Here are some poems I love.  Enjoy…


To the rhythm of our blood

To the rhythm of our blood

Drumming, drumming

to the rhythm of our blood.

Rain beating on my back,

water running round your thigh

to the rhythm

to the rhythm of our blood.

Climbing, falling

through the drumming of the rain

to the echoes of our blood.

-Nick Bantock, from The Venetian’s Wife


To Lou Andreas-Salomé


I held myself too open, I forgot

that outside not just things exist and animals

fully at ease in themselves, whose eyes

reach from their lives’ roundedness no differently

than portraits do from frames; forgot that I

with all I did incessantly crammed

looks into myself: looks, opinion, curiosity.

Who knows: perhaps eyes form in space

and look on everywhere. Ah, only plunged toward you

does my face cease being on display, grows

into you and twines on darkly,

endlessly, into your sheltered heart.


As one puts a handkerchief before pent-in breath —

no: as one presses it against a wound

out of which the whole of life, in a single gush,

wants to stream, I held you to me: I saw

you turn red from me. How could anyone express

what took place between us? We made up for everything

there was never time for. I matured strangely

in every impulse of unperformed youth,

and you, love, somehow had

wildest childhood over my heart.


Memory won’t suffice here: from those moments

there must be layers of pure existence

on my being’s floor, a precipitate

from that immensely overfilled solution.

For I don’t think back; all that I am

stirs me because of you. I don’t invent you

at sadly cooled-off places from which

you’ve gone away; even your not being there

is warm with you and more real and more

than a privation. Longing leads out too often

into vagueness. Why should I cast myself,

when, for all I know, your influence falls on me,

gently, like moonlight on a window seat.

— Rainer Maria Rilke, Duino, late autumn 1911


Love Song

How can I keep my soul in me, so that

it doesn’t touch your soul? How can I raise

it high enough, past you, to other things?

I would like to shelter it, among remote

lost objects, in some dark and silent place

that doesn’t resonate when your depths resound.

Yet everything that touches us, me and you,

takes us together like a violin’s bow,

which draws one voice out of two seperate strings.

Upon what instrument are we two spanned?

And what musician holds us in his hand?

Oh sweetest song.

-Rainer Maria Rilke


Once I took your face into

my hands. Moonlight fell on it.

Most incomprehensible object

under overflowing tears.

– Rainer Maria Rilke


These hills contain me as a field, a stone

Yet I contain them also: when I fare

Beyond their borders and am all alone

I need but think of them to see them there,

Each hill, each hallow, each familiar place

As clearly imaged as a loved one’s face.

– Byron Herbert Reece


Night. Oh you face against my face

dissolved in deepness.

You, my awestruck gaze’s vast


Night, in my eyesight shuddering,

but in yourself so firm;

inexhaustible creation, continuing on

over the earth’s remains;

full of young starfields that hurl

fire from the black at their edges

into the soundless adventure

of the space-between;

by your very being, transcender,

you make me seem small –;

yet, at one with the dark earth,

I dare exist in you.

Rainer Maria Rilke



Come when you should. All this will have been

passing through me for you to breathe.

I have gazed at it for so long, for your sake,

namelessly, with the gaze of poverty,

and have loved it, as if already you drank it in.

And yet: when I recall that all this —

myself, stars, flowers, and the sharp flight

of a bird out of gesturing brushwood,

the cloud’s haughtiness and what the wind

could do to me at night, whisking me

out of one being into a next, — that all this,

in endless succession (for I am all this,

am what the potion’s roar left behind

in my ear, am that exquisite taste which once

a ripe fruit expended on my lips), —

that all this, when once you’re really here,

all, even back to the boy’s low gaze

into the chalices of high-grown flower fields,

even back to one of my mother’s smiles

which I perhaps, thronged with your being,

shall think of as something stolen –, that all this

I then shall have to inexhaustibly outgive,

night and day, so much unsparingly

assimilated nature –, never knowing if what

begins to glow in you is mine: perhaps

you’ll grow more beautiful entirely from your own beauty,

from the profusion of restedness in your limbs,

from what is sweetest in your blood, — for all I know,

because there is awareness even in your hand,

because your hair flatters your shoulders,

because something in the dark breeze

is one with you, because you forget me totally,

because you don’t strain to hear, because you are a woman:

when I recall how I’ve dipped tenderness

into blood, into that never startled

soundless heartblood of things so loved

Rainer Maria Rilke




He loved her and she loved him.

His kisses sucked out her whole past and future or tried to

He had no other appetite

She bit him she gnawed him she sucked

She wanted him complete inside her

Safe and sure forever and ever

Their little cries fluttered into the curtains

Her eyes wanted nothing to get away

Her looks nailed down his hands his wrists his elbows

He gripped her hard so that life

Should not drag her from that moment

He wanted all future to cease

He wanted to topple with his arms round her

Off that moment’s brink and into nothing

Or everlasting or whatever there was

Her embrace was an immense press

To print him into her bones

His smiles were the garrets of a fairy palace

Where the real world would never come

Her smiles were spider bites

So he would lie still till she felt hungry

His words were occupying armies

Her laughs were an assassin’s attempts

His looks were bullets daggers of revenge

His glances were ghosts in the corner with horrible secrets

His whispers were whips and jackboots

Her kisses were lawyers steadily writing

His caresses were the last hooks of a castaway

Her love-tricks were the grinding of locks

And their deep cries crawled over the floors

Like an animal dragging a great trap

His promises were the surgeon’s gag

Her promises took the top off his skull

She would get a brooch made of it

His vows pulled out all her sinews

He showed her how to make a love-knot

Her vows put his eyes in formalin

At the back of her secret drawer

Their screams stuck in the wall

Their heads fell apart into sleep like the two halves

Of a lopped melon, but love is hard to stop

In their entwined sleep they exchanged arms and legs

In their dreams their brains took each other hostage

In the morning they wore each other’s face

Ted Hughes


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