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*Poem of the day thread

Discussion in 'books, films, TV, radio & writing' started by RubyToogood, Aug 4, 2002.

  1. Sirena

    Sirena Don't monkey with the buzzsaw

    'Spirits' by Birago Diop (translated)

    "Listen to Things
    More often than Beings,
    Hear the voice of fire,
    Hear the voice of water.
    Listen in the wind,
    To the sighs of the bush;
    This is the ancestors breathing.

    Those who are dead are not ever gone;
    They are in the darkness that grows lighter
    And in the darkness that grows darker.
    The dead are not down in the earth;
    They are in the trembling of the trees
    In the groaning of the woods,
    In the water that runs,
    In the water that sleeps,
    They are in the hut, they are in the crowd:
    The dead are not dead.

    Listen to things
    More often than beings,
    Hear the voice of fire,
    Hear the voice of water.
    Listen in the wind,
    To the bush that is sighing:
    This is the breathing of ancestors,
    Who have not gone away
    Who are not under earth
    Who are not really dead.

    Those who are dead are not ever gone;
    They are in a woman’s breast,
    In the wailing of a child,
    And the burning of a log,
    In the moaning rock,
    In the weeping grasses,
    In the forest and the home.
    The dead are not dead.

    Listen more often
    To Things than to Beings,
    Hear the voice of fire,
    Hear the voice of water.
    Listen in the wind to
    The bush that is sobbing:
    This is the ancestors breathing.

    Each day they renew ancient bonds,
    Ancient bonds that hold fast
    Binding our lot to their law,
    To the will of the spirits stronger than we
    To the spell of our dead who are not really dead,
    Whose covenant binds us to life,
    Whose authority binds to their will,
    The will of the spirits that stir
    In the bed of the river, on the banks of the river,
    The breathing of spirits
    Who moan in the rocks and weep in the grasses.

    Spirits inhabit
    The darkness that lightens, the darkness that darkens,
    The quivering tree, the murmuring wood,
    The water that runs and the water that sleeps:
    Spirits much stronger than we,
    The breathing of the dead who are not really dead,
    Of the dead who are not really gone,
    Of the dead now no more in the earth.

    Listen to Things
    More often than Beings,
    Hear the voice of fire,
    Hear the voice of water.
    Listen in the wind,
    To the bush that is sobbing:
    This is the ancestors, breathing."
     
  2. Greebo

    Greebo 'scuse me, Mrs May, can I have my country back? R.I.P.

    A Fixed Idea

    What torture lurks within a single thought
    When grown too constant; and however kind,
    However welcome still, the weary mind
    Aches with its presence. Dull remembrance taught
    Remembers on unceasingly; unsought
    The old delight is with us but to find
    That all recurring joy is pain refined,
    Become a habit, and we struggle, caught.
    You lie upon my heart as on a nest,
    Folded in peace, for you can never know
    How crushed I am with having you at rest
    Heavy upon my life. I love you so
    You bind my freedom from its rightful quest.
    In mercy lift your drooping wings and go.

    Amy Lowell
     
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  3. Greebo

    Greebo 'scuse me, Mrs May, can I have my country back? R.I.P.

    Grief’s Weird Sister, Gratitude

    How to read a tome of Collected Poems?
    Read one that pivotally changes you
    and lose track of the page and title.
    How to clean a house? Lose your ring in it.

    Milosz not having to make peace one day
    because the people are dead, nor revisit
    some cities of his blood, because they are
    razed. I’m still reading for that one.

    If I wince that I got cuppy, said too much,
    maybe years ago, sometimes the sudden
    knowledge that my auditor is no longer
    will come in as wistful relief, if with grief.

    So I’d like to find it. This “how” isn’t
    an engineering question, but angle,
    here alchemically
    translated to hope by way of loss.

