My Vicky Life

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Posts tagged with "National Poetry Month"

Apr 8

Since the subject of beauty (and the perception of it) has popped up on my blog again, and also since it’s National Poetry Month, I give you one of my favorite poems, My Mistress’ Eyes by William Shakespeare. First, though, you might want to check out a lyrical little number called There is a Garden in Her Face. It was written by one of Shakespeare’s contemporaries, Thomas Campion, who gushes on about his lady’s rosy cheeks, pearly white teeth, and cherry red lips. To which Shakespeare responds, “Well, my girlfriend isn’t much to look at, but I’m nuts about her anyway.” What a guy.

There Is A Garden In Her Face
by Thomas Campion (1567-1620)

There is a garden in her face
Where roses and white lilies grow;
A heav’nly paradise is that place
Wherein all pleasant fruits do flow.
      There cherries grow which none may buy,
      Till “Cherry ripe” themselves do cry.

Those cherries fairly do enclose
Of orient pearl a double row,
Which when her lovely laughter shows,
They look like rose-buds fill’d with snow;
      Yet them nor peer nor prince can buy,
      Till “Cherry ripe” themselves do cry.

Her eyes like angels watch them still,
Her brows like bended bows do stand,
Threat’ning with piercing frowns to kill
All that attempt with eye or hand
      Those sacred cherries to come nigh,
      Till “Cherry ripe” themselves do cry.

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun (Sonnet 130)
by William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.
      And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
      As any she belied with false compare.

Apr 6

It’s National Poetry Month, so here’s my favorite poem:

To a Traveler
    —by Su Tung P’o

Last year when I accompanied you
As far as the Yang Chou Gate,
The snow was flying, like white willow cotton.
This year, Spring has come again,
And the willow cotton is like snow,
But you have not come back.
Alone before the open window,
I raise my wine cup to the shining moon.
The wind, moist with evening dew,
Blows the gauze curtains.
Maybe Chang-O the moon goddess,
Will pity this single swallow
And join us together with the cord of light
That reaches beneath the painted eaves of your home.