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Poems

Richard Cory
Author: Edwin Arlington Robinson Biography: Enjoyed great popularity with his countrymen Wrote on variety of subjects and an equal variety of literary forms ranging from the Arthurian epic. Lyrical romances, ballads, and simple lyrics. Was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1923.

Edwin Arlington Robinson


He was an American poet who became known for short poems in which he presents character studies. Three of his 13 volumes ok poetry won Pulitzer Prizes---Collected Poems in 1922, The Man Who Died Twice in 1925, and Tristram in 1928.

Edwin Arlington Robinson


His characters are citizens of the imaginary community of Tillbury Town. Among the most familiar characterizations are those in Richard Cory, __________, Cheevy, Flammonde, and Mr. Flood s Party. In these poems, the characters seem doomed to failure and suffering. Yet Robinson was not pessimistic writer. He indicated clearly that his characters suffer because they ask too much from life and themselves.

Edwin Arlington Robinson


Robinson s continuing theme of the need for humility and complete self-honesty also appears in his philosophical poem The Man Against the Sky. Robinson also wrote long narrative poems. Merlin, Lancelot, along with Tristram, from a connected series telling the legend of King Arthur. -The World Book Encyclopedia, 1987 e.d., s.v. Robinsons, Bill

Richard Cory
Whenever Richard Cory went down town, We people on the pavement looked at him: He was a gentleman from sole to crown, Clean-favoured and imperially slim. And he was always quietly arrayed, And he was always human when he talked; But still he fluttered pulses when he said, "Good Morning!" and he glittered when he walked.

And he was rich, yes, richer than a king, And admirably schooled in every grace: In fine -- we thought that he was everything To make us wish that we were in his place. So on we worked and waited for the light, And went without the meat and cursed the bread, And Richard Cory, one calm summer night, Went home and put a bullet in his head.

Vocabulary Words
Downtown- to, toward, or in the lower part or business center of a city Pavement- a paved surface: as (1) : the artificially covered surface of a public thoroughfare Sole- the undersurface of a foot or that part of it which is placed on the ground in walking or standing Imperially-of superior or unusual size or excellence Arrayed- to set or place in order : draw up

Fluttered-to move about agitatedly, irregularly, or with great bustle and show without much result Schooled-educated

Appealing Passages
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night, went home and put a bullet through his head.

Lesson/ Values
No matter how rich one is, there is still emptiness in oneself.

Calvary
Author: Edwin Arlington Robinson Biography: Enjoyed great popularity with his countrymen Wrote on variety of subjects and an equal variety of literary forms ranging from the Arthurian epic. Lyrical romances, ballads, and simple lyrics. Was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1923.

Calvary
Friendless and faint, with martyred steps and slow, Faint for the flesh, but for the spirit free, Stung by the mob that came to see the show, The Master toiled along to Calvary; We gibed him, as he went, with houndish glee, Till his dimmed eyes for us did overflow; We cursed his vengeless hands thrice wretchedly, -And this was nineteen hundred years ago.

But after nineteen hundred years the shame Still clings, and we have not made good the loss That outraged faith has entered in his name. Ah, when shall come love's courage to be strong! Tell me, O Lord -- tell me, O Lord, how long Are we to keep Christ writhing on the cross!

Vocabulary Words
Faint- lacking courage and spirit Martyred- to put to death for adhering to a belief, faith, or profession (as Christianity) : make a martyr of Stung- : to pierce or wound with a poisonous or irritating process Mob- a large and disorderly collection of people tending to acts of violence Gibed- to utter taunting sarcastic words : express scorn : SNEER

Vocabulary Words
Houndish- of, relating to, or having the characteristics of a hound Glee- high-spirited joy typically accompanied by exuberant outward display Clings-the act or an instance of clinging Outraged- to subject to violent injury or gross insult Writhing- to twist into coils or folds, to move or proceed with twists and turns

Appealing Passage
Tell me, O Lord---tell me, O Lord, how long Are we to keep Christ Writhing on the cross!

