A poem for a day

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PAstrychef
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Re: A poem for a day

Postby PAstrychef » Thu Nov 20, 2014 3:48 am UTC

Song: Go and catch a falling star
BY JOHN DONNE
Go and catch a falling star,
Get with child a mandrake root,
Tell me where all past years are,
Or who cleft the devil's foot,
Teach me to hear mermaids singing,
Or to keep off envy's stinging,
And find
What wind
Serves to advance an honest mind.

If thou be'st born to strange sights,
Things invisible to see,
Ride ten thousand days and nights,
Till age snow white hairs on thee,
Thou, when thou return'st, wilt tell me,
All strange wonders that befell thee,
And swear,
No where
Lives a woman true, and fair.

If thou find'st one, let me know,
Such a pilgrimage were sweet;
Yet do not, I would not go,
Though at next door we might meet;
Though she were true, when you met her,
And last, till you write your letter,
Yet she
Will be
False, ere I come, to two, or three.
Don’t become a well-rounded person. Well rounded people are smooth and dull. Become a thoroughly spiky person. Grow spikes from every angle. Stick in their throats like a puffer fish.

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Re: A poem for a day

Postby rat4000 » Sat Nov 22, 2014 11:15 am UTC

More Robinson Jeffers, because you can't have too much Robinson Jeffers: Orca.
The earth is a star, its human element
is what darkens it.

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Re: A poem for a day

Postby rat4000 » Fri Nov 28, 2014 7:35 am UTC

Tennyson's
The Eagle

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring'd with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.

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Re: A poem for a day

Postby PAstrychef » Sat Nov 29, 2014 10:56 pm UTC

Poet Laureate Mark Strand died today, so one of his poems seems fitting.

The End

Not every man knows what he shall sing at the end,
Watching the pier as the ship sails away, or what it will seem like
When he's held by the sea's roar, motionless, there at the end,
Or what he shall hope for once it is clear that he'll never go back.

When the time has passed to prune the rose or caress the cat,
When the sunset torching the lawn and the full moon icing it down
No longer appear, not every man knows what he'll discover instead.
When the weight of the past leans against nothing, and the sky

Is no more than remembered light, and the stories of cirrus
And cumulus come to a close, and all the birds are suspended in flight,
Not every man knows what is waiting for him, or what he shall sing
When the ship he is on slips into darkness, there at the end.
Don’t become a well-rounded person. Well rounded people are smooth and dull. Become a thoroughly spiky person. Grow spikes from every angle. Stick in their throats like a puffer fish.

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Re: A poem for a day

Postby rat4000 » Sun Nov 30, 2014 3:25 pm UTC

This one's apparently really famous but I only read it today: Emily Brontë's

The Old Stoic
Riches I hold in light esteem,
And Love I laugh to scorn;
And lust of fame was but a dream,
That vanished with the morn:

And if I pray, the only prayer
That moves my lips for me
Is, 'Leave the heart that now I bear,
And give me liberty!'

Yes, as my swift days near their goal,
'Tis all that I implore;
In life and death a chainless soul,
With courage to endure.

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Re: A poem for a day

Postby rat4000 » Mon Dec 01, 2014 3:51 pm UTC

I found this one because E. M. Forster quotes it in a book, which is one of the better ways to find poems. I think I knew half of it by heart at one point.

Matthew Arnold,
A Modern Sappho

They are gone: all is still: Foolish heart, dost thou quiver?
Nothing moves on the lawn but the quick lilac shade.
Far up gleams the house, and beneath flows the river.
Here lean, my head, on this cool balustrade.

Ere he come: ere the boat, by the shining-branch’d border
Of dark elms come round, dropping down the proud stream;
Let me pause, let me strive, in myself find some order,
Ere their boat-music sound, ere their broider’d flags gleam.

Is it hope makes me linger? the dim thought, that sorrow
Means parting? that only in absence lies pain?
It was well with me once if I saw him: to-morrow
May bring one of the old happy moments again.

Last night we stood earnestly talking together—
She enter’d—that moment his eyes turn’d from me.
Fasten’d on her dark hair and her wreath of white heather—
As yesterday was, so to-morrow will be.

Their love, let me know, must grow strong and yet stronger,
Their passion burn more, ere it ceases to burn:
They must love—while they must: But the hearts that love longer
Are rare: ah! most loves but flow once, and return.

I shall suffer; but they will outlive their affection:
I shall weep; but their love will be cooling: and he,
As he drifts to fatigue, discontent, and dejection,
Will be brought, thou poor heart! how much nearer to thee!

For cold is his eye to mere beauty, who, breaking
The strong band which beauty around him hath furl’d,
Disenchanted by habit, and newly awaking,
Looks languidly round on a gloom-buried world.

