Category Archives: Day 15

Among Twenty Snowy Mountains

Among Twenty Snowy Mountains. 


Big-bellied ogres curled up in the sunlight
repel the terrors of the night.

Crossing a single bridge into a village
shall far out pass the power of human telling

of any misery in the sound of the wind
when disappointment, grief and fear are gone

in a repetitiousness of men and flies
grant heaven’s joy to me, O bright heaven’s sun.

Yet (in) the absence of the imagination
days of man are like grass as the wind passes over, it goes.

They were those that would have wept to step barefoot into reality
when in strange and awful strife met together, death and life.

They were those from the wilderness of stars that had expected more
and their glad hearts with holy rapture burn(ed).

The leaf that has fallen from the branches of the forsythia
tell(s) the world the good news story.

At the edge of the shadow
awake and rise from the dead.

I know no magic trees, no balmy boughs
by whom the work of truth is done.

And I reach to the shore of the sea,
grant us to live, from death set free

the luscious and impeccable fruit of life;
the stars shine only in darkness.

The honey of heaven, may or may not come
when life away is flying.

Lines from Wallace Stevens ‘The Palm at the End of the Mind’ and ‘Collected Poems’
and from early 19th century and earlier, ‘Hymns – Old and New ed. by Kevin Mayhew et al.

Larkin About

Even so distant, I can taste the grief,
a box of teak, a box of sandalwood,
the eye can hardly pick them out
down stucco sidestreets.

What are days for?
Like the train’s beat,
the horns of morning,
to wake and hear the cock.

Within the dream you said
They fuck you up, your mum and dad,
words as plain as hen-birds’ wings
those long uneven lines

beyond all this; the wish to be alone
groping back to bed after a piss
her hands intend no harm
hurrying to catch my Comet.

All I remember is
a woman has ten claws.
Who called love conquering?

(A cento using Larkin first lines)

The Reply

The Reply

I was feeling like a demon again
I whack it with a hammer & all it says is
Be nice

He said, getting real mad
I am distressed. Thinking
What ever happened to that Bavarian pear

Of course I tried to tell him
When the fairies come back to Santa Fe
What’s sacred when the Thing is all the universe?

He said: “Mad street with no name.”


Title – Allen Ginsberg
Lines 1,4,7&10 – Gregory Corso: Poets Hitchhiking on the Highway
Line 2 – Philip Whalen: Fond Farewell to the Chicago Review
Line 3 – Philip Whalen: “Plus Ca Change”
Line 5 – Le Roi Jones: Way out West
Line 6 – Paul Carroll: Still Life: Tankard, Sun and Avocado Plant
Line 8 – Edward Dorn: When the Fairies
Line 9 – Allen Ginsberg: The Reply




I remember the nights, and the sound of the nights.
It would have been dark but not lugubrious. It would have been
tasting the salt on the wind and, in the first
commitment driving fast and unswerving,
we learned to count, to rule off days.

But that’s it, not here they are but
keep moving. Go as fast as you can
in the great half-crazy tune of the song of reasons.
In din of the crowded streets, going among the years, the faces,
tilt us headlong.


1. What it’s like to be alive, Deryn Rees Jones,
2. The Missing Poem, Mark Halliday
3. Boggle Hole, Cliff Yates
4. The Way we Live, Kathleen Jamie
5. Timetable, Kate Clanchy

6. Photograph in a Stockholm Newspaper for March 13, 1910, Don Coles
7. The blessing, Helen Dunmore
8. Song of Reasons, Robert Pinsky
9. The Horses, Ted Hughes
10. Hourglasses in the Church at Jukkas Jarvi, Penelope Shuttle

Day 15

Halfway there: You’re halfway to writing a poem if you can nick all the lines from other poets. A cento (meaning patchwork) is such a poem. Take each complete line from a different poem but, if you so desire, change the punctuation and get some enjambment in there. The effect can be quite surreal.

Have a look at John Ashbery’s ‘The Dong With The Luminous Nose’.
(Don’t forget to list the line data at the end to impress everyone!)