1. 20. Maybe (Carl Sandburg)

    Maybe he believes me, maybe not.
    Maybe I can marry him, maybe not.

    Maybe the wind on the prairie,
    The wind on the sea, maybe,
    Somebody, somewhere, maybe can tell.

    I will lay my head on his shoulder
    And when he asks me I will say yes,
    Maybe.

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  2. 19. Cascando (Samuel Beckett)

    1

    why not merely the despaired of
    occasion of
    wordshed

    is it not better abort than be barren

    the hours after you are gone are so leaden
    they will always start dragging too soon
    the grapples clawing blindly the bed of want
    bringing up the bones the old loves
    sockets filled once with eyes like yours
    all always is it better too soon than never
    the black want splashing their faces
    saying again nine days never floated the loved
    nor nine months
    nor nine lives

    2

    saying again
    if you do not teach me I shall not learn
    saying again there is a last
    even of last times
    last times of begging
    last times of loving
    of knowing not knowing pretending
    a last even of last times of saying
    if you do not love me I shall not be loved
    if I do not love you I shall not love

    the churn of stale words in the heart again
    love love love thud of the old plunger
    pestling the unalterable
    whey of words

    terrified again
    of not loving
    of loving and not you
    of being loved and not by you
    of knowing not knowing pretending
    pretending

    I and all the others that will love you
    if they love you

    3

    unless they love you

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  3. 18. She Moved Through The Fair (Anon)

    My young love said to me, 
    "My mother won’t mind
    And my father won’t slight you
    For your lack of kind.”
    Then she stepped away from me
    And this she did say:
    "It will not be long, love,
    Till our wedding day.”

    She stepped away from me
    And she moved through the fair
    And fondly I watched her
    Move here and move there.
    And she smiled as she passed me,
    With her goods and her gear
    And that was the last
    That I saw of my dear.

    Last night I dreamt that
    My young love came in
    So softly she entered,
    Her feet made no din,
    And she knelt down beside me
    And this she did say:
    "It will not be long, love,
    Till our wedding day.”

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  4. 17. Time and Again (Rainer Maria Rilke, trans. J. B. Leishman)

    Time and again, however well we know the landscape of love,
    and the little church-yard with lamenting names,
    and the frightfully silent ravine wherein all the others
    end: time and again we go out two together,
    under the old trees, lie down again and again
    between the flowers, face to face with the sky. 

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  5. 16. One Art (Elizabeth Bishop)

    The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
    so many things seem filled with the intent
    to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

    Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
    of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
    The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

    Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
    places, and names, and where it was you meant
    to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

    I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
    next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
    The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

    I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
    some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
    I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

    —Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
    I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
    the art of losing’s not too hard to master
    though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

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  6. 15. Here (Cyril Wong)


    Here between the country 
    that will not remember our love
    and the sea, our clothes spill

    like sand from a tilted
    palm. Then we are walking
    arm in arm. We are gazing

    in the same, unwavering direction.
    There is no need to mourn 
    for what we have left behind.

    Look as our footprints 
    evaporate when we approach 
    the chiming of waves, waves

    rising and tugging at us like joy. 
    This is not an ending
    and time has not been 

    unkind. We reach the edge 
    of our lives. We stop in awe 
    of how much further we have to go.

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  7. 14. When You Go (Edwin Morgan)

    When you go,
    if you go,
    And I should want to die,
    there’s nothing I’d be saved by
    more than the time
    you fell asleep in my arms
    in a trust so gentle
    I let the darkening room
    drink up the evening, till
    rest, or the new rain
    lightly roused you awake.
    I asked if you heard the rain in your dream
    and half dreaming still you only said, I love you.

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  8. 13. The Quiet World (Jeffrey McDaniel)

    In an effort to get people to look
    into each other’s eyes more,
    and also to appease the mutes,
    the government has decided
    to allot each person exactly one hundred   
    and sixty-seven words, per day.

    When the phone rings, I put it to my ear   
    without saying hello. In the restaurant   
    I point at chicken noodle soup.
    I am adjusting well to the new way.

    Late at night, I call my long distance lover,   
    proudly say I only used fifty-nine today.   
    I saved the rest for you.

    When she doesn’t respond,
    I know she’s used up all her words,   
    so I slowly whisper I love you
    thirty-two and a third times.
    After that, we just sit on the line   
    and listen to each other breathe.

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  9. 12. it is at moments after i have dreamed (e e cummings)

    it is at moments after i have dreamed
    of the rare entertainment of your eyes,
    when(being fool to fancy)i have deemed

    with your peculiar mouth my heart made wise;
    at moments when the glassy darkness holds

    the genuine apparition of your smile
    (it was through tears always)and silence moulds
    such strangeness as was mine a little while;

    moments when my once more illustrious arms
    are filled with fascination, when my breast
    wears the intolerant brightness of your charms:

    one pierced moment whiter than the rest

    —turning from the tremendous lie of sleep
    i watch the roses of the day grow deep.

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  10. 11. À Peine Défigurée (Paul Éluard)

    Adieu tristesse, 

    Bonjour tristesse.
    Tu es inscrite dans les lignes du plafond.
    Tu es inscrite dans les yeux que j’aime
    Tu n’es pas tout à fait la misère,
    Car les lèvres les plus pauvres te dénoncent
    Par un sourire.

    Bonjour tristesse.
    Amour des corps aimables.
    Puissance de l’amour
    Dont l’amabilité surgit
    Comme un monstre sans corps.
    Tête désappointée.
    Tristesse, beau visage.

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