Through that gloom he will see but a shadow appearing,
Perceive but a voice as I come to his side:
But deeper their voice grows, and nobler their bearing,
Whose youth in the fires of anguish hath died.

Then—to wait. But what notes down the wind, hark! are driving?
’Tis he! ’tis the boat, shooting round by the trees!
Let my turn, if it will come, be swift in arriving!
Ah! hope cannot long lighten torments like these.

Hast thou yet dealt him, O Life, thy full measure?
World, have thy children yet bow’d at his knee?
Hast thou with myrtle-leaf crown’d him, O Pleasure?
Crown, crown him quickly, and leave him for me.

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Re: A poem for a day

Postby rat4000 » Tue Dec 02, 2014 11:24 am UTC

Philip Larkin's
Love Again

Love again: wanking at ten past three
(Surely he's taken her home by now?),
The bedroom hot as a bakery,
The drink gone dead, without showing how
To meet tomorrow, and afterwards,
And the usual pain, like dysentery.

Someone else feeling her breasts and cunt,
Someone else drowned in that lash-wide stare,
And me supposed to be ignorant,
Or find it funny, or not to care,
Even ... but why put it into words?
Isolate rather this element

That spreads through other lives like a tree
And sways them on in a sort of sense
And say why it never worked for me.
Something to do with violence
A long way back, and wrong rewards,
And arrogant eternity.

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Re: A poem for a day

Postby Envelope Generator » Wed Dec 03, 2014 6:02 am UTC

Who'd have thought
that snow falls
it always circled whirling
like a thought
in the glass ball
around me and my bear

Then it seemed beautiful
containment
snow whirled
nothing ever fell
nor my little bear
bad thoughts
imprisoned in crystal

beauty has replaced itself with evil

And the snow whirls only
in fatal winds
briefly
then falls

it always loathed containment
beasts
I love evil


"Wind (to Morton Feldman)" by Frank O'Hara
I'm going to step off the LEM now... here we are, Pismo Beach and all the clams we can eat

eSOANEM wrote:If Fonzie's on the order of 100 zeptokelvin, I think he has bigger problems than difracting through doors.

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Re: A poem for a day

Postby rat4000 » Thu Dec 04, 2014 11:49 am UTC

This one, I found thanks to the King of FaiD.

Banjo Patterson,
Clancy of the Overflow
I had written him a letter which I had, for want of better
Knowledge, sent to where I met him down the Lachlan, years ago,
He was shearing when I knew him, so I sent the letter to him,
Just on spec, addressed as follows, “Clancy, of The Overflow”.

And an answer came directed in a writing unexpected,
(And I think the same was written with a thumb-nail dipped in tar)
’Twas his shearing mate who wrote it, and verbatim I will quote it:
“Clancy’s gone to Queensland droving, and we don’t know where he are.”

In my wild erratic fancy visions come to me of Clancy
Gone a-droving “down the Cooper” where the Western drovers go;
As the stock are slowly stringing, Clancy rides behind them singing,
For the drover’s life has pleasures that the townsfolk never know.

And the bush hath friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him
In the murmur of the breezes and the river on its bars,
And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended,
And at night the wond’rous glory of the everlasting stars.

I am sitting in my dingy little office, where a stingy
Ray of sunlight struggles feebly down between the houses tall,
And the foetid air and gritty of the dusty, dirty city
Through the open window floating, spreads its foulness over all.

And in place of lowing cattle, I can hear the fiendish rattle
Of the tramways and the buses making hurry down the street,
And the language uninviting of the gutter children fighting,
Comes fitfully and faintly through the ceaseless tramp of feet.

And the hurrying people daunt me, and their pallid faces haunt me
As they shoulder one another in their rush and nervous haste,
With their eager eyes and greedy, and their stunted forms and weedy,
For townsfolk have no time to grow, they have no time to waste.

And I somehow rather fancy that I’d like to change with Clancy,
Like to take a turn at droving where the seasons come and go,
While he faced the round eternal of the cash-book and the journal—
But I doubt he’d suit the office, Clancy, of The Overflow.

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Re: A poem for a day

Postby PAstrychef » Sun Dec 07, 2014 4:20 am UTC

Moon Over
Brad Liethauser

Scuba divers will sometimes drown
within a night sea
after confusing up and down.

It seems so basic—up/down—and yet,
immersed in a black neutral buoyancy,
the world’s boundaries all wet,

a person may mislay his only meaningful
compass—the heart in his head—
and mistake Earth’s centripetal pull

for that other mustering of gravity:
a firmament widespread
with stars, over a wind blowing free.

