The Lorelei BY HEINRICH HEINE
I know not whence it rises,
This thought so full of woe;
But a tale of times departed
Haunts me, and will not go.
The air is cool, and it darkens,
And calmly flows the Rhine,
The mountain-peaks are sparkling
In the sunny evening-shine.
And yonder sits a maiden,
The fairest of the fair;
With gold is her garment glittering,
And she combs her golden hair:
With a golden…
The Hand That Signed the Paper BY DYLAN THOMAS
The hand that signed the paper felled a city;
Five sovereign fingers taxed the breath,
Doubled the globe of dead and halved a country;
These five kings did a king to death.
The mighty hand leads to a sloping shoulder,
The finger joints are cramped with chalk;
A goose’s quill has put an end to murder
That put an end to talk.
The hand that signed the…
On Monsieur’s Departure BY QUEEN ELIZABETH I
I grieve and dare not show my discontent,
I love and yet am forced to seem to hate,
I do, yet dare not say I ever meant,
I seem stark mute but inwardly do prate.
I am and not, I freeze and yet am burned,
Since from myself another self I turned.
My care is like my shadow in the sun,
Follows me flying, flies when I pursue it,
Stands and lies by me, doth…
EXCERPTED FROM The Canterbury Tales: General Prologue BY GEOFFREY CHAUCER
Here bygynneth the Book of the tales of Caunterbury
Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote,
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licóur
Of which vertú engendred is the flour;
Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre croppes, and the…
Preludes BY T. S. ELIOT
The Street, by Alfred Stieglitz (1903)
The winter evening settles down
With smell of steaks in passageways.
The burnt-out ends of smoky days.
And now a gusty shower wraps
The grimy scraps
Of withered leaves about your feet
And newspapers from vacant lots;
The showers beat
On broken blinds and chimney-pots,
And at the corner of the street
A lonely cab-horse…
Jake is trying to escape from her past. She’s taken up a modest sheep farm on a remote, rocky island off the coast of England. It’s the sort of place where trees only get so tall because the wind never lets up. Here, she can be invisible, or nearly so. No one knows her or her past. Even her eponymous Dog isn’t particularly bound to the hearth fires.
Walking her pasture one day, she finds a sheep…
EXCERPTED FROM LAUSTIC BY MARIE DE FRANCE
No-one detected their subterfuge,
No-one could tell her not to stare
Out her own window–and he’d be there.
Long had they loved each other dear
When there came the summer of one year.
Now woods and meadows are green again,
Orchards in blossom are seen again,
The birdie all his sweet notes showers
In joyous play on the sweet flowers.
A man or woman who…
This is an amusing collection of disparate thoughts, all compiled into a handy guide (of sorts). Some languages have words for which there is no easy translation (see: Schadenfrude). Giordano turns this around and describes the feelings themselves. The reader has very often been in that position and can easily relate to the lack of adequate lexicon.
Here are a few:
180: The yearning for…
EXCERPTED FROM THE LADY OF SHALOTT BY ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON
The Lady of Shalott by J. W. Waterhouse
Heard a carol, mournful, holy,
Chanted loudly, chanted lowly,
Till her blood was frozen slowly,
And her eyes were darken’d wholly,
Turn’d to tower’d Camelot;
For ere she reach’d upon the tide
The first house by the water-side,
Singing in her song she died,
The Lady of Shalott.
Under tower and…