[ToC]

 

2 POEMS

Zachary Sifuentes

PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY SEES MICHELANGELO'S LAST JUDGMENT         
and reconsiders the lines in his coat pocket

Thou on whose stream, 'mid the steep sky's commotion,          
Loose clouds like Earth's decaying leaves are shed,
Shook from the tangled boughs of Heaven and Ocean,

Angels of rain and lightning: there are spread
On the blue surface of thine airy surge,
Like the bright hair uplifted from the head

Of some fierce Maenad, even from the dim verge
Of the horizon to the
zenith's height,
The locks of the approaching storm. Thou dirge

Of the dying year, to which this closing night
Will be the
dome of a vast sepulchre
Vaulted with all thy congregated might

Of vapours, from whose solid atmosphere
Black
rain, and fire, and hail will burst: O hear!


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LORD BYRON CALLS ON HIS MISTRESS, BUT SHE'S NOT HOME
rejected, he goes to an alehouse and edits

She walks in beauty, like the night
          Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
          Meet in her aspect
and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
          Which
heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
          Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
          Or softly
lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely
sweet express,
          How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
          So soft, so calm, yet
eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
          But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
          A heart whose love is innocent!

 

 


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These poems are derivations, not derivatives. They come from a belief that language, like moveable type, is a process of redistribution. We seem to write the same poem, over and over; it is our mood that changes.