*

But the figure—the tiny figure floundering,
lost, in an unlit sea . . . He’s trapped
like a sleeper trapped in a raw, tightening

nightmare, who knows he knows a way out of here
though he keeps forgetting
the key.
How do we wake? How do...
Don’t become a well-rounded person. Well rounded people are smooth and dull. Become a thoroughly spiky person. Grow spikes from every angle. Stick in their throats like a puffer fish.

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Re: A poem for a day

Postby PAstrychef » Wed Dec 10, 2014 10:47 pm UTC

I've had a nasty head cold for the last few days, and getting here has only made my brain hurt even more! I am about to indulge in some language...

When you’re lying awake with a dismal headache, and repose is taboo’d by anxiety,
I conceive you may use any language you choose to indulge in, without impropriety;
For your brain is on fire – the bedclothes conspire of usual slumber to plunder you:
First your counterpane goes, and uncovers your toes, and your sheet slips demurely from under
you;
Then the blanketing tickles – you feel like mixed pickles – so terribly sharp is the pricking,
And you’re hot, and you’re cross, and you tumble and toss till there’s nothing ‘twixt you and the
ticking.
Then the bedclothes all creep to the ground in a heap, and you pick ’em all up in a tangle;
Next your pillow resigns and politely declines to remain at its usual angle!
Well, you get some repose in the form of a doze, with hot eye-balls and head ever aching.
But your slumbering teems with such horrible dreams that you’d very much better be waking; For you dream you are crossing the Channel, and tossing about in a steamer from Harwich – Which is something between a large bathing machine and a very small second-class carriage – And you’re giving a treat (penny ice and cold meat) to a party of friends and relations – They’re a ravenous horde – and they all came on board at Sloane Square and South Kensington
Stations.
And bound on that journey you find your attorney (who started that morning from Devon); He’s a bit undersized, and you don’t feel surprised when he tells you he’s only eleven.
Well, you’re driving like mad with this singular lad (by the by, the ship’s now a four-wheeler), And you’re playing round games, and he calls you bad names when you tell him that “ties pay
the dealer”;
But this you can’t stand, so you throw up your hand, and you find you’re as cold as an icicle, In your shirt and your socks (the black silk with gold clocks), crossing Salisbury Plain on a
bicycle:
And he and the crew are on bicycles too – which they’ve somehow or other invested in –
And he’s telling the tars all the particulars of a company he’s interested in –
It’s a scheme of devices, to get at low prices all goods from cough mixtures to cables
(Which tickled the sailors), by treating retailers as though they were all vegetables –
You get a good spadesman to plant a small tradesman (first take off his boots with a boot-tree), And his legs will take root, and his fingers will shoot, and they’ll blossom and bud like a
fruit-tree –
From the greengrocer tree you get grapes and green pea, cauliflower, pineapple, and cranberries, While the pastrycook plant cherry brandy will grant, apple puffs, and three corners, and
Banburys –

The shares are a penny, and ever so many are taken by Rothschild and Baring, And just as a few are allotted to you, you awake with a shudder despairing –
You’re a regular wreck, with a crick in your neck, and no wonder you snore, for your head’s on the floor, and you’ve needles and pins from your soles to your shins, and your flesh is a- creep, for your left leg’s asleep, and you’ve cramp in your toes, and a fly on your nose, and some fluff in your lung, and a feverish tongue, and a thirst that’s intense, and a general sense that you haven’t been sleeping in clover;
But the darkness has passed, and it’s daylight at last, and the night has been long – ditto, ditto my song – and thank goodness they’re both of them over!

From Iolanthe, by Gilbertand Sullivan
Don’t become a well-rounded person. Well rounded people are smooth and dull. Become a thoroughly spiky person. Grow spikes from every angle. Stick in their throats like a puffer fish.

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Re: A poem for a day

Postby Kewangji » Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:10 am UTC

You Live in Beautiful Circles
by Afzal Ahmad Syed
translation: Frances W. Pritchett and Asif Aslam

You live in beautiful circles
your hair is held
by a round pin
so responsibly

A costly chain
submits itself
to your neck

A watch that is never wrong
lies against your wrist

A delicate belt
embraces your waist

Your feet
are encircled by those shoe-straps
through which you walk on our earth

I will not mention those hidden circles
that might hold you
let them remain just as beautiful
as they are

I have never played on you
the game of taking off clothes
in my imagination

You live in beautiful circles
and I in difficult lines
what can I do for you
but
come running back to you
with the ball in my mouth
that you kicked
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Re: A poem for a day

Postby PAstrychef » Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:16 am UTC

