#PoetryWeek – poet Livia Ellis


Even if she’s not a “poet,” I consider her one. Anyone who appreciates poetry like her is definitely a poet. Here’s a post from Livia Ellis, author of the Memoirs of a Gigolo series.fancy line

I’m not a poet. But I do love poetry. It calms me down when I’m at my most distressed. There’s also something comforting about going back to familiar poems. They are guaranteed to be just as good if not better the more they’re read.

Here are some of my favorites.

fancy line

by Edna St. Vincent Millay

We were very tired, we were very merry—
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
It was bare and bright, and smelled like a stable—
But we looked into a fire, we leaned across a table,
We lay on a hill-top underneath the moon;
And the whistles kept blowing, and the dawn came soon.

We were very tired, we were very merry—
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry;
And you ate an apple, and I ate a pear,
From a dozen of each we had bought somewhere;
And the sky went wan, and the wind came cold,
And the sun rose dripping, a bucketful of gold.

We were very tired, we were very merry,
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
We hailed “Good morrow, mother!” to a shawl-covered head,
And bought a morning paper, which neither of us read;
And she wept, “God bless you!” for the apples and pears,
And we gave her all our money but our subway fares.

fancy line

Is this a lovely poem, or what? Call me a philistine, but I like my poetry to rhyme. I’m pretty sure that this is a sign of my lack of sophistication when it comes to poetry, but there’s something about pairing the words ferry and merry that make me smile.

Here’s another from Edna St. Vincent Millay.

fancy line

by Edna St. Vincent Millay

The railroad track is miles away,

And the day is loud with voices speaking,

Yet there isn’t a train goes by all day

But I hear its whistle shrieking.

All night there isn’t a train goes by,

Though the night is still for sleep and dreaming,

But I see its cinders red on the sky,

And hear its engine steaming.

My heart is warm with friends I make,

And better friends I’ll not be knowing;

Yet there isn’t a train I wouldn’t take,

No matter where it’s going.

fancy line

I’m not certain why rhyme has gone out of fashion in poetry. Maybe the world really has changed and something as straight forward as making speaking and shrieking flow together is an anachronism. Or maybe it’s just fashion. This favorite from Jonathan Swift seems as relevant today as it might have been three hundred or so years ago to a woman turning thirty-four.

fancy line

On Stella’s Birth-day
BY Jonathan Swift

    Stella this Day is thirty four,
(We won’t dispute a Year or more)
However Stella, be not troubled,
Although thy Size and Years are doubled,
Since first I saw Thee at Sixteen
The brightest Virgin of the Green,
So little is thy Form declin’d
Made up so largely in thy Mind.
Oh, would it please the Gods to split
Thy Beauty, Size, and Years, and Wit,
No Age could furnish out a Pair
Of Nymphs so gracefull, Wise and fair
With half the Lustre of Your Eyes,
With half thy Wit, thy Years and Size:
And then before it grew too late,
How should I beg of gentle Fate,
(That either Nymph might have her Swain,)
To split my Worship too in twain.

fancy line

I’ve tried to write poetry and what I produce makes me sound like a love-sick school girl. I seem to not be able to say anything in under sixty-thousand words. My next favourite, from William Blake, says so much in only four lines.

fancy line

The Angel that presided ‘oer my birth
by William Blake

The Angel that presided ‘oer my birth
Said, “Little creature, form’d of Joy and Mirth,
“Go love without the help of any Thing on Earth.”

fancy line

I always think about giving poetry another try. But then again, maybe I should leave it to the poets. I’m fairly certain I don’t have the talent or the patience to produce something like the final gem I want to share.

fancy line

My life closed twice before its close (96)
by Emily Dickinson

My life closed twice before its close—
It yet remains to see
If Immortality unveil
A third event to me

So huge, so hopeless to conceive
As these that twice befell.
Parting is all we know of heaven,
And all we need of hell.

fancy line

About Livia Ellis:

Were I to write a personal ad about myself it would read as follows:

Blond. Blue. 5’6”. A lady never discloses her weight, but I’ve never had any complaints. I only run if I’m being chased by a gun wielding maniac, but I do love yoga. Bit of a shoe hound. Have had issues passing up handbags. Trying to learn to play the Irish harp. Enjoy both theater and concerts. Love to read fantasy and science fiction. Am not ashamed to admit I adore Star Trek. Have a picture of myself (dressed as a nun) and the late Patrick Swayze (dressed as a medieval warrior) in a frame (Yes – I did cry when he died). Perpetual student with advanced degrees that are mostly useless when seeking job opportunities outside academia. Vivid imagination. Sexually adventurous only on paper. I never know what to say when people end a conversation with ‘god bless’. Occasionally play the lottery – but generally only when I’m feeling really poor. Love to travel. Fluent French speaker. Seeks readers whom enjoy what I write.

Find out more:

2 responses to “#PoetryWeek – poet Livia Ellis

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