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...



Modern Love: XIV

2Contempt the nobler agony to kill?
3Rather let me bear on the bitter ill,
4And strike this rusty bosom with new stings!
5It seems there is another veering fit
6Since on a gold-haired lady's eyeballs pure,
7I looked with little prospect of a cure,
8The while her mouth's red bow loosed shafts of wit.
9Just heaven! can it be true that jealousy
10Has decked the woman thus? and does her head
11Swim somewhat for possessions forfeited?
12Madam, you teach me many things that be.
13I open an old book, and there I find
14That "Women still may love whom they deceive."
15Such love I prize not, madam: by your leave,
16The game you play at is not to my mind.


1] This narrative sequence of fifty sixteen-line "sonnets" probably has its roots in the unhappy history of Meredith's unsuccessful marriage to his first wife, Mary Ellen Nicolls, Peacock's widowed daughter, who had been the inspiration for Love in the Valley. The great novel, The Ordeal of Richard Feverel (1859), tells the same story. 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