Symptoms by Sophie Hannah

Although you have given me a stomach upset, Weak knees, a lurching heart, a fuzzy brain, A high-pitched laugh, a monumental phone bill, A feeling of unworthiness, sharp pain When you are somewhere else, a guilty conscience, A longing, and a dread of what’s in store, A pulse rate for the Guinness Book of Records…

The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—     While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. “’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—             Only this…

Sad Steps by Philip Larkin

Groping back to bed after a piss I part thick curtains, and am startled by The rapid clouds, the moon’s cleanliness. Four o’clock: wedge-shadowed gardens lie Under a cavernous, a wind-picked sky. There’s something laughable about this, The way the moon dashes through clouds that blow Loosely as cannon-smoke to stand apart (Stone-coloured light sharpening…

Chester by John Koethe

Wallace Stevens is beyond fathoming, he is so strange; it is as if he had a morbid secret he would rather perish than disclose. —Marianne Moore to William Carlos Williams Another day, which is how they usually come: A cat at the foot of the bed, noncommittal In its blankness of mind, with the morning…

Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley

I met a traveller from an antique land, Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand, Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive,…

Is Life Worth Living? by Alfred Austin

Alfred Austin is considered by many to be the worst Poet Laureate of England, it is a toss-up between him and Henry James Pye. However, Austin had a soft spot for nature and the English countryside so I have a soft spot for him.  Is life worth living? Yes, so long As Spring revives the…

Her Dilemma by Thomas Hardy

THE TWO were silent in a sunless church, Whose mildewed walls, uneven paving-stones, And wasted carvings passed antique research; And nothing broke the clock’s dull monotones. Leaning against a wormy poppy-head, So wan and worn that he could scarcely stand, --For he was soon to die,--he softly said, “Tell me you love me!”--holding hard her…

Reported Missing by Barry Cole

Can you give me a precise description? Said the policeman. Her lips, I told him, Were soft. Could you give me, he said, pencil Raised, a metaphor? Soft as an open mouth, I said. Were there any noticeable Peculiarities? he asked. Her hair hung Heavily, I said. Any particular Colour? he said. I told him…

Insomniac by Sylvia Plath

The night is only a sort of carbon paper, Blueblack, with the much-poked periods of stars Letting in the light, peephole after peephole . . . A bonewhite light, like death, behind all things. Under the eyes of the stars and the moon's rictus He suffers his desert pillow, sleeplessness Stretching its fine, irritating sand…