Saturday, November 27, 2010

Classic Poetry - (The Maniac's Song & The Star - Ann Taylor)

I can practically guarantee that over 90 percent of the folks reading this post today are very familiar with Ann Taylor’s poetry. You may just not realize it yet.

The Maniac's Song

Bring me a garland, bring me a wreath;
Bring me a flower from the dank stream side;
Bring me a herb smelling sweetly of death,
Wet with the drowsy tide.
Haste to the pool with the green-weed breast,
Where the dark wave crawls through the sedge;
Where the bittern of the wilderness builds her nest,
In the flags of its oozy edge;

Where no sun shines through the live-long day,
Because of the blue-wreathed mist,
Where the cockatrice creeps her foul egg to lay,
And the speckled snake has hissed:

And bring me the flag that is moist with the wave,
And the rush where the heath-winds sigh,
And the hemlock plant, that flourishes so brave,
And the poppy, with its coal-black eye;

And weave them tightly, and weave them well,
The fever of my head to allay;–
And soon shall I faint with the death-weed smell,
And sleep these throbbings away.

And my hot, hot heart, that is fluttering so fast,
Shall shudder with a strange, cold thrill;
And the damp hand of Death o'er my forehead shall be passed,
And my lips shall be stiff and still.

And crystals of ice on my bosom shall arise,
Prest out from the shivering pore;
And oft shall it struggle with pent-up sighs,
But soon it shall struggle no more.

For the poppy on my head shall her cool breath shed,
And wind through the blue, blue tide;
And the bony wand of Death shall draw my last breath,
All by the dark stream side.

~ Ann Taylor

And now for those of you that may still think yourself unfamiliar with Ann Taylors Poetry I offer you the next poem.

The Star

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.

When the blazing sun is gone,
When he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.

Then the trav'ller in the dark,
Thanks you for your tiny spark,
He could not see which way to go,
If you did not twinkle so.

In the dark blue sky you keep,
And often thro' my curtains peep,
For you never shut your eye,
Till the sun is in the sky.

'Tis your bright and tiny spark,
Lights the trav'ller in the dark :
Tho' I know not what you are,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star.

~ Ann Taylor

(Ann Taylor (Gilbert) 30 January 1784 - 20 December 1852)

After having read both poems what are your thoughts?  How many times have you sung “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star?”  I can say for me it has been hundreds if not thousands of times.  Please share any thoughts you have concerning this selection in the comments section below.  We look forward to hearing your thoughts about these poems and Ann Taylor.  Do you have another poem you like by Mrs. Taylor?  Please post a link to it in the comment section so we can read it too.  Also if you are willing or wanting to learn more about Ann there is an excellent Essay over at Poetry Foundation. (Click here for the Article)  I found it a great and interesting read. Also Wikepedia is linked to her name found after each poem.

Poets United posts a classic poem once weekly. We want to do this to introduce classic poets and their poems to our members. It is also a way to display different styles, genres and approaches to poetry. Our intent is to further expand the world of poetry while educating ourselves.

If you have a classic poem or set of prose you are fond of please let us know by emailing it to us at


  1. I was not familiar with the name Ann Taylor. It's remarkable that sometimes a person's words are better known than her name.

  2. Kerry when I read both the Wiki and the Poetry Foundation essay I was intriqued. The sad thing is not only is she not really known but she wrote together with her sister on various book sand her sister got all the credit and then passed away. Many of her own works are not even cited to her. Like I said very interesting stuff.

  3. I have never heard of Ann Taylor before ... But these two pieces are beautiful, so I have missed something so far. You never stop learning :)

  4. That is pretty amazing. I had no idea she wrote The Star. I have sung that to my kids when they were little more times than I can count. I really enjoyed the first poem you posted, The Maniac's Song. Very interesting. I plan on reading it several more times. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I had no idea who wrote 'Twinkle, twinkle little star.'

    Thanks for posting this. :-)

  6. Wow, the first poem is brilliant! Amazing writing from a poet I had never heard of - and who ever thought that Twinkle was a poem, not just a child's nursery song? Wowzers. How interesting! Thanks for this info.

  7. there is a tremendous distinct difference in the style of writing of Ann Taylor and her sister 'Jane' Taylor after reading the two poems above 'Maniac Song' and 'The star' which is most likely 'twinkle twinkle little starby Jane Taylor. While both are fine poets it is very clear in my opinion which of the two sisters were more poetically incline. Like the post above, I was not familiar with these two famous poets up until now...I came into poetic awarenes of these two fine poets for personal and prfoessional reason and am glad to say that it was all worth the while!


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