Beowulf Shrinklit
by Maurice Sagoff

Monster Grendel's tastes are plainish.
Breakfast? Just a couple Danish.
King of Danes is frantic, very.
Wait! Here comes the Malmo’ ferry
Bring Beowulf, his neighbor,
Mighty swinger with a saber!
Hrothgar's warriors hail the Swede,
Knocking back a lot of mead;
Then, when night engulfs the Hall
And the Monster makes his call,
Beowulf, with body-slam
Wrenches off his arm, Shazam!
Monster's mother finds him slain,
Grabs and eats another Dane!
Down her lair our hero jumps,
Gives old Grendel's dam her lumps.
Later on, as king of Geats
He performed prodigious feats
Till he met a foe too tough
(Non-Biodegradable stuff)
And that scaly-armored dragon
Scooped him up and fixed his wagon.
Sorrow-stricken, half the nation
Flocked to Beowulf's cremation;
Round his pyre, with drums a-muffle
Did a Nordic soft-shoe shuffle.
Don’t become a well-rounded person. Well rounded people are smooth and dull. Become a thoroughly spiky person. Grow spikes from every angle. Stick in their throats like a puffer fish.

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Re: A poem for a day

Postby Envelope Generator » Sat Jan 03, 2015 7:33 am UTC

Shepherds buried the sun in barren woods.
A fisherman drew
In his hair net the moon from a freezing pond.

In blue crystal
Lives pale Man, leaning his cheek on his stars
Or nodding his head in purple sleep.

Yet the watcher is always moved
By birds' black flight, the holy blue of blossoms;
Silence is near, thinking things lost to memory, extinguished angels.

The brow is benighted again in lunar stone;
A radiant youth
The sister appears in autumn, and black decay.

Peace and Quiet
by Georg Trakl, my translation
I'm going to step off the LEM now... here we are, Pismo Beach and all the clams we can eat

eSOANEM wrote:If Fonzie's on the order of 100 zeptokelvin, I think he has bigger problems than difracting through doors.

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Re: A poem for a day

Postby rat4000 » Sun Jan 04, 2015 11:54 am UTC

Not a bad translation! (I would change a spot or two, but I suspect everyone would, for every translation of every poem that is not their own.)

It served as a reminder to post a translation of Rilke, by Jeff Sypeck, which I'd also change very slightly if I could, but which is also rather brilliant as is.

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Re: A poem for a day

Postby PAstrychef » Fri Jan 09, 2015 12:32 am UTC

Section 32 of A Song Of Myself, Walt Whitman
think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and
self-contain'd,
I stand and look at them long and long.

They do not sweat and whine about their condition,
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,
Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of
owning things,
Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of
years ago,
Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.

(A response to the horridness humanity is capable of.)
Don’t become a well-rounded person. Well rounded people are smooth and dull. Become a thoroughly spiky person. Grow spikes from every angle. Stick in their throats like a puffer fish.

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Re: A poem for a day

Postby rat4000 » Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:40 am UTC

Dreaming of summer: Wendell Berry, June Wind.

It is short.

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Re: A poem for a day

Postby Quercus » Fri Jan 09, 2015 12:35 pm UTC

One I discovered recently:



The Supple Deer


The quiet opening
between fence strands
perhaps eighteen inches.

Antlers to hind hooves,
four feet off the ground,
the deer poured through it.

No tuft of the coarse white belly hair left behind.

I don’t know how a stag turns
into a stream, an arc of water.
I have never felt such accurate envy.

Not of the deer—

To be that porous, to have such largeness pass through me.

Jane Hirshfield

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Re: A poem for a day

Postby Kewangji » Fri Feb 13, 2015 1:47 am UTC

Of Poor B. B.

by Bertolt Brecht (this is the second version of the poem I've found, but I've not been able to find who translated it, which makes me assume it is was Brecht himself. I don't even know if it was German originally.)

I, Bertolt Brecht, came out of the black forest.
My mother moved me into the cities as I lay
Inside her body. And the coldness of the forests
Will be inside me till my dying day.

In the asphalt city I’m at home. From the very start
Provided with every last sacrament:
With newspapers. And tobacco. And brandy.
To the end mistrustful, lazy, and content.

I am polite and friendly to people. I put on
A hard hat because that’s what they do.
I say they are animals with a quite peculiar smell
And I say: Does it matter? I am too.

Before noon on my empty rocking chairs
I’ll sit a woman or two, and with an untroubled eye
Look at them steadily and say to them:
Here you have someone on whom you can’t rely.

Towards evening it’s men that I gather round me
And then we address one another as “gentlemen.”
They’re resting their feet on my table tops
And say: Things will get better for us. And I don’t ask when.