Lesson/ Values
It has been a long time that Jesus was hanged on the cross by humans. But in this present time, are we still putting Him to shame and instead of loving Him, we do otherwise?

Testing Your Understanding


1. Why did many people wish to be in Richard Cory s place? He is rich, and they thought he has everything. 2. Why do you think he killed himself? Inspite of his wealth, he can t find satisfaction and joy in living.

Testing Your Understanding


3. Point out the lines in the second poem which show the agony of Christ s passion. Friendless and faint, with martyred steps and slow, Faint for the flesh, but for the spirit free, Stung by the mob that came to see the show, The Master toiled along the Calvary; We gibed him, as he went, with houndish glee, Till his dimmed eyes vengeless hands thrice wretchedly.

4. What was the general attitude of the crowd? They were mocking Jesus Christ. 5. What does the poet mean in the line: After nineteen hundred years the shame still clings ? After a long time, we still did not respond to the love that Jesus Christ showed on the cross.

Implication
1. A poet wrote, Into each life some rain must fall. Is it possible that we may be happier than some people we envy? It s possible that we may be happier than some people we envy, but it s just that we don t see our blessings but instead we focus on what others have that we don t have.

On Hearing a Symphony of Beethoven


Author: Edna St. Vincent Millay Biography: Was best known woman poet of her time. Her poems are passionate uttterances of joy and pain and are full of imaginative insights. Unfailing sweetness of melody is an outstanding quality of this poet.

Edna St. Vincent Millay


Her poems have romantic themes. She wrote about love and death, about the self and the universe, and about the feelings of rebellious youth. In her treatment of these subjects, she combined sentimentality with wit and sophistication.

Edna St. Vincent Millay


She did some of her best works while very young. A Few Figs form Thistles was one of the three works for which she won a Pulitzer Prize. The other two works were The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver and Eight Sonnets.

Edna St. Vincent Millay


Millay s later poetry became increasingly concerned with the modern story---Conversation at Midnight deals with events that were leading to WW2. The Murder of Lidice tells about the destruction of a Czachoslovak town by German troops during the war. Millay was fond of the sonnet form, and her many sonnets were published in 1941.
World Book Encyclopedia, 1987 e.d., S.V. Miiler, Joaquin

On Hearing a Symphony of Beethoven


Sweets sounds, Oh, beautiful music, do not cease! Reject me not into the world again. With you alone is excellence and peace, Mankind made plausible, his purpose plain Enchanted in your air benign and shrewd, With limbs a-sprawl and empty faces pale, The spiteful and the stingy and rude Sleep like the scullions in the fairy - tale. This moment is the best the world can give: The tranquil blossom on the tortured stem. Reject me not, sweet sounds; oh, let me live, Till Doom espy my towers and scatter them, A city spell-bound under the aging Sun. Music my rampart, and my only one.

Vocabulary Words
Cease-to leave off : bring to an end Plausible-worthy of being applauded Benign- of a kind and gentle disposition A-sprawl- to creep or clamber with awkward movements of the arms and legs Spiteful-filled with or showing spite : having or exhibiting a desire to vex, annoy, or injure

Vocabulary Words
Scullions- an onion forming a thick basal portion without a normal bulb as a result of disease, attacks of insects, or unfavorable environmental conditions Tranquil- free from mental agitation Espy- to inspect closely Spell-bound-to bind or hold by or as if by a spell or charm Rampart-something that fortifies, defends, or secures against attack or intrusion

Appealing Passages
This moment is the best the world can give: The tranquil blossom on the tortured stem.

Lesson/ Values
Music is a blessing. It has excellence and gives peace. Make music!

God s World
Author: Edna St. Vincent Millay Biography: Was best known woman poet of her time. Her poems are passionate uttterances of joy and pain and are full of imaginative insights. Unfailing sweetness of melody is an outstanding quality of this poet.

