General Editor: Marc R. Plamondon

Representative Poetry Online, edition 6.0, is a web anthology of 4,800 poems in English and French by over 700 poets spanning 1400 years.  more about RPO


A heartwarming gift for you on this cold Valentine’s Day: “Phyllis Loves Kelly,” 60 years of collected love poems from poet Phyllis Gotlieb to her husband, Kelly...



The Annoyer

          "Common as light is love.
1          And its familiar voice wearies not ever." Shelley.
3    And every human haunt,
4And comes unbidden everywhere,
5    Like people we don't want.
6The turnpike-roads and little creeks
7    Are written with love's words,
8And you hear his voice like a thousand bricks
9    In the lowing of the herds.
10He peeps into the teamster's heart.
12And the cracking whips of many men
13    Can never frighten him.
14He'll come to his cart in the weary night,
15    When he's dreaming of his craft;
16And he'll float to his eye in the morning light,
17    Like a man on a river raft.
18He hears the sound of the cooper's adze,
19    And makes him too his dupe.
20For he sighs in his ear from the shaving pile,
21    As he hammers on the hoop.
22The little girl, the beardless boy,
23    The men that walk or stand.
24He will get them all in his mighty arms,
25    Like the grasp of your very hand.
26The shoemaker bangs above his bench,
27    And ponders his shining awl,
28For love is under the lapstone hid,
29    And a spell is on the wall.
30It heaves the sole where he drives the pegs,
31    And speaks in every blow,
32Till the last is dropped from his crafty hand
33    And his foot hangs bare below.
34He blurs the prints which the shopmen sell,
35    And intrudes on the hatter's trade,
36And profanes the hostler's stable-yard
37    In the shape of the chamber-maid.
38In the darkest night and the bright daylight,
39    Knowing that he can win,
40In every home of good-looking folks
41    Will human love come in.


2] A parody of Percy Bysshe Shelley's Prometheus Unbound, act II, scene v. Back to Line
11] The Battle of Buena Vista in northern Mexico took place in the Mexican War on February 23, 1847, when the American forces successfully overcame Santa Anna's larger army. Civilian teamsters driving trains of supply wagons accompanied the Americans and committed outrages against the people along the route. Back to Line
 What thou lovest well remains,
                  the rest is dross
What thou lov'st well shall not be reft from thee
What thou lov'st well is thy true heritage
Whose world, or mine or theirs
                or is it of none?
First came the seen, then thus the palpable
    Elysium, though it were in the halls of hell,
What thou lovest well is thy true heritage
What thou lov'st well shall not be reft from thee
Ezra Pound Pisan Cantos, LXXXI