For when it’s your birthday, you get to choose a favorite moment of poetic prose and call it, not “purple prose,” but poetry, from The Sound and the Fury.
from The Sound and the Fury: April Eighth 1928 / by William Faulkner
She wore a stiff black straw hat perched upon her turban, and a maroon velvet cape with a border of mangy and anonymous fur above a dress of purple silk, and she stood in the door for awhile with her myriad and sunken face lifted to the weather, and one gaunt hand flac-soled as the belly of a fish, then she moved the cape aside and examined the bosom of her gown.
For does grief global, religious, or personal, ever feel lighter than the moment it found you? From Emily Dickinson: Selected Poems.
from Griefs / by Emily Dickinson
I wonder if when years have piled —
Some thousands — on the cause
Of early hurt, if such a lapse
Could give them any pause
For those who believe love speaks for itself and should not be given or taken on demand, from the Folio text, 2008, in The Norton Shakespeare: Tragedies, Based on the Oxford Edition, 2nd edition.
from King Lear / by William Shakespeare
Cordelia Nothing, my lord.
Lear Nothing will come of nothing. Speak again.
For moments which pass so quickly, from The Widening Spell of the Leaves.
from The Spell of the Leaves / by Larry Levis
On Sundays, hiking, the boy finds wildflowers.
They look them up in a field guide before
She places them, like stillness itself, in a vase —
For seeking life in the middle of everything, from poetryfoundation.org.
from Sanctuary / by Jean Valentine
Yes I know: the thread you have to keep finding, over again, to
follow it back to life; I know. Impossible, sometimes.
For decibels and angels, from Poetry, March 2017.
from Echo / by Raymond Antrobus
And no one knew what I was missing
until a doctor gave me a handful of Legos
and said to put a brick on the table
every time I heard a sound.
After the test I still held enough bricks
in my hand to build a house
and call it my sanctuary
For someone who must have done a perfect rain dance this month, from poetryfoundation.org.
from February Rain / by Florence Kiper Frank
We shall be forever in this room held tight
By the wind and the endless fall of the rain upon snow.
There are tulips upon the window-sill, there is the bright
Gnawing of fire on shadow
For the sonnet which engendered yesterday’s erasure, from The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Fourth Edition: 1.
from Sonnet 97 / by William Shakespeare
And, thou away, the very birds are mute;
Or, if they sing, ’tis with so dull a cheer
That leaves look pale, dreading the winter’s near.
For erasures of Shakespeare’s sonnets, from Nets.
from 97 / by Jen Bervin
the very birds are mute
Or, if they sing
leaves look pale
For music, from The Half-Finished Heaven, translated by Robert Bly.
from Allegro / by Tomas Tranströmer
The music is a house of glass standing on a slope;
rocks are flying, rocks are rolling.
The rocks roll straight through the house
but every pane of glass is still whole.