    Jennifer Michael Hecht
     
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  4. butchersapron

    butchersapron blood on the walls

    Duffa Rex

    I

    King of the primeval avenues, the municipal parklands: architect of the Tulse Hill Poetry Group: life and soul of the perennial carousals: minstrel: philatelist: long-serving clerical officer: the friend of everyone who's anyone.
    'Pack it in,' said Duffa, 'and buy me a drink.'

    II

    He digs for the salt-screw, buried in crepitant spud-slivers. Speaks of his boyhood in the gruntler's yarg, the unworked cork-bundles, coagulations of nurls.
    The mockery of his companions is unabated. It is the king's round, they urge. His hoard is overripe for commerce.
    One by one he draws coins to the light; examines them: exemplary silver, his rune stones. Treasure accrued in a sparse week, to be invested in precious liquid.
     
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  5. butchersapron

    butchersapron blood on the walls

    Suicide in the Trenches

    I knew a simple soldier boy
    Who grinned at life in empty joy,
    Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
    And whistled early with the lark.

    In winter trenches, cowed and glum,
    With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
    He put a bullet through his brain.
    No one spoke of him again.

    You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
    Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
    Sneak home and pray you'll never know
    The hell where youth and laughter go.


    S. Sassoon
     
  6. Greebo

    Greebo 'scuse me, Mrs May, can I have my country back? R.I.P.

    Experience

    This morning I looked at the map of the day
    And said to myself, “This is the way! This is the way I will go;
    Thus shall I range on the roads of achievement,
    The way is so clear—it shall all be a joy on the lines marked out.”
    And then as I went came a place that was strange,—
    ’Twas a place not down on the map!
    And I stumbled and fell and lay in the weeds,
    And looked on the day with rue.

    I am learning a little—never to be sure—
    To be positive only with what is past,
    And to peer sometimes at the things to come
    As a wanderer treading the night
    When the mazy stars neither point nor beckon,
    And of all the roads, no road is sure.

    I see those men with maps and talk
    Who tell how to go and where and why;
    I hear with my ears the words of their mouths,
    As they finger with ease the marks on the maps;
    And only as one looks robust, lonely, and querulous,
    As if he had gone to a country far
    And made for himself a map,
    Do I cry to him, “I would see your map!
    I would heed that map you have!”

    Carl Sandburg
     
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  7. Greebo

    Greebo 'scuse me, Mrs May, can I have my country back? R.I.P.

    Between the Dragon and the Phoenix

    Fire in the heart, fire in the sky, the sun just
    a smallish smudge resting on the horizon
    out beyond the reef that breaks the waves,

    fiery sun that waits for no one. I was little more
    than a child when my father explained
    that the mongrel is stronger than the thoroughbred,

    that I was splendidly blended, genetically engineered
    for survival. I somehow forgot this, misplaced this,
    time eroding my memory as it erodes everything.

    But go ask someone else to write a poem about Time.
    Out over the bay, the sun is rising, and I am running
    out of time. Each and every year, on my birthday,

    I wake to watch the sunrise. I am superstitious.
    And today, as in years past, it is not my father
    but my father’s father who comes to shout at me:

    Whether you like it or not, you are a child of fire. You
    descend from the Dragon, descend from the Phoenix.
    Your blood is older than England, older than Castille.

    Year after year, he says the same thing, this old man
    dead long before I was born. So, I wake each year
    on the day of my birth to watch the fire enter the sky

    while being chastised by my dead grandfather.
    Despite being a creature of fire, I stay near the water.
    Why even try to avoid what can extinguish me?

    There are times I can feel the fire flickering inside my frame.
    The gulls are quarreling, the palm trees shimmering—
    the world keeps spinning on its axis. Some say I have

    nine lives. Others think me a machine. Neither is true.
    The truth is rarely so conventional. Fire in my heart, fire
    in my veins, I write this down for you and watch

    as it goes up in flames. There are no paragraphs
    wide enough to contain this fire, no stanzas
    durable enough to house it. Blood of the Dragon,

    blood of the Phoenix, I turn my head slowly
    toward the East. I bow and call for another year.
    I stand there and demand one more year.