In the grey light before morning the pine trees piss
And their vermin, the birds raise their twitter and cheep.
At that hour in the city I drain my glass, then throw
The cigar butt away and worriedly go to sleep.

We have sat, an easy generation
In houses held to be indestructible
(Thus we built those boxes on the island of Manhattan
And those thin aerials that amuse the Atlantic swell)

Of those cities will remain what pass through them, the wind!
The house makes glad, die the eater: clears it out.
We know that we’re only tenants, provisional ones
And after us there will come: nothing worth talking about.

In the earthquakes to come, I very much hope
I shall keep my cigar alight, embittered or no
I, Bertolt Brecht, carried off to the asphalt cities
From the black forests inside my mother long ago.
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Re: A poem for a day

Postby Envelope Generator » Sat Feb 14, 2015 6:49 pm UTC

rat4000 wrote:Not a bad translation! (I would change a spot or two, but I suspect everyone would, for every translation of every poem that is not their own.)


Thanks! I later found out that a blue flower isn't just a blue flower[1], so I didn't even understand all of what I was translating...


You say, "I will come."
And you do not come.
Now you say, "I will not come."
So I shall expect you.
Have I learned to understand you?

Lady Ōtomo no Sakanoe (fl. 8th century), tr. Kenneth Rexroth
I'm going to step off the LEM now... here we are, Pismo Beach and all the clams we can eat

eSOANEM wrote:If Fonzie's on the order of 100 zeptokelvin, I think he has bigger problems than difracting through doors.

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Re: A poem for a day

Postby Envelope Generator » Tue Feb 24, 2015 6:28 pm UTC

Dull Mauve


Twenty miles away, in the colder
waters of the Atlantic, you gaze longingly
toward the coast. Didn't you once love someone
there? Yes, but it was only a cat, and I,
a manatee, what could I do? There are no rewards
in this world for pissing your life away, even
if it means you get to see forgotten icebergs
of decades ago peeling off from the mass
to dive under the surface, raising a
mountain of seething glass before they lunge back up
to start the unknown perilous journey
to the desolate horizon.



                            That was the way
I thought of each day when I was young, a sloughing-off,
both suicidal and imbued with a certain ritual grace.
Later, there were so many protagonists
one got quite lost, as in a forest of doppelgängers.
Many things were going on. And the moon, poised
on the ridge like an enormous, smooth grapefruit, understood
the importance of each and wasn't going
to make one's task any easier, though we loved her.


From Can You Hear, Bird by John Ashbery
I'm going to step off the LEM now... here we are, Pismo Beach and all the clams we can eat

eSOANEM wrote:If Fonzie's on the order of 100 zeptokelvin, I think he has bigger problems than difracting through doors.

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Re: A poem for a day

Postby Biedroneczka » Tue Mar 03, 2015 8:37 pm UTC

Alone, Edgr Alan Poe

From childhood`s hour I have not been
As others were - I have not seen
As others saw - I could not bring
My passions from a common spring.
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow; I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone;
And all I lov`d, I lov`d alone.
Then - in my childhood - in the dawn
Of a most stormy life - was drawn
From ev`ry depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still:
From the torrent, or the fountain,
From the red cliff of the mountain,
From the sun that `round me roll`d
In it`s autumn tint of gold -
From the lightning in the sky
As it pass`d me flying by -
From the thunder and the storm,
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heavens was blue)
Of a demon in my view.

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Re: A poem for a day

Postby PAstrychef » Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:07 am UTC

More ee cuummings, thinking warm thoughts:

in Just-
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles far and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's
spring

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far and wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and

it's
spring
and

the

goat-footed

balloonMan whistles
far
and
wee
Don’t become a well-rounded person. Well rounded people are smooth and dull. Become a thoroughly spiky person. Grow spikes from every angle. Stick in their throats like a puffer fish.

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tomandlu
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Re: A poem for a day

Postby tomandlu » Mon Apr 13, 2015 1:15 pm UTC

As I Walked Out One Evening
W. H. Auden, 1907 - 1973

As I walked out one evening,
Walking down Bristol Street,
The crowds upon the pavement
Were fields of harvest wheat.

And down by the brimming river
I heard a lover sing
Under an arch of the railway:
‘Love has no ending.

‘I’ll love you, dear, I’ll love you
Till China and Africa meet,
And the river jumps over the mountain
And the salmon sing in the street,

‘I’ll love you till the ocean
Is folded and hung up to dry
And the seven stars go squawking
Like geese about the sky.

‘The years shall run like rabbits,
For in my arms I hold
The Flower of the Ages,
And the first love of the world.'

