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New Poetry, Fiction, Essays

2 poems by Kate Ennals after Elizabeth Barratt Browning and John Clare

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How Do I Love You
After Elizabeth Barratt Browning

 

How do I love you? Let me tell you now
I love the plunge of your mountainous chest
To soft belly, trickling to smooth silk legs
I love how your ribs rack your heart, the
Organ that pumps you to my body parts
I love the timbre, shape of your murmur
The round of your head, sharp of your shoulder
There, I puzzle and fit my flaming cheek
Our hands entwined. Paste your sweet lips on mine
Shift high in the moment, safe from unease
‘Til we part and I’m forced to face my lie
For our love has only itself to please

In one ecstatic cry, pleasured, sublime
The joy, it is grievous. Cursed, it will die.

 

It’s All About Me
after John Clare

‘I am – yet what I am, none knows or cares…’
And why should anyone heed or know
For each has cares of our own.
Why does what I am, what I be
Concern any other one than me
For I alone am the key
There is no other one to see
The world as I do, through the eyes of me

‘I am – yet what I am, none knows or cares…’
For it is difficult to show or share
It’s often the case that I (and maybe you)
Show a different ‘I am’ to what is true.
So I alone can know or care of me
But if I do, and you do too, of you,
It will be that both you and I
Will have respect from both me and you.

 

I thought it would be interesting to show the inspiration for these (reprinted from the Poetry foundation web page at www.poetryfoundation.org

Sonnets from the Portuguese 43: How do I love thee? Let me count the ways 

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
 .
.
.
.
.
I Am!
I am—yet what I am none cares or knows;
My friends forsake me like a memory lost:
I am the self-consumer of my woes—
They rise and vanish in oblivious host,
Like shadows in love’s frenzied stifled throes
And yet I am, and live—like vapours tossed
Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
Into the living sea of waking dreams,
Where there is neither sense of life or joys,
But the vast shipwreck of my life’s esteems;
Even the dearest that I loved the best
Are strange—nay, rather, stranger than the rest.
I long for scenes where man hath never trod
A place where woman never smiled or wept
There to abide with my Creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept,
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie
The grass below—above the vaulted sky.

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Stephen House

Stephen House: has had many plays commissioned and produced. He’s won two Awgie Awards (Australian Writers Guild), The Rhonda Jancovic Poetry Award for Social Justice,

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Niamh Clarke is originally from Dundalk, Co.Louth. She received her…