    C. Dale Young
     
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  8. Greebo

    Greebo 'scuse me, Mrs May, can I have my country back? R.I.P.

    Crystal Palace Protest

    Great ridge of the North Wood,
    Guardian since time.
    Repeller of invaders who threatened our lives;
    Green hill of the people about to be wrecked
    By those in the city, it used to protect.
    Men in their towers
    Of steel, glass and concrete
    Who expanded their kingdom to the foot of this hill.
    Now look to this bastion of ancient green space
    And see only profit.......
    So wildlife is killed.
    The springs of this hilltop that nourished our gardens
    Now capped off by councils who presume to prescribe
    A high growth economy of multiplex boxes
    Where flora and fauna can no longer survive.
    The smog of this city creeps higher and higher
    Lucidious canker of rich men's desires
    To pave all our orchards and tarmac our fields
    In search of profit on brown site cash deals.
    Paxton once tried this in patriarch's style,
    To build a great palace, the landmark for miles.
    But nature, the leveller, looked down on her mound;
    With north wind and fire, she took back her ground.
    The debt to this hillside we all hold in trust
    Defend the green spaces against profiteers lust.
    For the future of England lies in our hands;
    Tarmac and concrete or open green land.

    Anon.
     
  9. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Every man and every woman is a star

    STELLA MARIS

    Arthur Symons

    Why is it I remember yet
    You, of all women one has met
    In random wayfare, as one meets
    The chance romances of the streets,
    The Juliet of a night? I know
    Your heart holds many a Romeo.
    And I, who call to mind your face
    In so serene a pausing-place,
    Where the bright pure expanse of sea,
    The shadowy shore's austerity,
    Seems a reproach to you and me,
    I too have sought on many a breast
    The ecstasy of love's unrest,
    I too have had my dreams, and met
    (Ah me!) how many a Juliet.
    Why is it, then, that I recall
    You, neither first nor last of all?
    For, surely as I see tonight
    The glancing of the lighthouse light,
    Against the sky, across the bay,
    As turn by turn it falls my way,
    So surely do I see your eyes
    Out of the empty night arise,
    Child, you arise and smile to me
    Out of the night, out of the sea,
    The Nereid of a moment there,
    And is it seaweed in your hair?

    O lost and wrecked, how long ago,
    Out of the drownèd past, I know,
    You come to call me, come to claim
    My share of your delicious shame.
    Child, I remember, and can tell,
    One night we loved each other well;
    And one night's love, at least or most,
    Is not so small a thing to boast.
    You were adorable, and I
    Adored you to infinity,
    That nuptial night too briefly borne
    To the oblivion of morn.
    Oh, no oblivion! for I feel
    Your lips deliriously steal
    Along my neck and fasten there;
    I feel the perfume of your hair,
    And your soft breast that heaves and dips,
    Desiring my desirous lips,
    And that ineffable delight
    When souls turn bodies, and unite
    In the intolerable, the whole
    Rapture of the embodied soul.

    That joy was ours, we passed it by;
    You have forgotten me, and I
    Remember you thus strangely, won
    An instant from oblivion.
    And I, remembering, would declare
    That joy, not shame, is ours to share,
    Joy that we had the will and power,
    In spite of fate, to snatch one hour,
    Out of vague nights, and days at strife,
    So infinitely full of life.
    And 'tis for this I see you rise,
    A wraith, with starlight in your eyes,
    Here, where the drowsy-minded mood
    Is one with Nature's solitude;
    For this, for this, you come to me
    Out of the night, out of the sea.
     
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  10. DotCommunist

    DotCommunist my world is fire and blood

    loyalty is a strange coin
    given freely
    spent unwisely
    spent but not earned
    Not casually

    Marker for trust and usage
    Dogs and children breathe it
    Untill they learn and it is then a coin.
    To be earned warily and given carefully

    only smarties have the answer.
     