God s World
O world, I cannot hold thee close enough! Thy winds, thy wide grey skies! Thy mists that roll and rise! Thy woods this autumn day, that ache and sag And all but cry with colour! That gaunt crag To crush! To lift the lean of that black bluff! World, World, I cannot get thee close enough! Long have I known a glory in it all, But never knew I this; Here such a passion is As stretcheth me apart, -- Lord, I do fear Thou'st made the world too beautiful this year; My soul is all but out of me, -- let fall No burning leaf; prithee, let no bird call.

Vocabulary Words
Mists-water in the form of particles suspended in the atmosphere at or near the surface of the earth Sag- to sink or settle gradually from an established or normal position Gaunt- grim and forbidding : BARREN, DESOLATE Crag- a steep rugged rocky eminence : a rough broken cliff or projecting point of rock

Vocabulary Words
Bluff- a clump of trees on the open plain Thou- the one that is being addressed used as a nominative pronoun of the second person singular especially in biblical, ecclesiastical, solemn, or poetic language Prithee- used to express a wish or request for something to be done Thy-of, belonging to, or connected with thee or thyself as possessor, as author, doer, giver, or agent or as object of an action Autumn- the season between summer and winter reckoned astronomically as extending from the September equinox to the December solstice

Appealing Passages
Thoust made the world too beautiful this year

Lesson/Values
God made the world beautiful and majestic.

Testing Your Understanding


1. Describe the effect of symphony on the speaker. What does the speaker ask for? It gives peace. She hoped it wouldn t cease. 1. How does the first line set the general mood of the poem? The passion continues.

3. How does the poet describe the moment. The moment is the best the world can give. 4. Is the title of the second poem apt? What is the meaning of the first line? Yes. The author can t fathom the world the beauty of it can t be contained.

5. What are the beautiful things of nature that overwhelm the poet s heart with joy? Winds Wide gray skies Mists Woods Autumn day

Patterns
Author: Amy Lowell Biography: Became the leader of the free verse group that sprang up seemingly overnight Made poetry her profession Was an authority on impressionism and introduced to America what she termed polyphonic verse.

Amy Lowell
She was a poet, critic, and biographer. Like a number of other poets of her day. Lowell was strongly influenced by the American poet Ezra Pound. She was particularly influenced by Pound s belief that many poetic conventions of the past were born out and restricted the poet s creativity. With the imagists emphasized the clear, objective, and precise treatment of images, objects, and events. They wrote in a style known as free verse.

Amy Lowell
Lowell experimented with free verse and called her style polyphonic, which means many voices, because it used all the voices of poetry, including assonance, alliteration, meter, and rhythm. Her poem patterns was one of her experimental works that came to represent what was considered modern in poetry. Patterns was published in her collecting Men, Women, and Ghosts.
-The World Book Encyclopedia, 1987 ed, S.V. Lou Juliette Gordon

Patterns
I walk down the garden paths, And all the daffodils Are blowing, and the bright blue squills. I walk down the patterned garden-paths In my stiff, brocaded gown. With my powdered hair and jewelled fan, I too am a rare Pattern. As I wander down The garden paths.

My dress is richly figured, And the train Makes a pink and silver stain On the gravel, and the thrift Of the borders. Just a plate of current fashion, Tripping by in high-heeled, ribboned shoes. Not a softness anywhere about me, Only whalebone and brocade. And I sink on a seat in the shade Of a lime tree. For my passion Wars against the stiff brocade. The daffodils and squills Flutter in the breeze As they please. And I weep; For the lime-tree is in blossom And one small flower has dropped upon my bosom.

And the plashing of waterdrops In the marble fountain Comes down the garden-paths. The dripping never stops. Underneath my stiffened gown Is the softness of a woman bathing in a marble basin, A basin in the midst of hedges grown So thick, she cannot see her lover hiding, But she guesses he is near, And the sliding of the water Seems the stroking of a dear Hand upon her. What is Summer in a fine brocaded gown! I should like to see it lying in a heap upon the ground. All the pink and silver crumpled up on the ground.

