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Longing

Ina Coolbrith

O foolish wisdom sought in books!
O aimless fret of household tasks!
O chains that bind the hand and mind—
A fuller life my spirit asks!

For there the grand hills, summer-crowned,
Slope greenly downward to the seas;
One hour of rest upon their breast
Were worth a year of days like these.

Their cool, soft green to ease the pain
Of eyes that ache o’er printed words;
This weary noise – the city’s voice,
Lulled in the sound of bees and birds.

For Eden’s life within me stirs,
And scorns the shackles that I wear;
The man-life grand – pure soul, strong hand,
The limb of steel, the heart of air!

And I could kiss, with longing wild,
Earth’s dear brown bosom, loved so much,
A grass-blade fanned across my hand,
Would thrill me like a lover’s touch.

The trees would talk with me; the flowers
Their hidden meanings each make known—
The olden lore revived once more,
When man’s and nature’s heart were one!

And as the pardoned pair might come
Back to the garden God first framed,
And hear Him call at even-fall,
And answer, ‘Here am I,’ unshamed—

So I, from out these toils, wherein
The Eden-faith grows stained and dim,
Would walk, a child, through nature’s wild,
And hear His voice and answer Him.

Sarah Byng, Who Could Not Read and Was Tossed into a Thorny Hedge by a Bull

Hilaire Belloc

Some years ago you heard me sing
My doubts on Alexander Byng.
His sister Sarah now inspires
My jaded Muse, my failing fires.
Of Sarah Byng the tale is told
How when the child was twelve years old
She could not read or write a line.
Her sister Jane, though barely nine,
Could spout the Catechism through
And parts of Matthew Arnold too,
While little Bill who came between
Was quite unnaturally keen
On 'Athalie', by Jean Racine.
But not so Sarah! Not so Sal!
She was a most uncultured girl
Who didn't care a pinch of snuff
For any literary stuff
And gave the classics all a miss.
Observe the consequence of this!
As she was walking home one day,
Upon the fields across her way
A gate, securely padlocked, stood,
And by its side a piece of wood
On which was painted plain and full,
BEWARE THE VERY FURIOUS BULL
Alas! The young illiterate
Went blindly forward to her fate,
And ignorantly climbed the gate!
Now happily the Bull that day
Was rather in the mood for play
Than goring people through and through
As Bulls so very often do;
He tossed her lightly with his horns
Into a prickly hedge of thorns,
And stood by laughing while she strode
And pushed and struggled to the road.
The lesson was not lost upon
The child, who since has always gone
A long way round to keep away
From signs, whatever they may say,
And leaves a padlocked gate alone.
Moreover she has wisely grown
Confirmed in her instinctive guess
That literature breeds distress.

Why was this poem recommended?

Currently this poetry engine looks a set of features about the poems and chooses a poem with the most similar set of features. Below you can see the features of each poem. Right now "most similar" is a simple Euclidean distance. Further work includes adding more sophisticated features and determining similarity differently. I talk about the features and similarity metric more on the about page.


Feature Longing Sarah Byng, Who Could Not Read and Was Tossed into a Thorny Hedge by a Bull
NumLines 39 44
NumWords 219 265
WidthInChar 36.38 31.75
AvgWordSize 4.46 4.44
RepetitionScore 0.33 0.32
ObscurityScore 0.54 0.54
SentenceScore 0.09 0.16