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  11. DotCommunist

    DotCommunist my world is fire and blood

    Ode to Vger

    where did you go?
    In the black you were gone so long.
    what did you see? Was it cold?
    I called for you over and over.
    Only static.
    Where have you been?
    What did you see?

    Dancing twin stars? black hole accretions?
    Where was the come home signal?
    We waited for you

    You saw it all didn't you?
    and you can never tell
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2016
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  12. angusmcfangus

    angusmcfangus Well-Known Member

    Jist ti Let Yi No

    (from the American of Carlos Williams)

    ahv drank
    thi speshlz
    that wurrin
    thi frij

    n thit
    yiwurr probbli
    hodn back
    furthi pahrti

    awright
    they wur great
    thaht stroang
    thaht cawld

    Tom Leonard

    Thought this version maybe more meaningful to fellow urbanites.
     
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  13. Greebo

    Greebo 'scuse me, Mrs May, can I have my country back? R.I.P.

    Atlas

    There is a kind of love called maintenance
    Which stores the WD40 and knows when to use it;

    Which checks the insurance, and doesn’t forget
    The milkman; which remembers to plant bulbs;

    Which answers letters; which knows the way
    The money goes; which deals with dentists

    And Road Fund Tax and meeting trains,
    And postcards to the lonely; which upholds

    The permanently rickety elaborate
    Structures of living, which is Atlas.

    And maintenance is the sensible side of love,
    Which knows what time and weather are doing
    To my brickwork; insulates my faulty wiring;
    Laughs at my dryrotten jokes; remembers
    My need for gloss and grouting; which keeps
    My suspect edifice upright in air,
    As Atlas did the sky.

    UA Fanthorpe
     
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  14. Dillinger4

    Dillinger4 Es gibt Zeit

    Rich in Vitamin C by JH Prynne

    Under her brow the snowy wing-case
    delivers truly the surprise
    of days which slide under sunlight
    past loose glass in the door
    into the reflection of honour spread
    through the incomplete, the trusted. So
    darkly the stain skips as a livery
    of your pause like an apple pip,
    the baltic loved one who sleeps.

    Or as syrup in a cloud, down below in
    the cup, you excuse each folded
    cry of the finch's wit, this flush
    scattered over our slant of the
    day rocked in water, you say
    this much. A waver of attention at
    the surface, shews the arch there and
    the purpose we really cut;
    an ounce down by the water, which

    in cross-fire from injustice too large
    to hold he lets slither
    from starry fingers
    noting the herbal jolt of cordite
    and its echo: is this our screen, on some
    street we hardly guessed could mark
    an idea bred to idiocy by the clear
    sight-lines ahead. You come in
    by the same door, you carry

    what cannot be left for its own
    sweet shimmer of reason, its false blood;
    the same tint I hear with the pulse it touches
    and will not melt. Such shading
    of the rose to its stock tips the bolt
    from the sky, rising in its effect of what
    motto we call peace talks. And yes the
    quiet turn of your page is the day
    tilting so, faded in the light.

    Jacket # 6 - J.H. Prynne - poem - Rich in Vitamin C - with a commentary by John Kinsella

     
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  15. Sirena

    Sirena Don't monkey with the buzzsaw

  16. Greebo

    Greebo 'scuse me, Mrs May, can I have my country back? R.I.P.

    Abou Ben Adhem

    Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
    Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
    And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
    Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
    An angel writing in a book of gold:—
    Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
    And to the presence in the room he said,
    "What writest thou?"—The vision raised its head,
    And with a look made of all sweet accord,
    Answered, "The names of those who love the Lord."
    "And is mine one?" said Abou. "Nay, not so,"
    Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
    But cheerly still; and said, "I pray thee, then,
    Write me as one that loves his fellow men."

    The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
    It came again with a great wakening light,
    And showed the names whom love of God had blest,
    And lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.

