Only the Classics
The roots from which poetry as we know it has flourished. Taking you back to the classical era, one stanza at a time.
For Anne Gregory — a Famous Poem of William Butler
“Never shall a young man, Thrown into despair By those great honey-coloured Ramparts at your ear, Love you for yourself alone
"Leda and the Swan": a poem by W B Yeats
W B Yeats’s poem “Leda and the Swan” was published in his 1928 collection “The Tower”, although the poem itself is dated 1923, the year in which he won the Nobel Prize for Literature. It is therefore a poem written at the height of his powers (he was 58 in 1923) and belongs to the period when he was exploring the occult and attempting to explain national and world events within a mystical and symbolic context.
I Wrote A Letter
I wrote a letter. I think my mistake was listening to my friends. What can two people in love know about you and me? I guess I was feeling reckless.
The first time I ascended I was not ready to fly. I tied an anchor to my ankle and felt my body torn between two worlds–
"The Poems" by Propertius
The poet Propertius was an Latin Elegiac of the Augustan Period and his only surviving works are those of his four books of “Elegies”. This totals around 92 surviving poems and his more romantic side of poetry is dominated by a character named “Cynthia”. The romantic affair between Propertius and Cynthia takes wild turns and often turns either violent and turbulent or graphic and passionate. Common themes in the poems include: passion, romance, jealousy, violence, standards of love and courtship, lament, death and the afterlife, mythology, religion and ghosts. Propertius’s unconventional use of the Latin language have often made his texts and allusions within texts difficult to translate and edit. The surviving manuscripts of his poetry have led translators to often alter the texts and therefore corrupting them before the editing stage. Propertius’s boldness has often been said to exacerbate the problem of translation due to the way in which the syntax of the poetry is often incorrect. Be that as it may, themes, symbols and motifs are still clearly visible throughout the anthology. Propertius, being popular within his own lifetime but also a poet considered to be a scandal was also not really enjoyed by the other poets of his time and period. Horace had once stated a veiled attack on him and Callimachus as did Quintilian who states that the poet was not as popular as he made himself out to be.
Field of Flowers
I saw a field of flowers On a sunny day I sat down to watch them As they began to sway In the breeze so gentle They then began to say
To Love or Not to Love
To love or not to love—that is the question: Whether ‘tis easy to express your feelings And to give your heart away. Or to suffer from loneliness
O, Bane of Argos, pray tell truthfully, When by thy crafty hand a lyre thou lent To Leto’s son, Apollo, faithfully, Was mischief for thy brother thine intent?
“Why dost thou fret?” inquired the knight Behind his colored shield “Thy face is long, thy eyes as cold As this sword that I wield.”
The Sun arising feasts the sleet of snow, Quenching yeast with water from its melt, Umb’ring the boreal bunny pelt, Emaciating winter cajoled b’low.
A Rendition of Sonnet 18
“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more scorching with thine words not temperate. And like the rough winds, harsh and in constant flux, of may.
The Wrong Sailor Taken
O’ Hope–O’ frail thing made from feathers and sea wind– What do you see when you gaze downward? Our prize has been won with hard-earned blood and steel