But all the clocks in the city
Began to whirr and chime:
‘O let not Time deceive you,
You cannot conquer Time.

‘In the burrows of the Nightmare
Where Justice naked is,
Time watches from the shadow
And coughs when you would kiss.

‘In headaches and in worry
Vaguely life leaks away,
And Time will have his fancy
To-morrow or to-day.

‘Into many a green valley
Drifts the appalling snow;
Time breaks the threaded dances
And the diver’s brilliant bow.

‘O plunge your hands in water,
Plunge them in up to the wrist;
Stare, stare in the basin
And wonder what you’ve missed.

‘The glacier knocks in the cupboard,
The desert sighs in the bed,
And the crack in the tea-cup opens
A lane to the land of the dead.

‘Where the beggars raffle the banknotes
And the Giant is enchanting to Jack,
And the Lily-white Boy is a Roarer,
And Jill goes down on her back.

‘O look, look in the mirror,
O look in your distress:
Life remains a blessing
Although you cannot bless.

‘O stand, stand at the window
As the tears scald and start;
You shall love your crooked neighbour
With your crooked heart.'

It was late, late in the evening,
The lovers they were gone;
The clocks had ceased their chiming,
And the deep river ran on.
How can I think my way out of the problem when the problem is the way I think?

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Re: A poem for a day

Postby rat4000 » Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:00 am UTC

Been discovering Sonya Taaffe lately. Sometimes she hits and sometimes she misses, but when she hits she hits hard.

Domovoi, I Came Back!

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Re: A poem for a day

Postby PAstrychef » Fri Apr 17, 2015 2:23 am UTC

I will have time to put poems once the school year is done. Right now I am at work for about 12 hours a day, six days a week. My brains are tired. These latest poems are very nice!
Don’t become a well-rounded person. Well rounded people are smooth and dull. Become a thoroughly spiky person. Grow spikes from every angle. Stick in their throats like a puffer fish.

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Re: A poem for a day

Postby rat4000 » Sun Apr 19, 2015 10:53 am UTC

That last poem sent me on a rather enjoyable journey through Stone Telling's archives.

Elizabeth R McClellan, Panikos

It is fairly long and also worth your time.

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Re: A poem for a day

Postby rat4000 » Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:03 pm UTC

Rudyard Kipling's
The Hymn of Breaking Strain

The careful text books measure
(Let all who build beware!)
The load, the shock, the pressure
Material can bear.
So, when the buckled girder
Lets down the grinding span,
The blame of loss, or murder,
Is laid upon the man.
Not on the Stuff — the Man!

But in our daily dealing
With stone and steel, we find
The Gods have no such feeling
Of justice toward mankind.
To no set gauge they make us, —
For no laid course prepare —
And presently o'ertake us
With loads we cannot bear.
Too merciless to bear.

The prudent text-books give it
In tables at the end —
The stress that shears a rivet
Or makes a tie-bar bend —
What traffic wrecks macadam —
What concrete should endure —
But we, poor Sons of Adam,
Have no such literature,
To warn us or make sure!

We hold all Earth to plunder —
All Time and Space as well —
Too wonder-stale to wonder
At each new miracle;

Till, in mid-illusion
Of Godhead 'neath our hand,
Falls multiple confusion
On all we did or planned.
The mighty works we planned.

We only of Creation
(Oh, luckier bridge and rail!)
Abide the twin-damnation —
To fail and know we fail.
Yet we — by which sole token
We know we once were Gods —
Take shame in being broken
However great the odds —
The Burden or the Odds.

Oh, veiled and secret Power
Whose paths we seek in vain,
Be with us in our hour
Of overthrow and pain;
That we — by which sure token
We know thy ways are true —
In spite of being broken,
Because of being broken,
May rise and build anew.
Stand up and build anew!

Or listen to it sung by Julia Ecklar & Leslie Fish.

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Re: A poem for a day

Postby PAstrychef » Sat May 09, 2015 10:28 pm UTC

Aware

When I found the door
I found the vine leaves
speaking among themselves in abundant
whispers.
My presence made them
hush their green breath,
embarrassed, the way
humans stand up, buttoning their jackets,
acting as if they were leaving anyway, as if
the conversation had ended
just before you arrived.
I liked
the glimpse I had, though,
of their obscure
gestures. I liked the sound
of such private voices. Next time
I'll move like cautious sunlight, open
the door by fractions, eavesdrop
peacefully.

Denise Levertov
Don’t become a well-rounded person. Well rounded people are smooth and dull. Become a thoroughly spiky person. Grow spikes from every angle. Stick in their throats like a puffer fish.

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Re: A poem for a day

Postby PAstrychef » Mon May 11, 2015 1:29 pm UTC

Wanted to post this yesterday, but worked for twelve hours instead.