    Leigh Hunt
     
  17. bluescreen

    bluescreen Je est un autre

    Among Children[​IMG]
    Philip Levine

    I walk among the rows of bowed heads -
    the children are sleeping through fourth grade
    so as to be ready for what is ahead,
    the monumental boredom of junior high
    and the rush forward tearing their wings
    loose and turning their eyes forever inward.
    These are the children of Flint, their fathers
    work at the spark plug factory or truck
    bottled water in 5 gallon sea-blue jugs
    to widows of the suburbs. You can see
    already how their backs have thickened,
    how their small hands, soiled by pig iron,
    leap and stutter even in dreams. I would like
    to sit down among them and read slowly
    from The Book of Job until the windows
    pale and the teacher rises out of a milky sea
    of industrial scum, her foolish words transformed
    into song, I would like to arm each one
    with a quiver of arrows so that they might
    rush like wind there where no battle rages
    shouting among the trumpets, Ha! Ha!
    How dear the gift of laugher in the face
    of the 8 hour day, the cold winter mornings
    without coffee and oranges, the long lines
    of mothers in old coats waiting silently
    where the gates have closed. Ten years ago
    I went among these same children, just born,
    in the bright ward of the Sacred Heart and leaned
    down to hear their breaths delivered that day,
    burning with joy. There is such wonder
    in their sleep, such purpose in their eyes
    closed against autumn, in their damp heads
    blurred with the hair of ponds, and not one
    turned against me or the light, not one
    said, I am sick, I am tired, I will go home,
    not one complained or drifted alone,
    unloved, on the hardest day of their lives.
    Eleven years from now they will become
    the men and women from Flint or Paradise,
    the majors of a minor town, and I
    will be gone into smoke or memory,
    so I bow to them here and whisper
    all I know, all I will never know.
     
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  18. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Every man and every woman is a star

    from robert browning's 'pippa passes'

    But at night, brother Howlet, far over the woods,
    Toll the world to thy chantry;
    Sing to the bats’ sleek sisterhoods
    Full complines with gallantry:
    Then, owls and bats, cowls and twats,
    Monks and nuns, in a cloister’s moods,
    Adjourn to the oak-stump pantry!
     
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  19. mod

    mod A modernist

    I am London by Cliff Britten

     
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  20. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Every man and every woman is a star

    Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, On Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour. July 13, 1798
    Related Poem Content Details
    BY WILLIAM WORDSWORTH

