Poets from all time I never met

A list of the poets on this page:

Rodney Marvin "Rod" McKuen

Emily Elizabeth Dickinson
Carl Sandburg
Eleanor Farjeon
more soon!

First poet is Rod McKuen who passed away last week. I will add more poets soon.
                       Rodney Marvin "Rod" McKuen

                   April 29, 1933 - January 29, 2015



One of my favorite first local poets has passed away. The great Rod Mckuen, an Oakland California native was 81.Mr. McKuen died Thursday morning at a rehabilitation center in Beverly Hills, where he had been treated for pneumonia and had been ill for several weeks, said his half brother, Edward McKuen Habib. 

Rod McKuen is credited with more than 200 albums — dozens of which went gold or platinum — and more than 30 collections of poetry. Worldwide sales for his music top 100 million units while his book sales exceed 60 million copies. Thanks to a fellow KROW employee named Phyllis Diller, Rod McKuen got a singing gig at the now-defunct Purple Onion in North Beach, San Francisco. Rod's Website
Photos from his facebook page, his website and the news article announcing his death. Poems from his facebook page. I think I may still have the first four books and the big book I got back in the 1970's. I will look and see what I have and add a few of my favorite poems. 


Young Rod

Rod McKuen Poems :

"Love is
the only easy way through life.
And who'd have thought
that such an easy road
is paved, repaved and used so often."
- from "We Touch The Sky", 1979 & "Valentines," 1986

Loving Elizabeth (for Elizabeth Taylor)
Having loved you all these years
at distance and close quarters
from the time when you were lavender-eyed
and velvet on an English countryside,
through triumphant trips in Tennesseeland,
as the snow fell in Gstaad, as a rainbow arched in Rome
through husband and husbands and gossip and gloss,
through childhood and girlhood and womanly calm
past Dorchester doorways and limousines waiting
at the curb of California bungalows . . .

In our rooms in Botswana, separate-apart
I grew and grow up loving you.

Through sickness and sorrow and sandpiper days
and nights when the fire of fear blazed on,
through years without seeing you,
the years when I watched you day after day
playing and posturing
and pouring for other the elixir of love
over my shoulder and out of my reach,
I have loved and love you with unswerving pride.
What I saw with my eyes, what I knew was inside
won all the arguments hearts have with minds,
did the deciding, overriding the lies
that logic holds up as unquestionable truth.

In our rooms in London, separate-apart
I grew and grow up loving you.

Rod McKuen - from "The Beautiful Strangers", 1981

Waterfalls and Rainbows (a work in progress for Jay Hagan)
The most surprising rainbows
always seem to arch across waterfalls.
At times with liberty or luck the edges
of the colors blur then double hues shine
on before they slip and fade. Double rainbows
may be rare but they are there. You only have
to hunt them down. As for the legendary pot of
gold at the end of every multi colored arch?
I found mine long ago by discovering
what I wanted to do and learning how to do it.
Still I go on chasing waterfalls, hunting rainbows
Just as you. As for learning, it is always just

- Rod McKuen (first written 4/28/2000. Revised 4/4/10)

Rod McKuen Books:

  • And Autumn Came (Pageant Press, 1954)
  • Stanyan Street & Other Sorrows (Stanyan Music 1966), Listen to the Warm (Random House 1967),  Lonesome Cities (Random House 1968), Finding My Father (1977),
  • In Someone's Shadow (Cheval Books/Random House, 1969)
  • Twelve Years of Christmas (Cheval Books/Random House, 1969)
  • Caught in the Quiet (Stanyan Books, 1970)
  • Fields of Wonder (Cheval Books/Random House, 1971)
  • The Carols of Christmas (Cheval Books/Random House, 1971)
  • And to Each Season (Simon & Schuster, 1972)
  • Moment to Moment (Cheval Books, 1972)
  • Come to Me in Silence (Simon & Schuster, 1973)
  • Moment to Moment (Revised Edition) (Simon & Schuster, 1974)
  • Beyond the Boardwalk (Cheval Books, 1975)
  • Celebrations of the Heart (Simon & Schuster, 1975)
  • The Sea Around Me... (Simon & Schuster, 1975)
  • Coming Close to the Earth (Simon & Schuster, 1978)
  • We Touch the Sky (Simon & Schuster, 1979)
  • The Power Bright and Shining (Simon & Schuster, 1980)
  • A Book of Days (Harper & Row, 1980)
  • The Beautiful Strangers (Simon & Schuster, 1981)
  • Book of Days and a Month of Sundays (Harper & Row, 1981)
  • The Sound of Solitude (Harper & Row, 1983)
  • Suspension Bridge (Harper & Row, 1984)
  • Intervals (Harper & Row/Cheval Books, 1986)
  • Valentines (Harper & Row/Cheval Books, 1986)
  • A Safe Place to Land (Cheval Books, 2001)
  • Rusting in the Rain (Cheval Books, 2004)


Emily Elizabeth Dickinson

Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was born in Massachusetts on December 10, 1830 and passed away in May 15, 1886.

