English Poetry in Capsule Form (1990)
Alexander "Sasha" Volokh

Have you ever tried to recite a poem that you didn't know very well? Sometimes, when I'm trying to recite something but I come across a word that also appears in another poem, I switch to the other poem and continue along my merry way. Occasionally, one can go through a good number of poems that way. The following experience happened to me once. It contains 30 different poems. And one of the transitions does not come from a shared word. Brownie points to those who can identify the 30 poems and the invalid transition.

Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines and life are free, free as the road,
Loose as the wind, as large as store. Shall I be still in suit?
Have I no harvest but a thorn
To let me blood, and not restore
What I have lost with cordial fruitful showers upon my sunburned brain.
But words came halting forth, wanting Invention's stay;
Invention, Nature's child of my right hand, and joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean, and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man's first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree whose margin fades
Forever and forever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To die, to sleep, no more -- and by a sleep to say
We end the heartache and the thousand thousand slimy things fall apart;
The center cannot hold,
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world's no blot for us,
Nor blank; it means intensely, and means good;
To find its meaning is my meat and drink deep, or taste not the Pierian springs
The source of human thought its tribute brings
That then I scorn to change my state with king of kings,
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay of faith right through the world:
At home was little world made cunningly
Of elements, and an angelic sprite;
But black sin hath betrayed to endless night my world enough, and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime.
We would sit down, and think which way
To walk, and pass our long love,
That doth reign and live within my thoughts perhaps thou knowest,
All my madness none can known them all already, known them all --
Have known the evenings, morning morning's minion, king-
dom of daylight's dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Spirit by its own moods interprets, everywhere,
Echo or mirror seeking of itself,
And makes a toy of Thought. But O! how oft,
How oft, at school of Stratford at the Bowe,
For Frenssh of Paris was to hire unknowe then thyself, presume not God to scan;
The proper study of mankind is Man, to whom thou say'st,
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty," like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies, and all that's best of dark and bright,
In the forests of the night, what immortal hand or eyes
Among the heather bright,
And work them into waistcoat-buttons
In the silent night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

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