This Be The Verse
BY PHILIP LARKIN
They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself.
Don’t become a well-rounded person. Well rounded people are smooth and dull. Become a thoroughly spiky person. Grow spikes from every angle. Stick in their throats like a puffer fish.

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Re: A poem for a day

Postby poxic » Mon May 11, 2015 10:34 pm UTC

Advice I have lived by.
TEAM SHIVAHN
Pretty much the best team ever

You cannot surgically graft enough middle fingers to my body to express how fed up i am with this.
- Tomlidich the second

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Re: A poem for a day

Postby PAstrychef » Mon May 25, 2015 2:53 pm UTC

Obligatory for today:
In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Don’t become a well-rounded person. Well rounded people are smooth and dull. Become a thoroughly spiky person. Grow spikes from every angle. Stick in their throats like a puffer fish.

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Re: A poem for a day

Postby Kewangji » Wed May 27, 2015 12:27 am UTC

A poem by Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks, I believe.

You have fallen in love with me.
To the wind shall I scatter you.
Listen to me.
I warn you now, build up no hopes,
Believe me, I shall destroy you.
Listen to me.
If, like the bee and the ant, you now
Were to build two hundred houses,
Oh, I shall still make you homeless,
Oh, I shall still make you lonely.
Listen to me.

For me, you are like a dead bird
Held in my hand, at hunting time.
And I, the hunter, will make you
A lure for all the other birds.
Listen to me.

You are guardian of a treasure,
Oh, just like a sleeping serpent,
And you shall see; I shall make you
Spin around like that sleepy snake.
Listen to me.
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Re: A poem for a day

Postby PAstrychef » Sat May 30, 2015 1:22 am UTC

Something fun.
Macavity, by T.S. Elliot.

Macavity's a Mystery Cat: he's called the Hidden Paw--
For he's the master criminal who can defy the Law.
He's the bafflement of Scotland Yard, the Flying Squad's despair:
For when they reach the scene of crime--Macavity's not there!

Macavity, Macavity, there's no on like Macavity,
He's broken every human law, he breaks the law of gravity.
His powers of levitation would make a fakir stare,
And when you reach the scene of crime--Macavity's not there!
You may seek him in the basement, you may look up in the air--
But I tell you once and once again, Macavity's not there!

Macavity's a ginger cat, he's very tall and thin;
You would know him if you saw him, for his eyes are sunken in.
His brow is deeply lined with thought, his head is highly doomed;
His coat is dusty from neglect, his whiskers are uncombed.
He sways his head from side to side, with movements like a snake;
And when you think he's half asleep, he's always wide awake.

Macavity, Macavity, there's no one like Macavity,
For he's a fiend in feline shape, a monster of depravity.
You may meet him in a by-street, you may see him in the square--
But when a crime's discovered, then Macavity's not there!

He's outwardly respectable. (They say he cheats at cards.)
And his footprints are not found in any file of Scotland Yard's.
And when the larder's looted, or the jewel-case is rifled,
Or when the milk is missing, or another Peke's been stifled,
Or the greenhouse glass is broken, and the trellis past repair--
Ay, there's the wonder of the thing! Macavity's not there!

And when the Foreign Office finds a Treaty's gone astray,
Or the Admiralty lose some plans and drawings by the way,
There may be a scap of paper in the hall or on the stair--
But it's useless of investigate--Macavity's not there!
And when the loss has been disclosed, the Secret Service say:
"It must have been Macavity!"--but he's a mile away.
You'll be sure to find him resting, or a-licking of his thumbs,
Or engaged in doing complicated long division sums.

Macavity, Macavity, there's no one like Macacity,
There never was a Cat of such deceitfulness and suavity.
He always has an alibit, or one or two to spare:
And whatever time the deed took place--MACAVITY WASN'T THERE!
And they say that all the Cats whose wicked deeds are widely known
(I might mention Mungojerrie, I might mention Griddlebone)
Are nothing more than agents for the Cat who all the time
Just controls their operations: the Napoleon of Crime!
Don’t become a well-rounded person. Well rounded people are smooth and dull. Become a thoroughly spiky person. Grow spikes from every angle. Stick in their throats like a puffer fish.

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Re: A poem for a day

Postby tarascon » Mon Jun 22, 2015 2:19 pm UTC

Glory be to God for dappled things –
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.

-- Gerard Manley Hopkins
Estragon: I can't go on like this.
Vladimir: That's what you think.