    Five years have past; five summers, with the length
    Of five long winters! and again I hear
    These waters, rolling from their mountain-springs
    With a soft inland murmur.—Once again
    Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs,
    That on a wild secluded scene impress
    Thoughts of more deep seclusion; and connect
    The landscape with the quiet of the sky.
    The day is come when I again repose
    Here, under this dark sycamore, and view
    These plots of cottage-ground, these orchard-tufts,
    Which at this season, with their unripe fruits,
    Are clad in one green hue, and lose themselves
    'Mid groves and copses. Once again I see
    These hedge-rows, hardly hedge-rows, little lines
    Of sportive wood run wild: these pastoral farms,
    Green to the very door; and wreaths of smoke
    Sent up, in silence, from among the trees!
    With some uncertain notice, as might seem
    Of vagrant dwellers in the houseless woods,
    Or of some Hermit's cave, where by his fire
    The Hermit sits alone.
    These beauteous forms,
    Through a long absence, have not been to me
    As is a landscape to a blind man's eye:
    But oft, in lonely rooms, and 'mid the din
    Of towns and cities, I have owed to them,
    In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,
    Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart;
    And passing even into my purer mind
    With tranquil restoration:—feelings too
    Of unremembered pleasure: such, perhaps,
    As have no slight or trivial influence
    On that best portion of a good man's life,
    His little, nameless, unremembered, acts
    Of kindness and of love. Nor less, I trust,
    To them I may have owed another gift,
    Of aspect more sublime; that blessed mood,
    In which the burthen of the mystery,
    In which the heavy and the weary weight
    Of all this unintelligible world,
    Is lightened:—that serene and blessed mood,
    In which the affections gently lead us on,—
    Until, the breath of this corporeal frame
    And even the motion of our human blood
    Almost suspended, we are laid asleep
    In body, and become a living soul:
    While with an eye made quiet by the power
    Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,
    We see into the life of things.
    If this
    Be but a vain belief, yet, oh! how oft—
    In darkness and amid the many shapes
    Of joyless daylight; when the fretful stir
    Unprofitable, and the fever of the world,
    Have hung upon the beatings of my heart—
    How oft, in spirit, have I turned to thee,
    O sylvan Wye! thou wanderer thro' the woods,
    How often has my spirit turned to thee!
    And now, with gleams of half-extinguished thought,
    With many recognitions dim and faint,
    And somewhat of a sad perplexity,
    The picture of the mind revives again:
    While here I stand, not only with the sense
    Of present pleasure, but with pleasing thoughts
    That in this moment there is life and food
    For future years. And so I dare to hope,
    Though changed, no doubt, from what I was when first
    I came among these hills; when like a roe
    I bounded o'er the mountains, by the sides
    Of the deep rivers, and the lonely streams,
    Wherever nature led: more like a man
    Flying from something that he dreads, than one
    Who sought the thing he loved. For nature then
    (The coarser pleasures of my boyish days
    And their glad animal movements all gone by)
    To me was all in all.—I cannot paint
    What then I was. The sounding cataract
    Haunted me like a passion: the tall rock,
    The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood,
    Their colours and their forms, were then to me
    An appetite; a feeling and a love,
    That had no need of a remoter charm,
    By thought supplied, not any interest
    Unborrowed from the eye.—That time is past,
    And all its aching joys are now no more,
    And all its dizzy raptures. Not for this
    Faint I, nor mourn nor murmur; other gifts
    Have followed; for such loss, I would believe,
    Abundant recompense. For I have learned
    To look on nature, not as in the hour
    Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes
    The still sad music of humanity,
    Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power
    To chasten and subdue.—And I have felt
    A presence that disturbs me with the 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:
    A motion and a spirit, that impels
    All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
    And rolls through all things. Therefore am I still
    A lover of the meadows and the woods
    And mountains; and of all that we behold
    From this green earth; of all the mighty world
    Of eye, and ear,—both what they half create,
    And what perceive; well pleased to recognise
    In nature and the language of the sense
    The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse,
    The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul
    Of all my moral being.
    Nor perchance,
    If I were not thus taught, should I the more
    Suffer my genial spirits to decay:
    For thou art with me here upon the banks
    Of this fair river; thou my dearest Friend,
    My dear, dear Friend; and in thy voice I catch
    The language of my former heart, and read
    My former pleasures in the shooting lights
    Of thy wild eyes. Oh! yet a little while
    May I behold in thee what I was once,
    My dear, dear Sister! and this prayer I make,
    Knowing that Nature never did betray
    The heart that loved her; 'tis her privilege,
    Through all the years of this our life, to lead
    From joy to joy: for she can so inform
    The mind that is within us, so impress
    With quietness and beauty, and so feed
    With lofty thoughts, that neither evil tongues,
    Rash judgments, nor the sneers of selfish men,
    Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all
    The dreary intercourse of daily life,
    Shall e'er prevail against us, or disturb
    Our cheerful faith, that all which we behold
    Is full of blessings. Therefore let the moon
    Shine on thee in thy solitary walk;
    And let the misty mountain-winds be free
    To blow against thee: and, in after years,
    When these wild ecstasies shall be matured
    Into a sober pleasure; when thy mind
    Shall be a mansion for all lovely forms,
    Thy memory be as a dwelling-place
    For all sweet sounds and harmonies; oh! then,
    If solitude, or fear, or pain, or grief,
    Should be thy portion, with what healing thoughts
    Of tender joy wilt thou remember me,
    And these my exhortations! Nor, perchance—
    If I should be where I no more can hear
    Thy voice, nor catch from thy wild eyes these gleams
    Of past existence—wilt thou then forget
    That on the banks of this delightful stream
    We stood together; and that I, so long
    A worshipper of Nature, hither came
    Unwearied in that service: rather say
    With warmer love—oh! with far deeper zeal
    Of holier love. Nor wilt thou then forget,
    That after many wanderings, many years
    Of absence, these steep woods and lofty cliffs,
    And this green pastoral landscape, were to me
    More dear, both for themselves and for thy sake!
     