I cannot live with You (poem 640 in Thomas Johnson's edition of the Complete Poems) ©  Emily Elizabeth Dickinson

I cannot live with You --

It would be Life --
And Life is over there --
Behind the Shelf

The Sexton keeps the Key to --
Putting up
Our Life -- His Porcelain --
Like a Cup --

Discarded of the Housewife --
Quaint -- or Broke --
A newer Sevres pleases --
Old Ones crack --

I could not die -- with You --
For One must wait
To shut the Other's Gaze down --
You -- could not --

And I -- Could I stand by
And see You -- freeze --
Without my Right of Frost --
Death's privilege?

Nor could I rise -- with You --
Because Your Face
Would put out Jesus' --
That New Grace

Glow plain -- and foreign
On my homesick Eye --
Except that You than He
Shone closer by --

They'd judge Us -- How --
For You -- served Heaven -- You know, 
Or sought to -- 
I could not --

Because You saturated Sight --
And I had no more Eyes
For sordid excellence
As Paradise

And were You lost, I would be --
Though My Name
Rang loudest
On the Heavenly fame --

And were You -- saved --
And I -- condemned to be
Where You were not --
That self -- were Hell to Me --

So We must meet apart --
You there -- I -- here --
With just the Door ajar
That Oceans are -- and Prayer --
And that White Sustenance --
Despair --


#340 I felt a funeral in my brain 
©  Emily Elizabeth Dickinson
    About summer 1862

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,
And Mourners to and fro
Kept treading - treading - till it seemed
That Sense was breaking through  -
And when they all were seated,
A Service, like a Drum -
Kept beating - beating - till I thought
My mind was going numb -
And then I heard them lift a Box
And creak across my Soul
With those same Boots of Lead, again,
Then Space - began to toll,
As all the Heavens were a Bell,
And Being, but an Ear,
And I, and Silence, some strange Race
Wrecked, solitary, here -
And then a Plank in Reason, broke,
And I dropped down, and down -
And hit a World, at every plunge,
And Finished knowing - then -

©  Emily Elizabeth Dickinson

My Life had stood – a Loaded Gun – 
In Corners – till a Day
The Owner passed – identified – 
And carried Me away – 

And now We roam in Sovereign Woods – 
And now We hunt the Doe – 
And every time I speak for Him – 
The Mountains straight reply – 

And do I smile, such cordial light
Upon the Valley glow – 
It is as a Vesuvian face
Had let its pleasure through – 

And when at Night – Our good Day done – 
I guard My Master's Head – 
'Tis better than the Eider-Duck's
Deep Pillow – to have shared – 

To foe of His – I'm deadly foe – 
None stir the second time – 
On whom I lay a Yellow Eye – 
Or an emphatic Thumb – 

Though I than He – may longer live
He longer must – than I – 
For I have but the power to kill,
Without – the power to die –


Carl Sandburg:
 One of the classic poets I love is Carl Sandburg January 6, 1878 – July 22, 1967.

My very favorite is #76 Fog which reminds me of my life in San Francisco which had many foggy days.

# 76 Fog ©  Carl Sandburg
The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
Eleanor Farjeon:
Another favorite when I was a child were two poems by British poet Eleanor Farjeon  [13 February 1881- 5 June 1965]

The Night Will Never Stay ©Eleanor Farjeon

The night will never stay,
The night will still go by,
Though with a million stars
You pin it to the sky;
Though you bind it with the blowing
And buckle it with the moon,
The night will slip away
Like sorrow or a tune.
Cats sleep anywhere © by Eleanor Farjeon

Cats sleep, anywhere,
Any table, any chair
Top of piano, window-ledge,
In the middle, on the edge,
Open drawer, empty shoe,
Anybody's lap will do,
Fitted in a cardboard box,
In the cupboard, with your frocks-
Anywhere! They don't care! 
Cats sleep anywhere.