• Poetry

    Sylvia Plath Reading “A Birthday Present”

    a birthday present

    Today Would Have Been Sylvia Plath’s 86th Birthday This is a video of her reading her poem “A Birthday Present.” This poem was recorded in October 1962. She was married to the famous British poet Ted Hughes. They had separated, and she reacted by writing angry poetry. An Obsession With Death The vast majority of Sylvia Plath’s poems are obsessed with death. Is the “present” a gift of death? I remember being so startled the first time I heard recordings of Plath’s voice. She had acquired a strong British accent. Plath turned 30 during the month this was recorded. She sounds much older. She would not live to see her…

  • Seasons,  Poetry

    The Seasons : Spring by James Thomson

    spring flowers

    The Seasons : Spring Come, gentle Spring! ethereal Mildness! come, And from the bosom of yon dropping cloud, While music wakes around, veil’d in a shower Of shadowing roses, on our plains descend. O Hertford, fitted or to shine in courts With unaffected grace, or walk the plain With innocence and meditation join’d In soft assemblage, listen to my song, Which thy own Season paints; when Nature all Is blooming and benevolent, like thee. And see where surly Winter passes off, Far to the north, and calls his ruffian blasts: His blasts obey, and quit the howling hill, The shatter’d forest, and the ravaged vale; While softer gales succeed, at…

  • Seasons,  Poetry

    To Autumn by John Keats (1820)

    autumn trees

    To Autumn by John Keats Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; Conspiring with him how to load and bless With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run; To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees, And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core; To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells With a sweet kernel; to set budding more, And still more, later flowers for the bees, Until they think warm days will never cease, For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells. Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store? Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find Thee sitting careless on a…