will go 
To get the shining gold, you know. 
21. Brightest pleasures you will see, 
And happiness your portion be. 
22. Love will gild your joyous life, 
Free from pain and care and strife. 
23. Don't despond, and do not care, 
You will be a nabob's heir. 
24. To California you will be sent, 
But will return as poor as you went. 
25. A missionary you will be, 
Far o'er the billows of the sea. 
26. It is your destiny to rule, 
And you will keep a village school. 
27. Ball and parties you will find 
Alone are suited to your mind. 
28. Through the vista of the years 
I see you mourning and in tears. 
29. A country life at length you'll lead, 
Rejoicing in your ambling steed. 
30. Fair in the wild and prairied west, 
Your tired frame at length you'll rest. 
31. A public singer's place you'll take, 
And a sensation you will make. 
32. You'll only love your native home, 
From which you will not care to roam. 
33. A great pianist, you will gain 
Bright laurels from the admiring train. 
34. A kitchen garden you will keep, 
And sell fresh vegetables cheap. 
35. To higher virtues you will rise, 
Until you're ready for the skies. 
36. To the city's crowded street 
You'll direct your willing feet. 
37. In digging in a worn-out field 
You'll see a box, securely sealed, 
Half buried in the ground; 
And therein jewels bright, and gold, 
And bank-notes, in large bundles rolled, 
Will joyfully be found. 
38. A music teacher you will be, 
This is your tuneful destiny. 
39. You will travel in your prime, 
And view the works of art sublime. 
40. You will journey the whole world o'er, 
And gather relics from every shore. 
41. The most of your time will be passed on the sea, 
But wherever you are, you will happy be. 
42. On an island will you live, 
And nice pleasure-parties give. 
43. You will spend your leisure hours, 
In a garden tending flowers.

November by William Cullen Bryant

Yet one smile more, departing, distant sun! 
One mellow smile through the soft vapory air, 
Ere, o'er the frozen earth, the loud winds run, 
Or snows are sifted o'er the meadows bare. 
One smile on the brown hills and naked trees, 
And the dark rocks whose summer wreaths are cast, 
And the blue gentian flower, that, in the breeze, 
Nods lonely, of her beauteous race the last. 
Yet a few sunny days, in which the bee 
Shall murmur by the hedge that skirts the way, 
The cricket chirp upon the russet lea, 
And man delight to linger in thy ray. 
Yet one rich smile, and we will try to bear 
The piercing winter frost, and winds, and darkened air.