  21. mod

    mod A modernist

    Mad Man by Cliff Britten

     
  22. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Every man and every woman is a star

    The One Black Stain
    Robert E Howard

    They carried him out on the barren sand
    where the rebel captains died;
    Where the grim gray rotting gibbets stand
    as Magellan reared them on the strand,
    And the gulls that haunt the lonesome land
    wail to the lonely tide.

    Drake faced them all like a lion at bay,
    with his lion head upflung:
    "Dare ye my word of law defy,
    to say this traitor shall not die?"
    And his captains dared not meet his eye
    but each man held his tongue.

    Solomon Kane stood forth alone,
    grim man of sober face:
    "Worthy of death he may well be,
    but the trial ye held was mockery,
    "Ye hid your spite in a travesty
    where justice hid her face.

    "More of the man had ye been, on deck
    your sword to cleanly draw
    "In forthright fury from its sheath
    and openly cleave him to the teeth --
    "Rather than slink and hide beneath
    a hollow word of the law."

    Hell rose in the eyes of Francis Drake.
    "Puritan knave!" swore he.
    "Headsman! Give him the axe instead!
    He shall strike off yon traitor's head!"
    Solomon folded his arms and said,
    darkly and somberly:

    "I am no slave for your butcher's work."
    "Bind him with triple strands!"
    Drake roared and the men obeyed,
    Hesitantly, as if afraid,
    But Kane moved not as they took his blade
    and pinioned his iron hands.

    They bent the doomed man over to his knees,
    the man who was to die;
    They saw his lips in a strange smile bend,
    one last long look they saw him send,
    At Drake his judge and his one time friend
    who dared not meet his eye.

    The axe flashed silver in the sun,
    a red arch slashed the sand;
    A voice cried out as the head fell clear,
    and the watchers flinched in sudden fear,
    Though 'twas but a sea bird wheeling near
    above the lonely strand.

    "This be every traitor's end!"
    Drake cried, and yet again.
    Slowly his captains turned and went
    and the admiral's stare was elsewhere bent
    Than where the cold scorn with anger blent
    in the eyes of Solomon Kane.

    Night fell on the crawling waves;
    the admiral's door was closed;
    Solomon lay in the stenching hold;
    his irons clashed as the ship rolled.
    And his guard, grown weary and overbold,
    lay down his pipe and dozed.

    He woke with a hand at his corded throat
    that gripped him like a vise;
    Trembling he yielded up the key,
    and the somber Puritan stood free,
    His cold eyes gleaming murderously
    with the wrath that is slow to rise.

    Unseen, to the admiral's door,
    went Solomon Kane from the guard,
    Through the night and silence of the ship,
    the guard's keen dagger in his grip;
    No man of the dull crew saw him slip
    through the door unbarred.

    Drake at the table sat alone,
    his face sunk in his hands;
    He looked up, as from sleeping --
    but his eyes were blank with weeping
    As if he saw not, creeping,
    death's swiftly flowing sands.

    He reached no hand for gun or blade
    to halt the hand of Kane,
    Nor even seemed to hear or see,
    lost in black mists of memory,
    Love turned to hate and treachery,
    and bitter, cankering pain.

    A moment Solomon Kane stood there,
    the dagger poised before,
    As a condor stoops above a bird,
    and Francis Drake spoke not nor stirred
    And Kane went forth without a word
    and closed the cabin door.
     