I would be the pink and silver as I ran along the paths, And he would stumble after, Bewildered by my laughter. I should see the sun flashing from his sword-hilt and the buckles on his shoes. I would choose To lead him in a maze along the patterned paths, A bright and laughing maze for my heavy-booted lover, Till he caught me in the shade, And the buttons of his waistcoat bruised my body as he clasped me, Aching, melting, unafraid. With the shadows of the leaves and the sundrops, And the plopping of the waterdrops, All about us in the open afternoon -I am very like to swoon With the weight of this brocade, For the sun sifts through the shade.

Underneath the fallen blossom In my bosom, Is a letter I have hid. It was brought to me this morning by a rider from the Duke. "Madam, we regret to inform you that Lord Hartwell Died in action Thursday se'nnight." As I read it in the white, morning sunlight, The letters squirmed like snakes. "Any answer, Madam," said my footman. "No," I told him. "See that the messenger takes some refreshment. No, no answer." And I walked into the garden, Up and down the patterned paths, In my stiff, correct brocade. The blue and yellow flowers stood up proudly in the sun, Each one. I stood upright too, Held rigid to the pattern By the stiffness of my gown. Up and down I walked, Up and down.

In a month he would have been my husband. In a month, here, underneath this lime, We would have broke the pattern; He for me, and I for him, He as Colonel, I as Lady, On this shady seat. He had a whim That sunlight carried blessing. And I answered, "It shall be as you have said." Now he is dead.

In Summer and in Winter I shall walk Up and down The patterned garden-paths In my stiff, brocaded gown. The squills and daffodils Will give place to pillared roses, and to asters, and to snow. I shall go Up and down, In my gown. Gorgeously arrayed, Boned and stayed. And the softness of my body will be guarded from embrace By each button, hook, and lace. For the man who should loose me is dead, Fighting with the Duke in Flanders, In a pattern called a war. Christ! What are patterns for?

Vocabulary Words
Stiff-incapable of or resistant to being flexed or bent : RIGID Brocaded- to weave patterns into (as a fabric) or to work in (a design) in the manner of a brocade Plate-a smooth usually nearly flat and relatively thin piece of metal or other material Tripping-to dance, skip, or caper with light quick steps Lime tree-a spiny tropical tree (Citrus aurantifolia) with elliptic oblong narrowly winged leaves

Vocabulary Words
Squills- a bulbous herb (Urginea maritima) of southern Europe and northern Africa that is sometimes grown in gardens for its long racemes of small white flowers called also sea onion Flutter- to move or flap the wings rapidly without flying or with short flights *butterflies fluttering among the flowers* Whim-a fanciful or fantastic device, object, or creation Swoon-to suffer partial or total loss of consciousness Arrayed- to set or place in order : draw up : MARSHAL

Appealing Passages
In a month he would have been my husband. In a month, here, underneath this lime, we would have broke the pattern; He for me, and I for him, He as Colonel, I as Lady, on this Shady seat. He had a whim that sunlight carried blessing. And I answered. It shall be as you have said. Now he is dead.

Lesson/Values
Riches are useless, if you can t be with the man you love.

Test Your Understanding


1. Describe the lady in the poem. Well dressed. Rich. 2. How does she feel about the fineries surrounding her. She doesn t like it. She wants a simple life. 3. What kind of a woman is she in reality? Soft hearted. 4.Do you think she is satisfied with her social status? NO, she doesn t like to be rich.

IMPLICATIONS
1. Have you ever wished that you were a millionaire? NO 2. Have you ever thought of the disadvantages of being very rich or being very beautiful? YES 3. Do you envy the lady in the poem? NO 4. Why does she consider herself a rare pattern too? Because she is unique.