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Re: A poem for a day

Postby Kewangji » Sat Aug 01, 2015 2:56 pm UTC

A friend of mine just tweeted me this poem, and I felt the very strong urge to share it here too.

by Kobayashi Issa
translated by Robert Hass

Code: Select all

     Writing shit about new snow
for the rich
     is not art.
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Re: A poem for a day

Postby Quercus » Mon Aug 24, 2015 12:45 pm UTC

I just rediscovered Spring and Fall by Gerard Manley Hopkins. I honestly can't read this one without crying - warning, it is very sad.

_____________
Spring and Fall:

to a Young Child

Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow's springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What héart héard of, ghóst guéssed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.
_____________

and here's Natalie Merchant's beautiful sung version of it https://youtu.be/HvB7gVvtkaQ?t=99

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Re: A poem for a day

Postby PAstrychef » Sat Sep 12, 2015 12:03 pm UTC

For decades I thought this entire poem was a)just the last stanza and b)by John Ciardi. My mom put me straight. And made me two fried eggs.
ARITHMATIC, Carl Sandburg

Arithmetic is where numbers fly like pigeons in and out of your
head.
Arithmetic tells you how many you lose or win if you know how
many you had before you lost or won.
Arithmetic is seven eleven all good children go to heaven -- or five
six bundle of sticks.
Arithmetic is numbers you squeeze from your head to your hand
to your pencil to your paper till you get the answer.
Arithmetic is where the answer is right and everything is nice and
you can look out of the window and see the blue sky -- or the
answer is wrong and you have to start all over and try again
and see how it comes out this time.
If you take a number and double it and double it again and then
double it a few more times, the number gets bigger and bigger
and goes higher and higher and only arithmetic can tell you
what the number is when you decide to quit doubling.
Arithmetic is where you have to multiply -- and you carry the
multiplication table in your head and hope you won't lose it.
If you have two animal crackers, one good and one bad, and you
eat one and a striped zebra with streaks all over him eats the
other, how many animal crackers will you have if somebody
offers you five six seven and you say No no no and you say
Nay nay nay and you say Nix nix nix?
If you ask your mother for one fried egg for breakfast and she
gives you two fried eggs and you eat both of them, who is
better in arithmetic, you or your mother?
Don’t become a well-rounded person. Well rounded people are smooth and dull. Become a thoroughly spiky person. Grow spikes from every angle. Stick in their throats like a puffer fish.

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Re: A poem for a day

Postby PAstrychef » Wed Dec 30, 2015 1:18 pm UTC

Here's one for the new year. It's always good to remember that you can't see yourself as others see you.
To a Mouse,
Robert Burns

WEE, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie,
O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi’ bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee, 5
Wi’ murd’ring pattle!

I’m truly sorry man’s dominion,
Has broken nature’s social union,
An’ justifies that ill opinion,
Which makes thee startle 10
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,
An’ fellow-mortal!

I doubt na, whiles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen icker in a thrave 15
’S a sma’ request;
I’ll get a blessin wi’ the lave,
An’ never miss’t!

Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!
It’s silly wa’s the win’s are strewin! 20
An’ naething, now, to big a new ane,
O’ foggage green!
An’ bleak December’s winds ensuin,
Baith snell an’ keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an’ waste, 25
An’ weary winter comin fast,
An’ cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell—
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
Out thro’ thy cell. 30

That wee bit heap o’ leaves an’ stibble,
Has cost thee mony a weary nibble!
Now thou’s turn’d out, for a’ thy trouble,
But house or hald,
To thole the winter’s sleety dribble, 35
An’ cranreuch cauld!

But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain;
The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft agley, 40
An’lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!

Still thou art blest, compar’d wi’ me
The present only toucheth thee:
But, Och! I backward cast my e’e. 45
On prospects drear!
An’ forward, tho’ I canna see,
I guess an' fear!
Don’t become a well-rounded person. Well rounded people are smooth and dull. Become a thoroughly spiky person. Grow spikes from every angle. Stick in their throats like a puffer fish.

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Re: A poem for a day

Postby Kewangji » Wed Dec 30, 2015 3:13 pm UTC

PORTRAIT OF MY FATHER AS A YOUNG MAN
by Rainer Maria Rilke, translation by Stephen Mitchell

In the eyes: dream. The brow as if it could feel
something far off. Around the lips, a great
freshness--seductive, though there is no smile.
Under the rows of ornamental braid
on the slim Imperial officer's uniform:
the saber's basket-hilt. Both hands stay
folded upon it, going nowhere, calm
and now almost invisible, as if they
were the first to grasp the distance and dissolve.
And all the rest so curtained within itself,
so cloudy, that I cannot understand
this figure as it fades into the background--.

Oh quickly disappearing photograph
in my more slowly disappearing hand.
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