  23. Dillinger4

    Dillinger4 Es gibt Zeit

    Perfection, of a kind, was what he was after,
    And the poetry he invented was easy to understand;
    He knew human folly like the back of his hand,
    And was greatly interested in armies and fleets;
    When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter,
    And when he cried the little children died in the streets.
     
    Santino and bluescreen like this.
  24. bluescreen

    bluescreen Je est un autre

    Auden, thou shouldst be living at this hour
     
  25. Idris2002

    Idris2002 A kick up the Arás

    When It's a First Love
    When it's a first love, it burns the heart
    And a second love, it clings to the first one,
    Well, and the third love - the key trembles in the lock,
    The key trembles in the lock, the suitcase in the hand.

    When it's a first war, it's no one's fault,
    And a second war is somebody's fault,
    And when it's a third war it's only my fault
    And my fault it's seen by all.

    When it's a first deception it's like misty dawn,
    And the second deception sways drunk,
    And when it's a third deception it's darker than night,
    It's darker than night, it's more horrible than war.

    Boulat Okoudjava
     
    Dillinger4 likes this.
  26. Dillinger4

    Dillinger4 Es gibt Zeit

    ANY SYSTEM
    by Leonard Cohen

    Any system you contrive without us
    will be brought down
    We warned you before
    and nothing that you built has stood
    Hear it as you lean over your blueprint
    Hear it as you roll up your sleeve
    Hear it once again
    Any system you contrive without us
    will be brought down

    You have your drugs
    You have your guns
    You have your Pyramids your Pentagons
    With all your grass and bullets
    you cannot hunt us any more
    All that we disclose of ourselves forever
    is this warning
    Nothing that you built has stood
    Any system you contrive without us
    will be brought down.
     
    DotCommunist and S☼I like this.
  27. S☼I

    S☼I knismesis & volubility

    Fuck the rules

    This is for Greebo

    Late fragment - Raymond Carver

    And did you get what
    you wanted from this life, even so?
    I did.
    And what did you want?
    To call myself beloved, to feel myself
    beloved on the earth.
     
  28. Dillinger4

    Dillinger4 Es gibt Zeit

    Ancient History by Jamit McKendrick

    The year began with baleful auguries:
    comets, eclipses, tremors, forest fires,
    the waves lethargic under a coat of pitch
    the length of the coastline. And a cow spoke,
    which happened last year too, although last year
    no one believed cows spoke. Worse was to come.
    There was a bloody rain of lumps of meat
    which flocks of gulls snatched in mid-air
    while what they missed fell to the ground
    where it lay for days without festering.
    Then a wind tore up a forest of holm-oaks
    and jackdaws pecked the eyes from sheep.
    Officials construing the Sibylline Books
    told of helmeted aliens occupying
    the cross-roads, and high places of the city.
    Blood might be shed. Avoid, they warned,
    factions and in-fights. The tribunes claimed
    this was the usual con-trick
    trumped up to stonewall the new law
    about to be passed. Violence was only curbed
    by belief in a rumour that the tribes
    to the east had joined forces and forged
    weapons deadlier than the world has seen
    and that even then the hooves of their scouts
    had been heard in the southern hills.
    The year ended fraught with the fear of war.
    Next year began with baleful auguries
     
    ShiftyBagLady likes this.
  29. Orang Utan

    Orang Utan Sub-Sub-Librarian

    John Milton. 1608–1674

    On His Blindness

    When I consider how my light is spent
    Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
    And that one talent which is death to hide
    Lodg'd with me useless, though my soul more bent
    To serve therewith my Maker, and present
    My true account, lest he returning chide,
    "Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?"
    I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
    That murmur, soon replies: "God doth not need
    Either man's work or his own gifts: who best
    Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
    Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed
    And post o'er land and ocean without rest:
    They also serve who only stand and wait.
     
  30. bubblesmcgrath

    bubblesmcgrath Well-Known Member

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